Classis East of the Protestant Reformed Churches Update
Classis East convened Wednesday morning, September 13, 2023 at Trinity Protestant Reformed Church. Rev. M. McGeown opened with prayer and read the names of the thirty-eight delegates from the nineteen member churches. After the roll call, Rev. David Noorman assumed the position as chairman of the meeting (photo below).
Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma (photos below with his wife Mary) submitted a request to classis for emeritation (retirement) to be effective January 1, 2024. Classis approved his request and by motion expressed its heartfelt thanks to Rev. Bruinsma (and his wife Mary) for making faithful use of his God-given talents for almost 45 years as pastor and missionary. Classis sang the doxology and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for the work of Rev. Bruinsma led by Rev. Eriks. We pray that God will bless Rev. and Mary Bruinsma in their remaining months in the active ministry and that He will continue to use them for service in the church in new ways in the years to come.
Classis adopted a pulpit supply schedule for three vacant congregations: Georgetown, Hudsonville, and Zion PRCs.
Classis treated an appeal Mr. Pete VanderSchaaf and declared it legal. Therefore this appeal is now available for non-officebearers to read. For more information login to prca.org and navigate to the bulletin page where you will find a folder for Classis East. When you open the Classis East folder you should be able to open the appeal under the name “Appeal of Pete VDS Sept 2023.” Due to the complexity of this case, Classis East decided to give the committee of pre-advice a month to prepare its advice. Classis will reconvene October 25 to consider the appeal. We pray for God’s blessing on the committee in their work.
Some of the work of classis was treated in closed session.
- Two consistories came to classis asking for advice regarding the discipline of impenitent members of their congregations. The consistories reported to the classis on their work with the individuals who are walking in sin. After taking time to ask the consistories follow-up questions about their work, classis advised each consistory to proceed in their discipline of these members. May God use their work for the recovery of these members.
- Classis heard and deliberated on a report of a Special Committee to assist a consistory with a sensitive matter.
- Classis deliberated on the legality of an appeal in closed session. Classis declared the appeal illegal and provided the appellant with advice on how to move forward with the case.
At around 5:00pm classis approved a motion to “recess until October 25.” Rev. Noorman read Hebrews 13:20-21 and closed the session with prayer.
In Christ’s service,
Rev. C. Spronk, Stated Clerk
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Report of the continued session of October 25, 2023
Classis East reconvened on Wednesday, October 25, with the 38 delegates meeting at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Rev. Noorman continued to lead the meeting as chairman.
Classis East heard reports from two committees (a special committee to help a consistory with an abuse case, and the Classical Committee). The main work of the classis was to treat an appeal that contended that a consistory erred in judgments made about the writings of one of our ministers. One of the decisions of classis requires that the consistory involved give information to its congregation. To give the consistory some time to receive and respond to the decisions of Classis East, the Stated Clerk of Classis East plans to wait awhile before publishing the information publicly. When it is time to make the information available, it will be published at prca.org.
The expenses of the meeting totaled $4,891.36.
Classis East plans to meet again on January 10, 2024 at Hope PRC in Walker, MI.
At around 2:00pm classis adjourned and Rev. Noorman closed the meeting with prayer.
For the public minutes, click on this link.