After months of extensive renovations, staff members working at the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) Canadian headquarters hosted three days of events celebrating the completion and re-opening of the building.
The office has been at 3475 Mainway since 1986 and was originally 9,000 square feet. With an expansion in 2000 to 16,000 square feet, this renovation increased the building to 23,357 square feet and refurbished existing space. A new roof, updated windows, new carpet and more than 30,000 feet of new IT wiring was installed.
Approximately 75 employees work out of the building, including finance and administration departments and ministries such as World Renew, Resonate Global Mission and Back to God Ministries International. During the renovation period, several staff relocated to a temporary space in Grimsby, Ont., and others worked from remote sites.
The celebrations, which all provided a chance for people to visit and tour the new space, kicked off on Tuesday, Nov. 6 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Dignitaries, staff members and guests gathered in the bright front lobby and joined together in worship songs and special presentations.
Canadian Ministries director Rev. Darren Roorda opened the service and reflected on Ephesians 4, 11-12, chosen by the planning committee for the dedication: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Rev. Chris deWinter, pastor of Trinity CRC in St. Catharines, has been serving the CRC locally, through the Niagara classis and denominationally. He shared his excitement to see a shift in posture, demeanour and attitude from a denominational level into relationships with local churches.
“I believe that we are seeing in an unprecedented way a denominational, institutional agency staff orienting themselves to serving the local church in exciting ways,” he said. “This is an exciting time to be Christian Reformed, it is an exciting time to be Christian Reformed in Canada and its my honour and privilege to be here.”
Within its binational denomination, deWinter credited Canada for being innovative and taking a lead in this transformation. “It is my prayer that the Canadian CRC continues to provide leadership in this area and may this renewed building inspire innovation and activation, may this new building bring inspiration and a fresh commitment to gospel mission and ministry together in whatever sphere of life that takes us.”
Rev. Arie Van Eek was one of the first employees of the CRCNA in Canada, with the first Canadian office being run from his home. He shared about the CRC in Canada’s history of mission and social engagement.
The next day a Ministry Partner Luncheon and Conversation brought representatives from 21 organizations, including Christian Courier, into the building. Through the course of the day each organization representative had the opportunity to share a five-minute presentation on their ministry work. After hearing about one another’s work participants discussed questions such as what the role of the church is locally, denominationally and within each organization’s ministry, as well as how would partnerships best be facilitated.
The ministry event served as an opportunity to share about the CRC in Canada’s resources, see the work of organizations with Reformed roots and look at what can be done together. During the final conversation participants expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to convene and started brainstorming ways to continue the conversation. “I am blown away by the work God does through the Reformed community,” Roorda, who facilitated the day’s program, told Christian Courier.
The week’s events were completed on Thursday with an Open House. The ribbon cutting ceremony’s Facebook livestream video can still be watched at facebook.com/crcna.