October 1, 2012 — In a historic joint session, Classis Arizona (a regional group of Christian Reformed churches) and Classis Southwest (of the Reformed Church in America) met together in Arizona in September.
Delegates pray over Jose Rayas, pastor of Valley Ridge Community Church, El Paso, Tex.
The two groups have been working together on a church multiplication initiative in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., one of four pilot Kingdom Enterprise Zones funded by the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
Now they have combined their church development teams as well.
Derek Van Dalen, stated clerk of Classis Arizona, said, “We are not trying to be together just for the sake of being together, but we want to become more focused on the mission of God.”
Both classes met for dinner and worship, which included communion and messages from Joel Boot, executive director of CRC, and Tom Smith, general synod president of the RCA.
The joint session of the meeting included a panel discussion with church planters from both denominations.
Gary Jarvis of the RCA said, “The focus for us has been the joining of the two multiplication teams—which is a match made in heaven.”