Classis Watch: Fall 2019

Two or three times each year, Christian Reformed churches send representatives to their classis, a regional group of churches. Many of the actions taken by classes are governed by the CRC’s Church Order, the rules that govern denominational life. Here are some of the actions by classes in the past few months.

Those welcomed into ministry in the Christian Reformed Church include seminary graduates Zack DeBruyne, Joel Altena, Josiah Youngquist, John Cleveringa, Kristopher Walhof, Gale Tien, Mark Janowski, Abigail DeZeeuw, Mitchell Sheahan, Christopher Bouma, Cara DeHaan, Daniel Gregory, Aaron Gunsaulus, Jon Bosma, Kyu Hahn and C. L.* (Church Order Articles 6 and 10).

*Synod 2019 allowed four candidates to be known only by their initials as they will be working in sensitive geographical areas in which they could be endangered if their ministerial status were public. See also Synod Receives 42 Ministry Candidates, June 2019

Those welcomed into ministry in the CRC from other denominations, following a satisfactory colloquium doctum (doctrinal conversation) establishing soundness of doctrine, sanctity of life, and knowledge and appreciation of Christian Reformed practice, include Rev. Karen Campbell, Rev. Joel Kwon, Rev. Yong Je Chung, Rev. Joseph Cho, Rev. Daniel Duyung Yi, Samuel Han, and Rev. Yunho Jung. (Church Order Art. 8)

Bob Rienstra and Kyung Lok Jang were declared eligible for call.

Ministers released from a congregation: Rev. Roeloff Pereboom, from Mount Hope Community CRC (Hamilton, Ontario); Rev. Eric Kas, from Good News Gatherings (Grand Rapids, Mich.); Rev. Steven Tamming, from Trinity CRC, (Goderich, Ont.). (Church Order Art. 17a,)

Wayne Kobes, Emmett Harrison, David Beelen, Alfred Van Dellen, and David Nederhood were granted emeritus status (retired). (Church Order Art. 18)

Leaving Ministry in the CRC

Churches and classes make a declaration reflecting a resigned minister’s status that is appropriate to the way and spirit in which the minister acted during the time leading up to and including resignation from office. Those designations are as follows: honorably released, released, dismissed, or in the status of one deposed (Church Order Art. 14).

Todd Grotenhuis and Nate DeVries were honorably released.

Nicholas Hopkins, Timothy Kwon, and Choung-woo Kim were released.

Commissioned Pastors

Kent Sanders (Classis Grand Rapids East), David Scholman (Classis Niagara), Shaun Buikema (Classis Illiana), Annika Bangma (Classis Atlantic Northeast) and Stanton Visser (Classis Iakota) were approved as commissioned pastors, called to specific roles within their classis. (Church Order Art. 23)

Dean Su and James Baylor (Classis Chicago South), ended their service as commissioned pastors.

Barbara Schultze (Classis Grand Rapids East)was granted Commissioned Pastor emeritus status.

New Ministries and Ministry Changes

An emerging (unorganized) 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. (Church Order Art. 38)

Manhattan Vertical Church (New York City) and Cornerstone Church (Queens, N.Y.) were declared emerging churches.

Hope Community Church (Lowell, Mich.) and Korean Community Church (Buena Park, Calif) were declared organized.

Good News Gathering (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Ecclesia (North Oshawa, Ont.), and B.O.A.T. (Pickering, Ont.) were closed. (See Church Plant Closure in Ontario 'Sad and Disappointing', October, 2019.)

Santa Maria Faith Presbyterian Church was renamed as Young Sung Nanum Church of U.S.

Newly formed Classis North Cascades met in Lynden, Wash., for its inaugural meeting. (See also Synod Births a New Classis, June 2019)

In Classis Heartland, the Siouxland Diaconal Conference was disbanded.

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

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