May 8, 1996
Grandville Protestant Reformed Church
Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 8, 1996 at the Grandville PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. Doug Kuiper had the privilege and challenge of serving as chairman for the first time in his ministry. Present at classis also were the delegates ad examina from Classis West.
The burden of this classis was to consider a request from Covenant PRC to release its pastor, Rev. Richard Flikkema, from his ministerial duties. Considered in this matter were the reports of the special committee of classis appointed to assist Covenant PRC, the welfare of the congregation there, and the welfare of Rev. Flikkema and his family. Since this matter was treated in closed session, further comment about this matter would not be judicious. Classis did approve this request and approved the financial arrangements for Rev. Flikkema proposed by his consistory. Covenant PRC was instructed to inform the churches about their decision and Rev. Flikkema’s eligibility for a call.
An overture from Rev. R. VanOverloop concerning the place in the classical agenda of the asking and answering of the questions of Article 41 of the Church Order was adopted. The questions will now be asked right after the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, rather than at the end of the meeting. The grounds for the overture were as follows (summarized): 1) There is no historical precedent in our churches for placing the questions of Article 41 early in the agenda, but there is precedent in the very earliest of meetings of Reformed churches and in the Christian Reformed Church to place these questions early in the agenda, rather than at the end as is now the custom in Classis East. 2) One of the fundamental purposes for the questions of Article 41 is to insure unity within the churches. Questions of unity ought to take precedence over other matters in the agenda. 3) Placing the questions early in the agenda would allow classis to appoint a committee of pre-advice if, for example, a consistory needed the advice of classis according to question #4.
Covenant requested, and was granted, classical appointments — two Sundays a month — from May-October, 1996. The schedule adopted has been sent to the churches.
The expenses of classis amounted to $2,063.61. Classis will meet next on Wednesday, September 11, 1996 at the Faith PRC.
w/s Jon J. Huisken