January/February, 2008 at the Georgetown PRC
Classis East met at its regularly scheduled time on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, but because of the business before it, held continued sessions on February 13, 14, and 27, 2008. All the churches were represented by two delegates for these sessions. Rev. C. Haak served as chairman. Classis treated protests from four individuals and a consistory against decisions taken by classis in September, 2007 regarding a pastor’s calling with regard to the education of his children in light of Article 21 of the Church Order. Classis did not uphold any of these protests, thus allowing the original decisions of classis to stand. (For a complete presentation of the decisions taken by the September, 2007 classis confer the Report of Classis East given in the November 1, 2007 issue of theStandard Bearer.)
Classis also dealt with the report of a special committee appointed to assist the Grace PRC in implementing the decisions taken by classis. The discussion of this report and of the advice of a committee of pre-advice was held in closed session.
Classis, however, decided to make its decisions public. Classis decided 1) that, in light of the requirements of Article 21 of the Church Order, Grace PRC’s consistory erred when they judged valid the reasons for their pastor’s withdrawing his children from two good Christian schools and home schooling them; 2) to advise Grace PRC to work with their pastor to show him the inadequacy of his reasons, and to inform their congregation of this and of the fact that they are working with him to show him that his reasons are not acceptable as the pastor of Grace PRC. Because of classis’ concern for the welfare of the congregation of Grace PRC and for the restoration of peace and unity in that congregation, it further advised the Council of Grace PRC to consider whether their pastor can be an effective preacher/pastor to his congregation and whether he can lead them out of their present unrest. Classis appointed another special committee to assist Grace’s Council and Consistory in implementing these decisions should they desire such help.
An overture to Synod 2008 regarding Article 21 of the Church Order was considered and judged to be an improper overture. The consistory submitting this overture subsequently withdrew it.
Elections at this session resulted in the following: Delegates to Synod 2008: MINISTERS: Primi: C. Haak, D. Kleyn, K. Koole, J. Slopsema, R. VanOverloop;Secundi: A. denHartog, M. DeVries, G. Eriks, R. Kleyn, W. Langerak; ELDERS: Primi: D. Doezema, V. Haveman, G. Kaptein, S. Miedema, P. VanderSchaaf; Secundi: R. DeYoung, J. Kalsbeek, D. Moelker, J. VanBaren, G. VanderSchaaf. Delegates ad examina: Rev. K. Koole was elected to a three-year primus term; Rev. R. Kleyn to a three-year secundus term. Rev. A. Lanning was elected to a three-year term on the Classical Committee; Revs. J. Slopsema and K. Koole were chosen to be church visitors, with Revs. A. denHartog and R. VanOverloop as alternates. Jon Huisken was appointed to serve another three-year term as Stated Clerk; Rev. R. Kleyn was appointed to serve another three-year term as Assistant Stated Clerk.
Classis heard a report from its church visitors and also a report from the First PRC, Grand Rapids, of its continuing pastoral support of the former members of the Covenant PRC, New Jersey.
In financial matters, classis approved the subsidy requests for 2009 from Kalamazoo PRC and Wingham PRC for $25,000 and $30,000 (Canadian) respectively. The expenses of these sessions of classis amounted to $2,816.20.
Classis will meet next on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at the First Holland PRC, Holland, MI.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk