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 classis meetings of the past several months.
Entering Ordained Ministry in the CRC
Classes examined and approved the following candidates (seminary graduates): Patrick Anthony Josiah Bokma Laura de Jong Trent Elders Kendra Ettema Ryan Hoekstra Grant Hofman Eunjun Jeong Moses Kang Tim Kooiman Kyle Meyaard-Schaap Dena Meyerink Brian Na Cory Nederveld Arek O’Connell Juli Stuelpnagel Greg Vander Horn Brian White Johnlo Xu Coby Zuiderveen
Ministers entering CRC Ministry from another denomination: Rev. Sung Joo Rev. Sung Woo Jang Rev. David Cho Rev. Mickey Choi Rev. Paul Nam Rev. Jin Young Lee Rev. Dae Hoon Kim
Ministers loaned to another denomination: Rev. Josiah Chung, to Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Ridgewood, N.J. Rev. Jack de Vries, to the Christian Reformed Church in Australia. Rev. Moses Kang, to the United Church of Canada in Etobicoke, Ont.
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. Joshua Benton, from Friendship Chapel, Jenison, Mich. Rev. Hernan Zapata, from El Buen (Good Shepherd) CRC, Prospect Park, N.J. Rev. Robert Wafula, from African Christian Ministry, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Rev. bc Cumings, from Mountainview CRC, Lynden, Wash. Rev. Laurie Zuverink, from Kelloggsville CRC in Kentwood, Mich. Rev. Phil Covert, from Christ Community Church, Plainfield, Ill.
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, has resigned, or was deposed. 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: George Cooper John Noordhof Il Hyun Nam Sung Chul Yoon Pil Hwan Whang Peter (Nak Young) Ryu Sung Ho Jung Yo Sug Chung Bryan Berghoef Michael Boerkoel Erik Kamp Abe KuGyong Koh InHwah Kim Jimmy Han
Esteban Lugo was released as one deposed.* Braden Kok was released as one deposed.* Nicolaas Cornelisse was deposed. *This is the designation given in those situations when ministers resign under discipline or to avoid discipline. (See Church Order Supplement 14-C.)
Commissioned pastors are elders called to a specific ministry and ordained to function within that classis. The following commissioned pastors were approved: Deano Su (Chicago South) Eric VanderWall (Thornapple Valley) Danny Skelton (Rocky Mountain) Alida van Dijk (Chatham) Sophat Duch (Holland) Frederick Harvey (Hackensack) Aris Sanchez (Hackensack) Debra Chee (Red Mesa) Roland Rizallaraj (Grandville) Daniel le Forestier (Quinte) Mark Jallim (Quinte)
Stedford Sims (Grand Rapids East) was deposed.
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: Jesus Heart Church, Los Angeles, Calif. Jesus Love Church, Gardena, Calif. Encounter CRC, Kentwood, Mich. Harbor Church, Seattle, Wash. West Olive (Mich.) CRC CentrePointe CRC, Plainfield, Ill.
The following congregations were designated emerging status: Three Rivers (Mich.) CRC Abundant Life Church, Los Angeles, Calif. Chin Christian Church, Syracuse, N.Y.
The following ministries were disbanded: Friendship Chapel, Jenison, Mich. Dwell Church, New York, N.Y. New Beginnings Fellowship, Roslyn, Pa. Sung Lim CRC, Eastampton, N.J. African Christian Ministry, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Hmong CRC, Santa Ana, Calif.
Classis Pacific Northwest added the position of Korean clerk. Classis Muskegon received a presentation on church safety in relation to active shooters entering a church. Classis Red Mesa will make training and mentors available to first-time delegates to synod. Classis Red Mesa gave permission to Rev. Joe Kamphuis to work fulltime as chaplain with the Air National Guard while staying on as the Minister of the Word at the Chelwood CRC. Classis Southeast U.S. was forced to postpone its meeting due to Hurricane Irma.
Classis Huron is asking Synod 2018 to establish a standing translation committee to review Bible translations, beginning with the New International Version (2011) and the English Standard Version , and make recommendations regarding their use in worship. Classis Eastern Canada is asking Synod 2018 rename classis as regional assembly. Stephenville (Tex.) CRC is asking Synod 2018 to let it transfer from Classis Central Plains to Classis Rocky Mountain.