January 11, 2017
Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church
Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at the Georgetown PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Present also were the synodical deputies from Classis West: Revs. S. Key, D. Kuiper, and N. Langerak. Rev. K. Koole was the chairman for this session.
The Classis dealt first with the request from Faith PRC to organize a new congregation in the Jenison area, which congregation will be known as Zion PRC. With thanks to God, the Classis approved this request and instructed Faith PRC to proceed with the organization of this congregation. The synodical deputies expressed concurrence with the decision of Classis.
Classis considered an appeal from a brother who protested a decision of his consistory to admit non-Protestant Reformed believers to its communion table. At issue was whether the consistory followed the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945 to admit such people to the communion table. (For future reference: The case was brought to Classis East in October 1945 and was put in the hands of a study committee that reported to the April 1946 Classis, which adjudicated the case and adopted the principles.) Classis East in 1945 decided that indeed non-Protestant Reformed believers could be admitted after the consistory was satisfied that those who requested admission reveal themselves as believers in their walk and conversation and are in good standing in their home churches. Further, it should be demonstrated that those asking permission do not have ready access to the table in their home churches. The brother contended that his consistory did not follow the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945; his consistory believed that they indeed had done so. Classis East decided not to sustain the appeal of this brother.
The report of the church visitors was received. The report indicated that the visitors found peace and unity in our churches.
Classis spent time, as is usual at the January meeting, in voting. The following delegates to Synod 2017 were elected: MINISTERS: Primi: W. Bruinsma, G. Eriks, C. Haak, C. Spronk, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: N. Decker, K. Koole, W. Langerak, R. Smit, A. Spriensma. ELDERS: Primi: Pete Adams, Gary Boverhof, Jim Lanting, Sid Miedema, John VanBaren; Secundi: Mike Bosveld, Dave Bouwkamp, Bruce Jabaay, Wes Koops, Joel Minderhoud.
In other voting, Revs. R. VanOverloop and R. Smit were elected to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates ad examina respectively. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed to another three-year term on the Classical Committee. Revs. J. Slopsema and C. Haak were elected as church visitors with Revs. G. Eriks and R. VanOverloop as alternates.
Classis also needed to replace its Stated Clerk and Assistant Stated Clerk. After forty-plus years serving as Stated Clerk, Jon Huisken notified Classis in September, 2016 that he would not be seeking another term. Gary Boverhof was elected to serve as his successor. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed as Assistant State Clerk. Classis expressed its thanks to J. Huisken for his service to Classis over these years and wished him Godspeed in the years ahead.
In other business, Classis approved the 2018 subsidy requests for Wingham PRC ($41,000—CDN) and Pittsburgh PRC ($99,000). Classical appointments were given to Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and to the new congregation, Zion PRC.
In closed session, Classis considered the request of a consistory for the erasure of a baptized member.
The expenses of Classis amounted to $1,698.65. Classis will meet next on May 10, 2017 at the Byron Center PRC.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk