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): Christopher Allen Andrea Baas Nicholas Baas Yohanes Budhi Andy Carlson Scott Chiang Daniel DeVries Gareth Harker Drew Hoekema Brian Hofman Michelle Kool Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink Victor Laarman Jacob Meadows Neal Muasa Jesse Pals Joella Ranaivoson Christina Rea Peter Rockhold Barbara Sanders Paula Seales Hannah Smele Sam Sutter Brian Tarpy Charles Van Hoffen Adam Veenstra
Ministers entering CRC Ministry from another denomination: Rev. Ezra Jang Rev. Mani Koirala Dr. Nevada De Lapp Rev. Sang J. Park Rev. Seung K. Kang Rev. Teuk K. Chung Rev. Mani Koirala Rev. Eric Sarwar
Ministers loaned to another denomination: Rev. Daniel Jin Su Hwang, to Los Angeles Sa-Rang Community Church (PCA) Rev. Henry Serrano, to CrossWind Church, Eastern Hills, Colo. Rev. Randal Young, to Honolulu Christian Church Rev. Zeke Nelson, to the Antwerp International Protestant Church in Belgium
Ministers 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 the following ministers from serving their congregations: Rev. Hector Garcia, from Buenas Neuevas (Good News) CRC (Miami, Fla.) Rev. Eric Verhulst, from Shalom CRC (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Rev. Tim Howerzyl, from First CRC (Allendale, Mich.) Rev. Robert Sizemore, from chaplaincy position at Lakeland College (Plymouth, Wisc.) Rev. Arthur Verboon, from Maranatha CRC (Edmonton, Alta.) Rev. John Luth, from St. Albert (Alta.) CRC Rev. Martin Mobach, from Ottewell CRC (Edmonton, Alta.) Rev. Ferry Yang, from Neerlandia (Alta.) CRC
Leaving Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes may end the ordained ministry status of a pastor if the minister has voluntarily left the CRC for another denomination or has taken up a non-ministerial 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: Rev. Greg Selmon Rev. Charles Jeon Rev. David Crump Rev. Samuel Ng Rev. Sun Man Kang Rev. Kook Sung Kim Rev. Randall Simon Rev. Michael Van Boom Rev. Yong Chae Shin Rev. Seongchul Youn Rev. Samuel Ahn Rev. Sungil Sohn Rev. Won Joon Song Rev. Richard Vander Vaart was dismissed from ministry in the CRC. Brad Smith was deposed.
Commissioned pastors are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved by classes: Byran Choyce (Classis Grand Rapids East) Aaron De Boer (Classis Pacific Northwest) John Hoffmaster (Classis Illiana) Adie Johnson (Classis Rocky Mountain) Carols Lezameta (Classis Hackensack) Taeil Nam (Classis Pacific Northwest) Brad Stolman (Classis Lake Erie) Dan Svendsen (Classis Illiana) David Wray (Classis Rocky Mountain) Zongseng Vang (Classis Lake Erie) Ethan van der Leek (Classis British Columbia Southeast) Eldon Stephenson (Classis British Columbia Southeast) George Zhao (Classis Quinte) Ernesto Mejia (Classis Greater Los Angeles)
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: InSpirit CRC (Byron Center, Mich.) Sanostee (N.M.) CRC Christ Church CRC (Davis, Calif.)
The following ministry was approved: Classis Lake Superior approved a church plant in Chanhassen, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis.
The following congregations were granted emerging status: West Olive (Mich.) CRC
The following ministries were merged: The Tapestry (Richmond, B.C.) and Mundy Park (Coquitlam, B.C.) Missio Dei CRC (Torrance, Calif.) and Korean Community CRC (Buena Park, Calif.)
The following ministries were disbanded: Sacred Journey CRC (Providence, R.I.) Missio Dei CRC (Omaha, Neb.) Piedras Vivas CRC, Miami, Fla. Creekside Communities CRC (Boulder, Colo.) First CRC (Jenison, Mich.) realTALK campus ministry, Stephen F. Austin University (Nacagdoches, Tex.) Planted Communities (Spring, Tex.) WestCoast Community Church (Delta, B.C.) Glory Christian Church (Fullerton, Calif.) Hanain CRC (Monrovia, Calif.) Joy People Church (Cypress, Calif.) Lighthouse CRC (Palmers Print, Tex.) New Life Church (Las Vegas, Nev.) Sacramento (Calif.) Pilgrim CRC Jewel CRC (Denver, Colo.)
Classis Toronto stipulated that the policies regarding solemnizing and participating in same-sex marriages as they appear in the Acts of Synod 2016, Article 65, apply to all officebearers and to those licensed to exhort in Classis Toronto.
Classis Toronto sent a communication to Synod 2017 protesting “the unprecedented stipulation that Synod 2016 has placed on potential members to serve on the committee to study human sexuality, namely, that members must say in advance that they are in agreement with the church’s official position on homosexuality as stated in 1973 and reiterated in 2002.”
Two classes requested that long study committee reports include a two-page executive summary.