CRCNA Joint Ministry Agreements Finalized
Earlier this month the CRCNA U.S. and Canada Corporations met to approve new and recently revised joint ministry agreements (JMAs). These management documents outline the relationship and expectations – including funding, staffing, and ministry outcomes – between the U.S. and Canadian sides of CRCNA ministries and will form the backbone for the future of denominational ministry in North America and internationally.
“This may seem like only a bunch of legal, administrative documents, but they are actually quite significant,” said Terry Velboom, who has worked for the CRCNA in Canada for more than 30 years and is currently serving as interim Canadian ministries director.
“While we have had similar agreements in place in the past, these new joint ministry agreements include much more detail and provide U.S. and Canadian ministries with clear direction and control for . . . participation in shared ministry. These agreements also create space for greater contextualization for country-specific needs,” he said.
The JMAs represent the latest step that has been taken as the denomination carries out recommendations of the Structure and Leadership Task Force toward improving the working relationship of the denomination in two countries.
Other recommendations of the task force include hiring a general secretary to lead the ecclesiastical body of the CRCNA, a chief administrative officer to oversee joint ministry, and an executive director-Canada to oversee ministry in Canada. Search teams are currently in place to fill all three of these roles (see crcna.org/ExecutiveSearch).
While the exact details of the JMAs contain staff and budget information and are therefore considered confidential, here is a summary of the types of information included in the agreements:
- A detailed description of the activities to be carried out by CRCNA ministries.
- A detailed budget for each ministry, including what contributions will be made by each country and how they will be used.
- A schedule for when written financial and progress reports will be made available to each CRCNA corporation.
- Expectations for how staff vacancies, especially for director-level positions, will be filled.
- The appointment of a management committee to oversee the JMAs and to ensure that ministry activities are taking place according to the agreements.
- A statement of the right for either corporation to inspect the activities of the other, as well as related books and records, on reasonably short notice.
“I am so grateful to all of the staff who contributed to putting these agreements together,” said Colin Watson, executive director of the CRCNA. “As one denomination that exists in two countries and beyond, we want to do our due diligence both to foster our unity as a single denomination and to support country-specific ministry needs. These JMAs are significant tools to help us reach those goals.”
Council of Delegates chair Andy De Ruyter agreed. He noted that both the U.S. and Canada Corporation boards unanimously approved these documents and said, “We look forward to their being a solid base on which we can continue to do ministry together in both countries.”