Classis Southwestern Ontario

Classis Southwestern Ontario met at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario, on March 12, 2014. Due to inclement weather, some delegates were late, and others were unable to attend. Rev. Greg Bylsma, pastor of the convening church, was chairman. He began the meeting with a brief meditation on Psalm 126 recalling God’s great works of salvation.

Fraternal delegates attending the meeting included Rev. William Den Hollander, pastor emeritus of the Canadian Reformed Churches; Rev. Neil Stewart of the Sheffield OPC; and Rev. Jerry Hamstra from the Cambridge ARP. These brothers brought their greetings to Classis on behalf of their federations. Elder Andy Van Dixhoorn brought greetings from the OCRC in Cambridge. Greetings from the Heritage Reformed Churches were read by the chairman of Classis.

Two separate overtures were dealt with—one for Classis and one for Synod. The first was the appointment by Classis of Cornerstone URC of London to create a nonbinding pulpit-exchange schedule for the ministers to exchange pulpits after the regular classis meetings. In the second, Classis adopted an overture from Rehoboth URC of Hamilton asking that the Synodical Forms Committee prepare forms for use in the URCNA regarding church discipline announcements. These forms would be separate forms for baptized and confessing members.

Missions activity is always a delight for Classis to hear. Reports included Rev. Harry Zekveld, who recounted that Hope Academy currently has fourteen students with two people on staff. He is also thankful for the many volunteers that work in and support the mission school. Rev. Tony Zekveld informed classis that Hope Centre has seen an increase in church attendance, with members inviting others to worship with them. New Horizons in Toronto has witnessed a few conversions. Rev. Persaud said that support for his ministry keeps coming and their needs are being met. All ministries and missions expressed their continued need for our prayers.