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 congregations’ individual ministries. Here are the highlights of the most recent classis meetings:
Entering Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes examined and approved the following candidates (seminary graduates):
- Chad Haan
- George Lubbers
- Mary Stegink
Transferred from other denominations:
- Rev. Kak C. Yoon
- Jack de Vries, to the CRC of Australia
- Philip Reinders, to the Presbyterian Church in Canada
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:
- Brad Close, from the campus ministry at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Kooksung Kim, from Tree of Life CRC, Englewood, N.J.
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 nonministerial vocation. A classis may also end ordained ministry status if a minister released from a congregation did not receive a call to another church within two years. Those whose status as an ordained minister in the CRC was ended include the following:
- Jin Choi
Commissioned Pastors (formerly Ministry Associates)
Commissioned pastors are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved by classes:
- Kelly Sibthorpe (Chatham)
- Mary Sterenberg (Grand Rapids South)
New Ministries and Ministry Changes
- Classis Hudson approved the merger of Evergreen CRC and Tree of Life CRC in Englewood, N.J., and the merger of Love Korean CRC and Global Vision CRC in Clifton, N.J.
- Trinity CRC (Sparta, Mich.) declined to send delegates to Grand Rapids North, in protest of the seating of female delegates at classis.
Training or Discussion
- Classis Huron discussed the need for reconciliation with aboriginal Canadians.
- Classis Chatham received an update about the Safe Church counseling fund.
- Classis Huron discussed the loss of youth ministry developers in Canada because of cuts at Youth Unlimited. Classis Toronto held a panel discussion about youth ministry.
- Classis Muskegon discussed children at the Lord’s Supper.
—Banner News Correspondents