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Does your church currently have a family leave policy in place? We would like to add to this post by including a couple examples from U.S. and Canadian churches. We are also looking for stories about taking a leave to care for a family member. Your church and name will not be included in the post. We've been asked to include more examples for our churches, pastors and staff to consider. We would like to hear from you. Send your response to Thanks for helping us!

Thank you for this helpful summary of the CRC in Canada's justice and reconciliation journey with indigenous people.

Thanks Karen for sharing your colleague's good ideas for ways to honor mothers on Mother's Day. Although I've never been a mother, I celebrate with those who are and when necessary share the pain for those who have never been a mother or loss a child.

Larry, I'm piloting a network of learning clusters for women in ministry and I would like to know what has been your experience with clusters. I recently saw Randy's email and have some experience with a national non-profit network of clusters. I read Senge's book some years ago. Are you involved in any or have you initiated any?


We commend your approach of educating and discerning where the Spirit will lead.  Several individuals at Calvin Seminary and in our churches provided some excellent recommendations below: 

As far as resources that give balance to the two views, the report to Synod 2000 of the Committee to Review the Decision re Women in Office includes a section called “Two perspectives: biblical-theological argumentation for each of the two CRC perspectives on women in the offices of elder, minister, and evangelist.”  (Women were already allowed to be deacons at that time.)  This report begins on pp. 351 in the Agenda for Synod 2000, and that particular section starts on p. 355.  It’s also linked on this page:; scroll down to Reports and the year 2000 for it. 

Another resource is a booklet by John Cooper, who taught at Calvin Seminary for years and did many adult educational presentations on the topic of women in office.  The booklet is called “A Cause for Division? Women in Office and the Unity of the Church,” published by Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991. He explains Reformed hermeneutics and principles and methods of exegesis and applies them to the two views on women in office.

We also suggest a vimeo recorded last year at Calvin Seminary of a panel of professors.  The panelists are John Cooper, who summarizes his booklet, Matt Tuininga, who came very recently to change his mind about the issue, and Amanda Benckhuysen, who approaches the topic as a biblical scholar and an ordained woman.  As we understand, this video could be very helpful to your congregation.  Here’s the link: . Admittedly, this vimeo is on the side “for” women in office, but does so very respectfully of the two views.

Our office will assist you by making some recommendations of individuals to talk through a process or speak to your Council and/or congregation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to [email protected]

May the Spirit continue to guide you in discerning a process that meets your congregation’s needs.  We hope these resources will be helpful. 



I would like to thank Rev. Kathy Smith, Adjunct Professor of Church Polity, Calvin Theological Seminary, for providing the response to your inquiry.  She is quite knowledgeable about this subject and one of the first people I contacted when I saw your question. It is appropriate for me to mention that in my response.  

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