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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.

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

It's sad that no one responded to this post. What does "no response" mean? Was there a better way to communicate our need to hear from individuals and churches on Supporting Women and Ethnic Minority Leaders in the Pastoral Call Process?

I saw a similar post from 2014 about racial discrimination in the calling process. Still, there were no comments about what do we need to do to support ethnic pastors seeking a call. 



Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony of God's work through Johanna Veenstra, Mr. & Mrs. Ezepue and many others! The CRCNA Leadership Diversity ministry celebrates with you! 

Thank you for your patience.  I was on vacation when I saw your posts. I hope the following is helpful. 

The Women’s Ministry exists to support all women in the CRC, both non-ordained and ordained women. My post intended to get first-hand information from churches and ministries to share with Calvin Theological Seminary's Student Advocacy Association.

At the invitation of this group, I spoke to young men and women about potential ministry opportunities in the future. I was grateful for a chance to listen and respond to their concerns. Later, I heard favorable responses to our conversation.

As stated in our quarterly report Living the Call, “We recognize that within the CRCNA there are two different perspectives and convictions on the issue of women in ecclesiastical office. Yet, in all of our churches there are women who provide leadership in some capacity.” At Women’s Ministry’s first synod gathering in 2017, about 35 women from Canadian and U.S. classes joined us for lunch. When asked about current leadership roles and positions they are serving in their churches and ministries, we received over 150 different ways of service.  This was eye-opening for me!

Regarding your responses to my question, “What Ways Are You Supporting Women in Leadership?” I agree with Ken and Eric. I was looking for examples of the ways churches and ministries are supporting women leaders and ordained women clergy. Unfortunately, I did not receive any responses at that time; however, I am sure I will have another opportunity to share with the Student Advocacy Association. They will appreciate knowing about intentional ways we are supporting women.

Eric, I think to love the person, to pray, and to encourage the use of gifts are affirming practices in your church.  I’ve heard many stories about feelings of disconnect and isolation.

Unfortunately, in situations like this, both sides hurt. We don't always do well in handling our differences and living in tension. Our office is here to support churches and ministries in building relationships and creating hospitality for all. 

If you like, feel free to contact me at [email protected] Thank you.



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.  

Another suggested resource

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