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Report on Classis East Meeting - May 13, 2015

HudsonvillePRC pic

Classis East met on Wednesday, May 13, at Hudsonville PRC. What follows is the public report of this meeting by the Stated Clerk of Classis East.

Report of Classis East

May 13, 2015

Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Hudsonville PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. N. Decker was the chairman for this session. Rev. R. Smit attended Classis East for the first time.

A notice of an appeal to Synod 2015 was given by a brother whose protest against a decision of Classis East in January, 2015 regarding the scheduling of Prayer Day services was not sustained.

The other business was routine. There were no requests for classical appointments since all the churches in Classis East now have pastors. There were no expenses incurred.

Classis will meet next on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at the Byron Center PRC.

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

Classis West Meeting March 4 in Doon PRC (Stated Clerk Report Now Added)

DoonPRCPicThe next regular meeting of Classis West is set for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at the Doon PRC in Doon, IA.

The agenda looks to be light. At this meeting Classis will be voting for its synodical delegates, functionaries, and committee members.

Pray that the men may be given traveling mercies as they make their way to NW Iowa and that these delegates may be given wisdom for the work the King of the church, Jesus Christ, has in store for them.

UPDATE: Below you may now find the Stated Clerk's public report of this meeting (also attached in pdf form):

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches

Rev. Douglas J. Kuiper, Stated Clerk
321 Maple St W, PO Box 212, Edgerton, MN 56128
Phone: (507) 442-4441
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Report of Meeting of Classis West
March 4, 2015

On March 4, 2015, the thirty delegates to Classis West met in the Doon, IA PRC. The day dawned sunny, clear, cold, and windy - a typical winter morning on the eastern edge of the plains. Inside, the delegates enjoyed warm fellowship.

Rev. Erik Guichelaar opened the session by reading 1 Timothy 4:11-16, and giving a meditation on verse 16. The young pastor reminded the delegates of the need both to be diligent in our labors, and to be personal examples of godliness, assuring us from God’s Word that in this way we will enjoy God’s blessing on us personally and on our congregations. After devotions, Rev. R. Hanko took the chair and capably led the Classis through its work.

For the most part, this was a routine spring meeting. Classis approved the labors of its stated clerk, classical committee, church visitors, and reading sermon committee. It provided Peace PRC with classical appointments. Classis approved Edgerton’s request for subsidy for 2015, and approved subsidy requests for six churches for 2016. Since 1999, Edgerton has been able to subsidize its own General Fund by drawing annually from the interest and principal of a sizeable bequest. Edgerton informed Classis that, because the bequest could be completely gone in about 5 years, Edgerton thought it prudent to subsidize its General Fund partly from that bequest fund, and partly from denominational subsidy - which Classis granted. All subsidy requests will now be forwarded to Synod 2015 for final approval or disapproval.

Voting for various functionaries and synodical delegates is always on the agenda of the spring meeting. Classis appointed Rev. J. Laning to a three year term on the classical committee. It chose Revs. S. Key, R. Kleyn, D. Kuiper, and J. Laning as church visitors for the next year, with Revs. A. Brummel and D. Lee as alternates. It brings to Synod the recommendation to approve Rev. D. Kuiper for a three year term as primus synodical deputy, and Rev. J. Laning for a three year term as secundus. It delegated to synod Revs. Brummel, Key, Kleyn, Kuiper, and Laning, and elders Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Chester Hunter (Edgerton), Alan Meurer (Bethel), Jack Lenting (Crete), and Jack Regnerus (Randolph). Alternate delegates are Revs. Griess, Huizinga, Langerak, Lee, and Marcus, and elders Jim Andringa (Hull), Glenn Feenstra (Hope), Jim Hoogendoorn (Doon), Victor Solanyk (Loveland), and Steve Van Drunen (Crete).

Classis dealt with two non-routine matters.

First, Peace PRC informed Classis that its congregation has authorized its council to investigate buying property or existing buildings south of its current location, “most likely in Indiana.” Recognizing that the Illinois/Indiana border is the designated boundary line between Classis East and Classis West, Peace asked Classis to bring to Synod its request to be permitted to remain in Classis West, should Peace move across the classical boundary into Indiana. Classis forwarded this request to Synod, with its approval.

Second, the stated clerk informed Classis that he was nearly finished preparing an index of the decisions of Classis West, and desired advice from Classis regarding the printing, distributing, and updating of this index. Classis decided to permit every consistory in the denomination to receive a printed copy, and every minister in the denomination to receive a printed and/or electronic copy of this index. Because the index contains publicly known information, Classis faced the question whether to make the printed version available to any member of the denomination who requests it. Classis decided instead that members of the congregations may ask their consistory to use their copy, as the consistory is in a better position to judge why the member desires to use it. The stated clerk was then instructed to update and redistribute the electronic version of this index every year, and the printed version every ten years. However, every year the stated clerk must send those who receive the printed version a looseleaf sheet of cumulative updates.

Glancing through the minutes, I see that consistories have asked for advice regarding erasure or increase of censure at 7 of the last 11 meetings. This meeting was one of those four at which no consistories sought such advice.

The expenses of this meeting totaled $8029.82.

Classis is scheduled to meet next on September 30 in Edgerton, MN.

Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

Classis East Meeting in Holland January 14 - Update: Report Now Available

Holland

Classis East meets this coming Wednesday, Jan. 14, at First PRC in Holland, MI.

The main items of business are a protest against Classis' decision in October to allow congregations freedom to change their Prayer Day service from the traditional date, and choosing delegates for Synod 2015. At this meeting Classis also selects its church visitors and various standing committees.

Pray that the delegates may be given wisdom to treat the matters before Classis, for the good of the churches and for the glory of Christ, the Head of the church.

Update: The following is the official public report of the Stated Clerk of Classis East on this meeting (Jon Huisken) - also attached here in pdf form:

Report of Classis East

January 14, 2015

First Holland Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, MI. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. Heath Bleyenberg served as chair for this session.

Classis received a protest from a brother against its decision taken at its September/October, 2014 session regarding the scheduling of Prayer Day services. The protestant argued that the way to make this change in the date for Prayer Day services would be through overture. Classis did not sustain this protest. The grounds given by classis (summarized): 1) Classis East’s decision did not make allowance for an individual consistory to determine for itself matters of the Church Order or that which belongs to the churches in common. Classis allowed only the change of the date of the service, not the elimination of the day. 2) The protest erroneously assumes that all common practices are of the same importance and therefore must be changed only by overture. 3) The protest is based on a fear that the change of the date on which Prayer Day is observed will lead to other changes. This fear is not a legitimate conclusion. 4) The protest claims that the decision of classis would establish precedent that would prove destructive to denominational unity. The protest, however, does not prove this point. 5) The protest does not respond to nor interact with any of the grounds classis gave for its decision.

Classis elected the following to serve as delegates to Synod 2015: MINISTERS:

Primi: G. Eriks, C. Haak, K. Koole, W. Langerak, R. VanOverloop; Secundi:

N. Decker, M. DeVries, D. Holstege, A. Spriensma, C. Spronk. ELDERS: Primi:

R. Drnek, D. Kregel, Gerald Kuiper, S. Miedema, H. Pastoor; Secundi: Brad Dykstra, J. Engelsma, Steve Kuiper, H. Langerak, J. Warner.

In other voting Rev. A. denHartog and Rev. M. DeVries were elected to serve three-year terms as primus and secundus terms respectively. Rev. W. Langerak was apponted to serve a three-year term on the Classical Committee, and Revs. Haak and Van Overloop were chosen as church visitors; Revs. Koole and DeVries will serve as alternates.

The church visitors reported that they found a spirit of peace and unity in the churches.

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

 

Pastor-elect Josh Engelsma Sustains Classis West Exam

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Pastor-elect Joshua Engelsma was examined by the delegates of Classis West meeting in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL. Part of the exam included preaching a specimen sermon before the delegates of Classis and the congregation of Peace PRC at a special worship service the evening before, held in Crete PRC.

Following a thorough examination in all areas of theology and practical theology (pastoral care), pastor-elect J.Engelsma was unanimously approved for ordination as a minister of the Word and sacraments in the PRCA. Doon PRC's Council, from whom Josh had received his call into the ministry, was instructed to proceed with his ordination and installation into the ministry.

This is planned for Friday evening, Oct.3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Doon PRC with Prof. David Engelsma conducting the service. Pastor-elect Engelsma's inaugural sermon will take place on Sunday, Oct.5, during the evening service (6:00 p.m.).

The picture below is of Pastor-elect J.Engelsma and his wife Courtney, as he receives his Classical diploma from the president of Classis, Rev.Erik Guichelaar (compliments of Rev.R.Van Overloop, one of the delegates ad examina representing Classis East).

Josh  Courtney E -ClWest - Sept2014-2

We give thanks to Jesus Christ, the King of the church, for giving pastor-elect J.Engelsma the grace to sustain his exam before Classis, and for providing us as churches with another herald of the gospel. May He now give him additional grace to enter into the ministry and to fulfill its glorious labors in faithfulness to the charge given him. Let us pray for this brother as he prepares to take up his labors.

*Note: For a full report of the meeting of Classis West and the Officebearers' Conference, see the pdf attached to this post.

Classis West Officebearers' Conference - Sept.23, 2014

The special committee of Classis West announces that a special Officebearers' Conference on preaching will be held September 23, 2014 in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL, the day before the next meeting of Classis West (See note below about links to the audio versions of these speeches.)

The public is invited, but especially area officebearers - elders, deacons, and pastors are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided. Please contact the church or Rev.C.Spronk for more information.

The special flyer prepared for this event is posted below, as well as a pdf version of it for your own publication and posting.

OBConf-Preaching-CLWest-Sept2014 Page 1

*Note: The four speeches of this conference are now available in audio form on Peace PRC's Sermonaudio page. The links are provided here:

  1. Developing Your Preaching Beyond Seminary - Missionary-pastor W.Bruinsma
  2. The Important Place of Application in Reformed Preaching - Prof.B.Gritters
  3. The Art of Making Christ-Centered Sermons, with Biblical Illustrations - Prof.R.Dykstra
  4. The Elders' Supervision of the Preaching - Prof.R.Cammenga
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