Update on the meeting of the Executive Board of Lighthouse Community Church and the Executive Committee of the Zeeland Classis, RCA, Monday, April 23rd, 2012:
1) As stated in the letter given to the congregation on Sunday, April 22nd, the leadership of Lighthouse communicated to the Zeeland Classis that they “demit,” or resign their offices as Elders and Deacons of any RCA congregation …
The Executive Committee of Classis agreed to recommend to the Classis that the “demission” (resignation) of Pastor Steve and the Elders and Deacons from any RCA congregation be accepted by the members of the Zeeland Classis at their meeting on Thursday, April 26th, and that the “trial” which was going to take place based on their charges that Consistory disobeyed Classis and violated the Book of Church order be cancelled.
What does that mean? Pastor Steve and the Elders and Deacons continue as the leadership of Lighthouse Community Church and Classis acknowledges that they are no longer part of the RCA. The Classis will then appoint a “new Consistory” for what they consider to be a continuing RCA congregation. The continuing RCA congregation would be made up of anyone who does not intend to continue as part of Lighthouse Community Church. (See below, #2 explanation)
2) The Executive Committee of the Zeeland Classis agreed that we will keep our name and should there be a new congregation in the building now occupied by us, they would not use our name. We will continue as Lighthouse Community Church and as a non-denominational congregation.
Your leadership will be filing new articles of incorporation today (Tuesday, April 24th) as Lighthouse Community Church of Allendale, Non-Denominational. At some time in the near future we will ask all confessing members to sign a document expressing their desire to be members of Lighthouse Community Church Non-Denominational. At that time those names will be removed from the membership role of the RCA. (This is an exciting time as we move forward to proclaim God’s truth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a non-denominational congregation. We have also been approved as members of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.)
3) At its meeting on Thursday, April 26th, the entire body of the Zeeland Classis will vote on a request from Lighthouse Community Church that the Zeeland Classis relinquish its claims on the property of Lighthouse Community Church, thus allowing the ministry of the body to continue from its present location, with its current leadership, as a non-denominational congregation.
The Zeeland Classis Executive Committee agreed to put this before the Classis for a vote. It should be understood that if the members of the Zeeland Classis vote “No” to this request, the property would become the possession of the Zeeland Classis and of the “new Consistory” and the continuing congregation of the RCA.
Should the Zeeland Classis approve our request we would remain at our current location. However, should they deny our request, your Executive Board has agreed to offer a negotiated settlement of our current mortgage, plus $100,000, to the Zeeland Classis. This may or may not be voted upon Thursday evening, should our previous request be denied. It is the desire of your leadership to continue to honor Christ and to glorify God in all we do. Realizing that from the perspective of the Zeeland Classis and some of you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, we have previous commitments concerning past dues, we felt making such an offer was in keeping with our desire to honor Christ, to glorify God and to advance His kingdom.
4) If the Zeeland Classis votes on Thursday to deny our request and does not vote to accept our offer concerning the property, the Executive Committee of Classis agreed to the following:
- we will be allowed to stay in our current location through June 30th, providing we continue to pay the expenses, including the current mortgage payments, as “lease payments” while we make all the necessary preparations to leave the property and to establish a new base of operations for the congregation
- should we desire to remain one more month, until July 31st, we have the option to do so with the same arrangements, providing we inform the “new Consistory” of our desire no later than May 31st.
- the “new Consistory” would approve all reasonable requests to remove items that have been donated from the property prior to our leaving
- the church van and trailer would remain in the possession of Lighthouse Community Church
- the name of Lindsay Bakale will remain on the Prayer Chapel
5) Because we will now be incorporated as Lighthouse Community Church Non-Denominational, all offerings and funds received from this point on will belong to Lighthouse Community Church. This will be completed by Thursday, April 26th. All tithes and offerings, donations and gifts, designated offerings, etc., may still be made out to Lighthouse Community Church and will go into a new account for Lighthouse Community Church Non-Denominational.
From III John, verses 4, 6b-8: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. … You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out … We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.”
The Executive Board of Lighthouse Community Church, Non-Denominational
God is at work in the midst of all that is going on around us and in our world. Jesus is seated on His throne at the right hand of the Father, and the angels are worshiping, "Holy! Holy! Holy!" It is our privilege to join them!
There is ONE true body of Christ, and all who believe are part of that body, whether they exist in congregations of the RCA, in non-denominational congregations like ours, or in other denominations. God calls each of us to be faithful to His Word, and His Spirit unites us in the truth that God has revealed: "One body and one Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (believers)" - Ephesians 4:4-6.
It is important that we express this oneness (that for which Jesus prayed in John 17:20-26), and that we in the "organized church" express this oneness not through some mere organizational unity, but in our stand upon the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is good news because it is the "power of God unto salvation" to all who believe. May God give us enthusiasm and zeal for the work of sowing the seed and reaping the harvest until Jesus returns to gather His Church!!