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 (Randolph PRC) opened the session by reading, 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 (Lynden PRC) 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 five 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 VanDrunen (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, since 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 loose-leaf sheet of cumulative updates.
Glancing through the minutes, I see that consistories have asked for advice regarding erasure or increase of censure at seven of the last eleven meetings. This meeting was one of those four at which no consistories sought such advice.
The expenses of this meeting totaled $8,029.82.
Classis is scheduled to meet next on September 30 in Edgerton, MN.
Rev. Douglas Kuiper,