Classis East met in regular session on May 9 and 10, 1984 at the Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. This was an unusual session for Classis East for, in recent years, the meetings have tended to be short. This session covered a day and a half. The meeting was chaired by Rev. Bruinsma, with help from Rev. DeVries when Rev. Bruinsma was called away to be with a parishioner in the hospital, and since Rev. Bruinsma was involved in one of the cases before Classis. Each church was represented by two delegates.
Certainly a highlight of the meeting was the preemptor examination of Pastor-elect Barry Gritters who had accepted the call extended to him by Byron Center. Beginning with a sermon on Psalm 103:17 and ending with the practica examination, the examination was heard and approved. Classis, with the consent of the delegates ad examina of Classis West, unanimously approved the examination and authorized Byron Center to proceed with the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Gritters. Expression of thanksgiving to God were rendered by the chairman and in prayer by Rev. Slopsema for the gift of another undersheperd in our churches.
The second item of business before the Classis was the appeal of a brother re an action taken by his consistory, viz., that of first bringing formal charges against the brother, then dropping them, but still retaining the grounds for their initial action. The second part of the appeal had to do with a consistory’s holding of a position independent of other churches. Classis sustained the appellant relative his first point and advised the consistory either to rescind the original decision bringing the charges or to proceed with discipline. Regarding the second point of the appeal, Classis declared that this point falls away if the advice above were to be followed.
The Finance Committee reported and Classis approved expenses of $948.00. The questions of Article 41 were asked and answered and Classis stood adjourned. Classis will meet next on September 12, 1984 at Holland.