Before I start, let me define the term: “Classis” is for us what our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters would call a “diocese”. Except, we don’t have a cathedral and a bishop at its center, just delegates to an assembly from all congregations of the area. “Classis” is a Latin word and means “fleet” and carries a connotation of equality among congregations. The plural is “classes”. Our Classis is the Classis of New Brunswick. It consists of congregations in Central and South Jersey and one church in Maryland.
With this behind us, let me share with you what joy it is when we see a body like our Classis not becoming older but, actually, younger. There are three stated meetings per year, and the one on January 25 at Second Reformed Church in New Brunswick provided good testimony to this trend. During lunch, there was even an opportunity of recognizing young emerging church leaders from many of our congregations.
That day, there were a total of eleven young people. Each received a plaque, while the corresponding pastor introduced the honoree to the assembly.
Our Consistory here at First Reformed Church had nominated Ben Berman to receive this honor. Ben does much more than serving as music director on Sunday morning. He leads the Interfaith Rainbow Choir, is part of the Interfaith Coexistence Project, has a stake in our adult education program, and is one of our Dutch Dancers. Through all this he has become part of a growing group of young church leaders who represent the church of the next generation.