>When Classis Central US met on September 13-14 at Doon United Reformed Church, it wholly affirmed an ordination exam and it partially sustained a personal appeal.
Classis convened on Monday evening to deal with routine matters before examining Simon Lievaart, who has been called to serve as Minister of the Word at Doon URC.
Mr. Lievaart is a 2009 graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary. He and his wife, Jodi, have two children: Joash (3) and Sophia (7 months). He served Rehoboth URC of Hamilton through February of 2010, when he became a candidate for ministry in the URCNA. At the end of April and beginning of May, he spent three Sundays in Doon. Since then he has been serving Parkland Reformed Church in Alberta, both in Ponoka and at the church plant currently meeting in Lacombe. He received the call to Doon on July 6 and accepted it on July 17, although his acceptance depended upon successfully sustaining an ordination exam at the next meeting of Classis Central US.
“Though the decision involved much prayer and serious consideration,” he says, “it was not a difficult decision. Jodi and I firmly believe this is where God has called me. We are thrilled about this and grateful for it.”
Since immigration laws have tightened in the last few years, a move from Canada to the US now takes some months. The Lievaarts plan to move to Doon as soon as immigration paperwork is completed and they obtain the necessary visas. A date for the ordination service will be set when the timeframe for the move is finalized.
At its meeting, Classis Central also dealt in executive session (which is not open to the public) with matters of pastoral advice at the request of three churches as well as carefully considering a personal appeal against a decision of a consistory.
In his report, Classis Clerk Rev. Doug Barnes wrote that “delegates spent a substantial amount of time reviewing documents, hearing testimony from the appellant and the consistory, and deliberating on the merits of the appeal. Classis voted to partially sustain the appeal and offered pastoral advice related to the situation.”
He later explained, “It’s not unheard of to partially sustain an appeal. It just means that only some of the claims of the appeal were proven, but others were not.”
Rev. Patrick Edouard (Covenant Reformed Church; Pella, IA) said later, “The novelty of the situation made it extra laborious and onerous. That was a good thing for two reasons: (1) It meant that we are unaccustomed to having such matters rise to the level of the broader assembly. (2) It meant that all the delegates were of the same mind that we would deliberate as long as required in order to prevent harm to even one of the least in the Kingdom. Those deliberations evidenced the collective pastoral hearts of the delegates.”
In other business, Classis heard routine reports as well as reports regarding a military chaplain and the many church plants supervised within Classis Central. Classis received greetings from fraternal delegates representing other federations and heard from men who had attended meetings of other federations as fraternal delegates.
Classis also made several classical appointments: Rev. Paul Ipema and Rev. Tom Wetselaar were re-appointed to as delegate and alternate to CECCA, Rev. Dan Donovan and Rev. Todd De Rooy were named as delegate and alternate to CERCU, Mr. Jay De Young (Community URC) was re-appointed to the URCNA Web Oversight Committee and Rev. Matthew Nuiver was appointed as alternate. Mr. Daniel Zylstra (Lynwood URC) and Mrs. Beth De Leeuw (Redeemer URC, Orange City) were appointed as delegate and alternate to the URCNA Songbook Committee, and Rev. Keith Davis was re-appointed to a second term as church visitor for the eastern section of Classis Central.
The consistory of Redeemer URC of Dyer, IN, will convene the next meeting of Classis Central, the Lord willing, at 6:30 p.m. on April 11, 2011.
[Some information for this article was gleaned from a report by Rev. Doug Barnes, Stated Clerk of Classis Central US.]
This article appeared as “URCNA Classis Central US: Exam sustained; Appeal partially so” in the October 13, 2010 issue of Christian Renewal.
© Glenda Mathes, 2010