The 31st Annual Spring Meeting of the Northern Plains Classis was convened on Monday, March 14, 2016, at 1:23 p.m. at First Reformed Church of Aberdeen, South Dakota. The president, Rev. David Dawn opened the session with the reading of Psalm 133 and gave a devotion on the fellowship and unity in the Church. After the preliminaries, the president called for the election of officers. Rev. David Dawn was elected president of the Classis again, Rev. George Syms was elected vice-president, and the stated clerk elected was Rev. James Grossman. Later in the meeting, Elder Matt Fickbohm was elected as the treasurer of Classis. At this meeting, several elders were welcomed and seated, namely, new Elder Brian Davis, of Hope Reformed Church, Pierre, SD, Elders Doug Haak and John Bender of First Reformed, Aberdeen, SD. The president proceeded to announce the standing committees for this year’s Classis meeting. The president then gave his annual report on the state of the Classis. In the report of the stated clerk, there was a necrology for Elder Harry Hieb of First Reformed Church of Aberdeen. The clerk handled reports that came from Synod and these items were discussed by the Classis.
It is a customary obligation of the pastors of Classis to give a parochial report in the meeting. After each report was given, one of the brethren was asked to pray for the pastor and his particular congregation. The other matters of Classis business included a review of the standing rules and statistical information on membership and finances. There were no reports from fraternal delegates and no fraternal delegates at the meeting.
On Monday evening, the Classis met with the congregation of First Reformed Church for a worship service. The Rev. J. P. Mosley of Pierre, SD, conducted the service, and Rev. George Syms of Watertown, SD, preached a sermon on Mark 1:14-15 entitled: “Repent, and Believe the Gospel.” The reports of the various standing committees were presented for the action of Classis.
The special order of the Classis meeting included the ordination examination of Licentiate Cody Schwichtenberg, who is pastor-elect of First Reformed Church, Herried, SD. The examination was conducted by Rev. George Syms, Chairman of the Standing Examinations and Licensure Committee. The areas of examination were ecclesiology and the Heidelberg Catechism. It was a delightful moment when the ordination exam of Cody Schwichtenberg was sustained by the vote of the Classis. We know that it was welcome news when Mr. Schwichtenberg was informed of the Classis’ decision. One of the customary actions of the Classis is to extend the right hand of fellowship to the newly received candidate. Rev. Syms led the Classis in a prayer of thanksgiving for Mr. Schwichtenberg. Subsequently, Herried’s call to Mr. Schwichtenberg was approved. The ordination and installation service for Mr. Cody Schwichtenberg is to be held, D.V., April 3, 2016, at 7:30p.m. at First Reformed Church, Herried, SD. Mr. Schwichtenberg has requested that the Rev. Mr. Michael McGee lead the service, that the Rev. Mr. Travis Grassmid give the charge to the pastor, and that the Rev. Dr. Maynard Koerner present the charge to the congregation. The installation committee will consist of the Rev. J. P. Mosley and the elders of The First Reformed Church of Herried, SD.
We would be remiss not to extend hearty thanks to the ladies of First Reformed Church for their hospitality and kindness in supplying food for the brethren. The closing of the meeting was led by Elder Doug Haak who read from Romans 6 and offered prayer to the Lord. The closing exercises included the unison confessing of the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the pronouncing of a benediction, and the singing of the Doxology. The Classis amazingly finished its business in one day and adjourned at 10:40 p.m. on March 14th.
Rev. George Syms