Classis California South, a regional group of churches that stretches from the Pacific Ocean into Nevada, and from Los Angeles County to the Mexican border, is not a typical Christian Reformed classis.
Of the 26 churches in this group, only a few were around 20 years ago, and even those mostly have changed names and addresses. Congregations that grew from church plants or other affiliations work alongside a few with long-time roots in the CRC. The size, structure, and ethnic makeup of the congregations vary widely, including Korean, Hmong, Laotian, Hispanic, Filipino, and Caucasians of various backgrounds.
So it makes sense that classis meetings aren’t typical either. Prayers offered in the language of the heart, singing led by young Koreans, testimonies of blessing and challenge, training sessions for leaders, and fellowship by 80 or so attendees around a Korean meal rounded out the first hours of the classis meeting on October 20—all this before the group tackled its business agenda.
What also made this meeting different is that it was held on a Sunday.
Previous Thursday evening meetings focused on the typical agenda. As a way for the diverse groups to understand each other, to involve more leaders besides pastors and council members in the workings of the denomination, and to have a less rushed meeting time, classis committed to a series of three meetings on Sundays with worship, training, and fellowship as well as business.
Driving the parking lot that is I-15 W from Las Vegas to southern California on any Sunday afternoon turns a routine 4- to 5-hour drive into one that is hours longer for leaders from three churches in Las Vegas. One pastor who had already preached that morning mentioned that he was grateful his elder was willing to drive.
This was the second of three meetings held as a trial run for Sunday meetings. One more is scheduled for February. Then it will be time to evaluate.
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Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:
- Tell A Better Story
- ‘Rebirth’ for a Wisconsin Church
- Book review: A Church Called Tov, by Laura Barringer and Scot McKnight