Meeting of January 9-15, 1957 at Fourth and First Prot. Ref. Church
The chairman of the October Classis, Rev. M. Schipper, led in devotions; and after the credentials of the delegates were accepted, declared the Classis constituted. The Rev. R. Veldman that presided, while Rev. Schipper transcribed the minutes.
All the churches were represented in the opening session. Conspicuously absent, however, and sorely missed from all the arduous sessions was the Rev. G. Vos who, under doctor’s orders, could not attend. The Classis remembered him often in the prayers that ascended to the throne of grace. One of our churches was represented by one delegate for one day, but failed to be represented the rest of our sessions. Later Classis instructed the Stated Clerk to send a letter of reprimand to this church for its neglect of duty.
A Finance committee was appointed to ascertain the expenses of this Classical meeting which later reported; and a Classical Appointment committee was also appointed to prepare a schedule of appointments for Kalamazoo. The following schedule was later adopted: Jan. 20, C. Hanko; Jan. 27, G. Vos; Feb. 3, R. Veldman; Feb. 10. H. Hanko; Feb. 17, G. Lanting; Feb. 24, J. McCollam; March 3, B. Woudenberg; March 10, R. Veldman; March 17, M. Schipper; March 24, H. Hanko; March 31, G. Lanting; April 7, B. Woudenberg; April 14, G. Vos; April 21, C. Hanko; April 28, J. McCollam; May 5, M. Schipper.
Classis then treated an overture from Grand Haven which had been tabled at the October session, and decided not to adopt the overture respecting reimbursement of elder delegates but to keep the status quo.
The churches of Holland, Creston and Grand Haven presented subsidy requests which Classis decided to approve and send on to Synod. Kalamazoo was granted permission to present their request to the April Classis.
The committee appointed to advise on the Van Putten protest of last October reported and with little change the advice was adopted.
First Church presented an overture re condensation of the material for Synod in the Holland Appeal. Later it became evident this overture was not needed.
Second Church was granted permission to ask for collection in the churches of Classis East and petition Synod for the same right in Classis West to aid with the cost of litigation.
Grand Haven presented an appeal relative to the Holland Case which Classis sustained.
Voting for Minister delegates to Synod resulted in the following:
Primi: H. Hoeksema, G. Vos, C. Hanko, M. Schipper. Secundi: R. Veldman, G. Lanting, H. Hanko, G. Lubbers.
The voting for elder delegates was postponed to the April Classis.
Classis also decided to send a committee to visit Rev. G.M. Ophoff who was able to attend Classi West the first day but on the second was in the hospital for observation. Later it was learned he would undergo surgery. Our brother is committed to God’s grace.
The rest of the time Classis busied itself with a host of protests relative to the Holland Case.
In spite of all the knotty problems and lengthy and strenuous sessions of Classis, a good spirit prevailed throughout. Much of this was due to the witty and efficient leadership of our chairman. Much trouble still remains, especially for our sister church in Holland, but with God’s help and more perfect manifestations of his love, also these difficulties should be resolved.
Classis decided to meet next April, D.V., in Hudsonville and after the Questions of Article 41 of the Church Order had been answered satisfactorily by each consistory present, Classis adjourned with the Rev. C. Hanko leading in the closing prayer of thanksgiving.
M. Schipper, Stated Clerk