January 10, 1979
Southwest Prot. Ref. Church
Classis East met in regular session on January 10, 1979 at Southwest Church. All the churches were represented by two delegates. Representing for the, first time their respective churches of Faith and Southwest were Revs. Bruinsma and DeVries. Also in attendance were Revs. Lubbers and Veldman. Rev. Van Overloop led in opening devotions, Rev. Woudenberg chaired the meeting.
The minutes of the previous session were heard the appointment of the necessary committees was made, and reports from the Stated Clerk and delegates ad examina were given.
Southeast requested classical appointments. The following schedule was adopted: January 28—Joostens, February 4—DeVries, February 18—Bruinsma, February 25—Van Baren, March 11—Van Overloop, March 25—Woudenberg, April 1—Bruinsma, April 8—DeVries, April 22—Van Baren; April 29—Joostens, May 6—Van Overloop.
Classis was also asked to turn its attention once again to the organization of a congregation in Skowhegan, Maine. These brethren once more appealed for our help and expressed sorrow over not hearing from the committee appointed by the May Classis to which they had given an invitation to visit them. Classis decided: 1) That its previous decision not to organize a congregation there would stand and 2) That an apology be made to these people for the failure of our committee to communicate with them.
Several matters were brought by local consistories. Faith presented an overture to the Synod of 1979 asking for the revision of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Theological School. Faith proposed that this article be changed to read that lifetime tenure be given to seminary faculty after four years thus allowing a faculty member to consider a call from one of our churches after six years (A 2-year waiting period was established by the Synod of 1962, Art. 261) rather than waiting nine years as presently is the case. This overture was forwarded to Synod of 1979 with the disapproval of Classis on the following grounds: 1) Article 7 of this constitution treats the appointment and tenure of faculty and not eligibility for call, and 2) Change to present policy should be made by overture to Synod to alter its decision of 1962, Article 261.
Hope presented a request for permission to contact the churches in Classis for help, in the form of collections, for the financial support of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Young of Christchurch, New Zealand. Mr. Young will be attending our seminary next fall, and since the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service does not allow foreign students or their wives to work, Mr. and Mrs. Young will need our financial support. This request was granted and a request to Synod of 1979 to make a similar appeal to the churches in Classis West was approved.
Classis busied itself for some time with voting matters. Revs. Van Overloop and DeVries were elected to serve three-year terms as primus ad secundus delegates ad examina. Revs. Van Baren and C. Hanko were chosen as church visitors with Rev. Veldman as alternate. The following were chosen as delegates to Synod of 1979: Ministers—Primi: C. Hanko, M. Joostens, G. Van Baren, R. Van Overloop; Secundi: W. Bruinsma, A. den Hartog, M. De Vries, J. Heys; Elders—Primi: J. Buiter, C. Doezema, J. Huisken, G. Pipe; Secundi: H. Boer, K. Bylsma, E. Miedema, G. Van Overloop.
The Finance Committee reported expenses of $404.98. 1980 subsidy requests from Kalamazoo for $9000.00 and from Covenant for $8000.00 were approved and forwarded to Synod.
After the questions of Article 41 of the Church Order were asked, and answered, Classis adjourned. The next meeting will be held on May 9, 1979 at Faith Church.
Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk