About

The Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee (EIRC) is appointed by the synod of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) to engage and participate in the life of the global church, particularly interacting with churches and ecumenical organizations that share the heritage of the Reformed understanding of the Christian faith. This engagement is based on the biblical injunctions that the unity of the Church is of paramount importance to reflect the unity Christians share as a gift from God in Jesus Christ. As we draw closer to Christ, we draw closer to each other.

EIRC affirms this commitment regarding our membership in the worldwide Body of Christ (Ecumenical Charter, section I, A, 3). Many denominations and Christian communities share in the reality of our union with Christ, and interchurch activities celebrate this gift of the Holy Spirit.

EIRC also addresses issues that are of an interfaith nature. Synod 2009 mandated this assignment as part of EIRC’s work with the understanding that interfaith discussions (with people of other than the Christian faith) be clearly distinguished from relationships with Christian churches. Usually interfaith matters are expressed in terms of a “dialogue” as compared to what is an ecumenical “relationship.”

EIRC has drawn together resources that provide a Reformed perspective on the biblical teaching and theological conclusions regarding interchurch relationships. There is much information available on the web about the churches and organizations have a special relationship with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). It is the hope and prayer of EIRC that this site will encourage enthusiastic involvement in interchurch opportunities at whatever level of church life provides that opportunity.

Questions or comments about interchurch matters may be addressed to EIRC, to the executive director of the CRC Dr. Steve Timmermans (executive-director@crcna.org), or for ecumenical partners in Canada to Dr. Darren Roorda (cmd@crcna.org).

Committee Members

Rev. Andrew Beunk (Burnaby, BC)
Dr. Lyle Bierma (Grand Rapids, MI)
Rev. InSoon Hoagland (Easton, KS)
Mr. Jim Joosse (Edmonton, AB)
Dr. William Koopmans (St. George, ON - chairperson)
Ms. Lenore Maine (Hackensack, NJ)
Ms. Ruth Palma (Tujunga, CA)
Rev. Kathleen Smith (Ada, MI)
Rev. John Tenyenhuis (Toronto, ON)
Dr. Michael Wegenman (London, ON)

Staff Members

Dr. Steve Timmermans, Executive Director (Grand Rapids, MI)
Rev. Dr. Darren Roorda, Canadian Ministries Director (Burlington, ON)