Highlights of 2016 Fall Classis Meetings

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

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.)

Leadership

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.

Synod 2017

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.

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