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Interfaith Mandate

In 2010, synod—the annual decision making meeting of the CRCNA—made a decision to include Interfaith Dialogue as an activity to be included in the mandate of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee. It should be noted however, that, while there are some surface similarities between ecumenical relations and interfaith dialogue, these different activities must be clearly distinguished. 
Ecumenical relations are encouraged and/or maintained with communions (Christian churches and ecumenical organizations) that are part of the global Christian community. Interfaith dialogue is an activity of people from other faiths coming together to understand each other better, and where possible, stand together on selected issues that address the “common good” for our society.
For the CRC, this distinction is important. There are Christian churches that define the word ecumenical to include all relationships with religious people of any faith tradition. EIRC, while wishing to be respectful of people who are of a different faith-persuasion, wishes to prevent the confusion that comes with such an inclusive use of the term “ecumenical.” The phrase “we are one in the Spirit” is an oneness that flows from our oneness in Christ. Hence, EIRC wishes to have the distinction understood (i.e. “Ecumenical Relations” and “Interfaith Dialogue”). 
The interfaith mandate of the EIRC is to:

  • Compile resources for the Christian Reformed Church which will guide interfaith encounters.
  • Monitor and facilitate the interfaith encounters that come through ecumenical activities and within the context of the ministries of the CRC.
  • Provide advice and perspectives for the CRC as requested.
  • When appropriate, represent the CRC in interfaith dialogues.