Classis Eastern US convened for its thirty-second session under the able chairmanship of Rev. Aaron Verhoef on Friday, April 26, 2013. The delegates enjoyed the ready hospitality of the Covenant Reformed Church of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, for the first time as the setting for their deliberation. Throughout the day, the brothers evaluated a variety of reports on the actions of our committees and functionaries; welcomed and interacted with several fraternal delegates; and continued to seek God’s direction for future work in our region. These meetings provide opportunities for face-to-face fellowship, mutual understanding, and greater cooperation and encouragement between our churches. God has continued to bless the gospel labors carrying forward across Classis Eastern US.
Prayerfully consider these significant actions:
Church planting work continues as fast as the Lord will give us strength and opportunity. Please pray for more workers in the fields!
• A church plant is ready to launch in Jersey City, New Jersey. And we rejoice with the upcoming ordination of candidate Sam Perez, Lord willing, on May 24, 2013, who will serve as pastor.
• The church-planting committee continues its vigorous work and has identified prospective planting locations in Maryland, Georgia, Ohio, and Connecticut while interviewing many prospective planters.
The delegates welcomed a significantly greater number of visiting fraternal delegates than in previous meetings. We pray that these connections will result in greater awareness of and unity with our sister denominations as well as eventual organizational unity with inquiring independent Reformed congregations in our region.
The delegates gave significant speaking time to Rev. William den Hollander of the Canadian Reformed Churches as a way to consider the merits and challenges related to union with the Canadian Reformed Churches as an entire federation. May the Lord guide us in these weighty matters.
Training new men for gospel ministry is an ongoing priority of Classis Eastern US. The delegates approved seminary support funding for Mr. Daniel Ragusa of the West Sayville Reformed Bible Church to begin his studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in fall 2013, Lord willing.
Classis approved funding for two summer interns: Mr. Aaron Warner of Mid-America Reformed Seminary to serve in Manhattan; and Mr. Tim Messaro of Westminster Theological Seminary California to serve in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. These internships are part of a greater desire to cultivate men for church-planting work in Classis Eastern US.
Classis gave concurring advice and celebrated the emeritization of Rev. George Mall of Covenant Reformed Church in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Rev. Mall has served as a gospel minister in both Pakistan and the US, and God has given him a lifetime of ministry service. We give glory and thanks to God for sustaining Rev. Mall in his gospel labors!
Mr. Brian Okken of Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church has taken up the post of treasurer for the classis. Mr. Chaz Brewer has taken up the post of alternate treasurer. We pray that God will bless and equip these men to meet the changing needs of the classis in the years ahead.
The delegates approved a financial grant for Mr. Mihai Corcea of Romania to attend Westminster Theological Seminary California. It is our joy to work together with Rev. Andrea Ferrari as well as our sister churches in California to cultivate men for foreign missions. Mr. Corcea hopes to bring the Reformed faith to Bucharest in the future.
The classis is thankful for the active work of church visitation for the fellowship and spiritual health of our congregations. Our visitors reported on five recent visits where they gave advice and mutual encouragement.
Semper Reformanda Conference Invitation
Classis Eastern US cordially offers free registration to our preclassical Semper Reformanda Conference on October 15–16, 2013. Dr. Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Theological Seminary California, will address the History of Church Discipline in Reformed Tradition. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity. Location: Preakness Valley United Reformed Church, 480 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ. Email: Clerk_Eastern_USA_Classis@wsrbc.org for more information.
The pastors of the entire Classis Eastern US exchanged pulpits on April 28, 2013, as a show of unity among the churches. On that Sunday, the pastors and churches shared prayerful information on our mutual desire to plant churches along the East Coast. May God continue to make us one in faith, hope, and love for Christ!
Pray for us!
• To provide plentiful fruit in our church-planting efforts by bringing the right man to serve as our church-planting coordinator.
By providing able church planters to bring the gospel to this densely populated region.
By blessing Sam Perez as he begins his work.
By cultivating new core-group opportunities.
By providing wisdom for good stewardship of our resources and generous giving for our great commission cause.
• To bless the gospel preaching in all our churches for the upbuilding of the kingdom.
• To forgive our sins and shortcomings as we carry the gospel light in this wicked generation.
• To bless our plans for another preclassical conference this fall.
Respectfully submitted, Rev. Andrew D. Eenigenburg Stated Clerk Classis Eastern USA
Rev. Andrew D. Eenigenburg is pastor of West Sayville Reformed Bible Church in West Sayville, NY.