Members of the 2020 Vision Group will research and identify strategies and consequences for three possible scenarios for the future of the RCA: staying together, radical reconstituting and reorganization, and grace-filled separation.
Members of the 2020 Vision Group have been selected in response to the General Synod 2018 recommendation that a vision group be formed to research and identify strategies and consequences for three possible scenarios for the future of the RCA: staying together, radical reconstituting and reorganization, and grace-filled separation.
The recommendation originated as a proposal by then-interim general secretary Don Poest, who suggested the vision group in response to his assessment of deep division in the denomination.
Members of the group were named by Poest and general secretary Eddy Alemán, in consultation with the General Synod Council (GSC), and were chosen to reflect the wide diversity of the RCA, including all regional synods and racial/ethnic councils. The members are:
- Charlie Contreras, spiritual formation and leadership pastor at Faith Church (RCA) and pastor of Faith’s Munster, Indiana, campus. He also serves on the GSC.
- Barbara Felker, pastor of leadership development at Highbridge Community Church (RCA) in the Bronx, New York, and a member of the board of trustees at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She is vice president of strategic community partnerships at Northwell Health (Brooklyn region).
- Thomas Goodhart, pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Ridgewood, New York.
- Brian Keepers, pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. He previously served congregations in Holland, Michigan, and Spencer, Iowa.
- Kristen Livingston, copastor of Abbe Reformed Church in Clymer, New York.
- John Messer, regional executive of the Synod of the Great Lakes. Previously, he served as pastor of Good News Community Church (RCA) in Okoboji, Iowa, and was a former strategic intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.
- Christa Mooi, ministry operations catalyst at ReNew Community (RCA) in Ames, Iowa. She is a past GSC moderator.
- Rudy Rubio, pastor of Reformed Church of Los Angeles, an RCA church plant in Lynwood, California.
- Diane Smith Faubion, an elder at First Reformed Church of Scotia, New York. She serves on the board of the Church Growth Fund and is executive vice president of First National Bank of Scotia.
- Marijke Strong, executive secretary of the Regional Synod of Canada. She previously served Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan.
- Scott Treadway, pastor of Rancho Community Reformed Church in Temecula, California.
- Imos Wu, copastor of Bogart Memorial Reformed Church in Bogota, New Jersey.
Alemán and Poest will serve as ex officio members.
They invite the denomination to pray for the work of the group.
“Pray that God would show us a way forward that would honor everyone,” said Poest. “[And that we would] recognize what we have in common through Christ even in the midst of our differences.”
He also suggested that RCA members pray for healthy group dynamics, for the vision group’s ability to hear God’s voice, and on a practical level, for the coordination of 12 different people’s schedules.
The group hopes to gather later this summer to begin its work.