Classis West met in regular session on September 1, 2010. The Hull PRC of Hull, IA hosted this session, and Rev. N. Langerak capably chaired it.
A highlight of this meeting was the presence of the delegates of the newly organized congregation of Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD.
Faith PRC of Jenison, MI had overtured Synod 2010 to reorganize the denomination from two to three classes. In light of the effect this would have on the whole denomination, synod referred this matter to Classis West for its judgment. Not convinced of the need for a third classis at this time, Classis West expressed its disapproval of this overture, responding to some of Faith’s grounds by noting that 1) it has not been proven that synod presently suffers from a lack of objectivity as a result of having only two classes; 2) the disparity in the size of the two present classes would not be helped by the proposed restructuring; 3) the effect of this restructuring could be the weakening of a classis; and 4) such restructuring would leave the churches of the new Classis West isolated from the rest of the denomination.
Classis approved the request of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA, to solicit collections from the churches in the classis for its building fund.
Cornelius Hanko, the handicapped adult son of Rev. R. Hanko (pastor of Lynden PRC), requires continuous care at a mental health facility. Currently he is in a facility in Spokane, WA, a great distance from his family. Convinced that Neal would be best off in Michigan, near extended family, but needing financial assistance to implement this, Lynden PRC asked the denomination through Classis to approve supporting Neal at the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Center in the Grand Rapids area, at an approximate cost of $80,000 per year. Convinced of the rationale behind it, Classis approved this request, noting that it is the responsibility of the church to provide proper support for its ministers, and that Rev. R. Hanko and Lynden are not able to bear this responsibility alone. Synod 2011 must give final approval to this matter. Classis West further recommends to synod that it establish a special fund to cover the cost of this care, rather than taking the support from an existing denominational fund.
In closed session, Classis treated a brother’s appeal regarding his discipline. The brother was not upheld. Also, two consistories sought the advice of Classis regarding discipline matters. Both explained to Classis the nature of the sins of these members, and explained the work they had done with the members. Classis advised one of them to proceed to the next step of censure, but did not permit the other consistory to do so at this time.
Classis approved a schedule of classical appointments for Edgerton PRC, and approved helping Classis East supply Cornerstone’s pulpit for six weeks over the course of the next six months.
The expenses of this meeting totaled $8,943.37.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of Classis will be held March 2, 2011, in the new facilities of the Protestant Reformed Church of South Holland, IL.
Rev. Douglas Kuiper Stated Clerk,