URCNA Classis Michigan

On October 11, 2005, Classis Michigan of the United Reformed Churches in North America met for the nineteenth time. Delegates from the dozen churches in this classis met at the Bethel URC in Jenison, Michigan. The officers of the day were: Chairman – Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen; Vice-Chairman – Rev. Wybren Oord; Clerk – Rev. Gene Crow.

The chairman began the meeting by reading Psalm 145 and presenting an exhortation on the theme sola deo gloria. After declaring classis constituted, Rev. Vander Meulen welcomed the delegates and also Rev. Bill Green, Rev. Ed Knott, Candidate Matt Nuiver, and Treasurer Dave Vander Meer.

The light agenda moved along very quickly. The Clerk reported on his activities since the last meeting which included an updated version of the Classis Rules of Procedure. In addition, the Clerk asked to be released from his position as the Clerk of Classis. The Classis appointed Rev. Wybren Oord to serve as the new clerk, effective at the beginning of the new year. In order to take on the new role, Rev. Oord was relieved of his duties as Church Visitor. New Church Visitors, Rev. Steve De Boer and Rev. Rick Miller, were unanimously elected.

Three churches within the classis, Allendale, Grace (Alto), and Covenant (Byron Center), gave reports of the activities going on within their churches. Two pastors and one elder reported on the triumphs and the struggles that are taking place within the Church of Jesus Christ in each respective location. These items were then incorporated in the noon prayer.

Rev. Bill Green gave a report of the work of advancing the Reformed faith in Central America. Several solid Reformed books have been translated and are being promoted throughout the region. It was truly heartwarming to hear how the Spirit of God is drawing people to an awareness of Jesus Christ and the riches of the Reformed faith throughout Central America.

Delegates to classis became aware of the need for meeting even when a light agenda as several churches came with requests for advice on a variety of matters. One church asked for the thoughts of the delegates on the new catechism material that is being proposed by the URC church of Chino, California. Three churches asked for advice concerning discipline matters.

Delegates from one congregation asked for advice on the proper way to call a minister who was granted entrance into the URCNA under the status of emeritus pastor. A lengthy discussion took place as to whether or not a second colloquium doctum should take place. A motion to waive the colloquium doctum for the particular minister being considered was defeated. The result of that vote means that an emeritus minister in the URCNA, who received a colloquium doctum in June 2004 and whose ministerial credentials reside in a URCNA church, will have to be re-examined should the Lord lead him to take a call within the URCNA. Two ministered registered their vote against the decision of classis.

The next meeting of classis is scheduled for June 6, 2006 at the Covenant United Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Respectfully submitted by, Rev. W. H. Oord