CRCNA Church Survey. The denomination is seeking input as it continues to make plans for the future through the visioning process called ‘Our Journey 2020’. Covenant church has been randomly selected as one of the congregations for which they are asking that no less than 30 members complete this survey. More than 30 is better. This is an on-line survey only and can be accessed at crcna.org/survey/9010 Survey will take 20-30minutes to complete. CRCNA requests that the survey be completed by March 10/17. Please see Jake Veenstra if you have any questions.
New Mission Agency Update
Home Missions and World Missions will be completing this fiscal year (ending in June 2017) as two separate agencies with two separate budgets. Both agencies still have financial and ministry commitments this year, and Synod 2017 is expected to give final approval of the transition to a new mission agency. Behind-the-scenes work to bring the two agencies together is continuing, but a lot of important steps need to be completed before making the “official” transition—such as selecting a name, designing a logo, finalizing new ministry leaders, and searching for new ministry opportunities.
We see this joining as a time to work together in new ways and identify new ministry opportunities that may not have been possible before. We hope to continue current ministry and grow new ministry, and we pray that churches and individuals like you will join us in supporting that growth through your continued prayers and financial support for Home Missions and World Missions ministries.
Home Missions and World Missions have identified as opportunities to expand ministry as a result of joining together: Arab/Muslim outreach, partnering with local ministries, and diaspora ministries.
Initative 1: Arab/Muslim/Middle East Outreach
Missionaries in the Middle East and staff in North America who work among Muslim groups have been meeting regularly to share best practices, experiences, and struggles. Together they are finding common themes and applying what they discuss for more effective ministry.
Initative 2: Partnering with Local Ministries
We recognize that grassroots ministries led by national leaders have a better understanding of the needs of their community. We see opportunities for partnership with these local organizations by complementing their strengths and working toward a common goal where possible. Mission Montreal is one such example of how this partnership can work.
Initative 3: Diaspora Ministries Outreach
Many opportunities to start new churches and ministries with people groups from different countries exist right in North America. We hope to use the gifts and knowledge that missionaries gain while living in the international mission field to more effectively reach out to immigrants from these countries who want to partner in ministry in North America. Immigrants like Pastor Siang Lian Hup.
Serving your ministry in Southern Ontario
Your Southern Ontario Connections Project team is here to provide tools and resources, coaches and learning events, to support and assist congregations in classes Hamilton, Huron, Niagara and Toronto.
Below you will find highlights of what is already taking place, and opportunities for you and your ministry leaders to become part of this shared-learning journey with other Christian Reformed churches.
To learn more about the Connections Project in Southern Ontario, please visit:
Ken Bosveld, Resource Catalyzer, Southern Ontario
Lesli van Milligen, Resource Coach, Classes Huron and Toronto
Marian Lensink, Resource Coach, Classes Hamilton and Niagara
Hamilton and Niagara
Conversations have taken place with a number of pastors and churches in both Classes, and I still arranging to make connections in a number of Classis Niagara churches. I welcome conversations with anyone who is interested in learning about a specific aspect of ministry, through new resources, connections with others, and coaching. Here is a sample of what is beginning to come together:
Strategic Planning Group: A group of four pastors/ministry staff have been sharing stories of what God is showing them as they engage in new ministry plans. As strategic plans have been developed, this conversation focuses on the ongoing learning in the midst of adapting to the dynamics of change.
Small Group Ministry: A group of ministry volunteers and staff from a number of churches are gathering together periodically, in person and on-line video conferencing, to learn more about small group ministry. Each gathering focuses on a segment of group learning as well as opportunities to share what God is doing in local ministry.
Young Adult Ministry: Some Classis Hamilton pastors have expressed a void in the area of young adult ministry. Initial conversations are focused around gathering leaders together to encourage each other in the development of a ministry for this often overlooked demographic in our churches.
Please let me know if you are interested in joining in any of these conversations or have an idea for something that would enhance your ministry. I am happy to engage in one-on-one conversations, provide coaching, suggest resources or connect you with others on a similar journey.
Marian Lensink, Resource Coach (Hamilton/Niagara)
Huron and Toronto
Youth Ministry Cohort – Part peer mentoring and part peer learning group, Youth Directors/Pastors in Classis Huron meet monthly over lunch to share ministry best practices and program ideas. This group also reflects on books and articles about youth ministry in order to keep current. Leadership themes and spiritual health round out our regular discussion topics. This group is suitable for both volunteer and paid youth workers.
Please contact Lesli van Milligen if you would like to know more, or join this group.
Other fledgling cohort groups that are just starting up include a group on strengthening congregational prayer practices and a gathering of churches interested in navigating “staff-led ministry in a council-based system.”
Please contact Lesli van Milligen if you would like more information on either of these groups.