Classis Southwest U.S. was held in beautiful Loveland, Colorado, as it conducted its 12th regular session on March 23–24, 2004, at the Calvary United Reformed Church.
Tuesday afternoon was taken up with two matters. The first was the election of classical functionaries. Rev. Danny Hyde, from the Oceanside United Reformed Church of Oceanside, California, was elected as classical clerk to a three-year term beginning on April 1, 2004. His alternate is Rev. Stephen Donovan. Mr. Jake Sonke, who has faithfully served as classical treasurer in the past, was re-elected to another three-year term. His alternate is Mr. Tom Sloan.
The rest of the day was filled with the candidacy examination of Mr. David Klumpenhower, a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and a member of the Phoenix United Reformed Church. Mr. Klumpenhower was examined in the seven areas prescribed by the Church Order. He sustained his examination and will now be declared a candidate by his church. We praise God for continuing to provide men qualified and trained for the pulpit ministry.
The Tuesday evening fellowship time was lead by Elder Bill Kok. The delegates heard reports about the current church planting activities and spent time together in prayer and song.
Wednesday’s agenda was very full, but was handled with great efficiency. The first order of business was to give permission for the organization of the Emmanuel United Reformed Church of Lemoore, California, a church-planting effort of the Zion United Reformed Church of Ripon, California. The delegates paused to thank God in prayer for His work in this young congregation.
There were seven overtures that were presented to classis from the churches. The first dealt with the way in which classical examinations are conducted. It will be possible for delegates to vote on whether a man has passed each individual section of the examination, rather than a straight up-ordown-vote on the entire exam. The next two overture were concerning a classical church-planting seminar. While affirming the importance of a coherent church-planting strategy, the delegate chose not to pass either of these overtures.
The fourth overture asked for a new Church Order Article dealing with the discipline of office-bearers. If a man’s own consistory or classis failed to discipline him, this overture would have allowed the matter to be brought to synod by another consistory. This overture was defeated.
The fifth overture was the most theological of the overtures brought before classis. This five-page overture sought to articulate what the confessions affirm and deny with regard to the doctrine of justification. The overture was not sustained by the classical delegates.
The delegates did vote to bring two matters to Synod Calgary 2004. The first asks for an amendment to be made to Appendix 1 of the Church Order, which would specify that it is the consistory, not the council, who shall be responsible for conducting a licensure examination. The second overture asks for oversight and direction to be given regarding how synodical committee expenditures are to be administered.
Classis Southwest U.S. is schedule to convene next on September 14–15, 2004, at the Oceanside United Reformed Church.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. Bradd L. Nymeyer, clerk Classis Southwest U.S.
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