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Dear Craig,

I've not heard of a situation like this before so I can't offer any suggestions. I would hope the pastor (and his wife) would have a conversation about their new role as foster parents and what does this mean concerning the pastor's regular work schedule; then come to an agreeable plan based on the church's policy/circumstances. Each situation is different. We offer some suggestions without the uniqueness of each situation. I don't understand what difference it would make if it's a newborn or 13 yr old other than the parents' readiness to accept the child with short notice. It seems like "the child is not officially part of their family" is a concern.

It might be an opportunity to write or improve a policy based on this pastor's experience. Thank you for writing this post, because it is our intent for churches and ministry staff to learn from each other's experiences.  

Thanks Jolanda,

This is a excellent Sunday School survey for our churches. We are always looking for evaluation tools. 

Hello Hans. I work in Pastor-Church Relations. I was made aware of your question regarding a policy for how to handle church conflict. As far as I know, there is not a denominational policy; however, our office uses a couple of "process or guideline" type documents when working with churches. After looking over these documents and some other resources I am aware of, I will send you a sample template(s) by next week (seeing that your executive committee meets on Feb. 5). If you have any questions, please feel free to call me in the Pastor-Church Relations office at (616) 224-0762.  

Thank you Bill. Great response. In terms of prayer support, what comes to my mind is John 15:4, "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."  An e-mail or phone call might also be a source of encouragement.

Thanks Michael for your response.

Yes, I agree that it is so hard. It is also so necessary. From my personal experience, the first place I started was prayer, asking the Lord to open my heart and mind to receive his people from different cultures, ethnicities, etc than my own. He continues to do this. Because of the societal tensions in our country and world, I regularly ask for a clean heart and renewed spirit. It's not hard to get sidetracked and become isolated in my own little world. 

Building relationships and partnerships were key when I was the pastor of an urban CRC congregation.

Blessings as you continue serving and sharing with others in advancing God's vision for diversity in the kingdom.

I am inspired by this article. It conveys what I know to be true and my experience in leadership. The metaphors of "a journey" and "marathon" are right on.  Listening and making room for people who have different perspectives, cultures and experiences are critical in Christian leadership.

When I read articles in the CRCNA on leadership, I try to see myself , an African American woman who did not grow up in the CRCNA, and others like me in what is being said. This article is transparent and relational. 

I especially like, "As a white male; I need to keep before me the need (if I am going to be a good leader) to seek out the voices of others who will bring wisdom and insights that I would miss—if I am not deliberate to listen and learn from them. If we really see value in a chorus of witnesses, we need to be willing to seek those voices out to be part of that choir. For me, this mean that I must seek the counsel of women, Canadians, African Americans, Brazilians, Chinese, Koreans, Latinos/Latinas and the list goes on.  (I have a lot to learn.)"

A key question is really, "What do we value?"

Thank you. Have a blessed time as you continue the Reformation Tour.

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