Leadership Gathering – May 17

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Arrival- Delegates presented their credentials to the clerk, put on a name tags and picked up new and materials not previously distributed. First-time delegates signed the Covenant for Officebearers in the Christian Reformed Church indicating their agreement as delegates to Classis Grand Rapids South. (Pastors, elders, & deacons signed previously upon installation as officebearers.

Opening Devotions- Doug Kamstra, Interim Pastor at First Cutlerville read Terry Teykl’s book, Acts 29 reminding us that we are living the completion of the account of Christ’s church. He then led classis in times of prayer for our meeting and ministry.

Roll Call- Stated Clerk George Vink called the role as listed on the submitted credentials:

Church                         Minister                                  Elder                            Deacon     

Alger Park                   Stephen DeWit                       Earl Bristow                Mark Asma

Community                 Ezra Lee                                  Deb Darby                   Marva Moriarity

Covenant                     Henry Schenkel                       Doug Ballast               Bob Higgins

Cutlerville  East                                               Carl Wykstra/Hank Pluger      Gary Byma

Discovery                     Paul Sauser                             Dan Ziegler                 Jill Jansen

Ist Cutlerville               Doug Kamstra                         Gord Van Eingel          Brian Bronsink

Hillside Community    Arek O’Connell                        Ron Apol                     Harold Mast

Ideal Park                    Henry Admiraal                       Don Dieleman             Dave Thacker

inSpirit                                                                        Lisa Westra &  Steve Meyer–Ministry Team

Kelloggsville                Martin Benckhuysen               Rog DeMann               Darren Cupery

LaGrave                       Ruth Boven                             Rich Bouma                Heather Scholma

Moline                                                                         John Wychers              Randy Jager

Monroe Community    Jim Boer

Providence                  J.B. Wernlund                         Rich Lenartz

The Pier                       Wayne Ondersma                   Robert Boverhof

Wayland                                                                      Steve Octana              John Goedegebuure

Declaration- Chairperson Ruth Boven declared Classis constituted and welcomed the delegates and guests. Stated Clerk George Vink serves as recording clerk.

Approval of January 18, 2018 Minutes- Moved, supported and passed.

Appointment of Committee(s)- Credentials: Henry Admiraal, Jim Boer & Heather Scholma


LaGrave CRC’s Request Re: Rev. Dongo Pewee’s release from ministry- Paul Sausser, Chairman of Classis’ Interim Committee reviewed background as found in the Classis Interim Committee’s written report. Motion made, supported and passed that Rev. Dongo Pewee be released as Minister of the Word according to Church Order Article 14c. Stated Clerk contacted Synodical Deputies (Classes Holland, Thornapple & Grandville)and secured their concurrence.

Oversight Committee Report-Dr. Randy Blacketer– Henry Schenkel reported that ongoing contact will be continued . No recommendation at this time.


Honorarium and Expenses for Regional Pastor– Paul Sausser gave background regarding the position in Classis GRSouth, comparisons with other classes done, and referenced classical discussions regarding pastoral health as indicated in the Interim Committee’s report.

Motion made, supported and passed that Classis Grand Rapid South’s Regional Pastor be given a yearly honorarium of $5,000 along with up to $150 per month in expenses. The Interim Committee in consultation with CRCNA’s Pastoral Resources appointed Rev. George Vink to the position to be reviewed upon a year’s determining possible further needs and effectiveness.

Honorariums for Stated Clerk and Treasurer- Chairman Paul added to Classical Interim Committee’s material found in its report. The suggested increase reflects comparisons and is neither the high or the low of other classes. Motion made, supported and passed that the honorariums for both the positions of Stated Clerk and Treasurer be increased to $4,000 annually.


Reports from Classical Support Ministry and Teams

Stated Clerk, George Vink  supplemented his written and previously distributed report by indicating the availability of Council of Delegates Highlights and Financial Shalom brochures. Motion passed to approve Stated  Clerk’s work.

Classical Interim Committee– Report sent out with Classis’ Agenda. The chairman indicated the implication of the decision regarding an October meeting. CIC’s work was approved.

Treasurer– Brenda Bosch distributed and highlighted her detailed account of Classis’ financial  status and gave opportunity for questions. The Budget will be set at the October meeting.

Credential Committee– Jim Boer reported that all were in order and invited Pastor Martin Benchhuyzen to introduce Kelloggville’s venture in faith. Martin spoke of the “nesting churches” with whom they’re working including the Michigan Chin Baptist Church. He introduced Pastors Mitogo Opira and Ulrich Tsoumou who together with Pastor Fran Mavindi are “nesting” with Kelloggsville CRC also. Pastor Mitogo shared his and their story. Classis rejoiced in the work being done and thanked God in prayer.

Reports from Ministry Committees and Servants of Classis

Classical Ministry Team(CMT)-No report

Established Church Development(ECD)-Cityfest-Peter Yonker shared the plans being made, prayer meetings being held, and the joy of doing inter-church ministry, learning then how to to different things in different ways in different places as preparations are made for September 8/9’s effort to reach the cities for Christ.

New Church Development (NCD)-Jim Boer introduced Carole Pettijohn who shared her work as Classis’ encourager for church plants and planters. She’s working with En Vivo Church, Southwest Community Church, The Pier, Strong Tower Ministries and City Chapel. Carole challenged pastors to be encouraged and also encouragers by visiting these ministries.

Spiritual Growth and Prayer-No report

Deacon Ministries (DMC)-Material regarding the relationship between Volunteers in Service & DMC provided.

Ministry Leadership Team(MLT)-Chair Emily VandenHeuvel introduced four students supported by classis. Chan Kim ($7000),Casey Kwant ($2000),Marissa Walters ($2000), and Anestase Nzabonimpa($7000) shared their story and appreciation. Prayer were offered. The MLT will also be  working with the CRCNA Candidacy Committee as its 24 month candidacy process is implemented which involves a mentor-mentee process, with reporting to classis.

Church Visitors-No reports

Church Counselors-Mike Hoogeboom reported on his work with Alger Park. They’re voting on a pastor June 3rd. No reports on Cutlerville East or Ideal Park

Reports from Ministry Committees and Servants of Classis-cont’d

Regional Pastor– George Vink reported on Bill Renkema’s good MRI results regarding brain cancer to be followed by chemo treatments for any residual cancer cells. He also encouraged pastors and others to contact him as needs are known.

Prayer Coordinator–Felicia Bud presented a detailed report on the work involved and excitement experienced regarding the April l20/21 Prayer Summit. She challenged the churches to release pastors to attend the Pastors’ Retreat Sept. 30/Oct.1st.

Communications Coordinator –Daniel Maat gave an update on WEB site possibilities and what he’s doing with Grand Rapids South Classis’ website.

Finance-Brenda Bosch reported as Treasurer earlier.

Reports related to our denominational relationship

Council  of Delegates-Highlights  distributed via email

World Renew-No Report

Calvin Theological Seminary- Curt Walters at its  meeting

Calvin College-No report

Reports Sharing Ministry Information for Delegates

Cityfest-Peter Yonker reported  cf. 10b-ii

Frienship Ministries-Tom Van Wingeren has been rescheduled to report in October.

70×70-CJC– Patrick Coleman, Director of 70 x 7 Life Recovery, could not stay for his presentation on their ministry to join church, business, and community resources on the challenge of reentry for those with a criminal record. Paul Sausser made a short presentation on his behalf. Patrick rescheduled to speak at the October 2018 Classis meeting.


Adjournment and Closing

Chairperson Ruth Boven thanked the host church, First Cutlerville CRC, for their hospitality.

Classis will meet next October 18, 2018 at Hillside CRC-Budget will be determined then.

Henry Admiraal closed the meeting with prayer.

Deadline for the October 18th Agenda will be Wednesday, September 19th, 2018.

Respectfully submitted,
George G. Vink, Stated Clerk



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