Classis East met in regular session on January 11, 1984 at First Church, Grand Rapids. Each congregation was represented by two delegates. Present for the first time were the delegates from the newly-formed congregation of Byron Center. Rev. B. Woudenberg chaired this session of Classis.
Classis had a full day of activities—this is the meeting when synodical agenda items are handled. The usual routine business was also transacted.
The first item of significance on the agenda was the request from 26 brethren from the Grandville, Michigan area to establish a new congregation in that locale. At least 20 of these signators were from the burgeoning congregation of Hope. Classis gave its enthusiastic endorsement to this request.
Two overtures to Synod 1984 were also presented. The first came from First Church and concerned a change of policy for determining synodical assessments. First Church is proposing that churches be allowed to adjust their assessments monthly in order to take into account fluctuation in membership. Classis forwarded this overture to Synod with its disapproval on the grounds that the present, rules adequately cover emergency situations, that these rules have served the churches well in the past, and that confusion both for the synodical treasurer and consistories could result. (Grounds paraphrased)
The second overture concerned the early appointment of synodical committees of pre-advice. Classis also forwarded this overture to Synod with its disapproval on the grounds that committees can not be appointed for a body which has not yet been constituted, that men, other then delegates, would be appointing these committees, that there is danger in having the same men appoint these committees year after year, and that there is a danger that delegates would come thoroughly prepared only for the material assigned to them. (Grounds paraphrased)
Classis granted classical appointments to Grandville and Byron Center according to the following schedule: GRANDVILLE: February 5—Flikkema, February 12—Joostens, February 19—Haak, March 4—Van Baren, March 11—Miersma, March 18—Woudenberg, April 1—Bruinsma, April 8—DeVries, April 15—Flikkema, April 29—Joostens, May 6—Haak, May 13—Van Baren. BYRON CENTER: January 22—Miersma, February 5—Woudenberg, February 12—Bruinsma, February 19—DeVries, March 4—Flikkema, March 11—Joostens, March 18—Haak, April 1—Van Baren, April 8—Miersma, April 15—Woudenberg, April 29—Bruinsma, May 6—DeVries, May 13—Flikkema.
Subsidy requests for 1985 were presented by Byron Center for $9,170, by Covenant for $15,380, and by Kalamazoo for $7,000. Byron Center also requested $12,760 for 1984. These requests were approved and forwarded to Synod for approval.
Results of voting were as follows: Rev. DeVries was elected to a three-year term on the Classical Committee, Rev. Haak and Rev. Joostens were elected as delegates ad examina, and Rev. H. Veldman and Rev. C. Hanko were elected as church visitors. Synodical delegates were chosen as follows: MINISTERS: Primi: C. Haak, M. Joostens, R. Miersma, G. Van Baren; Secundi: W. Bruinsma, M. DeVries, R. Flikkema, R. Hanko; ELDERS: Primi: G. Bol, C. Doezema, F. Hanko, G. Van Overloop;Secundi: G. Feenstra, A. Knott, Harlow Kuiper, D. Lotterman.
One discipline matter was conducted in closed session.
Classis will meet next at Southwest Church on May 9, 1984.
Jon J. Huisken