Classis East met in regular session on January 12, 1983 at the First Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids. Rev. M. Joostens chaired this meeting. Each church was represented by two delegates.
There were several serious matters before the classis which required classis to labor into the evening hours. First, a brother brought three protests to the classis, the first two of which were against prior decisions of classis and the third a protest of his censure. Classis decided that the first two protests were illegally before classis on the grounds of Articles 31 and 76 of the Church Order respectively. Classis rejected the appeal of the brother re his censure on the ground that the brother holds to the heresies of fatalism and antinomianism, and thus also upheld the grounds for censure given by the consistory. Secondly, a brother brought an appeal against a consistory. This matter was judged not to be settled in the consistory according to Article 30 of the Church Order.
Southwest Church brought an overture to synod concerning student aid to seminary and pre-seminary students. The council of Southwest proposed the establishment of free-will offerings throughout the churches to supplement the aid given by synod through its Student Aid Committee. The money would be handled by the synodical Student Aid Committee. In this way also, it was urged, the various congregational student aid committees could be eliminated. Classis sent the overture to synod without its approval on the ground that it is the duty of the synod to support our students according to Article 19 of the Church Order.
Classis also dealt with and approved three requests from consistories for the increase of censure to the second step.
The following synodical delegates were elected: MINISTERS: Primi: R. Flikkema, C. Haak, M. Joostens, G. Van Baren; Secundi: W. Bruinsma, M. De Vries, R. Hanko, R. Miersma; ELDERS: Primi: D. Engelsma, F. Hanko, E. Ophoff, Sr., G. Van Overloop;Secundi: G. Bouwkamp, C. Kuiper, D. Lotterman, R. Teitsma.
In other voting, Rev. C. Hanko and Rev. J.A. Heys were elected to serve as church visitors with Rev. H. Veldman as alternate. Rev. C. Hanko and Rev. M. DeVries were elected to serve three-year terms asprimus and secundus delegates ad examinarespectively. Rev. M. Joostens was elected to serve a three-year term on the Classical Committee.
In money matters, Classis approved and forwarded to synod subsidy requests for 1984 from Covenant for $15,750 and from Kalamazoo for $9,000. Expenses for this classis amounted to $428.37.
The next meeting of classis will be on May 11, 1983 at Hudsonville.
Jon. J. Huisken