September 2014 Classis Meeting – Faith Community CRC

Classis Hudson met at Faith Community CRC in Wyckoff on September 15-16, 2014.  The Monday evening and Tuesday morning sessions were held in conjunction with Classis Hackensack.  On Monday evening, Dr. Kurt Selles, director of Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI), shared details and stories about the work God has been doing through BTGMI as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and invited churches to take advantage of a number of resources for sharing the word of God through media.  The following video was shown as a part of this presentation:

Delegates spent time in prayer together, and celebrated communion as a part of a time of worship led by Rev. K.C. Vande Streek, who encouraged all present to imagine what God might be doing in calling them to serve “at such a time as this.”  (Esther 4:14)

On Tuesday morning, following a time of devotions led by Rev. Meg Jenista of the Washington DC CRC, delegates heard a report from Mid-Atlantic Ministries (MAM), the missions committee of the two classes.  A number of core values for MAM were shared, as well as some opportunities for ministry and growth in our local churches: a Prayer Summit; leadership development resources such as Sonship, Strengths Finders, and Finishers; collaborative partnerships through CRC ministry share; and the work being done through the NYC Kingdom Enterprise Zone.  Further information on all of these initiatives is available by contacting Drew Angus, the regional ministry leader for Christian Reformed Home Missions in our area.

Delegates were also introduced to an important opportunity for church renewal in our region, offered by the Renewal Lab at Calvin Theological Seminary.  Rev. Keith Doornbos, lead pastor at Providence CRC in Holland, MI shared the importance of renewal, some of the core values of the Renewal Lab journey, and the opportunities it offers for both declining and growing churches to reflect on their journey as followers of Jesus Christ in a local place.  The presentation is available in powerpoint format, and a video of the entire presentation can also be found below.  The hope is that a core group of 6-8 churches would participate in order to bring a Renewal Lab cluster to our area.  Interested churches should contact Faith Community CRC for more information.

Classis delegates also heard about the upcoming convention for GEMS leadership to be held in the summer of 2015.  Churches are encouraged to support this leaders’ conference with prayer, financial support, and by sending GEMS leaders.  A dinner will be held on October 18 to help raise money for this conference.

Delegates were reminded of the work being done by Northeast Community Transformation (NECT), the diaconal team for Classes Hudson and Hackensack.  A celebration luncheon will be held on September 27 at Unity CRC in Prospect Park, NJ.

Information was also shared about the work of World Renew.  Churches are encouraged to make use of materials for World Hunger Sunday, the Christmas gift catalog, the Free a Family program, and were invited to attend a seminar on Disaster Relief Services to be held on October 18 at Avery Street CRC in South Windsor, CT.

Representatives of Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) offered information about missions emphasis materials and invited interested individuals to join a “prayer safari” to Kenya led in February 2015 by Rev. John Algera.  Churches are also invited to send interested members to a Salaam Project workshop at Midland Park CRC on October 4 The following video highlights the excitement of being part of the global church:

Rev. Meg Jenista reports on the efforts to organize a Safe Church Team for our region.

Rev. Chris Pedersen of Cedar Hill CRC led in our afternoon devotions, reminding delegates from Acts 1:1-11 of Jesus’ gentle call to his disciples to wait actively, prayerfully, receptively together for the power in which to serve in his name.

As part of its proceedings, Classis Hudson finalized the details for the disbanding of Crossroads Community CRC in Flanders, NJ.  Rev. Paul Ingeneri was granted retirement at this time, and classis thanks him for his many years of ministry in the CRC and in our classis.  Our prayers as fellow congregations are with the members of the former Crossroads Church, and we pray that God would lead them to new congregations and avenues of service, and that they would continue to be a blessing in these new communities of Christ followers.

Classis continues to dialogue with representatives of Queens CRC as that congregation assesses its future and restructures its ministry in partnership with a Presbyterian church in New York City.

As our classes become more diverse, classis recognized the need to help in the process of welcoming pastors into the CRC from outside the denomination.  An advisory committee presented suggestions for creating a hospitable dialogue as these pastors are interviewed for ordination in the CRC, and classis adopted appropriate changes to its Rules of Procedure.

Two congregations in classis received approval to move towards organized status and install elders and deacons: City Grace Church in Manhattan, and Namu Church (formerly known as Harmony Church) in Flushing, NY.  As a classis, we praise God for His faithfulness in bringing these churches to this point and pray for His continued blessing on their ministry.  City Grace celebrates with a special service of organization on October 5, and Namu Church plans a celebration service in early November.

Classis also discussed the work of the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture in the CRC, and forwarded some comments to the assist the committee in its work.

Two congregations – East West Church of New York and Faith Community CRC of Wyckoff – shared some of the challenges and joys of the ministry God is presently doing among them as congregations.

Rev. Albert Sideco of Filipino-American CRC closed the meeting with a challenge from John 17:5 to proclaim the gospel with a view of the glory of Christ in all we do.

Responses

  1. […] Classis Hudson met on Monday and Tuesday, September 15-16, 2014 at the Faith Community CRC of Wyckoff, NJ.  A report from the meeting can be found here. […]


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