Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met for three days, on September 5-7, in Isabel, South Dakota. The agenda was heavy; and there was little time, day or night, that was not taken up in the work. Nevertheless, the delegates enjoyed the hospitality and fellowship of the saints in Isabel, as well as good fellowship among themselves.
Nine ministers, thirteen elders, and two deacons represented the churches of the West and did their work. Rev. R. Moore led Classis in opening devotions on Wednesday morning. He read Isaiah 33 and addressed the Classis with a devotional speech on verse 2: “O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” Rev. W. Bekkering then presided over the Classis.
The happiest work of the Classis was the examination of Ronald Cammenga, who had accepted the call of the Hull, Iowa congregation. Mr. Cammenga preached before the Classis on Tuesday evening, in a special worship service of the Isabel congregation. His text was Joshua 24:14, 15. On Wednesday, Classis examined him in the areas required by the decision appended to Article 4 of the Church Order. With the approval of the synodical delegates from Classis East, Classis approved Mr. Cammenga’s examination and advised Hull to proceed with his ordination, which Hull has since done.
Classis treated several protests and appeals, most of them in executive session.
It responded to a consistory’s request for help regarding the financial situation and ministerial duty of a minister dismissed from service under Article 11 of the Church Order by answering specific questions directed to the Classis by the delegates of the consistory.
The consistory which has been advised by Classis previously to work with its pastor concerning a certain teaching of his which Classis condemned informed Classis that the pastor has retracted his teaching and has expressed sorrow for the trouble that this caused the church. Classis received this report with joy.
In executive session, Classis advised one consistory to proceed with the erasure of a baptized member and advised another consistory to proceed with the erasure of a baptized member and the second step of censure with two confessing members.
Classis heard the report of a committee that had been appointed to help a consistory with difficulties. The consistory asked that the committee be continued, and Classis granted this request.
A classical appointment schedule for the Redlands, California church was approved: Oct. 28, Nov. 4—Flikkema; Nov. 18, 25—Kortering; Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Jan. 6—Lanting; Jan. 13, 20—Kuiper; Feb. 3, 10—Koole; Feb. 24, March 2—Moore.
The proposal of Randolph to increase the remuneration of lost wages for elder delegates attending Classis from $30 to $40 per day was adopted.
Classis decided to hold its next meeting in South Holland, Illinois in March, 1980. Breaking with tradition, Classis set the date as the first Tuesday of the month.
Rev. David Engelsma, Stated Clerk