Report of Classis West
Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in South Holland, Illinois on March 7, 1973. Ten ministers and twelve elders attended the Classis as delegates. Rev. W. Bekkering of the Randolph, Wisconsin congregation and Rev. M. Kamps of the Redlands, California congregation were delegated to Classis for the first time, as were elder delegates Albert Buiter, Egbert Gritters, John Hoksbergen, and Dick Rolffs. Rev. G. Lanting presided over the meeting. Classis finished its work in one day.
Rev. Dale Kuiper, president of the previous Classis, opened the meeting with a brief exposition of Matthew 9:35-10:15. He spoke on motives for missionary work.
Both the Reading Sermon Committee and the Taped Sermon Committee reported that requests for their sermons have fallen off, because almost all of the vacancies in Classis West have been filled. The Taped Sermon Committee informed the churches that they “have started recording our catechism sermons and regular sermons on separate tapes so that we can fill requests for either type of sermon.” Only the Ebenezer Church of Forbes, North Dakota is vacant. Classis gave Forbes classical appointments according to the following schedule: March 18—Moore; April 8—Kortering; April 29—Engelsma; May 13—Miersma; May 27—Lanting; June 3—Bekkering. Forbes has asked the Seminary for student supply during the summer months.
The Church Visitors reported to Classis on their annual visit of the churches in Classis West. According to their report, the Visitors found “the spiritual condition in the churches to be good. The calling of the churches regarding the preaching of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, and the exercise of Christian discipline is being faithfully realized through the labors of the office-bearers. This also bears the fruit of the congregations’ being suitably cared for and growing normally in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. No serious problems confront any churches at present. Peace, unity, and love appear to prevail.” The Church Visitors also found that the churches are active in the work of church extension and that they are on guard against the apostasy of our time. They concluded that “we can confidently express that the King of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ dwells in the churches through His Spirit and Word.”
The delegates ad examina reported that they had attended the examination of the then pastor-elect R. Van Overloop by Classis East and concurred in Classis East’s decision to approve the examination and to advise the consistory of Hope to proceed with his ordination.
In executive session, Classis considered the request of a consistory for advice regarding the discipline of an impenitent member. After getting information about the case from the delegates of the consistory involved, Classis decided to advise the consistory to proceed with the 2nd step of censure.
The consistory of Pella asked Classis to consider the request of a young man from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that a Protestant Reformed minister be sent to preach in that city. Classis gave the young man, Dale Cox, the floor, and he informed the Classis concerning himself and concerning several families in Philadelphia who desire Protestant Reformed preaching. Classis sent this request to the Mission Committee with the recommendation that a minister be sent to Philadelphia quickly.
Our church of Randolph asked for permission to request collections in all churches, to help them in building a new church edifice. Classis granted Randolph permission to ask for collections in the churches of Classis West and sent Randolph’s request to Synod for approval regarding collections in the churches of Classis East. Randolph is to be commended for undertaking this project, and this cause is recommended to the churches.
Seven churches requested subsidy: Edgerton, Forbes, Isabel, Loveland, Lynden, Pella, and Randolph.
Classis elected delegates to the 1973 Synod. The minister delegates are: R. Decker, D. Engelsma, J. Kortering, and B. Woudenberg. The alternates are: W. Bekkering, D. Kuiper, G. Lanting, and R. Moore. The elder delegates are: J. Blankespoor (Doon), E. Gritters (Hull), H. Huisken (Edgerton), and D. Poortinga (South Holland). The alternates are: E. Bruinsma (Loveland), E. Hauck (Forbes), B. Menninga (Pella), and D. Rolffs (Pella). Rev. G. Lanting was chosen to the Classical Committee; Rev. J. Kortering was chosen a primus delegate ad examina; Rev. R. Decker was chosen a secundus delegate ad examina; Rev. J. Kortering and Rev. G. Lanting were chosen as Church Visitors.
Classis West will hold its Fall meeting on September 5, 1973 in Loveland, Colorado, the Lord willing.
Rev. David Engelsma,