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Highlights from meeting of Sept. 24-26, 2015

The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met from Sept. 24 to 26, 2015, at the Prince Conference Center of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. During this meeting the Board:

  • Approved the strategic foci and desired futures outlined in the CRC’s emerging Ministry Plan for implementation and engagement with classes and congregations. (For more information as well as a downloadable brochure, visit An Emerging Ministry Plan for the CRC.)
  • In response to synod’s action of combining the Board of Trustees and the boards of Back to God Ministries International, Home Missions and World Missions, approved forming a Council of Delegates transition committee. The committee’s task is to develop a range of scenarios for governance, including membership and meeting formats, to assess them according to how well they enhance the CRC’s shared value of binationality, and to recommend one for the Board’s consideration. The Board also engaged in training on policy governance in preparation for the transition.
  • Held a time of fellowship and engagement with members of CRC agency and institutional boards to discuss the emerging Ministry Plan. Members of the BOT and the boards of Home Missions, World Missions and Back to God Ministries International also discussed the changes involved in the transition to a Council of Delegates.
  • Received the report of the Doctrine of Discovery Task Force and commended it to synod as a faithful fulfillment of the task force’s mandate. The report will be distributed to churches by Nov. 1.

The Board decided that “out of pastoral sensitivity for the dignity and justice of all the parties involved,” and according to guidelines in the Rules for Synodical Procedure, one of the stories in the report will be removed from the printed version. It will be included in the report that goes to synod’s advisory committee.

The Board also is suggesting to synod’s program committee that it consult with the Doctrine of Discovery Task Force about ways to include indigenous Christian practices and liturgy, as well as indigenous representatives, in its discussions and deliberation of the report at Synod 2016.

  • Adopted a policy that all BOT members must affirm a Statement of Agreement with Beliefs of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The statement is similar to the CRC’s Covenant for Officebearers.
  • Appointed Ms. Ashley G. Bootsma and Ms. Youri Lee to two-year terms as non-voting, young adult representatives on the Board of Trustees. Their role is to assist the Board by
  • representing the viewpoints of young adults. Bootsma is a member of Trinity CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario, where she serves as clerk of council. Lee is a member of Faith CRC in Sioux Center, Iowa, and a first-year M.Div. student at Calvin Theological Seminary. Both previously served as young adult representatives to synod.
  • Approved a plan to produce a scaled-down version of the printed Yearbook, with the rest of the information made available online. The printed Yearbook would contain a directory of classes, churches, ordained ministers and commissioned pastors, as well as denominational ministries and offices. The Board noted that this is a wise use of resources and also allows for more frequent updating of information.
  • Approved recommendations from the Banner Advisory Council that The Banner continue to combine the July/August print issues, and that the Banner editor retains the right of appeal to synod in cases where conflicts cannot be resolved otherwise. Learned too that the search for the next Banner editor has begun, with the goal of presenting a nominee to Synod 2016.
  • Made a number of appointments, including Ms. Tina Pierik to the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee and Rev. John Lamsma to the Chaplaincy and Care Ministry Advisory Committee.
  • Approved a $75,000 study to explore possibilities for renovating and expanding the Burlington, Ontario, offices of the CRC.
  • Noted that the health plan for U.S. employees and pastors will now offer a choice among three options.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Feb. 25-26, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • May 5-6, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2016, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Feb. 23-24, 2017, in Burlington, Ontario
  • May 4-5, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Sept. 28-30, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Steven Timmermans, Executive Director
[email protected]

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