Classis Lake Superior, Sept 14-15, 2015 Highlights—Yes, highlights. Someone once told me they looked forward to such meetings as much as to having a root canal. Not me, I really do enjoy these meetings. For the first time this year we met in the brand new facilities at Lake Geneva Christian Center near Alexandria – they were amazing. A dining hall big enough perhaps for 500 or more people with stunning views of Lake Geneva, and great food and fellowship with other CRC pastors, delegates, and ministry leaders. Hard not to like!
On Monday afternoon Rolf Bouma led us through the history and background of the legal changes that have taken place re gay marriage in North America. How do we minister in this context? Christian scholars are suggesting we may need to distinguish between civil marriage and religious marriage to move forward. The religious liberty aspect of this issue is not clear yet in the US. Our 73 report is good but the language is dated and leaves the impression that the homosexual person is a problem. We had good conversation and look forward to the 2016 report next month.
Monday evenings are worship, sharing, and prayer times. Reps of central Minnesota churches as well as The Gathering Place and Hope Center, in Thunder Bay spoke. It’s always uplifting to hear how the Lord is working and being honored in all these places, e.g. A new facility in Willmar under construction, a new facility at the Gathering Place, new staff at Hope Center – often beyond expectations.
Tuesday’s highlight was the admission of 3 persons into the ministry of the Word in the CRCNA. Perrin Werner for Grace, Inver Grove Heights, based on his previous exam in March, David Zigterman and Robert Hoekstra based on their exam at this classis, for Emden CRC in Renville, and for Hope CRC, Thunder Bay. A 4th pastor was also introduced, Paw Ter, a KaRen refugee, comes with 4 languages before English and with musical gifts. He is an answer to prayer as he helps Phonh in the New Life South East Asian congregation after his night job.
Finally, we are a binational classis. That may be tested in the near future as we explore what we may need to do to comply with new Canadian laws and regulations. Yet we showed are willing to pay the price of such unity by accepting the invitation, the Lord willing, to come/go meet at the Gathering Place in Thunder Bay in September 2016. Next March we get to meet in Willmar’s new facility. It will be a highlight to meet you there and expand the circle of good Christian fellowship.