Trinity PRC, Hudsonville, MI
Classis met in regular session on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 at the Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Each congregation was represented by two delegates. Rev. Nathan Brummel was the chairman for this session.
This was the first time that Trinity hosted the classis. And it was fitting, since this session of classis was also the occasion for the examination of their pastor-elect, Rodney Kleyn.
Two pastors-elect were examined: Rodney Kleyn, who accepted the call to Trinity PRC, and David Overway, who accepted the call from Covenant PRC, Wyckoff, New Jersey. Both men preached a sermon and then submitted to a lengthy examination. At the conclusion of the exam, classis unanimously approved both and authorized their respective consistories to proceed with their ordination and installation. Classis gave thanks to God for the addition of two more to serve in the ministry of the gospel in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
Classis also admitted a third person into the ministry of the Protestant Reformed Churches: Rev. Angus Stewart. Rev. Stewart has been without a charge since the congregation in Northern Ireland disbanded. Synod 2002 advised Rev. Stewart to contact the Hudsonville PRC to inquire about entrance into the ministry of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Rev. Stewart followed this advice and Hudsonville subsequently brought this request to classis.
Classis East, with the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis West, received Rev. Stewart into the ministry of the Protestant Reformed Churches with his ministerial credentials and church membership residing in our Hudsonville PRC. This was done without a classical examination, since Rev. Stewart’s examination at synod had included the elements belonging to a classical examination. Classis considered this to be a temporary measure until Synod 2003 decides whether to reconstitute the congregation in Northern Ireland or declare this area to be an object of missions.
Classis took this decision on the grounds (summarized) that 1) Rev. Stewart received a full four-year course of study at our seminary. 2) Synod 2001 declared that Rev. Stewart had sustained a thorough exam, was fully qualified for the ministry, and was eligible for a call. 3) Covenant PRC of Northern Ireland was a sister church, which allows ministers of sister churches access to our pulpits and opens these ministers for a call from one of our congregations. 4) Article 9 of the Church Order allows for a minister’s credentials to be temporarily held in a local church without the church extending a call to him.
Classis also decided to appoint its church visitors as a classical committee to inquire into the viability of Covenant PRC and to report at its meeting of January 8, 2003. This action was in response to an instruction from Synod 2002 regarding the matter of continuing subsidy to small churches.
Classical appointments were granted to Byron Center and Grandville for their evening services.
The expenses of this session amounted to $1,366.04. Classis will meet next at Faith PRC on Wednesday, January 8, 2003.
w.s. Jon J. Huisken,