Highlights of 2015 Fall Classis Meetings

News

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 some of the most recent classis meetings.

Entering Ordained Ministry in the CRC

Classes examined and approved the following candidates (seminary graduates):

Jenna Brandsen
Joshua Christoffels
Bryant DeKruyter
Robert Hoekstra
Mark Langenbach
Mark Mohrlang
Joe Nasvytis
Mary Vanden Berg
Kevin VanderVeen
Philip Vander Windt
Chad Van Ginkel
Ben vanStraten
Scott VanVoorst
Rich Visser
Perrin Werner
David Zigterman

Entering CRC Ministry from Another Denomination:

Rev. King Fai Choi
Rev. John Kim
Rev. Kyung Lok Jang
Y-Ming Kao

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. Richard Hamstra (First CRC; Grand Haven, Mich.)
Rev. Raymond Coffey (Fairlawn CRC; Whitinsville, Mass.)
Rev. Joseph Kim (Emden CRC; Renville, Minn.)
Rev. Reginald Smith (Roosevelt Park Community CRC; Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Rev. Sung-Pil Yan (Hanaro CRC; La Puente, Calif.)

Loaned to Another Denomination

Rev. Jong Phil Oh

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 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:

Isay Alvarez
Richard De Vries
Dae Won Shin
Paul Vanden Brink
John Wilczewski
Richard Zekveld was dismissed from ministry in the CRC.

Commissioned Pastors

Commissioned pastors are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved by classes:

Brian Dunn (Alberta North)
Glenn McCarthy (Illiana)
Sandi Nemecek (Rocky Mountain)
Dean Sinclair (Grand Rapids North)
Jake Sneider (Chatham)
Sarah Stryd (Holland)
Aaron Visser (Chicago South)

Ending service as a commissioned pastor:

Anton Brown (Hackensack)
Ty Hogue (Holland)
Todd Murphy (Atlantic Northeast)

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 organized congregations:

Jacob’s Well Church Community (Evergreen Park, Ill.)
Orlando (Fla.) Haitian Church
Hope for Life Community CRC (Watertown, S.D.)

Sacred Journey CRC (Providence, R.I.) reverted to unorganized status.
Good Shepherd CRC and Holy Lord CRC (Anaheim, Calif.) merged.
Roosevelt Park Community CRC (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and New Covenant CRC (Hampton Beach, N.H.) closed.

Leadership

Classis Ko-Am agreed that church councils can include ordained Kwonsas (older women).

Classis Iakota voted to allow female delegates at classis meetings. Classis Wisconsin voted to open all ecclesiastical offices to women delegates.

Classis Wisconsin established a working group to lead classis in a study of human sexuality and in speaking to the denomination.

The interim committee of Classis Minnkota will investigate how best to respond to the hosting of All One Body by Calvin CRC and Eastern Avenue CRC (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and either advise the churches of the outcome or respond on behalf of classis.

Blanket Exercise

Synod 2015 encouraged churches and classes to hold the Blanket Exercise in preparation for Synod 2016’s discussion of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. The Blanket Exercise is an activity that helps people understand the affect of European immigrants on North American native peoples. The following classes held the Blanket Exercise:

Classis Wisconsin
Classis British Columbia South-East

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