June 14, 2017 - 10:30 pm - Posted in News

Palos Heights, Illinois — The governing body of the Christian Reformed Church denomination in our area is meeting this week in Illinois on the campus of Trinity Christian College.

Among the items the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church of North America have been discussing is a request from Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse) to be included on the Christian Reformed Church’s list of accredited agencies for church offerings.

The organization had been recommended by the CRC Board of Trustees to Synod for approval. However, staff from World Renew, Christian Reformed World Missions, and the Office of Social Justice later communicated that Operation Christmas Child’s approach is “not consistent with the approach followed by the CRCNA agencies.”

Staff told the committee that they have seen negative impacts firsthand, or heard co-workers’ accounts when Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled with toys have “inundated communities and displaced the efforts of local families to provide gifts to their children.” They say the practice also negatively impacts local, small, family-sized businesses that make or sell items that otherwise might be bought as gifts. They went on to say that this hits the businesses especially hard during the Christmas season when much of their income is earned.

José Rayas of Classis Arizona said that for somebody to come in and “throw things at the children robs the dignity of the family.” He says that there is honor and dignity in being able to provide for their own families.

Synod denied the request of Operation Christmas Child to be included on the Christian Reformed Church’s list of accredited agencies for church offerings.

In other news, the CRC Synod explored three options for the future of the partnership between the denomination and the Reformed Church in America (RCA). In 2014, the two denominations adopted what has come to be known as “the Pella accord.” This statement read that, “the RCA and CRC should act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately.”

Three options to extend the partnership were presented through the use of a video: increased coordination, in which the two denominations would work together where possible; increased collaboration, in which the denominations would build new ministries and programs together; or new creation, in which the denominations would create a new denomination together.

The delegates were asked to discuss these alternatives among the members of their regional delegation. The results were collected and will become information for the 2018 discussion and decisions.

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