Dear Classis Clerks, Regional Pastors, and Synodical Deputies:
As a representative of classis or as a Synodical Deputy, you are sometimes asked to arrange for, counsel, or oversee the ordination and/or placement of men and women as Ministers of the Word or Commissioned Pastors. A growing number of these are doing so with the intent of serving in a chaplaincy position.
Unless they are connected with Home Missions (e.g. many campus chaplains), Chaplaincy and Care Ministry is normally involved with these individuals by way of a process of official endorsement for chaplaincy, prior to their appearance at classis for approval of call and/or their examination and decision to ordain. In some instances, however, we find out about these activities after the fact.
Therefore, we thought it would be well to remind all of you of the following:
Art. 12.c. Prior to calling a minister of the Word to any chaplaincy ministry, the calling church also is required to obtain the endorsement of the Office of Chaplaincy Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church (Acts of Synod 1973, p. 56; amended Acts of Synod 1998, p. 391).
Supplement, Article 23-c
The mandate, characteristics, and guiding principles that define chaplains ordained as ministers of the Word are applicable to chaplains ordained under Article 23. (Acts of Synod 2003, p. 613)
In short, this means that such candidates for ordination should have begun and/or completed a process of endorsement with us before coming to classis. If we have not provided a letter of endorsement (or intent to endorse) that may mean that we have not been consulted prior to this, and classis may be acting prematurely in conducting or approving such an examination.
We are always happy to be involved in these chaplaincy ordination/approvals, so feel free to contact us with questions or comments about this.
Rev. Ron Klimp, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy & Care Ministry
Christian Reformed Church NA
1700 28th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508-1407
Office: 616-224-0733 Cell: 616-295-8686
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” — I Cor. 2:9