Church Government

Classis East

Classis East currently consists of 16 congregations and a total of 5,253 members (baptized and communicant). Classis East is a broader assembly of the PRC and meets three (3) times per year: the second Wednesdays of January, May, and September. The Classis is made up of two (2) delegates from each church, usually the pastor and an elder.

Report of Classis East Meeting - Sept./Oct. 2014

     

    Grandville smallReport of Classis East

    September 10, 2014 with a continued Session on October 15, 2014
    Grandville Protestant Reformed Church

    Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 with a continued session on October 15, 2014.  All the churches were represented by two delegates.  Rev. R. VanOverloop was the chairman for these sessions.

    What occasioned the continued session on October 15th was the decision of the September 10th session to place four protests against the decision of classis at its May, 2014 relative Article 67 of the Church Order.  At the May, 2014 meeting, an appeal of a consistory’s decision to change the date of its Prayer Day service was treated.  At the May meeting, classis upheld this appeal and decided that any change to the meeting date of the Prayer Day service should be sought by overture to the broader assemblies.  Four protests—three from consistories in Classis East and one from an individual in Classis West—were lodged at the September, 2014 meeting of classis against this decision.  Classis then placed these protests in the hands of a committee of pre-advise whose report was received at the continued session on October, 2014.

    Classis received the majority and minority reports of this committee of pre-advice at the October continued session.  Classis adopted the advice of the majority report, namely, that classis uphold the protests received and therefore rescind its decision of May, 2014 that a decision to change the date of the annual Prayer Day service should be sought by way of overture to the broader assemblies.  The grounds (summarized):

    1. 1)      The letter, spirit, and historical interpretation of Article 67 of the Church Order do not require the churches to celebrate Prayer Day together on a specific date.  Further, the consistory’s decision to change the date for its Prayer Day service does not constitute a substantial change to Article 67 of the Church Order
    2. 2)      The consistory’s decision to change the date for its Prayer Day service does not violate Article 86 of Church Order as the May decision asserts since, as stated in Ground 1 above, the decision of the consistory did not substantially change Article 67 of the Church Order.

    At its September session, Classis granted classical appointments to Faith PRC and First PRC.  At its October session, Classis granted a request from a consistory to increase censure to the second step for one of its members.

    The expenses of both sessions amounted to $366.24.  Classis will meet next on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the First PRC of Holland, MI.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

     

    Report on Classis East Meeting, May 14, 2014

      TrinPRC2012Classis East met for its next regularly scheduled session on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

      The Stated Clerk of Classis East submits his official public report of the meeting below. It is also attached here in pdf form.

      Report of Classis East

      May 14, 2014

      Trinity Protestant Reformed Church

      Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Trinity PRC, Hudsonville, MI.  Each church was represented by two delegates.  Rev. M. VanderWal was the chairman of this session.

      The main item of business for classis consisted in dealing with the report from its committee of pre-advice concerning an appeal from a brother concerning a consistory’s decision to change the date of the annual Prayer Day service.  The committee of pre-advice submitted a majority and a minority report.  The majority report prevailed as classis decided to sustain the appeal of the brother that the consistory’s decision to change the date of the annual Prayer Day service should be sought by way of overture to the broader assemblies.  The grounds given by the committee of pre-advice were adopted by the classis.  The grounds (summarized) were 1) The decision of the consistory is not merely a change in a practice that does not bind the other churches but rather is a substantial change from the letter, spirit, and historical interpretation of Article 67 of the Church Order which is that the churches celebrate Prayer Day together on the same date.  Evidence was given that historically this has been the case in the Netherlands and the United States.  2)  It is the way of wisdom, decency, and good order that any substantial change in the meaning, interpretation, and even established practice with regard to the church order, be done by the broader assemblies. 

      The consistory involved and any other churches that have made a change in the date of the Prayer Day service are being permitted to observe the 2015 Prayer Day service as they have decided.  This will give any consistory time to decide if they wish to appeal to or overture the broader assemblies on this issue.

      Classis granted classical appointments to Faith PRC and First PRC.  A discipline matter was considered in closed session.  Expenses for this session amounted to $311.85.

      Rev. James Slopsema was in attendance at his last meeting of classis as a delegate.

      Classis took note of this and expressed words of appreciation for his work in our churches and for his leadership on many issues that arose in the classis.

      Classis will meet next on September 10, 2014 at the Grandville PRC.

      Respectfully submitted,

      Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

       

      Report of Classis East Meeting Held Jan.8, 2014

        southeastClassis East met on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, in Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids.  The following is the Stated Clerk's public report of this meeting. It is also attached here in pdf form (see below). May the King of His Church bless these decisions for the good of the churches.

        Report of Classis East

        January 8, 2014

        Southeast Protestant Reformed Church

         

        Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Southeast PRC.  The churches, with the exception of Wingham, were represented by two delegates.  The Wingham delegation was unable to attend because of the weather.

         

        Classis did the usual January duty of elections.  The following were elected to serve as delegates to Synod 2014:  Ministers: Primi:  G. Eriks, C. Haak, K. Koole,

        W. Langerak, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: N. Decker, A denHartog, M. DeVries,

        J. Slopsema, A. Spriensma.  Elders: Primi: J. Decker, N. Kleyn, H. Langerak,

        G. VanBaren, P. VanDerSchaaf; Secundi: D. DeMeester, R. Drnek, R. Faber,

        M. Ophoff, D. Rau. 

         

        In other voting, Rev. R. VanOverloop and Rev. D. Holstege were elected as delegates ad examina to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates respectively. Revs. K. Koole and A. Spriensma were elected as church visitors with Revs. Haak and VanOverloop as alternates.  Rev. H. Bleyenberg was elected to serve a three-year term on the Classical Committee.  The Stated Clerk and Assistant Stated Clerk were appointed to another three-year term.

         

        Classis heard an appeal from a brother about the change of date of the Prayer Day Service by a consistory.  Classis referred this matter back to the committee of pre-advice with the instruction to do further research on and to establish relevancy for the past rulings of broader assemblies on this issue.

         

        In other business, classis heard the report of the church visitors.  The visitors reported that the consistories were doing diligent work and that there was peace and unity among the churches.  Classis granted classical appointments to Faith PRC.  The 2015 subsidy requests from Wingham PRC and Kalamazoo PRC were approved and will be forwarded to Synod 2014 for approval there.

         

        Classis received a request from Rev. James Slopsema for his emeritation effective July 1, 2014.  First PRC concurred with this request.  Classis expressed its heartfelt thanks for Rev. Slopsema who has served as a capable and dedicated undersheperd in our churches for 39 years, 27 of which have been in Classis East.   

         

        The expenses of classis amounted to $147.49.  Classis will meet next on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Trinity PRC.

         

        Respectfully submitted,

        Jon J. Huisken

        Stated Clerk

        Classis East Meeting - Byron Center (MI) PRC

          byroncentrePRCClassis East is meeting today for its regular session in the Grand Rapids area at Byron Center PRC. The agenda is light. Rev.James Slopsema, pastor of First PRC, Grand Rapids, will lead the meeting according to the scheduled rotation. May the Lord bless this church work of our pastors and elders and the decisions reached for the good of the churches.

          The stated clerk's public report is also now available (see below). It is also attached as a pdf.

           

          Report of Classis East

          September 11, 2013

          Byron Center PRC

           

          Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at the Byron Center PRC.  Each church was represented by two delegates.  Rev. J. Slopsema was the chairman for this session.

           

          The business was routine and classis was finished early.  As the chairman noted, this is a sign that the churches have peace and unity in their midst. 

           

          Classical appointments were given to Faith PRC.  There were no expenses for this session.

           

          Classis will meet next on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at Southeast PRC.

           

          Respectfully submitted,

          Jon J. Huisken

          Stated Clerk

          Classis East meeting May 8, 2013

            Classis East met this past Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at Faith PRC. The agenda was light and the men completed their work in short order. Rev.D.Overway (Hope PRC) chaired the meeting. A classical appointment schedule for Faith PRC was approved. The September classis is to meet at Byron Center PRC. 

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