Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to their classis, a regional group of churches. Here are the highlights of classis meetings of the past few months.
Those welcomed into ministry in the Christian Reformed Church include seminary graduates Kevin Boss, Matthew Slack, Hayden Regeling, Robert Van Zanen, Steven Hull, Kristen Pikaart, Jonathan Owens, David Wing Yan Leung, Deb Koster, Bradly Zwiers, Mark DeVos, James Lee, Kelli Sexton, Michael Yang, Eli Groenendyk, Ben Verkerk, Timothy Keep, Jenna Fabiano, Todd Kuperus, Scott Muilenburg, Eric Snyder, Jonathan Kool, Albert Kae, Tyler Greenway, Jason Dahlman, Brian Schouten, Cari Fydirchuk, Jason Ruis, Chris Walker, and Ben Gandy.
Ministers transferring in from other denominations: Revs. Kwon Do Lee, Seung Jun Lee, Kwan Yong Chae, Sung Chul Lee, Sung Jin Kim, Amos Joung, and Phil Anderas.
Ministers released from a congregation: Rev. Luke Wynja from First CRC, Sheldon Iowa; Rev. John Aukema from Gateway CRC, Zeeland, Mich.; Rev. Chris Allen from ClearView CRC, Oakville, Ont.; Rev. Derek Van Dalen from River Park CRC, Calgary, Alta.; Rev. Frank de Boer from Iron Springs (Alta.) CRC.
Leaving ministry in the CRC: Gerry Van Dam, Alejandro Pimentel, Jon Bushnell, Young Sik Kim, Byung Sun Lee, Chul Ki Lee, and Jessica Oosterhouse. Ricardo Taverez was released.
Classis Central California removed the honor, title, and authority to perform official acts of ministry for minister-emeritus Larry Van Essen.
The following people were approved as commissioned pastors, called to specific roles within their classis: Jason Taff (Classis Toronto), Shaun Buikema (Classis Illiana), Nick Rosas (Classis Pacific Northwest), Richard Silversmith (Classis Rocky Mountain), James Bushoven and Carlos Lezameta (Classis Hackensack), Mike Bonser and Valjean VandeHaar (Classis Lake Erie), Jeremiah Basuric (Classis Alberta North), Peter Carrion-Barahona (Classis Toronto), Cheu Tao (Classis Wisconsin), and James Baylor (Classis Chicago South).
David Wray (Classis Rocky Mountain) separated from Hope CRC (Houston, Tex.).
The following people ended their service as commissioned pastors: Anthony Jensen (Classis British Columbia South East), Joe Ortega (Classis Holland), Ron Kok (Classis Eastern Canada), Hai Joon Kim (Classis California South), Tom Dykstra and Sean Hall (Classis Pacific Northwest).
Classis Huron terminated the status of commissioned pastor Jake Snieder.
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 CRC. An organized church has its own council.
Churches declared emerging: Jesus Life Korean CRC, Fort Worth, Tex.; International Peacemaking Church of Christ, Irving, Tex.; Mision de Fe Internacional, Raynose, Tamaulipas, Mex.; Hope Community, Lowell, Ind.
Churches declared organized: Iglesia Cristiana Reformada Comunidad de Fe Poinciana (Fla.); All Nations Community Church, Toledo, Ohio.
Churches affiliating with the CRC: Las Vegas (Nev.) Logos Church; Santa Maria (Calif.) New Vision Church.
Fountain Parish, Bellingham, Wash., disaffiliated from the CRC.
Churches renamed: Peace CRC, South Holland, Ill., renamed Reconciliation CRC.
Church mergers: Apex Church and Horizon Community Church (Littleton, Col.) merged to become Connections Church; Calvin CRC (Oak Lawn, Ill.) and Calvary Church (Reformed Church in America) are forming a union church.
Ministries closed: Germantown Hope Fellowship Community Church (Philadelphia, Penn.); 12th Avenue CRC (Jenison, Mich.); Celebration Community Church (Holland, Mich.); Vine Campus Ministry at Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.); Millbrook CRC (Grand Rapids, Mich.); Living Faith Community CRC (San Diego, Calif.); El Sembrador CRC-La Semilla CRC (Fontana, Calif.); Pioneer CRC (Cedar Springs, Mich.); LifeQuest Church, (Greenville, Mich.); Gateway CRC (Zeeland, Mich.); Redeeming Love CRC (East Grand Forks, Minn.).
Classis Hackensack is asking Synod 2019 (the CRC’s annual general assembly) to approve having an immigration attorney on retainer for the denomination to help current pastors navigate immigration and to assist congregations calling a pastor from outside the U.S. or Canada, to be funded with $50,000 by way of a ministry shares increase.
Classis Alberta South/Saskatchewan urged King’s University in Edmonton, Alta., to uphold the Scripture’s teaching as currently articulated in the Christian Reformed Church on marriage, gender, and sexuality, and asked that the university remove links to LGBTQ-affirming organizations on its website.