Held on July 7, 8, 1954 at the Creston Protestant Reformed Church
The meeting of the July Classis of Classis East of the Protestant Reformed Church is again a matter of history. What here follows is a brief report of the highlights of this Classical gathering of our Churches.
The Credential Letters are presented from 11 Consistories. All have deputated two delegates, except Randolph, which has only one delegate. After the credential letters have been read the chairman declares the Classis as being constituted. The Rev. G. Lanting takes minutes and Rev. G. Lubbers presides according to alphabetical order. Incidentally the meeting of Classis lasted through four sessions of Classis.
The man matter of the agenda was the examination of candidate-elect E. Emmanuel, who had accepted the call for the ministry from our Randolph, Wisconsin church. Upon the request of this church arrangements were made for the Classical examinations, and that as follows:
Theology and Anthropology—by Rev. G. Vos
Christology and Soteriology—by Rev. R. Veldman
Ecclesiology and Eschatology—by Rev. C. Hanko
Knowledge of Holy Scriptures—by Rev. G. VandenBerg
Knowledge of the Confessions—by Rev. G. Lanting
Controversy—by Rev. G. Lubbers
Practica—by the Rev. M. Schipper
After duly examining candidate elect E. Emanuel, Classis decides to advise Randolph that the brother has satisfactorily passed the examination, and that we advise them to proceed to ordain him into office. Classis addresses a few well-chosen words to brother Emanuel and afterwards Classis sings the “Doxology” and the chairman leads in prayer.
Other matters of importance decided by Classis or worthy of mention are the following:
It is decided by Classis that the rate to be paid for travelling of delegates is 8 cents per mile, provided there are at least two delegates in a car. Classis also decides that “delegates to Classis shall pay $10.00 per day to elder delegates who need it.”
The Synodical Stated Clerk’s letter to Classis East in regard to Synod’s decision as to the redistribution of the boundary lines of the two Classis is read. This decision would place the churches of Oak Lawn, South Holland, Illinois, and of Randolph, Wisconsin in Classis West. A motion is made that Classis East express itself as favoring this arrangement. Classis decided to table this entire matter for six months, that is, till the January 1955 Classis of Classis East.
Classis hears and treats the letter, composed by the Committee Revs. M. Schipper and G. VandenBerg and elder W. Terpstra, and addressed to the former “Classis West.” In this letter a reply is tendered to a letter sent to Classis East by “Classis West” in the month of March. Classis West arguments are refuted one by one and they are admonished to return to the fold of the Protestant Reformed Churches in true repentance.
The matter of the “Protest” of Oak Lawn against the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids as also treated and decided upon. Letters from the various Consistories were read. After the deliberation Classis expressed itself as follows:
“That whereas the greater majority of our Consistories have voiced their support to Oak Lawn’s protest; and, whereas we are all agreed that there is a real danger in singing if hymns on a program sponsored by one of our Consistories; yet, whereas Classis does not desire to legislate all ecclesiastical endeavors on the part of our Churches; Be it revolved;
That we advise First Church to elide hymns from their Radio program altogether or reduce them to a minimum, and
That it be further resolved to express that the singing of the versification of the holy scriptures cannot be placed in the category of objectionable hymns.”
The Classical Financial Emergency Committee reports of its labors, gives a financial report, informing Classis that there is a balance of $500.67 in the treasury, and request Classis to make a decision as to whether their work has been terminated or not. After due consideration Classis expresses the following: That Classis:
1. Expresses its appreciation to this Committee for the labor performed in the Emergency.
2. To disband this Classical Emergency Committee since the emergency is now past and the western churches are covered by a recognized financial system.
3. To instruct the treasurer of the committee to send the balance of this fund to our Synodical Treasurer with our instruction to place this balance in the Synodical expense fund, since the funds were collected from the churches of both Classes.
4. To instruct the Stated Clerk to advise this Committee and the Synod relative to this action.
5. To advise the Synodical Treasurer that in case certain emergencies arise between the present date and the Synod o1 1955, he defray the requests from the balance remitted.
6. A consistory is given advice to proceed with the “Second Step” of censure in regard to various members of the congregation.
7. Holland and the Second Church request Classical appointments for the three months of July, August and September. Classis decides as follows:
Holland: July 25, E. Emanuel; August 8, G. Lubbers; August 22, G. VandenBerg; August 29, R. Veldman; September 5, G. Lanting; September 12, H. Hoeksema; September 19, J. Heys; September 26, M. Schipper; October 3, G. Vos; October 10, C. Hanko.
Second Church: July 18, G. Lanting; August 1, J. Heys; August 22, E. Emanuel; August 29, M. Schipper; September 5, C. Hanko; September 12, G. Vos; September 29, G. VandenBerg; September 26, R. Veldman; October 3, H. Hoeksema.
The voting for Classical Committee members results in the choosing of J. Heys and C. Hanko. Members of the present Committee are as follows: C. Hanko, J. Heys, G. Lubbers and G. Vos.
The next meeting of Classis will be held D.V. on the first Wednesday in October 1954 in Fourth Church.
The Chairman, G. Lubbers, closes these sessions of Classis with a few remarks, expressing gratitude to God and confidence for the future, after which the Rev. C. Hanko leads Classis in closing prayer.
G. Lubbers, Stated Clerk of Classis East