Classis met in regular session on Wednesday, January 12, 2000 at the Southeast PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. Doug Kuiper served as chair for this session.
The January session is typically a busy one and this was no exception. Classis heard reports from its Stated Clerk, Classical Committee, and church visitors. Classis decided to forward information gathered by the church visitors to synod 2000 regarding the suggestion of synod that congregations set aside retirement money for pastors who are not in social security and regarding the continuing subsidy for the small congregation in Wyckoff, NJ. The church visitors report that 10 of the 14 pastors in Classis East are not in social security and, in all cases, the congregations they serve are making some provision for retirement. Covenant PRC’s response to questions put by the church visitors relative their subsidy is that they have a firm desire to continue as a congregation. They realize that receiving subsidy is a privilege and that their calling is to be energetic in evangelism in order to wean themselves from support someday, the Lord willing.
The study committee appointed at the September, 1999 classis meeting to consider synod’s decisions re the appeals (to synod) of Rev. J. Laning and Calvin Kalsbeek presented its report. Classis decided to adopt the following advice of this committee (summarized): 1) that Classis East inform synod 2000 that classis did not depart from the concrete case dealt with at the May 13, 1998 meeting of classis (the committee gave evidence of this from the appeals themselves); 2) that Classis East erred in its decision of May 13, 1998 when it did not uphold the appeal of a brother against a decision of a consistory (the committee gave evidence that a divorce had been pursued to the end rather than separate maintenance as the consistory believed); 3) that classis sustain the appeal brought by this brother in May 13, 1998 and judge that the consistory involved should have initiated discipline of the person pursuing the divorce for sin against the seventh commandment; 4) that classis declare that all subsequent decisions taken at its September 9, 1998 meeting now fall away.
Classis also dealt with an appeal from Rev. Richard Flikkema against a decision taken regarding his ministerial credentials by the Covenant PRC. Classis did not uphold this appeal.
Classical appointments were approved for the Hull, IA PRC. A schedule was presented and adopted.
The following were elected to serve as delegates to synod 2000: Ministers: Primi: R. Cammenga, B. Gritters, K. Koole, J. Slopsema, C. Terpstra; Secundi: W. Bruinsma, Dale Kuiper, Doug Kuiper, A. Spriensma, R. VanOverloop; Elders: Primi: D. Doezema, D. Kregel, C. Kuiper, E. Ophoff, Sr., A. Rau; Secundi: P. Adams, J. Buiter, C. Jonker, T. Spriensma, P. VanDerSchaaf.
In other voting, Revs. Bruinsma and Gritters were elected to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates ad examina. Revs. Slopsema and VanOverloop were elected as church visitors with Rev. Dale Kuiper as alternate. Rev. Doug Kuiper was elected to a three-year term on the Classical Committee.
The expenses for this session amounted to $1,108.51. Classis will meet next at the Hope PRC on May 10, 2000.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk