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Oversight report to Classis Oct 2013

Classis Oversight Committee for Nobleford CRC

Report to Classis Alberta South and Saskatchewan, October 25, 2013

In the autumn 2012 meeting, Classis Alberta South and Saskatchewan directed that an Oversight Committee be formed to guide the Nobleford CRC through a process of evaluation and examination after a separation with their pastor by Article 17 of the church order. Specific expectations of the Oversight Committee are described in the “Oversight Committee Mandate for Nobleford Christian Reformed Church” issued by the Classis Interim Committee in November, 2012.

As reported at the Spring 2013 Classis meeting a large milestone in the work of the Oversight Committee was to help Nobleford CRC to secure the service of a Specialized Transitional Minister to lead their worship services, to guide them through a process of evaluation and examination, and to eventually ready them to call a minister. Rev. Peter VanderBeek is a Specialized Transitional Minister, and has been serving Nobleford CRC since his arrival in mid-April. There was a meeting of the Oversight Committee with Pastor Pete on May 15th, several weeks after his arrival. Pastor Pete has been leading services, performing other typical pastor duties, visiting members, and encouraging the council and congregation in aligning their values and culture with the “professed first love” of the church. Pastor Pete has recently outlined a 7 step process for the Nobleford congregation to reach the point of calling a minister. Step 1 was the process of Pastor Pete getting started, getting to know the congregation, and the congregation getting on know him. They are currently entering step 2 of the process, the establishment of a ‘Transitional Team’. In step 2 and step 3, the Transitional Team is charged with identifying unrecognized beliefs and behaviors that may have contributed to struggles and problems in the past, by verifying observations made by Pastor Pete based on his close contact with the congregation. Hopefully, this exercise helps the leadership and the congregation to avoid or limit similar challenges in the future. Subsequent steps for the Transition Team include identifying situations when Nobleford CRC felt closest to God, identifying “best experiences and practices”, and then using information like this to recognize God’s current calling for Nobleford CRC. As Pastor Pete has said, a very important task of the Transition Team is to communicate their findings clearly to the Council and the entire congregation. It is also important for them to remember that plans can change, and Pastor Pete has told the congregation that planned processes can often change, because we realize more, or different, information.

Pastor David Swinney has recently agreed to replace Pastor Curtis Korver on the Nobleford CRC Oversight Committee. We have met as an Oversight Committee on October 10th Also, Pastor Tony continues to act as Councillor to Nobleford CRC, so has contact with Pastor Pete and their Council. The Oversight Committee hopes to meet with Pastor Pete, and also with Nobleford CRC council, in the near future.

The Oversight Committee is very appreciative of the hard work put in by Pastor Pete and the Nobleford CRC council members, and the entire congregation. We also commend the Nobleford council and congregation for the concern and sensitivity they have shown for Pastor Kevin Jordan and his family. We look forward to what God will do in the months to come.

Rev. Tony Maan, Lethbridge Maranatha CRC

Rev. David Swinney, Burdett CRC

Fred Lozeman, Granum CRC

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