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CRC Church Order Now Available in Chinese

October 10, 2014

A first-ever Chinese translation of the Christian Reformed Church’s Church Order is now available on the synodical services page of the CRC’s website.

The Chinese Church Order 2013 is placed on the site alongside of the English, Korean and Spanish versions of the Church Order, says Rev. David Koll, director of the CRC’s candidacy committee who worked with the translators in making the church order available.

David Cheung, editor of the Chinese Church Order 2013, says the translation was a “team effort” involving several translators from a Sustaining Pastoral Excellence peer group that began meeting in 2012.

Now that the document is available on the synodical resources page, “the hope is to soon have it also offered on a ‘languages’ resource page, where a variety of materials in each of these four basic languages — English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese — is offered, and where also there is a ‘google tool’ to use to read material in one of a dozen or so additional languages,” says  Koll.

When these resources are available, they will be useful tools for new pastors and leaders within ethnic churches.

The effort to translate the church order was launched in April 2102 by the East Meets West Sustaining Pastoral Excellence peer group. Funded by a SPE grant, the group of pastors met first for fellowship and discussion of ministry concerns. Given that they work in ministry settings across North America, they often met via teleconference.

Meeting together was very satisfying, they said, and then they decided to launch the translation project as a way of expanding the worldwide ministry of the CRC.

By August 2012, Paul Zhiyong Wang, a Calvin Seminary graduate now serving a Presbyterian church in Virginia, had completed a first draft, says the preface to the document.

“At the time, we aimed at translating the 2011 edition, being the then latest version,” writes Cheung, the editor.

But, he says, after a period of time, they decided to translate the 2013 Church Order.

From there, a team of translators addressed various issues and worked through several challenges.

By February all translation issues were resolved and two team members began do the layout of the document and convert it into simplified script.

“My prayer was for the church leaders in Chinese congregations to learn about the Church Order, so that the governance of the church could be informed by the wisdom captured in the Church Order,” says James Chiang, a pastor who will be planting a church in the vicinity of Los Altos, Calif. He helped in the translation.

By way of background, David Koll says, “The Chinese-speaking pastor peer group came about because a few of the Chinese-speaking churches in the CRC needed pastors in the past few years.

“As these pastors went through the affiliation process for ordination in the CRC, I was able to introduce the pastors to one another — and helped them apply for and receive a peer-learning grant from SPE.”

As the Chinese pastors met together, said Koll, they decided it would be helpful for their church leaders and for future Chinese-speaking pastors who enter the CRC if the CRC Church Order and was translated into Chinese.

The CRC Church Order addresses such topics as:

What is a commissioned pastor?
What is a minister of the word and sacraments?
What are the creeds?
What is an emerging congregation?
What is synod?