September 2013 Classis Meeting – Cedar Hill CRC

Classis Hudson met at Cedar Hill CRC in Wyckoff on September 16-17, 2013.  The Monday evening and Tuesday morning sessions were held in conjunction with Classis Hackensack.  On Monday evening, Mid-Atlantic Ministries (MAM), the missions committee of the two classes, facilitated a discussion of ministry to young adults in the CRC.  Delegates discussed a short film called “Shift,” and shared a number of ideas and reflections about how to better minister to the young people in our congregations.  MAM also provided further resources for discussion on this topic, including a discussion guide and some articles such as those found here and here.

Classis also worshiped together under the leadership of the praise band from Cedar Hill CRC, and were led in reflection on God’s Word by Rev. Chris Pedersen.  He shared from John 20:19-23 about how Christ speaks peace and imparts his Spirit to guide disciples through a time of fear.

On Tuesday morning, delegates heard a presentation from Bonnie Nicholas, director of the CRC’s Safe Church Ministry.  She stressed the importance of making abuse awareness, prevention, and response a priority in our congregations.  The Safe Church office makes a variety of educational materials, guides for church leaders, and resources for congregations available through its web site.

The CRC’s regional home missions office is also sponsoring a two-day workshop about discipling believers in community, to be held Sept. 26-27 in Providence, RI.  Details and registration information can be found here.

Congregations were also reminded of the work of CRC agencies such as World Renew, which among other things provides churches with the opportunity to respond to Superstorm Sandy in our own area, or to give Christmas gifts which serve the needs of the poor around the world.   Christian Reformed World Missions is celebrating its 125th anniversary and invites congregations to join their celebration by recommitting themselves to the task of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world.  Resources for such ministry are also found on their web site.  And though the CRC has reduced its publications ministry, a number of good resources for Christian education and nurture are still available on their web site.

Rev. Albert Sideco of Filipino American CRC led in our afternoon devotions, reminding delegates from John 6:60-69 that Christ alone is the Word of life and that he will indeed fulfill His work of drawing people into the church community and the hope of new life in him.

As part of its proceedings, Classis Hudson examined two pastors seeking to affiliate with the CRC, Revs. Joon Shin and Jason Chung.  Classis is grateful to God for leading these men to ministry in our midst and wishes them God’s blessing as they serve their respective churches, Evergreen Tree of Life CRC in Englewood, NJ and Harmony Church in Queens, NY.

As our classes become more diverse, the CRC community in our area also recognizes the need to provide translation services in order to more effectively communicate in our different languages.  A proposal was adopted by both Classis Hudson and Classis Hackensack to offer translation of both documents and classis deliberations in Korean and Spanish.

Classis also discussed the ministry of Queens CRC and appointed a committee to assess the vitality of that congregation and work with its leadership as the church is at a point in its history of reorganization and restructuring its ministry in partnership with a nearby Presbyterian church in New York City.

Delegates also affirmed the work of a new campus ministry, sponsored by the East-West Church of New York.  The campus ministry ministers to students at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY.

Rev. Hong Kim was appointed to be the new chair of the classis Student Fund Committee, which in addition to encouraging students to pursue ministry in the church, also assists pastors seeking to affiliate with the CRC.

Pastor Jeremy Mulder of Restore Church closed the meeting with a reminder from Malachi 3:6 that we serve an unchanging God whose promises never fail.

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