No Classis-to-Classis Appeals Permitted

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Synod will not change the process for a group of churches (classis) to express its concern to another classis.

Classis Minnkota requested that Synod 2018 change the Church Order so that one classis can appeal directly to another.

But synod ruled that “councils and classes are already free to communicate matters of concern with one another.” The requested addition would also create a contradiction in Church Order, according to the ruling.

“The real concern is that we would be creating a system in which classes could circumvent the work of synod,” said Rob Toornstra. “We encourage classes who have issues and concerns with one another to continue to communicate with each other—it doesn’t have to be an appeal process.”

“I hope that when communications are given, there would be the courtesy of a response,” said Jeff Scripps, Classis Georgetown.

“The way the system is now it does seem impossible for any classis to appeal to synod matters of concern about another classis,” said Roger Sparks, Classis Minnkota. “The burden of the overture is so that matters of mutual concern can be brought to the whole denomination.”

Synod 2018 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 7-14. For continuous coverage while synod is in session, download the Banner app on your mobile device or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at several times daily. For CRC Communications releases and the webcast, please visit

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.

See comments (2)


Why would this even be necessary? It sounds like an extremely odd request.  Like one classis trying to get permission to bully another one behind everybody else's back. Minnkota seems to be overstepping their bounds with this concern.

Alina, there is no ill will or bullying tactics behind the overture.  The problem is, when one classis communicates its concerns to another classis, that classis can simply dismiss the concerns from the other classis and not even take the time to respond to the issue at hand.  I find it ironic that at a synod that centered on the themes of reconciliation, unity, and problems that come with the abuse of power, the overture was actually meant to help us in all of those areas as we live together as the body of Christ.