The RCA Vision 2020 Team

Purpose of the RCA Vision 2020 Team

The Vision 2020 Team is exploring different scenarios for the future of the RCA. While the team can consider other possibilities, they are specifically tasked with studying these three scenarios: staying together, significant reorganization, and grace-filled separation. The Vision 2020 Team will present a report with final recommendations for how the RCA might move forward to General Synod 2020.

Have feedback or ideas to share with the team? Email vision2020team@gmail.com.


Three Scenarios the Vision 2020 Team is Exploring for the RCA's Future

 

Scenario 1: Staying Together

 

scenario 1

 

If the denomination were a house, this scenario would keep the structure of the house the same but may rearrange some of the furniture.

 

Scenario 2: Reorganization

 

scenario 2

 

 

If the denomination were a house, this scenario would be like tearing down the house and rebuilding it.

 

 

Scenario 3: Grace-filled Separation

 

scenario 3

 

If the denomination were a house, this scenario explores the possibility of splitting into several groups that will live in different houses.

 

Watch a video overview of the three scenarios.

 


Why the Vision 2020 Team was formed

The theological differences within the RCA have led us to a point where we are not sure how to continue ministry together. Interim general secretary Don Poest, who proposed the team in 2018, identified human sexuality as a point of significant division in our denomination, but he acknowledged other divisions as well, including polity, biblical interpretation, and lack of alignment with Transformed & Transforming, the RCA’s strategic goal. Get full context by reading Don's report to General Synod 2018.


The RCA Vision 2020 Process

The formation of the team

The Vision 2020 Team was formed by General Synod 2018. Don Poest was wrapping up a year as interim general secretary and proposed the formation of the group in his report to synod. Poest made the proposal in response to what he saw as deep divisions in the denomination. Synod voted to create the group.

Members were appointed by RCA general secretary Eddy Alemán and interim general secretary Don Poest, in consultation with General Synod Council. They were chosen to reflect the full diversity of the RCA. The team first met in August 2018.

What the Vision 2020 Team did in its first year

The Vision 2020 Team researched a number of possible next chapters and their implications for the RCA. The research process included sending a survey out to all RCA churches and seeking feedback in smaller settings and conversations throughout the year.

The team imagined what the impact of each scenario might be on both the people within the RCA and the ministry of the RCA. Based on this work, the Vision 2020 Team prepared three draft impact statements, one for each of the scenarios, to seek feedback from General Synod 2019 delegates. You can read the statements in the Vision 2020 report, published in the General Synod workbook.

What happened at General Synod 2019

To gather feedback from delegates to synod, the Vision 2020 Team presented an intermediate report with draft statements about the three different scenarios they studied for the future of the RCA.

Delegates met in small discussion groups for several hours to reflect on and discuss the three scenarios. The Vision 2020 Team collected their feedback from these discussions and is using it to inform their work. General Synod 2019 did not vote on any recommendations from the Vision 2020 Team, and no decisions were made about which scenario of the three scenarios to pursue.

What the Vision 2020 Team is doing now

The Vision 2020 Team continues to hone the work they presented at General Synod 2019. They are also inviting RCA churches to provide their feedback on the three scenarios for the future of the RCA through a discussion process similar to the discussions that took place at synod. The process is aimed at both informing RCA members about the scenarios and giving them a chance to offer their feedback to the team. Learn more and download tools to hold these discussions in your church here. LINK

When the Vision 2020 Team will make their recommendations

More information about their recommendations will likely be released in spring 2020. The Vision 2020 Team will deliver their final report at General Synod in June 2020. 

How your church can participate in the process

The Vision 2020 Team is inviting RCA churches to provide their feedback on the three scenarios for the future of the RCA. Here’s some tools for your church to participate in the discussion process. The Vision 2020 Team will be accepting feedback from churches through January 2021. Please also pray for the Vision 2020 Team’s work throughout this year. 

To share your feedback, ideas about the direction of the RCA, or questions, email vision2020team@gmail.com.

Get the Vision 2020 discussion toolkit.


RCA Vision 2020 Team Members

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, pastor of congregational care at Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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, executive pastor of operations at First Reformed Church of Sioux Center, 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.

Eddy Alemán, RCA general secretary, and Don Poest, who was serving as interim general secretary when he proposed the Vision 2020 Team, are ex officio members.

Jim Herrington, Trisha Taylor, and Ryan Donovan are consultants working with the team.

Have questions or comments about the process? 

To share your feedback, ideas about the direction of the RCA, or questions, email vision2020team@gmail.com.

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Vision 2020 process on our FAQ page.

Related articles

October 30, 2019
Vision 2020 Is Coming into Focus

The Vision 2020 Team met October 28–29, 2019, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, continuing the work that God and the General Synod have called us to do.

Read More...
September 25, 2019
Vision 2020 Team Presses on with Honesty and Hope

As the Vision 2020 Team, we met September 19–20, 2019, at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago, Illinois. We did so with the awareness that many people are praying for our work and for our beloved denomination.

Read More...
June 10, 2019
Synod Votes to Require Simple Majority of Classes on Any Vision 2020 Amendments

If two-thirds of classes approve, only a simple majority will be needed for any amendments that next year’s General Synod proposes in response to the Vision 2020 Team’s work.

Read More...
June 9, 2019
Vision 2020 Team Reports on Feedback

“You all—we all—have made this a very, very different General Synod.” —Christa Mooi, Vision 2020 Team member

 

Read More...
June 8, 2019
Delegates Dig into Scenarios from Vision 2020 Team

Delegates offered their feedback on the scenarios to the Vision 2020 Team

Read More...
June 7, 2019
Vision 2020: “God Gives Us the Capacity to Make Hard Decisions”

Presenters also give delegates practical skills for hard conversations in the face of loss.

Read More...
Vision 2020 group meeting
March 7, 2019
Vision 2020 Team Will Present Scenarios at General Synod for Feedback

The team has been researching the implications of possible next steps for the RCA. They ask for authentic engagement and feedback on their work.

Read More...
Vision 2020 group
November 27, 2018
Vision 2020 Team Continues to Move Forward

An update from the Vision 2020 Team's November meeting. This team is tasked with exploring three different options for the RCA's future.

Read More...
September 26, 2018
RCA Vision 2020 Team Update

On September 11-12, 2018, the RCA Vision 2020 Team met at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago.

Read More...
June 29, 2018
2020 Vision Group Members Named

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.

Read More...