New Covenant United Reformed Church in Twin Falls, ID, hosted the October 20-21, 2015, meeting of the URCNA’s Classis Pacific Northwest.
The candidacy exam of Mr. Benjamin Davenport was the primary matter on the agenda.
Examiners and sessions consisted of Rev. Russell Herman (Practica), Rev. Jonathan Van Hoogen (Bible Knowledge), Rev. Nick Smith (Biblical Exegesis), Rev. Mark Stromberg (Confessional Knowledge), Rev. Ed Marcusse (Reformed Doctrine), Rev. Paul Lindemulder (Church History), Rev. Adrian Dieleman (Ethics), and Rev. Craig Davis (Church Polity).
“It was the unanimous judgment of Classis and the Bellingham consistory that Mr. Davenport sustained his exam,” Rev. Dieleman wrote in his report. “Classis also agreed that an ordination exam is waived if he is called by a church in our classis.”
Mr. Davenport has served as a pastoral intern at Bellingham URC in Washington since May of 2015, the same month he graduated from Northwest Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Angela, have two young sons.
“I am grateful to God that He has been so gracious to work in my life both to grant me salvation in Christ and to prepare me for the ministry,” Mr. Davenport says. “I am also grateful to the council of Bellingham URC for ensuring that I had an adequate amount of time to prepare for my classical exam. Finally, I look forward to seeing what the Lord has prepared for me and my family in His sovereign plan.”
Rev. John Bouwers, chairman of CERCU, addressed the delegates and spoke on the crucial aspect of unity as evidenced in Christ’s prayer from John 17.
Classis also dealt with routine matters, reports, and appointments. Requests for advice from churches were handled in executive session. Delegates also went into executive session to discuss an appeal from an individual against a church’s decisions regarding participation in the Lord’s Supper. That appeal was denied.
Summarizing this Classis meeting in his report, Rev. Dieleman wrote, “We were thankful for the spirit of cooperation and harmony we experienced as well as the fellowship we enjoyed.”
Classis Pacific Northwest consists of 18 organized churches and a church plant in Big Springs, CA, under the supervision of Trinity URC in Visalia, CA. A subsequent Classis meeting was scheduled for March 15-16, 2016, in Portland, OR.
[Editorial note: Benjamin Davenport was subsequently called by the Bellingham URC and ordained on January 15, 2016.]
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 18 of the November 18, 2015, issue of Christian Renewal.