News Report of Classis West of the PRCA Meeting
September 28, 2022
Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met on September 28, 2022, in Doon PRC (Doon, IA), finishing its work by about 9:30 PM. The Doon congregation had opportunity to show off the new addition to their church building, and they did a fine job in hosting, including scrambling to make arrangements for the delegates during a town-wide power outage for several hours in the afternoon.
Rev. S. Key had the opportunity to lead Classis in opening devotions, which was fitting as this was his last meeting of Classis before emeritation, and he gave a humbling and encouraging meditation on Psalm 112:7: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.”
Delegated to Classis were 28 men (11 ministers and 17 elders), and they were joined by three synodical deputies from Classis East. Rev. M. Kortus chaired Classis for the first time in his ministry, and led the meeting capably.
The questions of Article 41 of the Church Order were asked and satisfactorily answered. Regular reports from the stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon library committee were read and their work approved.
One important item on the agenda was a request from Loveland PRC for the emeritation of their pastor, Rev. S. Key. Classis approved the request for emeritation effective January 1, 2023 (which received the concurrence of the three synodical deputies from Classis East), approved his financial support for 2023, and expressed thanksgiving to God for his 36 years of faithful service to our churches. Rev. Key has especially been used of God for the benefit of the churches in Classis West, having served as pastor in the Classis for 31 years, as stated clerk for six years, as a representative of the Classis to Synod 27 times, as church visitor for 19 years running, as a member of many special committees of the Classis, and as a humble and wise leader in the Classis. May God bless Rev. Key and his wife as they enter this new phase of life!
An individual submitted a protest to Classis of decisions taken by a previous meeting of Classis West which related to the refusal in September 2021 to seat delegates from the former consistory of First Edmonton PRC and to approve the labors of the church visitors with that congregation. Classis did not sustain the individual’s protest.
In closed session, Classis treated an appeal of an individual regarding the discipline work of a consistory. After careful deliberation, Classis did not sustain the appeal.
Classis made a schedule of pulpit supply for the vacant congregations of Doon (IA) PRC, Hosanna PRC (Edmonton), Randolph (WI) PRC, and the soon-to-be-vacant Loveland PRC. Due to the large number of vacancies and small number of active pastors, Classis decided to request assistance from Classis East in covering five 1 Sundays in the next six months.
Classis received a special request from a congregation for subsidy for 2023, and a special request from a congregation to increase subsidy for 2023. Both requests were approved. The expenses of this meeting totaled $8,853.17. Classis West will meet next in Lynden (WA) PRC on March 1, 2023, the Lord willing.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Stated Clerk, Classis West