At the request of the consistories of the Bethel PRC and Randolph PRC, Classis West convened in a special session on May 6-7, 2009. This session was hosted by the South Holland PRC, and was held in the facilities of the Cornerstone PRC. Rev. R. Hanko presided over this meeting.
The occasion for the meeting was the decision of Bethel PRC’s consistory to dismiss its pastor, Rev. J. Mahtani, from service in its congregation under Article 11 of the Church Order, which decision required the approval of classis. Also on the agenda were appeals from eight members of Bethel PRC who disagreed with this decision of the consistory. Due to the sensitive nature of the issues facing classis, all of this material was treated in closed session.
Classis did not sustain any of the appeals. On the basis of the material presented in one of the appeals, classis did declare that the consistory of Bethel had erred in one point.
Nor did classis approve Bethel’s request to dismiss Rev. Mahtani. Rather, with sorrow classis directed Bethel’s consistory, with the help of a special committee of classis, to labor pastorally with Rev. Mahtani, directing him to seek release from the ministry under Article 12 of the Church Order. With this decision the synodical deputies from Classis East concurred. The consistory and special committee were directed to report to the September meeting of classis.
Classis provided Bethel PRC with some classical appointments, and asked Classis East to provide some as well.
If any aspect of this meeting of classis could be called joyful, it was the presence of the delegates from our newest congregation, the Covenant of Grace Protestant Reformed Church of Spokane, WA, and the opportunity to get to know them better. Being our smallest congregation, they stand in need of financial assistance. Classis approved their subsidy request for 2009 and 2010, and also provided them with classical appointments.
The total expenses of this classis were $11,897.87.
Classis West will convene next, God willing, on September 2, 2009, in Randolph, WI.
Rev. Douglas Kuiper,