Report of Classis East meeting in regular session on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 and in continued session on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at the Southwest Protestant Reformed Church.
Classis East met in regular session on September 13, 2006 at the Southwest PRC. All churches were represented by two delegates. Also present were the delegates ad examina from Classis West because of the examination of Pastor-elect Andrew Lanning.
There were two main issues before the classis at this meeting: 1) the peremptoir examination of Pastor-elect Andrew Lanning, who had accepted the call from our Faith PRC, and 2) the consideration of the instruction of Synod 2006 to encourage our Covenant PRC to disband.
Pastor-elect Lanning successfully sustained his classical examination and, by this date, has been ordained and installed as a minister of the Word and sacraments at the Faith PRC. Classis expressed its gratitude to God for providing another pastor for a congregation that has been vacant for some time.
The second issue could not be resolved by this session of classis. Classis appointed a committee of pre-advice to guide them in their work, but no consensus was reached as to the direction the classis should take. Classis therefore asked this committee of pre-advice to continue its work and report at a continued session of classis to be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.
At this continued session on October 10th, the committee submitted its advice (twice, because it was resubmitted). Classis eventually took a decision to send a committee to help Covenant understand that they have come to a point that it is wise for them to disband. Thus a new committee was formed to assist Covenant’s consistory, should they decide to disband. Classis also adopted a resolution that, should Covenant decide to disband, the remaining families and members be encouraged to join one of our existing Protestant Reformed congregations.
This was not an easy decision for the classis to take. Decisions were taken carefully; a positive tone pervaded the session. The final resolution was to express to Covenant classis’ gratitude for their steadfastness over the years.
Classis also decided to overture Synod 2007 to rescind grounds a, b, c, and f used by Synod 2006 in its instruction to Classis East to encourage Covenant to disband (cf. Acts of Synod 2006, Articles 34 and 36). Classis judged these grounds to be establishing a bad precedent in dealing with small churches.
Classis will meet next at the Hudsonville PRC on January 10, 2007.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk