10.18.2006

Out to Presbytery

Sara and I are in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the rest of the week with the 3 other elders and their wives, for presbytery meeting. (For the folks from home, this is the same thing as classis.)

The congregation I am now pastoring is joining as a full member at this meeting. Both the church's origin and history and my ordination credentials (in a more liberal denomination!) will be up for review on the floor, so we're a little nervous, but also know we're among friends and brothers in Christ.

We'll keep you updated. Reception with hors d’ouerves at 7pm tonight.

3 comments:

  1. You will be in my prayers that God will be glorified in that meeting.

    As a minister in that more "liberal" denomination I have a question for you. Did you have to go through any exams by their Presbytery before this, or do they check you out somehow at the Presbytery meeting.

    As someone who wonders if I will ultimately stay in the RCA, I am curious about the process of entering different denominations.

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  2. 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Phil 4:6-7

    We're glad to have you here in VA Steve and Sara!

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  3. Riley, God was indeed glorified at presbytery.

    In the majority of denominations the wringer comes at presbytery, but in the CREC the congregation is ultimately responsible for approving ordained officers, whether elder or pastor. So I had an extended exam with the session (consistory) of the congregation to check me out theologically, pastorally, and with regard to lifestyle and family life. A CREC pastor also attended that.

    So this presbytery (classis) meeting was less extended. It turned out 5 other churches joined at the same meeting. We stood up front for about 5-10 minutes. I answered 2 questions about the denomination I came from, why I was leaving, and another pastoral question, but that was it. In general the presbytery wants to leave the responsibility with the congregation that called me.

    How you come in is key. Since the congregation called and installed me before joining the CREC themselves, it was less extensive questioning.

    One way or another, you get checked out. If you don't, I wouldn't be interested in joining the denomination. You want the church to be sure her officers are competent and gifted to serve.

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