Does “a rose by any other name” sound as sweet? Synod 2012 agreed with the Candidacy Committee that there is a more fitting name for those ordained via Article 23 of the CRC Church Order. The office formerly known as “ministry associate” is now known as “commissioned pastor”.
Ministry Associate Rod Hugen had Synod 2010 delegates in stitches when he read his poem. It was performed at the dinner honoring Calvin College and Seminary retirees including Henry DeMoor. With Rod's permission, here's the full text for your reading pleasure.
As one delegate at Synod 2008 stated, in comparing ministry associates with ministers of the Word, they are “equal in function, but differ in honor”. What does this mean for the church today, in particular, with regard to the office of ministry associates? Allow me to make a few propositions that invite reaction.