The next Classis Chatham Meeting ~ Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Living Hope Christian Reformed Church

(1281 Exmouth Street, Sarnia)

 February 2, 2019 Classis Meeting Minutes


Saturday, February 2, 2019 hosted by Wallaceburg CRC


·         This was the first meeting of classis with a new agenda format, which followed 4 lenses:  1. Together we are a spiritually discerning community; 2. Together we have support and accountability; 3. Together we do ministry; 4. Together we are part of a denomination.

·         Rev. Josh Tuininga welcomed all and led in opening devotions based on the theme of “prayer”.  He read and reflected on a portion of Revelation 8, followed by prayer.

·         Part of the new agenda format now includes a time of focusing and reflection on one of our core values as part of our ministry reflection to open classis.  At this meeting we focused and reflected on the core value of Prayerful Dependence on God.  Three churches, London-Good News, Strathroy-East and Wallaceburg shared the joys and struggles on this value.  Following each report another church, Woodstock-Covenant, Essex and London-Forest City offered prayers for the church that just reported.

·         27 or the 28 churches of classis were present, with London-Forest City North sending regrets.   63 delegates were in attendance, including 15 first-time delegates.  All first time delegates signed the Covenant for Office Bearers.

·         Classis was declared constituted and Rev. Phil Apoll of Mount Brydges-Hope Community and Rev. Greg Fluit of St. Thomas-Fellowship were seated as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively.  Mr. Ron Middel was seated as the Clerk.

·         Delegates and guests were encouraged by a number of reports and presentations.  At a special meeting in December, Classis approved that Helena Allan be hired as the new Fanshawe College Chaplain.  Helena attended this meeting and introduced herself to the delegates and a shared her vision of ministry at Fanshawe.  Welcome Helena!

·         Classis received an update of the activities of our Church Plant Team.  They are working towards a new Church Plant in Leamington this fall.  A growing Prayer Team is already in place, and the delegates took time at the meeting to pray for the future Church Planter, as well as the Church Plant itself.  A Prayer Walk is being planned for Saturday, May 11th in Leamington and all are encouraged to participate.

·         London-Talbot Street Church updated classis of their new leadership structure and how they are active in diaconal work (as they do not officially have the office of Deacon).  Some questions remain about how this structure fits in with Reformed ecclesiology, confessions and church order.

·         A Classis Chatham Leadership Structure ad-hoc study committee has been meeting for several months.  The committee asks that all churches provide their organizational information to them. 

·         Following a nomination and voting process throughout the day, the following were elected to Synod 2019:

Minister Delegate:  Rev. George Lubbers (St. Thomas-First)

Minister Alternate:  Rev. John Moelker (Woodstock-Covenant)

Elder Delegate:  Pete Weening (Sarnia-First)

Elder Alternate:  Elaine Smit (Sarnia-Redeemer)

Deacon Delegate:  Nick Dykema (Wallaceburg)

Deacon Alternate:  Shirley Baker (Mount Brydges-Hope Community)

Other Office Bearer Delegate:  Rev. Phil Apoll (Mount Brydges-Hope Community)

Other Office Bearer Alternate:  Rev. Dave VanBerkel (Sarnia-First)

·         Classis approved a recommendation from the classis Nominations Committee that Jenica Groot-Nibbelink and Carolyn Groot-Nibbelink jointly serve in the position of classical Disability Concerns Advocates.

·         A Community Action Poverty Simulation is being planned for all of our churches, the morning of Saturday, March 2nd at Living Hope CRC, Sarnia.

·         Classis was blessed to hear Church Counselor, Church Visitor, and a number of other reports throughout the day.  We adjourned at 2:58 p.m. to meet again on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., DV, at Living Hope CRC, Sarnia.

-- Minutes are available through your church or Ron Middel, Stated Clerk