Leadership Gathering | October 12 | InSpirit

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Minutes of Classis Grand Rapids South – inSpirit CRC

 October 12, 2017                      6:30 p.m.

  1. Arrival. Upon arrival, the delegates presented their church’s credentials to the stated clerk, filled out name tags and picked up any materials not previously distributed. A copy of the Covenant for Officebearers was posted on the front table and all first time delegates, by their signatures, indicated their agreement.
  2. Worship. Rev. Randy Ledeboer read Philippians 2:1-5 and briefly commented on this passage. Seminarian Kurt De Vries led our opening prayer and the Worship Team from inSpirit Church led Classis in singing three songs.
  3. Roll Call. The stated clerk Ken Van Wyk called the roll:

Church                         Minister                                  Elder                            Deacon

Alger Park                   Rev. Stephen De Wit              Jack De Boer               Deb De Voogt

Community                                                                 Wilma Knoll                Bill Heys

Deb Darby

Covenant                     Rev. Curt Walters                   Dale Schut                   Bob Higgins

Cutlerville East            Rev. William Renkema           Joel Teft                      Bryan Baldwin

Discovery                     Rev. Paul Sausser                   Reed Baker                 Jill Jansen

First Cutlerville                                                           Gordon Van Singel

Gordon Brinks

Hillside Community    Rev. Ron Kool                          Ken Hiskes

Ideal Park                                                                    Nick Bierema              Dan Seif

inSpirit                        Rev. Randy Ledeboer              Lisa Ledeboer              John Huizenga

Kelloggsville                Rev. Martin Benckhuysen       Roger De Mann           Brian Vander Meulen

LaGrave                       Rev. Ruth Boven                     Ken Gritter                  Joe Ponstein

Moline                         Rev. Jim De Zeeuw                 Chuck Tjepkema          Jeremy Ludwig

Monroe Community    Rev. Jim Boer                          Miranda Gardner

Providence                  Rev. Robert Boersma             Jim Nammensma       Ron Jansen

The Pier                       Rev. Wayne Ondersma           Doug Helmholdt

Wayland                                                                      Steve Oetman

John Goodegebure

  1. Declaration. Chairperson Bill Renkema declares that Classis is constituted and welcomes delegates, synodical deputies and guests. Ken Van Wyk will serve as recording clerk.
  2. Approval of Minutes. Motion is made to approve the minutes of June 15 and September 19 , 2017 Classis Meeting. Supported.                        Approved.
  3. Appointment of Committees:
  4. Committee to examine the credentials: Monroe Community
  5. Balloting committee: Moline
  6. New Business:
  7. Examination of candidate Arek O’Connell
  8. Rev. Ron Kool introduces Arek and his wife Jamie to Classis.
  9. Rev. Ruth Boven leads the examination in Practica. Motion is made to proceed to the next part of the exam.                       Supported.                  Approved.
  10. Rev. Jim De Zeeuw presents the report of sermon evaluators De Zeeuw and Ledeboer of Arek’s classical sermon on the assigned text of II Corinthians 5:17.
  11. Classis discussed the report of the sermon evaluators.
  12. Motion is made to proceed. Supported.      Approved.
  13. Synodical deputies concur with this decision.
  14. Rev. Stephen De Wit leads the exam in Biblical and Theological
  15. Classis had opportunity to address questions to Arek.
  16. Chairperson Bill Renkema declares executive session.
  17. Motion is made to admit candidate Arek O’Connell into the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the Christian Reformed Church. Supported.
  18. Chairperson Renkema leads Classis in prayer asking for the leading of the Holy Spirit in our decision to be made.
  19. Synodical Deputies leave to prepare their report. Delegates vote by ballot.
  20. Classis approves the motion to admit candidate Arek O’Connell into the Ministry of Word and Sacraments. Synodical deputies concur.
  21. Chairperson Renkema informs Arek of the decision Classis has made, offers words of congratulation and encouragement and Classis joins in a time of prayer for Arek and Jamie. Classis congratulates the O’Connells
  22. Stated Clerk Ken Van Wyk presents a classical diploma to Arek.
  23. Date for ordination is tentatively set for November 5, 2017.
  24. Request from Immanuel CRC, Wyoming to disband according to Church Order Article 38 d.
  25. Church Visitors report on the sale of the church building and the pay off of the mortgage on the facility used by the DOCK and The Pier.
  26. At this time, the Classical Interim Committee is still waiting for a congregation that will agree to hold the ministerial credentials of Rev. Wayne Ondersma and supervise the ministry of The Pier. Because this decision has not yet been finalized, any action on the request to disband must be delayed until the January, 2018 meeting of Classis.


  1. Request from Kelloggsville and Rev. Laurie Zuverink that Rev. Zuverink be released from active ministerial service according to church order article 17 a.
  2. Pastor Martin Benckhuysen and Pastor Zuverink provide the background information.
  3. Motion is made to approve this request. Supported.      Approved.
  4. Synodical deputies concur with this decision.
  5. Classis offers prayers for Pastor Laurie Zuverink and her desire to receive a call for another ministry opportunity.
  6. Speakers at Classis.
  7. Mr. Bill Paxton from Exalta Health distributes information and highlights the services they are providing.
  8. Reports of Classical Committees and Servants:
  9. Stated Clerk Ken Van Wyk reports on his work and activities since the May 18, 2017 meeting of Classis.  Rev. George Vink will replace Ken as stated clerk beginning November 1.
  10. Classical Interim Committee – Paul Sausser reporting.
  11. CIC approved the honorable emeritation of Rev. David Adams by reason of age effective August 1, 2017. The ministerial credentials of Rev. Adams have been transferred to Kelloggsville.  Rev. Ruth Boven leads Classis in prayer for David Adams.
  12. CIC makes the following motion: That Classis cover $2,000 of the $2139 lawyer costs to help Kelloggsville CRC’s cost of legal advice for this year’s Article 14 b matter.

Rational:  The basis for this request is that the legal services that Kelloggsville received and paid for provided direction and advice that benefited the entire process related to the Article 14 b issue which ultimately was a Classis matter.

Motion is Supported.              Approved.

  1. Co-chairs for Classis.
  2. Rev. Ron Kool has agreed to serve in this role.
  3. Classis selects Rev. Ruth Boven as the other co-chair.
  4. Classical Ministries – No report.
  5. New Church Development – No report.
  6. Spiritual Growth and Prayer – Laurie Zuverink reporting
  7. Laurie briefly shared part of her personal story
  8. Laurie highlighted the recent Pastors and spouses retreat.
  9. Laurie informed Classis that their team is available to assist others and walk alongside them in the joys and struggles of ministry.
  10. Established Church Development – No report.
  11. Classical Ministry Leadership Team – Stephen De Wit reporting
  12. Classis is providing financial assistance to four students.  Brian Vander Bie from Kelloggsville was present to personally thank Classis for the financial support.
  13. Stephen led in prayer for these four students.
  14. Diaconal Committee – report by Chaplain Dan Wierenga.
  15. Chaplain Sunday is November 19, 2017.
  16. Several requests from area colleges for chaplains.
  17. Communications Coordinator – Daniel Maat
  18. Combined worship service at Cutlerville East on October 29 at 5 pm
  19. Always Reforming Devotionals available during this month of October.
  20. Prayer Coordinator – No report.
  21. Treasurer – No report.
  22. Finance Committee – No report.
  23. Church Visitors – No report.
  24. Church Counselors – No report.
  25. Mentor reports – No report.
  26. Regional pastors – No report.
  27. Committee to examine the credentials:
  28. At the request of Cutlerville East, a motion is made to grant honorable emeritation to Rev. William Renkema, by reason of age, effective April 23, 2018.

Supported.                  Approved.

Words of thanks and a gift of appreciation were presented to Bill on behalf of Classis by Bob Boersma.

  1. At the request of Alger Park, a motion is made to appoint Rev. Ecko De Vries as their classical counselor. Supported.                        Approved.
  2. Reports of CRCNA Ministries:
  3. Resonate Global Missions – Rev. Amy Schenkel reporting
  4. Unification of Home Missions and World Missions became official on July 1.
  5. Rev. Zachary King is the newly appointed director.
  6. There are open positions to be filled in ministry settings.
  7. Great opportunities in campus ministries.
  8. World Renew – Harry Kuipers reporting.
  9. Disaster Response Services (DRS) Sunday is March 4, 2018.
  10. Volunteers are helping with clean up in Texas and working to assess needs in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
  11. 90% of financial gifts received go directly to meet the needs.
  12. There are many opportunities for volunteers and work projects. Contact drs@worldrenew.net or call 800.848.5818
  13. Council of Delegates – No report.
  14. Calvin Theological Seminary – No report.
  15. Calvin College – No report.
  16. Back to God Ministries International – No report.
  17. Expression of Thanks. Bill Renkema thanks inSpirit for hosting our Classis meeting.
  18. Adjournment. Chairperson Bill Renkema offers a closing prayer and our meeting is adjourned.


Next meeting of Classis will be at Cutlerville East on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 4 pm.  Deadline for the agenda is December 15, 2017.  Please send your materials to the new stated clerk Rev. George Vink at georgevink1944@att.net


Synodical Deputies:    Rev. Doug Fauble        Classis Grandville

Rev. Mark Bennink      Classis Georgetown

Rev. Paul De Vries      Classis Thornapple Valley       (Absent)


Paul had agreed to serve as a deputy but we learned he was attending the Council of Delegates meeting.  With the approval of the other two deputies, we proceeded with our meeting.

















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