Classis East met in regular session on January 14th and 15th at the Hudsonville Prot. Ref. Church. Each church was represented by two delegates, except on the second day when Kalamazoo had but one delegate. A special welcome was given to Rev. R. Miersma who, as pastor of Holland, attended Classis as a delegate for the first time.
The January meeting of Classis usually has a full agenda and it certainly proved to be the case at this meeting as the business of Classis filled two full days. That certainly has not been the rule for Classis East for some time.
Classis devoted considerable time and attention to four protests and one overture to Synod concerning the action of the Synod of 1980 with regard to baptism on the mission field (cf. Article 9, Acts of Synod 1980). The four protests were essentially the same in that they requested Synod to revoke the decision taken in Article 9 to adopt the Study Committee Report of 1975 re: Baptism on the Mission Field on the grounds 1) that the Study Committee Report of 1980 had not been treated by the Synod; 2) that Synod violated its own rule in Article 5, B. 1; and 3) that Synod violated its own rule in Article 5, B.2. One protest dealt in depth with the issue of baptism but Classis sent the protests to Synod with its approval of the church political aspects only. The overture requested that Synod treat the Study Committee Report of 1980 re: Baptism on the Mission Field. The overture was sent to Synod with the approval of Classis.
Classis also spent a good deal of time hearing an appeal re censure. This matter was treated in closed session.
In other business, Hope Church requested classical appointments. The following schedule was adopted: Jan. 25—Haak, Feb. 1—Joostens, Feb. 8—Miersma, Feb. 15—Woudenberg, Feb. 22—Houck, March 1—VanBaren, March 8—Bruinsma, March 15—DeVries, March 22—Haak, March 29—Houck, April 5—Joostens, April 12—Miersma, April 19—Woudenberg, April 26—VanBaren, May 3—Bruinsma, May 10—Hanko, May 17—DeVries.
Further, Classis spent considerable time voting. Rev. Bruinsma was elected to a three-year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. Woudenberg was elected to a three-year primus term and Rev. Miersma to a three-year secundus term as delegates ad examina. The following were elected as delegates to synod: MINISTERS:Primi—W. Bruinsma, M. Joostens, R. Miersma, G. VanBaren; Secundi—M. DeVries, C. Haak, C. Hanko, J.A. Heys. ELDERS: Primi—J. Buiter, Homer Kuiper, H. Ophoff, R. Teitsma;Secundi—J. DeVries, C. Kuiper, Hilbert Kuiper, J. Veldman. Rev. C. Hanko and Rev. J.A. Heys were elected as church visitors.
Subsidy requests for the fiscal year 1982 from Kalamazoo for $12,450 and from Covenant for $11,000 were approved and forwarded to Synod. Both churches were instructed to review their pastor’s salaries with a view to increasing them. Expenses for classis amounted to $988.50.
After fitting remarks by the chairman, Classis adjourned and will meet next in Kalamazoo on May 13, 1981.