This year the South Central Classis met in Sutton, NE, at the Emmanuel Reformed Church. The delegates gathered early to experience a great meal. I mean an unbelievable meal, reminding us of the great bounty God has given. We had prime rib steak that was as big as your face and 1.5 inches thick. It was accompanied by an au jus sauce that danced on your taste buds. There were also baked potatoes that were as big as your hand with fingers outstretched. Side dishes abounded, including, but not limited to, salad, fruit salad, and fruit salad with marshmallow. There was even more . . . dessert. I had a chocolate pie with meringue on top. I am sure there were other kinds, but I didn’t bother looking any more after I found the chocolate pie. I heartily recommend going to a meeting in Sutton so you, too, can experience the great food.
Oh, and there was also a meeting. It was not as filling to the stomach, but the fellowship of the saints gathered in unity is even more satisfying to the soul. Classis opened with a tasty morsel from Rev. Mike McGee on the importance of church membership. A timely message in a day when giant independent “mega churches” offer no-membership, no-responsibility, and no-commitment alternatives to the true church. This was all washed down with the election of officers, with Rev. Blair being reelected as President and Rev. Horner as Stated Clerk. This duo bravely led our group through the work that had to be done.
The parochial reports and the questions to the elders are always refreshing to hear as one gets a sense of what God is doing in the churches. Right now, one would have to say that God is richly blessing His people. The President’s report will detail a lot of the good news from the people. However, some highlights include Rapid City, SD, currently having an all-time high membership; Limon, CO, taking a reduction in support that was not required; and Sioux Falls, SD, continuing to grow to over 230 people. One potential sour note was the weakness of the physical body. Several of the brothers had gone through a rough physical year with surgeries and cancer, but they were present and praising God. Another minister experienced the death of several family members and close friends. Yet they had all died professing Jesus Christ. So while the sour taste may make our eyes water and tears fall, we can rejoice in Christ even through it all. He takes whatever evil comes upon us in this life and turns it to our good for He is able to do it, being almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father. Our faithful Father is active in our churches, and we can praise God for it.
Two New Ministers
New flavors can improve a meal, and we in the South Central Classis were blessed this year to welcome two new ministers: Rev. Mike McGee in Mitchell, SD, and Rev. Travis Grassmid in Menno, SD. Rev. McGee came from Watertown, SD, and Rev. Grassmid came over from our brothers in the URCNA where he was an associate pastor in Grand Rapids, MI. Rev. McGee gave the aforementioned sermon in our Monday night worship, and Rev. Grassmid gave the devotion on Tuesday with a meditation on Psalm 2. Praise the Lord that he has brought these men to fill the vacancies in our classis. Nothing feeds the soul like the Word preached.
The best meals are the ones where you can get more. Seconds or free refills are always popular ways to expand the meal. The South Central Classis directed the Home Missions Committee to investigate and smell what the Lord is cooking in Omaha, NE. And the Classis is also working with Christ the King Church in Sherman, TX. That work is under the oversight of Mitchell, SD, and is being shepherded by Rev. Neal Riffert. Those brothers may be far away from us, but we are encouraged by them, and they are no less a part of us than if they were right next door. They are just the refill and extra serving we need!
Now that we have pushed back from the table and the plates have all been cleaned, we can look back and appreciate what we have just enjoyed. All the hard work of setting guidelines, planning Heidelberg Youth Camp, forwarding proposals to Synod, hearing about our fraternal churches, and reading the reports was worth it and enjoyed to the last drop. It was done decently and in order thanks to President Blair and Stated Clerk Horner so that we finished up about 5 pm on the 27th. Prime rib sandwiches were handed out for the trip home. One verse comes to mind to wrap up our 2012 annual meeting here in South Central Classis: Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”