Report on Classis Central US
On June 1 and 2, 2004 the 14th meeting of Classis Central US was held at Lynwood URC, Lynwood, Ill. The meeting was chaired by Rev. Jason Tuinstra of Community URC, Schererville, Indiana. The vice-chairman was Rev. Peter Kloosterman of Grace URC, Waupun, Wisconsin.
Classis was called to order at 6:00 PM by Rev. Keith Davis, Chairman pro tem with the reading of Scripture and prayer. The meeting adjourned for the night at 9:30 PM and reconvened at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, June 2, 2004.
The main item on the agenda for this Classis meeting was the examination of Mr. Doug Barnes from Community URC in Shererville, Indiana and Mr. Dan Donovan from Oak Glen URC in Lansing, Illinois. Before the examination occurred, Classis received various reports including those of her officers, the church visitors, and fraternal observers. One item worth noting is that the term of Rev. Ralph Pontier of Redeemer URC as stated clerk has come to an end. His report was the last for the term. The chairman noted with gratitude his service of the Classis for the past six years.
Classis was privileged to hear the greetings and reports of fraternal observers throughout the meeting. We received greetings from Mr. Keith LeMahieu for the Midwest Presbytery of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). Rev. Harold Miller of Wellsburg URC in Wellsburg, Iowa reported on his visit to the Presbytery of the Dakotas of the OPC on April 6, 2004. Rev. Larry Johnson of Doon URC in Doon, Iowa reported on his attendance as a fraternal observer to the Covenant East Classis of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS) on March 4, 2004. Rev. Keith Davis of Lynwood URC in Lynwood, Illinois reported on his fraternal visit to the Midwest Presbytery of the OPC on March 19, 2004. Later during the meeting, Rev. Bill DeJong of Covenant Reformed Church in Kansas City, Missouri reported on his observance of the meeting of Classis South Central of the RCUS which he attended on March 23, 2004.
When the reporting was finished, Classis proceeded with the examination. The men seeking candidacy were examined in accordance with Church Order. Following the examination, the Consistories of Community URC and Oak Glen URC, with the concurring advice of Classis, declared respectively that Mr. Doug Barnes and Mr. Dan Donovan had sustained their examination and are candidates for the office of minister of the word in the United Reformed Churches in North America. The Classis also waived the need for an ordination examination should either candidate receive a call to a church in Classis Central US. The examination and deliberation about these candidates was concluded with a prayer of gratitude to God for His blessing.
Other business that took place at Classis was the advice concerning discipline matters. One church requested advice regarding discipline. Classis advised the church to pro-ceed to the second step of discipline and prayer was offered for those involved. The delegates from Covenant Reformed Church in Kansas City, Missouri requested the privilege of the floor. This was granted by the chairman. At this time Rev. Phil Groetenhuis updated the Classis on his work in Springfield planting a church under the oversight of Covenant RC. Rev. Bill DeJong also spoke about the needs of Covenant regarding assistance with planting this church. Both men requested prayers that the Lord would bless this endeavor. Lastly, Classis deliberated a late overture from Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. The first matter to be decided was whether the overture was legally before Classis. According to the Rules of Procedure (II.B) for Classis Central US, a late overture that is not published on the agenda may be considered by way of exception after evaluation by classis of the reasons given for its lateness. The Classis deemed that there was sufficient warrant to consider the overture. The overture read as follows: The Consistory of Covenant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa, overtures Classis Central US to impanel a committee with the mandate to study and submit recommendations on the administration of the Lord’s Supper to members in good standing ex ecclesia The grounds for this overture arise from a growing pastoral difficulty regarding the practice of administering the Lord’s Supper to those confined to their home, a hospital or other health care facility. After discussing the overture, it was adopted and a study committee was appointed. Those elected to the committee are Dr. Nelson Kloosterman, Rev. Patrick Edouard, Rev. Ralph Pontier, Rev. Jacques Roets, and an elder to be appointed by the Consistory of Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. Rev. Harold Miller was appointed as an alternate. This committee was directed by the chairman to report to the next Classis meeting.
The next Classis meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2005 at Hills URC in Hills, Minnesota. The Classis encouraged the Consistory of Hills URC to sponsor an educational/inspirational meeting in conjunction with the next Classis meeting. Classis adjourned around 3:00 PM.
May it please the Lord Almighty to bless His bride through these efforts.
Rev. Peter Kloosterman, Stated Clerk
Clerks of Classis of Reformed and Presbyterian federations or denominations are encouraged to email summaries of their classis meetings to:
for publication in The Outlook.
Classis Michigan Summary June 1, 2004
Following a wet May, the first day of June was sunny as delegates met for the fourteenth session of Classis Michigan. The Rev. Rick Miller of Dutton URC chaired the meeting, leading delegates from twelve churches through the heavy agenda that consisted of one candidacy exam and two colloquium doctums.
A special welcome was given to Rev. David Klompien, the new copastor of the Dutton United Reformed Church. Over a half dozen other ministers and visitors were also welcomed.
The Clerk, Treasurer, and Church Visitors gave their reports. Rev. Gene Crow of the Lakeshore URC in Muskegon was elected as the new Clerk. The Treasurer also gave a report on the Classis Health Insurance Program.
After examining the seminary graduate, Classis Michigan met in executive session for an hour and a half to discuss how the Church of Jesus Christ and the prospective candidate would best be served by classis. Everyone agreed that the young man has a deep love for the Lord and that he is called to the ministry. Delegates, however, remained uncomfortable in sustaining him in the examination because of some weaknesses they perceived in a few areas of the exam. In the end, it was voted to inform the Mid-America Reformed Seminary graduate that he did not sustain his exam at this time. The classis encouraged him to study the areas in which he was weak for a re-examination in October, or sooner if he would so desire.
Two colloquium doctums were also conducted during this session. Upon hearing the godly testimonies of Rev. James Admiraal and Rev. Aaron Kayayan, classis was honored to be able to welcome these two emeriti ministers into the URCNA.
An overture from the Cornerstone URC of Hudsonville to redefine the job description of the Classis Treasurer was approved. In addition to what he already does, the Treasurer will now also be in charge of the Classis Health Insurance Program, the Classis Dental Program, and the Classis Disability Insurance Program.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2004 at the Eastmanville URC in Cooperstown, Michigan.
Since meeting, Cornerstone has called a special meeting for the reexamination of the seminarian in the areas in which he was considered weak. That meeting is scheduled for August 3, 2004 at Cornerstone URC.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. W. H. Oord