Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to classis, a regional grouping of churches. Delegates at those meetings review and make decisions about their shared ministries and practice mutual accountability for their churches’ individual ministries. Here are highlights from the most recent classis meetings:
Classis Grandville approved a new church plant, Family of Faith, in Byron Center, Mich. Classis Southeast U.S. approved a potential plant in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Classis British Columbia Northwest approved the Yaletown church plant, called Downtown Friends, in Vancouver, and Classis Chatham gave approval to Rev. George Saylor to plant a new church in North London, Ontario.
Classis Yellowstone approved a church plant in Gallatin Valley, Mont.
An emerging church does not have its own council and is under the care of a neighboring Christian Reformed church’s council. An organized church has its own council. Changes to a congregation’s status as emerging or organized must be approved by the classis.
Classis Holland approved the organization of Bravo CRC in Fennville, Mich. Classis Pacific Northwest approved organizing the Crosspoint CRC in Anchorage, Alaska. And Classis California South allowed Friendship CRC of Fontana to revert to emerging status.
New Congregations Welcomed
A congregation already established can affiliate with the CRC with the approval of the classis.
Classis Pacific Hanmi approved the admission of So Cal KyungShin Church as an emerging church of the classis.
Classis Pella noted the disbanding of Hope Fellowship CRC in Cedar Hill, Texas. Classis British Columbia Northwest approved the dissolution of Richmond (B.C.) CRC and declared Rev. John Koster eligible for call.
Classis Grand Rapids North noted the disbanding of Comstock Park (Mich.) CRC. Classis Grand Rapids East noted the disbanding of CenterPointe CRC in Kentwood, Mich.
Evangelism and Outreach Ministry
Classis Iakota heard about emerging ministry work with the immigrant and refugee population of Sioux Falls, S.D. The same classis heard a report from the Siouxland Diaconal Conference about a new transitional housing project for women and children, called The Bridge.
Classis Zeeland asked Synod 2007 to instruct the denomination’s Board of Trustees to meet prior to the annual publication deadline for the Agenda for Synod, and the same classis wants an independent review of the role of the Board of Trustees.
Classis Northern Illinois and Classis Illiana are both asking Synod 2007 to make the Synodical Ministerial Candidacy Committee (SMCC) only one of the possible avenues to ordained ministry in the CRC, not the exclusive avenue. Both classes want synod to allow classes, with concurrence of synodical deputies, to be allowed to grant permission for ordination under Church Order Articles 7 and 8.
Classis Grand Rapids North asked Synod 2007 to allow ordained pastors of emerging churches to serve as delegates to classis.
Classis Greater Los Angeles asked Synod 2007 to allow ministry associates to serve as solo pastors in an established congregation if the congregation has less than 150 members, if there is economic need, and if the ministry context is such that the standards for pastoral preparation required by Article 8 are not practical. The classis would also like those ministry associates serving as solo pastors to be allowed to be delegated to synod.
To insure ethnic diversity at Synod 2007, Classis Greater Los Angeles separated available ministerial delegates into two categories, Anglo and other ethnicities, and elected delegates from each category.
Pensions and Finance
Classis Lake Superior asked Synod 2007 to conduct a survey to measure the impact of the Minister’s Pension funding policy.
Classis Red Mesa set aside $2,000 to hire a qualified person to advise churches and pastors about pensions.
Baptized Members at Lord’s Supper
Classes Columbia, Illiana, Northcentral Iowa, and Pella asked Synod 2007 not to adopt changes in the Church Order of the CRC that would allow baptized members, regardless of age, to participate in the Lord’s Supper without making a public profession of faith.
Regarding the church’s response to undocumented workers, Classis Zeeland reminded churches to engage in hospitality, to recognize the growing cultural diversity of our communities, and to practice discipline within the context of discipling ministries. The classis also asked Synod 2007 to provide leadership in educating the church on issues related to undocumented immigration.
Classis Lake Superior asked Synod 2007 to appoint a committee to consider whether grandparents or other relatives can present children in their care for baptism.
—Banner News Correspondents