GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) will become known as World Renew, a non-profit agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America that ministers to people in need around the world with disaster response, development and justice.
After a study committee report, discussion and general vote by delegates from each region in North America, the synod of the Christian Reformed Church affirmed the organization's name change.
"Our work reaches well beyond the Christian Reformed Church, involves much more than disaster relief, and has been overseen by a board rather than a 'committee' for decades," director Andrew Ryskamp said in a press release.
After the CRWRC was created as the denomination's diaconal and relief organization in 1962, the leaders began to explore longer-term solutions to global poverty that emergency disaster efforts did not provide.
World Renew engages in long-term community development in 80 of the world's poorest countries, coordinates thousands of volunteers, influences social justice initiatives and builds community capacity with faith-based and government organizations.
The name "World Renew" extends a broad invitation to others with similar values and passions, Ryskamp said. He adds that with the new name, the organization is well-positioned to address abject global poverty in the future.
The synod's decision was made after months of surveying, testing and planning among World Renew's local, national and international partners, volunteers and donors, as well as approvals at each level of the organization and denomination. Organization leaders say they are eager to begin the transition process.
According to the organization's development director, Tom McWhertor, the official public shift to the name will occur in September 2012. The decision is one of many being considered by the synod of the mainline protestant, Canadian-American denomination meeting this week at Redeemer University College in Hamilton, Ontario.
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