Classis West met on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, in Hull, IA PRC.
Rev. Nathan Langerak (Crete PRC) served as chair, and Rev. John Marcus (First, Edmonton PRC) as clerk.
The newly appointed Stated Clerk of Classis West, Rev. Josh Engelsma, has now completed his first official public report, which now follows, along with some pictures sent in from various observers.
Report of Classis West
While Classis West did not officially convene until Wednesday, September 27, two noteworthy events took place the day before.
First, an officebearers' conference was held in Hull PRC. In connection with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the conference was entitled "The Five Solas and How They Matter for the Ministry." Rev. C. Griess spoke on "Scripture Alone," Rev. A. Brummel on "Faith Alone," Rev. E. Guichelaar on "Grace Alone," Rev. R. Barnhill on "Christ Alone," and Rev. B. Huizinga on "God's Glory Alone." The speeches were a great encouragement to all assembled. If you weren't able to attend the conference but would like to hear the speeches, go to Covenant of Grace PRC's page on sermonaudio.com
Second, on Tuesday night the delegates of Classis assembled with the congregation of Hull PRC to hear the specimen sermon of Pastor-elect Matthew De Boer, who had accepted the call to serve as pastor of Edgerton PRC. Mr. De Boer preached on Psalm 91:1-2 and gave evidence of his abilities to feed God's sheep.
The following morning Classis convened to hear the oral examination of Mr. De Boer. He was examined in the six sections of Reformed doctrine, knowledge of Scripture, knowledge of the confessions, controversy, and practica. Classis West, with the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, unanimously approved his examination and advised Edgerton PRC to ordain him to the ministry. Edgerton intends to do this at a special worship service on September 29.
Classis also approved the request of Lynden PRC for the emeritation of her pastor, Rev. Ron Hanko. His emeritation will be effective on October 15, and he and his wife plan to move to Spokane, WA to be closer to their son, Neal. Classis expressed its deep appreciation to Rev. Hanko for his 38 years of faithful service in our churches and on the mission field.
In other matters, Classis advised a consistory to increase the censure on an impenitent member. Increased subsidy for one of our churches was approved. The following schedule of classical appointments for Immanuel (Lacombe) PRC was approved: Nov. 5 and 12 – Rev. Brummel; Nov. 19 and 26 – Rev. De Boer; Dec. 3 and 10 – Rev. Griess; Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 7 – Rev. Engelsma; Jan. 21 and 28 – Rev. Langerak; Feb. 11 and 18 – Rev. Key; March 4 and 11 – Rev. Huizinga; March 18 and 25 – Rev. Guichelaar.
With his accepting of the call to serve as professor in our seminary, Rev. Doug Kuiper tendered his resignation as stated clerk of Classis West, a service he has performed for almost 10 years. Rev. Joshua Engelsma was appointed to replace him.
The expenses of Classis totaled $8,433.31. The next regular meeting of Classis is scheduled for March 7, 2018 in Loveland PRC.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Stated Clerk, Classis West
The highlight of the day was the examination of Pastor-elect Matt DeBoer (Edgerton, MN PRC). After careful examination in all branches of theology and the main subjects of practical theology (cf. picture above).
Classis West voted unanimously to approve the brother for ordination into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, and informed the Council of Edgerton PRC that she may proceed to his ordination and installation. That will take place Friday evening, Sept.29, at 7 pm (CT) in Edgerton PRC.
We rejoice with Pastor-elect DeBoer and his wife and their families and thank God for His sustaining grace evident during the examination.
Pastor-elect Matt De Boer (with wife Kelsey) receiving his classical diploma from Rev. N. Langerak
Some of the (young) audience in attendance at Classis (local Christian school children).
On Tuesday, Sept.26 an Officebearers' Conference on the Five Solas of the Reformation was held, also in Hull PRC (cf. flyer below). If you would like to listen to the speeches on each of the solas, visit this special Sermonaudio link.