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):
Cindy De Jong
Adrian de Lange
Katherine Garvelink Hirschberg
Thomas Brent Kladder
Charles Gregg Lawson
Cory Van Sloten
Entering CRC Ministry from Another Denomination
Rev. Alex Agubya
Rev. Joseph Chen
Rev. James Chiang
Rev. Ilyong (Paul) Choi
Rev. Myungkil Kim
Rev. Yoon Whan Kim
Rev. Sangkyu Oh
Rev. In Chul Shin
Rev. Peter Van Drunen
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. Bruce Vaandrager, Ada (Mich.) CRC
Rev. Michael Van Boom, First CRC, Edmonton, Alberta
Rev. Gary Luurtsema, East Saugatuck CRC, Holland, Mich.
Rev. Greg Selmon, First CRC, Seattle, Wash.
Rev. Philip Landers, Faith Community CRC, Colton S.D.
Rev. Randy Simon, New Hope CRC, Spokane, Wash.
Rev. Tim Spykstra, CrossPoint CRC, Chino
Commissioned Pastor Steven Hull, New Life CRC, Grand Junction, Colo.
Leaving Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes may end the 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:
Yichul (Lee Chul) Jeong
Commissioned pastors are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved by classes:
Aaron Au (Alberta North)
Charlie Post (Kalamazoo)
Dan Wierenga (Grand Rapids South)
Darrell Delaney (Grand Rapids East)
Diana Gaggero (Rocky Mountain)
Camila Hiriart (Rocky Mountain)
Diego Hiriart (Rocky Mountain)
David LaGrand (Grand Rapids East)
Taylor Shade (Rocky Mountain)
Eleanor Boersma (Niagara)
Jaehun Shim (Pacific Northwest)
James Hollendoner (Illiana)
Natasha Vedder (British Columbia Southeast)
Wayne Bakker (Holland)
Ending Service as a Commissioned Pastor
Jodi Koeman (Atlantic Northeast)
LeeVale Butler (California South)
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 were designated as emerging congregations:
Reformed Presbyterian Church, Tampa, Fla.
Lake Worth (Fla.) CRC
Avenue Church, Edmonton, Alberta
RedArrow Ministries (Paw Paw, Mich.) and City Reformed Church (Milwaukee, Wisc.) moved from emerging to organized status.
Stephenville (Texas) CRC transferred to Classis Rocky Mountain
Triumph CRC, Los Angeles (Calif.) changed its name to Rapha Mission CRC.
Crossroads Community CRC, Flanders, N.J.
Family of Faith CRC, Marquet Heights, Ill.
First Harvest Chapel CRC, Tustin, Calif.
McBain (Mich.) CRC
Synodical Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance Regarding Same-Sex Marriage
The following classes held listening sessions with the synodical committee: