Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to classis, a meeting of their regional group of churches. Delegates at those meetings review and make decisions about their shared ministries and practice mutual accountability for their congregations’ individual ministries. Here are highlights from the most recent classis meetings:
Entering Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes examined and approved the following candidates (seminary graduates):
- Jason De Vries
- Adam Eisenga
- Rodolfo Galindo
- Philip Landers
- Raidel Leon Martinez
- John Moelker
- Adam Nordyke
- Martin Sisneroz
- Matthew VandenHeuvel
- Bernhard VanderVlis
- Ashley Van Dragt
- Geoff Van Dragt
- Mark Van Dyke
- Terrence Visser
- Brian Willats.
Transferred in from other denominations:
- Rev. Phil Covert
- Rev. YoungYoul Ki
- Rev. SeongHwan Kim
- Rev. Yun Jin Kim
- Rev. Jung Suh
- Rev. SeongChuil Youn
Readmitted to ministry:
- Rev. Doug Hunderman
Loaned to Another Denomination:
- Rev. Phil Apol.
Leaving a Congregation
When neither retirement nor discipline is involved, a minister can, for weighty reasons, be released from ministry in a specific congregation, at the request of the pastor, the church council, or both. Classes released from their congregations the following ministers:
- Rev. Bob Kim, Sa Rang Korean Fellowship CRC, Kamloops, British Columbia
- Rev. Daryl Meijer, Barrhaven Fellowship CRC, Ottawa, Ontario
- Rev. Karen Norris, West End CRC, Edmonton, Alberta
- Rev. Philip Rose, Harderwyk Ministries, Holland, Mich.
- Rev. Gerry Van Dam, Immanuel CRC, Burbank, Ill.
Leaving Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes may end ordained ministry status of a pastor if the minister has voluntarily left the CRC or has taken up a non-ministerial vocation. A classis may also end ordained ministry status if a minister released from a congregation does not receive a call to another church within two years. Those whose status as an ordained minister in the CRC was ended include
- Simon Kim
- Woo Chun Lee
- Byung Nam Moon
- Lucas Rodenhouse
- Timothy Van Zalen
- Michael Veenema
- Gene Vis.
Ministry Associates are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within classis in that role. The following were approved by classes as ministry associates:
- LeeVale Butler (California South)
- Adrienne Croskey (Hackensack)
- Heather Cowie (Alberta South/Saskatchewan)
- Caleb Dickson (Red Mesa)
- Eric Fluit (Hackensack)
- Gary Foster (Chicago South)
- Chris Ganski (Wisconsin)
- Sean Hall (Pacific Northwest)
- Charles Ho (Greater Los Angeles)
- Anthony Jansen (British Columbia South-East)
- Daniel Lindley (Northcentral Iowa)
- Darlene Lirson (Red Mesa)
- Janice McLean (Hackensack)
- Brian Na (Hackensack)
- Gary Nibbelink (Northcentral Iowa).
Released from Role as Ministry Associate
- Bill Hodgman (Atlantic Northeast)
Leadership Issues and Leadership Training & Development
- Classis Grand Rapids East discussed best practices for elders and deacons, and Classis Toronto discussed the role of elders in the church.
- Classis Red Mesa discussed best practices for pastoral care.
- Classis Huron discussed ministry in light of lifestyles such as couples living common-law.
- Classis Illiana discussed how churches are dealing with children at the Lord’s Supper.
- Classis Grandville received communications from Trinity CRC in Sparta, Mich., and Second CRC in Kalamazoo, Mich., about transferring to a classis that does not permit women delegates.
- Classes Alberta North, Niagara, and Quinte discussed restorative justice.
- Classes Lake Superior and Chatham discussed ministry with aboriginal and First Nations people.
- Classis Central Plains held training on disability concerns.
- Classis Chicago South held training on worship.
- Classis Eastern Canada discussed campus ministry.
- Classis Grand Rapids East formed a group to discuss issues surrounding Synod 2011’s action on homosexuality.
- Classis Grand Rapids North discussed pastor coaching.
- Classis Minnkota discussed support for Christian education.
New Ministries and Ministry Changes
- Classis Holland approved a new ministry to individuals and families affected by autism.
- Classis Hudson approved a church plant called Restore, meeting at Cedar Hill CRC in Wyckoff, N.J.
- Classes Hudson and Hackensack approved a church plant in Manhattan, New York City, called Dwell.
- Classis Pacific Hanmi approved a Los Angeles church plant called Tree of Righteousness.
- Classis California South approved the merger of Trinity Fellowship CRC and Monte Sion CRC, both in San Diego.
- Classis California South approved the transfer of Shema Presbyterian CRC to Classis Pacific Hanmi.
- Classis Hackensack welcomed New Song Community Church in Harlem, N.Y., as an emerging congregation.
- Bridge Community CRC in Frankfort, Ill., was disbanded.
- Classis Red Mesa entered into insurance contracts to provide pensions for those not included in the CRC ministers’ pension plan.
- Classis Toronto rejected a proposed budget that included a ministry share increase of 20 percent. Classis will hold a special meeting about the budget in December.
Whether to adopt the Belhar Confession as a fourth Reformed standard for the Christian Reformed Church (alongside the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort) will be decided at Synod 2012.
The following classes held discussions about the Belhar Confession:
- Alberta North
- Pacific Hanmi
- Georgetown and Iakota sent overtures (requests) to Synod 2012 recommending the Belhar Confession be adopted as a testimony or statement of faith, not as a fourth confession.
- Alberta South/Saskatchewan sent an overture to Synod 2012 to not adopt the Belhar Confession.
Other Overtures (Requests) to Synod 2012
- Classis Eastern Canada is requesting that Synod 2012 actively tackle the use of pornography within our churches.
—Banner News Correspondents