Two denominations from the Reformed tradition entered into a partnership to better deliver resources to their member churches. The partnership agreement between the two groups the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), would bind the resource publication and distribution arms of the two denominations under one new organization called Faith Alive Christian Resource.
In a letter to educators and leaders of the RCA and CRC, Kenneth Bradsell, director of operations for the RCA and Gary Multer, executive director of CRC Publications, said the partnership would be very advantageous to both bodies.
"We are excited about this new partnership! We believe that it will be advantageous to the churches from both our denominations, they wrote.
According to the RCA, leaders from the two reformed denominations have been working throughout 2004 to assure this change will be smooth and seamless.
Following the yearlong discussions, the RCA and CRC agreed that their member churches can receive the best resources and support when the two join forces.
By bringing together their services they will be able to sustain and strengthen publishing and resource distribution that are grounded in a shared confessional life and a commitment to ministry from a Reformed perspective, the RCA noted.
Meanwhile, Bradsell and Mulder assured the member churches that Faith Alive will strive to achieve what the two separate distribution organizations could not do in the past.
"We are committed to making sure that this new partnership is highly responsive to the needs of churches from both the RCA and the CRC and those congregations of other denominations who have come to rely on our current separate services," wrote Bradsell and Mulder. We encourage our customers to keep us informed regarding how we can achieve our goal of continuously improving that responsiveness."
Both the RCA and CRC have about 300,000 members each in about 1,000 congregations. The two historically similar groups split in 1857 over several theological disputes that originated in the Netherlands.