Highlights from 2013 Fall Classis Meetings

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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):
Matt Ackerman
Sam Boldenow
Ashley Bonnes
Mark Bonnes
Micah Bruxvoort
Derek Buikema
Justin Carruthers
Andrew Chun
Joe Ellis
Michelle Ellis
Ruth Febriana
Anthony Gretz
Joseph Hamilton
Brandon Haan
Joshua Holwerda
Allen Kirkpatrick
Hitomi Kornilov
Susan LaClear
Matt Riddle
Sue Rozeboom
Michael Ten Haken
Josh Van Engen
Justin Van Zee
Henry Veldboom
Tony Westrate
Heather Stroobosscher

Transferred in from other denominations were the following:
Myo Sook Cho
Chankun Chung
Jason Joo Sung Chung
Heejin Kang
Edward Kim
Buhwan Kwak
Joon H. Shin
Youngche Shin
Sung Pil Yang

On Loan to Other Denominations
Andrew Chun
David Lee
Gary Stevens
Ellen Van Tongeren

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:
Larry Baar from Prosper CRC in Falmouth, Mich.
Brian Bolema from Unity CRC in Prospect Park, N.J.
Jack De Jong from Mayfair CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Stephen Hasper from Jamestown (Mich.) CRC
Patrick Hennen from Dispatch (Kan.) CRC
Jose Munoz from Trinity Fellowship CRC, San Diego, Calif.

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 does 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:
Dionisio Aguhob
Daniel Mendez
Paul Cha
Fred Eng
Gilbert Varela
Philip Weaver
Steve Alsum

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:
Pam Cook (Holland)
Ron Glass (California South)
Pedro Luis Gomez (Hackensack)
Ed Jiang (Central Plains)
Adie Johnson (Rocky Mountain)
Bob Johnson (California South)
Chris Meehan (Grand Rapids North)
Ryan Pedde (Alberta North)
Luke Seinen (Alberta North)
Josh Shaarda (Georgetown)
Michael Sullivan (Atlantic Northeast)
Anne Vander Hoek (Alberta North)
Jose Vazquez (Hackensack)

New Ministries
Church plant planned for Niagara Falls, Ontario
Church plant, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Lord’s Heart Church (Classis Pacific Hanmi)
Marathone Church (Classis Pacific Hanmi)

Ministry Changes
An emerging church does not have its own council and is under the care of a council of a neighboring Christian Reformed church. An organized church has its own council. Changes to a congregation’s status as emerging or organized must be approved by the classis. The status of the following churches changed from emerging to organized:

Areumdawoon Church (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Cornerstone Prison Church (South Dakota State Penitentiary)

mosaicHouse (Edmonton, Alberta)

The following churches changed to emerging status:
Living Hope Community Church (Metcalfe, Ontario)
Queens CRC (Jamaica, N.Y.)

The following churches merged:
Grace (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Sovereign Grace (Perris, Calif.)
Disciples Church and Hope Church (Las Vegas, Nev.) to become Pilgrim Church.

Ministries Ended
Bethesda CRC (Pomona, Calif.)
First CRC (Crookston, Minn.)
Good Shepherd CRC (Flushing, Mich.)
Immanuel CRC (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
The Garden (Fond du Lac, Wisc.)

Leadership

  • Three churches in Classis Zeeland and one church in Classis Lake Superior protested the seating of female delegates.
  • Classis Central Plains will now allow seating of female delegates.
  • Classis Central Plains established a Church Health Team.
  • Classis Minnkota welcomed two congregations from Michigan (Trinity CRC, Sparta, Mich., and Second CRC of Kalamazoo, Mich.)
  • Classis Eastern Canada established the position of prayer coordinator.

Training or Discussion

  • Classis Minnkota held a discussion on the legalization of same-sex marriage.
  • Classis Southeast U.S. discussed ministering to millennials, reaching today’s Hispanic population, and using social media for outreach.
  • Classis Grand Rapids East had a seminar on engaging our neighborhood.

Other Overtures (Requests) and Communications

  • Classes Illiana and Minnkota requested that the Board of Trustees replace the editor of The Banner.
  • Classes Alberta South/Saskatchewan and Columbia sent communications expressing concern about recent content in The Banner. Classis Wisconsin would like synod to mandate The Banner to include in every issue a section that teaches the truths of the CRC’s confession, and that no articles that oppose the confessions be permitted.
  • Classis Wisconsin requested that Synod 2014 appoint a study committee to study theologies that teach that Genesis accounts of creation are not historical and that Adam and Eve are literary rather than historical characters.
  • Classis Alberta South/Saskatchewan requested that Synod 2014 establish a study committee to set and/or review guidelines for fiscal management of donations.
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