Elizabeth Guillaume-Koene

About Me: 

I have been working in the classis level of church life for almost eight years. While attending Tyndale Seminary in Toronto in 2003 I began working half-time for Classis Toronto as their first Ministry Coordinator. I still work for them half-time but my life has changed significantly in the last seven plus years.

A few months before beginning with Classis Toronto I married David Koene. We are now the proud parents of two boys, Job 4 years old and David is two, and are looking forward to another addition this summer.

In the last seven years I also finished my MDiv at Tyndale and took the required courses for the EPMC program at Calvin Seminary.   I was called by Hope Fellowship this year and was ordained May 27, 2011.  Now I serve Classis Toronto as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament.

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"Talk" With You Later...

Over the past six months I've had the opportunity to blog, write articles, and find resources for this online Network about classis. It has been a wonderful way of processing the work that I have been a part of. I've enjoyed getting other's opinions, stories and thoughts about the subject. I've been encouraged and challenged 

Classis
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The World Cafe

I have been reading The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations that Matter. I was introduced to this book and this method of planning earlier this year. As I watched Synod last month, it struck me how different this method of planning and discussing an issue really is. I can't help wondering if there is a place for this 

Classis
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Reporting at Classis

At most classis meetings, CRC agencies and other ministries and organizations that are affiliated with the classis report in. Classis meetings are often seen as a good way of getting their information out to the churches. But is this type of reporting really the best way to get the information out? 

Classis
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Denominations - An Extended Family

We need denominations and yet they are flawed human creations. Bullard does not think that we can exist as churches without the denomination around us because “without them and without the ways they allow us to be people of faith together, we have no access to a God any larger than the God of our self.”

Classis
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Classis - An Extended Family

The local church's need for classes and the denomination is a bit like a believing family's need for a congregation. A believing family should not just be content with worshiping and studying together, they need a church to attend, a gathering of other believers where they can worship, study, learn and hold each other accountable together. The same is true for churches.

Classis
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Intentionally Diverse and Unified

Many of our churches are becoming more diverse so we think this will naturally flow to having a more diverse leadership in our churches and then more diversity in our classes and denomination. But it isn't happening naturally. It seems like if we are to become more diverse... we will need to become more

Classis
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Classical Exams

This examination is the last step in a long process of being declared a candidate. I wonder if it is a bit redundant. Before the classical exam the candidate has been through four years of theological education, been examined and approved by the faculty of the seminary, been examined and approved by the Synodical Candidacy Committee and been approved at Synod.

Classis
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Finding Balance in Classis

Is it right that congregations ask the question about classis: “What’s in it for us?” and then base their participation on the answer? Or should congregations be participating, not for what they can get out of classis, but for what they can contribute?

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Prayer at Classis

Usually church meetings begin and end with prayer but do not have a focus on prayer. Yet prayer is the way we communicate with God. Shouldn't our church meetings, even business meetings, incorporate prayer throughout the meeting?

Classis
  • How have we lost trust in each other?  Is it because we do not agree on certian issues?  How can regain trust in each other while still holding positions that are different?

  • As a leader in a classis I do long for more lay participation but not just in classical committees.  In Classis Toronto we do have a lot of lay participation in our committees - we try to have at...

  • Bev, I really appreciate your comments about prayer and discernment when looking for leaders.  I think too we need to be very prayerful and discerning about our plans and ways we set up to find...

  • Bill, I am very glad that you found a church home in the CRC and that you have found God in profound ways in “traditional” worship. I'm happy that the dutch culture and customs of the CRC have...

  • You are right, my point does need some clarification.  I did not mean to say that we don't use the Reformed accent  to find the missiologic purpose for the CRC.  I too love the Reformed tradition...

  • Perhaps that is one of the changes that needs to happen - that some things that now are provided at the denominational level be taken over locally.  I'm not sure what those things are but it might...

  • I think the primary purpose of the CRC is neither promote Calvin's teachings or numerical growth but to join God in God's mission to the world to bring redemmption and renewal to a world broken by...

  • Hi Bev,  you're right, we do need the Holy Spirit to guide us in who should be selected for leadership positions and when we listen to the Holy Spirit, pray and fast, God will show us who should...

  • Perhaps you are right Alejandro Pimentel - our standard ways of organizing people groups don't fit very well do they?  So maybe we need to say things differently - that our leadership and our...

  • To me this means that as a church we are a people of many different backgrounds and places in life (not just in colour and ethnicity but also in ability, age, jobs and maybe even more aspects of...