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As John has already said, I'd suggest asking your classical clerk or treasurer.  I am not sure how this works in the US, but in Canada corporations are required to file information annually.  For that reason the person who takes care of your records should know whether your classis has been incorporated.   


The models I have seen take the form of covenants.  I have seen one called Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love with the name of the Regional Synod of the RCA attached to it.  However, I do not know whether it is still available.  Another with the same title is available on the Mennonite Church of Canada website.


The questions John and Jeff ask about the authority, the roles and relationship of the offices of elder and deacon are no doubt questions that will be debated when the Diakonia Remixed report is discussed at synod.  However, I would also like to hear from classes that have seated deacons as regular delegates (not in the place of an elder when and elder is unable to attend).  I believe some classes have experimented with this either by inviting deacons to a special meeting of classis, by inviting a certain number of churches to send diaconal delegates, or by having a member of the classical diaconal committee sit in as an advisor.  How have these experiments been received and what have you learned from them? 

Thank you for this Keith.
I am not confident that having a bishop would address the flood of article 17s. As John points out, denominations that have bishops have their own problems, and I doubt that having a bishop would address all the reasons we see an increase in article 17 separations.  For an analysis of this trend, see Peter Schuurman’s Christian Courier article “Fractured Flocks: A Leadership Crisis in the CRC?”

I do agree, however, that we need some more sustained and long term measures than those available to us now.  Too often when a classis has processed an article 17 separation, we do a lot of hand wringing and say that we ought to do something.  Then our attention shifts to other concerns and we fail to notice that the next sad story is already being written. 

Thank you for your 'welcomes'.  It is encouraging to hear from each of you.  

Especially when I wonder whether classis renewal has lost mometum, it is good to hear from those classes that have had positive experiences.  I really like the three clear values from classis Hamilton.

Ben raises very good questions when he says that classis suffers from a lack of interest and offers good suggestions for improved communication. I hope to follow up on these in the future.  Thanks again. 

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