March 7-8, 2007
On Wednesday, March 7, Classis West convened at the Doon PRC in Doon, Iowa.
On the day previous, an officebearers’ conference was held. The conference dealt with the truth of the Holy Spirit under the theme “Pentecost and Pentecostalism.” Four speeches covered the history and work of Christ in the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, an overview of Pentecostalism, a defense of the truth that the special gifts of the Holy Spirit (miracles, tongue speaking, and prophecy) were only temporary gifts during the apostolic age, and a treatment of the work of the Spirit of Christ in the hearts and lives of God’s people in this present life.
Classis convened at 8:30 A.M. on Wednesday. Rev. D. Lee began the meeting with a meditation on Proverbs 27:17 and a prayer for God’s blessing and the guidance of the Spirit of Christ in its labors. When Classis was declared constituted, Rev. J. Mahtani chaired the meeting, while Rev. Lee served as clerk.
Classis treated the regular reports of the stated clerk, of the Reading Sermon Library Committee, of the Church Visitors, and of the Classical Committee. The Reading Sermon Library Committee proposed that the committee be terminated, but Classis did not approve that recommendation. As a result, the committee will continue to oversee the collection of reading sermons from our ministers and to oversee their publication and availability on the website of Rev. G. VanBaren (www.prca.org).
Classis treated and rejected two appeals against actions and decisions of the appellants’ consistory. Classis treated three different requests from three of the churches. First, Classis received a request from the Consistory of Edgerton PRC for the denomination to assist in the remaining international moving and immigration expenses of Rev. D. Lee and his family from Singapore. Classis approved this and forwarded the request to Synod for approval. Secondly, Classis received a request from Hull PRC for classical appointments for their potential daughter congregation. There are about 35 families currently worshiping together in the auditorium of the Boyden-Hull School in Hull, IA. Classis granted this request and adopted a classical appointment schedule through September 2007. Finally, Classis treated in closed session a request from the Council of Peace PRC for the dismissal of her pastor, Rev. S. Houck, according to Article 11 of the Church Order. After careful deliberation, Classis approved this request, and this approval received the concurrence of the delegates ad examina of Classis East. The Council of Peace PRC has since announced in the churches that she has dismissed Rev. Houck from service in the congregation and has declared him eligible for a call in our churches. In view of this vacancy in Peace, Classis adopted a classical appointment schedule for her through September 2007.
Classis treated three overtures from Rev. Douglas Kuiper, pastor of the Randolph PRC. The first two overtures deal with the procedure of discipline with non-confessing but baptized members in our churches. The third overture proposes that a procedure be followed by our consistories when dealing with those who, under discipline, especially silent censure and the first announcement, request their dismissal papers. Classis approved the first two overtures and will forward them to Synod for approval. However, Classis did not approve the third overture.
Classis conducted its annual elections. First, synodical delegates were chosen as follows: Ministers—Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, D. Kuiper, R. Miersma, R. Smit. Elders—Messrs. George DeJong (South Holland), Jim Regnerus (Doon), Fred Tolsma (Edmonton), Gysbert VanBaren (South Holland), Ron VanVoorthuyzen (Redlands). Secundi delegates are: Ministers—Revs. D. Lee, J. Mahtani, J. Marcus, D. Overway, M. VanderWal; Elders—Messrs. Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Pete Brummel (Hull), Leon Griess (Loveland), Victor Solanyk (Loveland), and Leon Uittenbogaard (Hull). Second, Classis appointed Rev. S. Key to serve another three-year term on the classical committee. Third, Rev. D. Kuiper (primus) and Rev. S. Key (secundus) were elected to three-year terms as delegates ad examinafor Classis West. Finally, Classis elected Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Miersma, and R. Smit as church visitors for 2007-2008, with Revs. D. Kuiper and R. Hanko as alternates.
Regarding matters of finance, Classis approved 2008 subsidy requests from Bethel ($32,000), First- Edmonton ($22,588 CAD; $19,200 USD), and Immanuel-Lacombe ($11,410 CAD; $9,699 USD), and these requests were forwarded to Synod for approval. The total of the expenses for the two-day Classis was $9,990.57.
Having completed all of its work, Classis adjourned on Thursday at about 2:00 P.M.
Classis West plans to convene in its next regular session on September 5, 2007, in the Lynden PRC in Lynden, WA, the Lord willing. The congregation of Hope in Redlands, CA, is planning to host the March 2008 regular meeting.
Finally, brethren, pray for our churches in Classis West, particularly Rev. S. Houck and the Peace congregation. It is our sincere prayer for them that “the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen…. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen” (I Pet. 5:10-11, 14).
—Rev. Richard J. Smit, Stated Clerk