July 8, 2008
Classis Michigan met on July 8, 2008 at the Trinity United Reformed Church in Caledonia, Michigan. Rev. Brian Vos served as chairman. Before tackling the primary purpose for assembling, the delegates elected Rev. Greg Lubbers as the new clerk of classis, effective after the current meeting. Rev. Vander Meulen reported on the activities of the Mission Committee. The classis approved the financing of a mission website. Treasurer Vander Meer reported that the premiums for the classis health insurance would only increase one percent. Three delegates of classis also spoke of blessings and concerns within their respective churches.
The bulk of the meeting consisted of the candidacy examination of Mr. Travis Grassmid, graduate of Greenville Seminary. Mr. Grassmid was examined in areas of Practica, Bible knowledge, biblical exegesis, confessional knowledge, Reformed doctrine, church history, and ethics. After a brief discussion, delegates of classis agreed that Mr. Grassmid had sustained his examination and that his consistory could declare him eligible for call in the URCNA. They also voted that, should Candidate Grassmid receive a call within Classis Michigan, he would not need to be re-examined.
Another matter that generated some discussion was the transfer of membership of an emeritus minister from a disbanded church in Classis Michigan to a URC Church inOntario, Canada. While the church in Canada received the membership of the emeritus minister, it did not accept his ministerial credentials. Claiming that the ministerial credentials of an emeritus minister reside in the last calling church, the church in Canada absolved itself of any discipline, spiritual care, or financial obligation to the retired minister. The Canadian church went on to argue that Classis Michigan in general and one church of the classis in particular had “the burden of responsibility” to provide financially for the emeritus pastor.
After some discussion, which included the difficulty of maintaining spiritual oversight of a minister who is a member of a church several hundred miles away, classis advised the “one church in particular” that they were not responsible for the retired minister’s financial welfare since they had never called him. Classis went on to encourage all the churches of Classis Michigan to assist in the support of the minister, but acknowledged that it could not force churches to do so.
Advice was offered to two other churches on requested matters. After thanking Trinity URC for their gracious hospitality, the vice chairman closed the meeting with prayer.
Respectfully submitted by Rev. W. H. Oord
Classis Southwest U.S.
June 30, 2008
Classis Southwest U.S. was convened at First United Reformed Church of Chino, California, by the consistory of the High Desert United Reformed Church of Apple Valley. Because of a light agenda, this was one of the few times that the classis was held for only one day, rather than two. All twelve churches of classis were fully delegated. The delegates were led through the day under the chairmanship of Rev. Mike Brown assisted by Rev. Marcelo Souza. The meeting ran very smoothly.
The main part of the day was taken up with the candidacy examination of Mr. Jonathan Moersch of Oceanside United Reformed Church. Mr. Moersch was examined in all the areas prescribed by the Church Order and unanimously sustained the examination. We rejoice with him and his family and pray that God will use them greatly in His service.
Rev. Jay Fluck from the Western Classis of the Reformed Church in the United States was present to give ecumenical greetings on behalf of that denomination. The delegates also heard reports from members of the various synodical committees on which they serve. We also heard about the initial work toward a new church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. Bradd L. Nymeyer