About 25 church administrators gathered in Drayton (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church on Nov. 7 for a full day of equipping and idea sharing. The information and fellowship day was set up by Classis Huron for churches within its region and has become a yearly event.
Office administrators, bulletin editors, clerks of council, treasurers, and others were invited from each church within the classis to meet each other and hear from classis leaders and denominational representatives. Classis Huron Administrators’ Day (CHAD) began in 2015 and has grown from nine or 10 participants to about 25 this year.
The featured topics this year focused on what is available to churches from the CRCNA’s Faith Formation Ministries, ServiceLink, and other ministries; synod news and changes; creating a rental/use policy for church facilities; and the impact of new bylaws in Classis Huron.
Presenters included denominational ministry staff, a representative of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, and classis stated clerk Rev. Vic Vandermolen.
The goals of the event, said Vandermolen, are to provide an educational forum where people can access the information they need for their work serving the churches, and to create a network of people doing the same kind of work so that they can share information with each other going forward.
Because one administrator will commonly fill several roles in a church, CHAD works to bring tools and connections that will be helpful for multiple areas of administration.
CHAD organizer Sharon Van Kampen knows firsthand the challenges of managing multiple responsibilities within a church. Serving currently as alternate stated clerk of Classis Huron, she is also the office administrator and council clerk of Bethel CRC in Listowel, Ont.
“We have a number of smaller churches in this classis,” noted Vandermolen. “This kind of a program . . . allows them to tap into something that normally only larger churches have access to.” To help encourage churches to participate, classis covers the cost of CHAD attendance for administrators.
In choosing topics, engaging speakers, and bringing the day together, Vandermolen and Van Kampen looked at new information that affects churches, responded to input from administrators, and tried to bring some variety to the day’s schedule.
“It’s a case of working together to try to come up with the best program that we can get, and making it all work in such a way that, in the first place, it is recognized as bringing glory to God, and in the second place, it is recognized as a means of encouragement and support for the administrators and the churches of Classis Huron,” said Vandermolen.
This year’s theme, “Shaped to Serve,” reflects on the image of God as the potter and us as the clay, the work of his hand. It’s not just about typing up a letter, sending an email, or printing a bulletin, said Vandermolen. “If we consider that what we do is a calling from God . . . that means then we do it unto the Lord.”