Two debuts characterized the March 5, 2014 meeting of Classis West. Rev. Cory Griess served as president for his first time, proving himself capable in leading the broader assembly in its work. And Heritage PRC of Sioux Falls, SD joined the list of churches that have hosted meetings of Classis West. Capably, graciously, with smiles, Heritage’s women put on a fine lunch. I shouldn’t be surprised if Classis accepts another invite to meet there some year.
In September 1969, Classis West decided not only that its opening devotions should include Scripture reading and prayer, but also that its devotions should last approximately 30 minutes, and include “a brief exegesis of an appropriate Scripture passage…offered by the president of the preceding Classis.” In part, the purpose of this was that “a spiritual attitude will be established, the light of the Word of God will be before our minds, and brotherhood will be fostered.”
In charge of the opening devotions at this meeting was Rev. Allen Brummel. Addressing Classis from II Timothy 2:1-7, with the theme Perseverance in the Ministry, Rev. Brummel reminded us that the endurance and patience of the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer in their work are examples to the minister in his work. The purpose that the overture of September 1969 envisioned was again fulfilled.
The classical committee, reading sermon library committee, and stated clerk reported on their labors. So did the church visitors for the previous year, who reported that “with thankfulness to God we have been able once again to witness God’s work and faithfulness in the churches of Classis West. We found ‘unity, peace, and love’ prevailing in our congregations, and the ministers, elders, and deacons faithfully carrying out the duties of their offices.”
The saddest part of the otherwise enjoyable meeting was the treating (in closed session) of the request of two consistories for advice in discipline matters. Lest any who have never attended Classis think that Classis simply “rubber stamps” the decisions of consistories regarding discipline, bear in mind that the deliberation on these two matters took the better part of an hour, during which time the delegates heard full reports from those consistories on their labors with these individuals and asked numerous questions of the delegates from these consistories. In the end, convinced that the members were worthy of church discipline, and that the consistories had done their work thoroughly, Classis advised both consistories to proceed with discipline.
Classis provided classical appointments to Doon PRC, the only vacant church in the classis, for the next six months.
Seven of the fifteen churches in Classis West have fewer than 30 families. Of these seven churches, five requested subsidy for 2015. Classis approved these requests, totaling $240,900, and forwarded them to Synod for its approval. Committing itself to be self-supporting for 2015, Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB, did not submit a subsidy request.
Bethel PRC asked for $10,000 more in subsidy for 2014 than last year’s Synod had approved. Convinced by Bethel’s reasons for asking for additional subsidy, Classis approved this request and forwards it to the synodical finance committee for its approval.
Voting for various officers and functionaries is always part of the agenda of the spring meeting.
Classis appointed Rev. C. Griess to a three-year term the classical committee, reappointed Rev. D. Kuiper and Rev. J. Marcus to three-year terms as classical stated clerk and assistant stated clerk, and appointed Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and D. Kuiper to be church visitors for the next year.
Assisting these church visitors, if needed, will be Revs. J. Laning and J. Marcus. Rev. S. Key was appointed to a three-year term as primus synodical deputy, and Rev. N. Langerak to a three-year term as secundus synodical deputy. The work of the synodical deputies is to attend meetings of Classis East, when Classis East treats matters requiring synodical approval.
Delegated to synod were the following ministers: Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, D. Kuiper, J. Laning, and C. Spronk. Alternate minister delegates are Revs. C. Griess, R. Kleyn, N. Langerak, D. Lee, and J. Marcus.
Elder delegates are Alvin Bylsma (Calvary), Jack Lenting (Crete), Jim Regnerus (Doon), Don Terpstra (Peace), and Leon Uittenbogaard (Calvary). Their alternates are elders Jim Andringa (Hull), Lou Regnerus (Randolph), Dewey VanDerNoord (Crete), Steve VanDrunen (Crete), and Bob Vermeer (Peace).
The expenses of Classis totaled $7,287.46.
Classis will meet next on September 24, 2014, at Peace PRC of Lansing, IL.
Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk