The agendas for the previous three meetings of Classis Southwest U.S. were light by almost any standard, in fact, some Consistory meetings last longer than amount of time the Classis spent conducting its business in these meetings. All of that changed with the meeting held at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, CA on September 17-18, 2013. The agenda included four overtures, four church visit reports, committee reports, four fraternal addresses, two seminary representative addresses, three requests for advice, a Colloquium Doctum, and a candidacy exam all spread over a planned two full days.
After the chairman pro tem announced that Classis was constituted something happened that was a first for Classis Southwest, and maybe a first in the federation: three elders were seated up front as the officers of Classis. Two elder delegates from Phoenix URC and Christ URC (Santee, CA) were seated as chairman and vice-chairman respectively. Both of these men joined the clerk, also an elder from Christ URC, up front.
Classis proceeded quickly through the agenda listening to reports and approving the four overtures all of which concerned revising our Rules of Procedure. Two of the overtures updated references to appropriate Church Order articles and appendices, one overture gave the Convening Consistory the ability to postpone a meeting if the proposed agenda doesn’t warrant the time and expense to meet, and the fourth overture concerned the expiration of terms given differences in the months that Classis meets.
The delegates were then addressed by Mr. Henry Doorn of Westminster Seminary California and Rev. Dr. Cornel Venema of Mid America Reformed Seminary. Classis was very pleased to have Dr. Venema take the time to travel to Southern California and we enjoyed fellowshipping with him throughout the remainder of the day.
After lunch on Tuesday Classis conducted a colloquium doctum of Rev. Dale Piers and joyfully announced that he sustained the examination and is eligible to be called by the Consistory of Calvary URC in Loveland, CO to serve as a chaplain in that area. It has been a long, tough road for Rev. Piers and the delegates rejoiced in his faithfulness and the Lord’s sustaining him.
The afternoon session continued with addresses from fraternal observers, reports from churches, final committee reports, and before dinner the delegates discussed two matters of advice requested by Consistories according to Church Order Article 55. Initially the delegates were prepared to meet for an evening session after dinner, but thankfully we reached a point where the chairman did not think that necessary and after a great meal served by members of Christ Reformed Church many of the delegates retired to the home of a Christ Reformed deacon who graciously served us his award-winning home-brewed beer under the name of Parsonage Brewing, Co. The morning session began bright and early on Wednesday, September 18 at 8:00 AM with the Candidacy examination of Mr. Jordan Huff of Christ URC (Santee, CA). The examination took up the rest of the morning along with a brief executive session to finish up the advice requested of Classis. After lunch the Candidacy examination concluded and the delegates unanimously agreed that Mr. Huff sustained his examination. A few more reports from the churches of Classis Southwest closed the meeting in the afternoon. The next meeting of classis is to be convened by the High Desert URC of Apple Valley, CA on March 11, 2014.
Mark Vander Pol
Clerk, Classis Southwest U.S.