Classis Western Canada of the URCNA met on January 11 & 12, 2007 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Many of the delegates arrived earlier in the week to attend the Winnipeg Conference on Reformed Theology; for many it was therefore several days of fellowship, learning, and praise.
The agenda for Classis was relatively light with no candidacy or ordination examinations requested and only two overtures to deal with. Classis included in the agenda an appeal from members of the Grande Prairie congregation. The churches also brought forward ten cases where they were seeking concurring advice from Classis as well as some requests for general advice.
The first overture requested Classis to overture Synod 2007 to form a new Pacific North West Classis consisting of several churches located in northwest, USA. With some sadness Classis approved this overture realizing that it could result in the congregations of Bellingham, Lynden and Salem leaving Classis Western Canada after Synod 2007 addresses the overture.
The second overture asked Classis to appoint the clerk of Classis to create a schedule providing regular pulpit supply for the vacant churches of our Classis. Classis defeated the overture since a previous Classis had already asked the clerk to create such a schedule. Classis then went on to approve that schedule.
The appeal from members of the Grande Prairie congregation asked Classis to rule that the Edmonton council, which currently has oversight of the Grande Prairie congregation, should release that congregation back to its members so that they would be able to install their own council and reorganize as a church. After considering its merits, the appeal was defeated on the grounds that Classis’ approval of the appeal would be a violation of Church Order Art. 22 since the request did not originate with the supervising consistory.
The several requests for concurring advice were an indication that the churches of Western Canada are attempting to diligently administer the keys of the kingdom and maintain the marks of the Church. Classis considered each case individually and carefully and gave concurring advice where it believed it was warranted.
The delegates and visitors were blessed by times of praise, prayer and fellowship, and we thank the council and members of Winnipeg Providence Reformed Church for their hospitality.
Rev. William Van der Woerd Clerk for Classis Western Canada