Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to their classis, a regional grouping of churches. Delegates at those meetings review and make decisions about 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):
Marc Van Berkum
Adam Van Gelder
Transferred in from other denominations were the following:
Rev. SangHee Han
Rev. KuGyong Koh
Rev. Gary Roosma
On Loan to Another Denomination
Rev. Wonsuk Song
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. Dan Ackerman from Kelloggsville CRC (Kentwood, Mich.)
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:
James Koo Lee
Commissioned Pastors (formerly Ministry Associates)
Commissioned pastors are officebearers called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved by classes:
Donald Finger (Classis Lake Superior)
Michael Fallon (Classis Hamilton)
Rodney Betten (Classis Grandville)
New Ministries and 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 following churches moved from emerging to organized:
Harmony Church of Queens, New York, planted in Classis Hudson
Alive Ministries in Classis Georgetown moved to organized status
Salt & Light CRC and Oaks of Righteousness CRC merged to become Triumph CRC in Los Angeles
One Life CRC merged with Good Shepherd Church in Ahaheim, Calif.
Dallas Samil Church in Dallas is renamed Dallas Woori Church
One in Christ church plant in Iowa City, Iowa
The Lord’s Church in San Diego, Calif.
Classis Georgetown voted to seat women delegates in future.
Training or Discussion
Classis Huron held a discussion on discipleship; Classis Lake Superior discussed mentoring for ministry; Classis British Columbia South-east discussed the Hemorrhaging Faith report. Classis Grand Rapids East appointed its own committee to study biblical teaching regarding homosexual orientation and practice since synod has declined to do so.
Overtures/Communications to Synod 2014 Regarding The Banner
Classis Minnkota and Classis Illiana requested that synod remove Rev. Bob De Moor as editor of The Banner. Classis Columbia asked synod to include three pastors and three elders on The Banner’s editorial council. Classis Eastern Canada sent a communication to synod expressing appreciation for The Banner, its staff, and its mandate.
Overtures/Communications to Synod 2014 Regarding New Funding Model for Christian Reformed World Missions
Grand Rapids East asked synod to instruct CRWM to allocate resources such that missionaries are not fundraisers. Classis British-Columbia North-west asked synod to establish a committee to study how missionaries are enabled under the new support model and the current administrative structure and its expectations of those serving in the field.
Other Overtures (Requests) and Communications to Synod 2014
Classis Pacific Hanmi (Korean Classis) asked synod to allow it to divide into two separate classes for reasons of geography. Classis Holland requested that the Church Order be changed to allow CRCs to affiliate with churches from other denominations that are in ecclesiastical fellowship with the CRC.
The full text of overtures will be in the Agenda for Synod 2014, available in early April in print and online at crcna.org. Synod meets in Pella, Iowa, in June.