On Wednesday evening, September 1, Rodney Miersma, then pastor-elect of the Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Isabel, South Dakota, was ordained as minister of the gospel. This took place in a worship service of the Isabel congregation that was wisely planned by the Isabel consistory to coincide with the meeting there of Classis West. All of the delegates to Classis could attend this impressive service. Several of the delegates participated in the ceremony. Rev. C. Hanko led the congregation in the congregational prayer. Rev. R. Decker preached the sermon, “God’s Watchman to the House of Israel,” from Ezekiel 33:7. Rev. D. Kuiper read the “Form of Ordination of the Ministers of God’s Word.” Rev. Decker, Rev. Hanko, Rev. R. Moore, then pastor of Isabel, and Rev. G. Van Baren, delegate ad examina to Classis West from Classis East, joined Rev. Kuiper in the laying on of hands. Rev. Moore exhorted the newly-ordained minister and the congregation, according to the concluding part of the “Form.” Rev. Miersma concluded the service with the benediction.
We ought to be thankful to the Lord that He has given our churches another young man for the ministry. It is our prayer that He bless Rev. Miersma in his office and make his work fruitful.
This ordination was possible because of the successful examination of Rev. Miersma by the Classis at its meeting on September 1. In keeping with a recent decision of Classis West, Rev. Miersma preached the required sermon the evening before the convening of Classis at a special worship service of the host church, in this case the congregation of Isabel. His text was I Peter 2:24. All of the delegates to Classis were present at this service, as were the delegates ad examina from Classis East, Rev. J. Heys and Rev. G. Van Baren. The Classical Committee of Classis West had appointed two delegates as the committee to give advice to Classis on the sermon. Classis examined Rev. Miersma on Wednesday morning in dogmatics, knowledge of Scripture, knowledge of the Confessions, controversy, and matters of his own faith and walk. With the concurring advice of the delegates ad examina, Classis decided to approve the examination and to advise Isabel to ordain him. One new and fitting aspect of Classis’ examination was Rev. Miersma’s public signing of the Formula of Subscription. The president of Classis read the Formula aloud, after which Rev. Miersma signed the Formula in the presence of the Classis.
The examination was the major part of the work of the eight ministers and twelve elders of the Classis. Rev. B. Woudenberg, president of the previous Classis, led the Classis in opening devotions on Wednesday morning. He readEphesians 1:3-10 and spoke on Ephesians 1:7-10. We again experienced that this brief exposition and application of a passage of God’s Word is an excellent way to begin the meetings of Classis.
Rev. R. Decker served as president of Classis.
Classis drew up a schedule of classical appointments for the vacant churches of Forbes, North Dakota and Randolph, Wisconsin. The schedule is as follows: FORBES: Sept. 26, Oct. 3—J. Kortering; Oct. 24—R. Miersma; Nov. 7—R. Miersma; Nov. 28, Dec. 5—D. Engelsma; Dec. 19—G. Lanting; Jan. 16—R. Miersma; Jan. 23—R. Moore: Feb. 6—J. Kortering; Feb. 27, March 5—B. Woundenberg. RANDOLPH: Sept. 12, 19—R. Decker; Oct. 10, 17—G. Lanting; Nov. 7, 14—R. Moore; Dec. 5, 12—D. Kuiper; Jan. 9—R. Decker; Jan. 16—D. Kuiper; Feb. 27, March 5—C. Hanko.
In executive session, Classis treated a request by a consistory for advice concerning the discipline of a member, according to Articles 76 and 77 of the Church Order.
The next meeting of Classis West will be held in Pella, Iowa on March 1, 1972, the Lord willing.
Rev. David Engelsma,
Classis West of the Prot. Ref’d. Churches