Top CRC News Stories in 2022
Stories about Synod 2022, the annual decision-making meeting of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, drew the highest readership in this year’sCRC News.
One highly read story summarized the first several days of Synod 2022, which began with a convening session on May 25 and continued June 10-16 with delegates gathering in person on the campus of Calvin University to deliberate such topics as organizational restructuring and human sexuality.
Also at the top of the list was a story highlighting the final two days of synod in which delegates discussed a long-awaited report on human sexuality, eventually deciding to adopt the report, declare its position on homosexual sex “confessional,” and order Neland Avenue CRC (Grand Rapids, Mich.) to comply with this decision. (Neland Avenue had previously ordained a deacon in a same-sex marriage.)
Several changes in church and educational leadership positions took place in 2022 as well, picking up high levels of readership.
After a lengthy and challenging interview, delegates to Synod 2022 appointed Rev. Zachary King as the new general secretary of the CRCNA. He stepped into the top leadership position held since early 2020 by Colin P. Watson, Sr.
Shirely DeVries was named the new chief administrative officer of the CRCNA. This is a new binational position for the denomination.
Al Postma was appointed by the CRCNA Canada Corporation board of directors to serve for two years as transitional executive director for the CRC in Canada. Postma was ordained as a minister of the Word in 2009, served as pastor of Bethlehem CRC in Thunder Bay, Ont., until 2016, and was the Classis Renewal leader for the CRCNA till 2022.
In a historic move, the CRCNA U.S. Corporation appointed its own chief executive, to be known as director of U.S. ministry operations. Joel Huyser, serving as interim director of Resonate Global Mission, has taken on that new role, while also continuing as interim Resonate director until Synod 2023.
At a special meeting of the Council of Delegates, held via video conference on Nov. 16, 2022, the COD appointed Rev. Scott DeVries to the role of director of synodical services. DeVries will take on this role as Dee Recker, who has served in the position since January 2007, plans to retire.
Kenneth (Ken) Kim, director of World Renew’s International Disaster Response since April 2015, accepted the position of interim director of World Renew-Canada. He will also serve as interim codirector of World Renew global work with Carol Bremer-Bennett, director of World Renew-U.S. Kim replaces Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, who served as World Renew-Canada director since 2006.
Dr. Wiebe Boer was appointed by the Calvin University Board of Trustees as the institution’s 11th president.
David Zietsma was appointed as the fifth president of Redeemer University. He had served as Redeemer’s interim president since the departure of Robert Graham in April 2021.
Other top stories from 2022 included the following:
- As the needs of refugees and internally displaced people increased because of the conflict in Ukraine with Russia, World Renew began working with its international partners to provide humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, Resonate and ReFrame ministries ramped up help to people in Eastern Europe.
- Twenty Canadians devoted six hours on Saturday, April 9, 2022, to take stock of the past, name the storylines that exist about the CRCNA in Canada, and identify together where the Canadian churches should be heading in the next three to five years.
- On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision (known as Roe versus Wade) that allowed abortion in all 50 states. The overturning of this decision is of such importance in the CRCNA’s mandate to care for children, and for the sanctity of human life, that Zachary King, the new general secretary, shared some reflections with the CRCNA and the broader community.
- Nine CRCNA ministries have begun to undergo a reorganization focused on better serving local congregations, increasing efficiency, and reducing overall costs.
- Seventy men and women gathered at the Tinley Park Convention Center the day before Inspire 2022 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Synod 1995’s decision to allow the ordination of women to all church offices.
- Sandra McCracken, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tenn., came to Tinley Park, Ill., in August 2022 to lead a workshop and close out Inspire 2022 with a time of worship and reflection.
- Earlier in 2022, the CRCNA U.S. and Canada Corporations met to approvenew and recently revised joint ministry agreements, which outline the relationship and expectations between the U.S. and Canadian sides of CRCNA ministries. The agreements will form the backbone for the future of denominational ministry in North America and internationally.
- The Calvin University January Series 2022 offered a range of compelling presentations, including one on a popular podcast, one decrying the mass incarceration of Black men, one on the crucial role of repentance in furthering the cause of social justice, and one on how social media is changing our lives – and not necessarily in healthy ways.
- In January 2022, Resonate Global Mission released a report following a joint investigation into allegations of abuse at the Christian Academy in Japan, one of Resonate’s ministry partners.
- Following one of the one of the most catastrophic floods in Canada’s history in November 2021, people at Gateway Community CRC in Abbotsford, B.C., as well as other churches and organizations – demonstrating resilience, faith, and hope – banded together in early 2022 to meet a range of ongoing needs resulting from the flood.