Touché March 17, 2017
Posted on March 17, 2017 by under Touché,


Classis-Up Close and Personal

“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

It is the best of times to have classis here. It is the worst of times to have classis here. To pivot off Dicken’s quote from A Tale of Two Cities, I introduce you to Hopewell’s opportunity to host our classis on Tuesday, March 21.

Lisa Ruvo and Cyndy Warren will be organizing a wonderful dinner for the delegates from thirty-two Reformed Churches in the Mid-Hudson Valley. John Young, Steve Dambra and I are the delegates from HRC. Wesley Joseph, a student under the care of the Mid-Hudson classis, will be preaching his exam sermon at this meeting. He will also evidence his multi- talented abilities as he will be playing the organ for our worship. Michele Ledesma Baer from HRC will be received under the care of classis as she is in her first year of seminary studies. These are things that will make it the best of times to have classis here. You are invited to join us at 6:30 for worship and to be a part of this meeting.

This classis meeting has the potential to be the worst of times as well. We will be voting on the recommendations made by the General Synod in regard to same sex marriage. The potential for a shift and division in the Reformed Church in America is very strong as a conservative movement has put forward two amendments to our structure that would make sure no RCA pastors or RCA congregations would sanction same sex marriage. The amendments would change the polity and the structure of the RCA, and many have voted against these amendments for reasons other than same sex marriage. Two-thirds of the all the classes of the RCA need to approve the amendments for them to be put into our Book of Church Order. It appears, at this time, this will not happen.

Classis devotes an extended time to discussion to one issue at each classis meeting. These amendments will be the discussion topic for our draw. Classis will then vote. It should be interesting. I do not think there will be deep division in our classis, but whether the RCA as a whole can maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is a question that will be answered in June when the General Synod (the gathering of all the classes) will meet.

Come for the best, to celebrate with Wes and Michele. Come for the worst, to see the church battle it out. Pray that we can bear with one another in love.