Meeting March 3-4, 2021
Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met for two full days on March 3-4, 2021, in Peace PRC (Dyer, IN). The meeting was chaired by Rev. Joshua Engelsma (pastor of Doon PRC), who was serving in this capacity for the first time in his ministry.
Twenty-six delegates from thirteen churches were physically present. The delegates from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) and First PRC (Edmonton, AB) were not able physically to attend the meeting due to the restrictions of the Canadian government with respect to COVID-19. Classis granted the request of these delegates to be seated and to participate virtually.
Routine reports from the stated clerk, the Classical Committee, and the Reading Sermon Library Committee were read and approved. The church visitors reported on their labors over the last year and the presence of peace, unity, and love prevailing in the churches.
On the agenda was a request from the consistory of Bethel PRC for classis to concur with its decision to disband, a decision based on her declining membership. With sadness, classis concurred and extended a word of commendation to the saints in Bethel, and to her present and former officebearers, for the labors so faithfully extended in the spread of the gospel over the past 32 years. Classis also thankfully acknowledged Bethel’s continuing heart for and gift to the denomination in her decision to forward her remaining assets to Synod. Bethel plans officially to disband at the end of June 2021.
In light of its decision to disband, Bethel also brought a request for her pastor, Rev. Dennis Lee, to be declared temporarily emeritus effective after the disbanding of the congregation, unless he should receive and accept a call to another congregation in that time. Classis approved the request, and will forward it to Synod 2021 for its approval. Classis also had before it one appeal. An individual had raised objections to a sermon preached in his congregation, but his consistory did not sustain his objections. After careful deliberation of the appeal, classis did not sustain the individual.
Classis also treated two protests. The first protest, which was treated in open session, was a protest of the decision of classis in September 2020 to declare the individual’s appeal not legally before it. Classis did not sustain the protest and, therefore, sustained its previous decision to declare the original appeal not legally before it.
The second protest was treated in closed session. This was a protest of the decision of classis in September 2020 to declare a different appeal not legally before it. Classis did not sustain the protest and, therefore, sustained its previous decision to declare the original appeal not legally before it.
Classis also approved a request for another year’s financial support of a minister released under Article 11 of the Church Order.
Classis approved the subsidy requests for 2022 for two churches and forwarded them on to synod for its approval.
Classis also voted for various classical functionaries. Rev. J. Laning was reappointed to a three-year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. R. Barnhill was reappointed to a three-year term as a primus synodical deputy, and Rev. J. Laning was reappointed to a three-year term as a secundus synodical deputy. Classis appointed Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning as church visitors for the coming year, with Revs. J. Engelsma and R. Hanko as alternates.
Ministers delegated to Synod 2021 are Revs. A. Brummel, J. Engelsma, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning. Their alternates are Revs. R. Barnhill, E. Guichelaar, M. Kortus, D. Lee, and S. Regnerus. Elders delegated to Synod 2021 are Keith Bruinsma (Peace), David Poortinga (Loveland), Jack Regnerus (Randolph), Don Terpstra (Peace), and Ed Van Egdom (Heritage). Their alternates are Kevin Brummel (Crete), Jonathan den- Hartog (Redlands), Marlin Feenstra (Redlands), Victor Solanyk (Loveland), and Steve VanDrunen (Crete).
The expenses of this meeting totaled $7,048.47.
Classis will meet next in Crete PRC on September 29, 2021, the Lord willing.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Stated Clerk, Classis West