Four years of vacancy nearing an end

Walker URC in Grand Rapids, MI, will soon have a minister after four years of a vacant pulpit.

On May 8, 2011, Mr. Corey Dykstra, a 2011 graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, accepted a call to serve the Walker congregation, pending his successful completion of an ordination exam in Classis Michigan. Since sustaining his candidacy exam at the January, 2011, meeting of Classis Western Canada, he has been serving a part-time internship at his home church, the URC of Thunder Bay, ON.

Recent delays in the immigration process experienced by other American churches calling Canadian citizens have led Walker URC to carefully consider the application method. It is hoped that delays will be avoided by applying for the H1-B visa, which Walker’s Clerk, Todd Nyeholt, describes as a “work visa.” Since Corey’s wife, Jill, is an American citizen, he is also eligible to apply for a green card under her sponsorship.

The Dykstras have a son, Kyle, who is one year old. They hope to move to Michigan as soon as immigration paperwork is completed, which is anticipated by October, 2011. Once Mr. Dykstra sustains his ordination exam, plans can be implemented for an ordination service.

Walker is a northwest suburb of Grand Rapids; the URC congregation there consists of 325 members in 79 families.

“We are looking forward to Corey Dykstra becoming our full time pastor,” says Mr. Nyeholt. “We hope for a mutual blessing between pastor and congregation as we worship our Lord and study His word.”

The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 14 of the June 29, 2011 issue of Christian Renewal.

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