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Transitional Canadian Executive Director Hired

April 28, 2022
Al Postma
Al Postma

“The CRC is a marvelous gift of God for us and for the world,” said Rev. Albert Postma. “I want to attend to it. I want to lead it well. I want to care for it and serve within it. I want to move it in healthy directions.

Postma, who was ordained in 2009, served as pastor of Bethlehem CRC in Thunder Bay, Ont., until 2016, and has been the Classis Renewal leader for the CRCNA for the past six years, was just appointed by the CRCNA Canada Corporation board of directors to the role of transitional executive director for the CRC in Canada. This is a two-year appointment.

“Over the course of this search process we have had plenty of opportunities to read different applications and CVs,” said Rev. Chris deWinter, chair of the search team that recommended Postma for the role. “We had a couple of interviews with Al, each one lasting two and a half hours or so. We had ample time to hear from him and be impressed by what God is doing in and through Al in his current work, and, the Lord willing, what he will do for our denomination as well.”

The search team highlighted that Postma is already a trusted staff member in the CRCNA’s Canadian office. He has deeply established working relationships in the Canadian office, with stated clerks across North America, and with U.S. staff as well. As a result, said deWinter, “he can hit the ground running.”

“This gives Al the opportunity to have the hard work of starting a new job almost in the rearview mirror so that he can move on to the real challenges that face him,” deWinter said.

Those challenges include organizational and leadership changes as a result of a Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT) report, reestablishing what it means to be the Canadian office of a binational denomination, and repairing broken trust with many Canadian churches and members after the firing of the previous Canadian ministries director. Postma will also shepherd the Canadian congregations and members of the CRCNA following the decisions of Synod 2022.

“What you may not know about Al is that he is a synthesizer and a collaborator. Those are two skill sets that we need right now, especially in the Canadian office and the work going on,” said deWinter. “He is able to pull all kinds of things together and collaborate with a team.”

Postma said that he has a few areas of emphasis that he will begin with. One is to create a clear sense among CRCNA staff about what it means to do ministry today in Canada and in relationship with their U.S. counterparts.

“There is a lot of fog in the system, and it is hard to figure out what is expected and how we can move forward for the benefit of the church,” he said.

Another area he wants to focus on is administration and making processes and systems work better.

“Process renewal is a form of pastoral care,” he explained.

In addition, Postma said he wants to focus on listening well and helping all Canadian staff and congregations feel that they have been heard.

But he also acknowledged a need to be flexible with these plans. Postma’s youngest child has significant disabilities. He said that parenting her has helped him learn to hold expectations loosely and has taught him to apply that lesson to other parts of his life.

“This church belongs to God. All the hopes, dreams, and anticipation that I have for this church are things that I need to learn to hold loosely. It is God’s church, and it is my job to steward my pastoring in a way that allows me to work at it hard, attend to it, and try – but not get upset when things don’t go my way,” he said. “At the end of the day, the CRC belongs to God, and he will do with it what he wants. I am responsive and willing to roll with whatever comes.”