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-advice 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):
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.
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.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk