The Committee for Women in the Christian Reformed Church was formally organized following synod’s 1975 decision to not open church offices to women. Regional committees, such as the Toronto Committee, sprang up around North America, to bolster local support for the women’s movement. As a grass-roots effort, the committee conducted correspondence, gathered information, published articles, sponsored workshops, and the like. In short, the committee served as a clearinghouse for views of the place of women in the denomination from 1975 to 1996 when that year’s synod left it to local congregations to decide on opening church offices to women. Later, although no official record was found to confirm this, it seems that the Toronto Committee disbanded. At this time, Johanna Peetoom sent one large box full of records to Joan Flikkema (Grand Rapids, MI), chair of the larger committee, who in turn gave the box of records to Heritage Hall, the Archives, at Calvin College.
The following summary of the Women’s Committee purpose is provided from the minutes of the early meetings: “The goal of the Christian Women’s Committee is the full and equal participation of both women and men in the life of the church . . . [it] intends to work for the full expression of the gifts of women in the church by supporting, encouraging, and training women to become aware of and to use their abilities in building up the body of Christ. It is our belief that the ordination of women to ecclesiastical offices is the Spirit-directed outcome of the teachings of Scripture. . . . The CRC is suffering from sexism.”—Joan Flikkema.