Classis East met on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at Hudsonville PRC. By rotation Rev. J. Smidstra would have been the chairman of this meeting. Due to some weighty matters and the fact that this would be his first Classis meeting as a delegate, he requested of the Classical Committee that he be allowed to step aside as chairman of this meeting. The Classical Committee brought this request as well as a recommendation that Rev. R. Van Overloop chair this meeting. Both recommendations were approved by Classis.
Routine matters such as reports from the stated clerk, Classical Committee, and church visitors were reported. The church visitors reported on their visits with the congregations of Classis East. They used the theme of “Ministering Righteousness in the Congregation,” based on Nehemiah 5. They report, “We are thankful that the congregations within our Classis are doing well. The councils reported that there is peace, love, and unity present within their congregations.”
Classis considered three appeals and one overture. Two of the appeals dealt with discipline in two different congregations. In both cases these were decided to be not legally before Classis based on the fact that Articles 30 and 31 were not satisfied, that is, the matters were not finished in the minor assemblies. The remaining appeal was declared legally before Classis and assigned a committee of three ministers and three elders. That committee will bring their recommendation to a special meeting of Classis East on February 28, 2018.
The overture was brought by an individual recommending that, prior to the meeting of Classis, materials be distributed only to active council members and ministers of the PRC, including emeriti ministers. After much deliberation this overture was adopted.
Classis at its January meeting elects delegates for Synod. Elected were the following: MINISTERS: Primi: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Haak, W. Langerak, C. Spronk, and R. VanOverloop; Secundi: H. Bleyenberg, W. Bruinsma, N. Decker, K. Koole, A. Lanning. ELDERS: Primi: Pete Adams, Gary Kaptein, Jim Lanting, Howard Pastoor, Pete VanDerSchaaf; Secundi: Bruce Jabaay, Larry Koole, Harlow Kuiper, Joel Minderhoud, and Dave Rau. In other voting, for delegates ad examina Rev. M. DeVries was elected as primus and Rev. N. Decker as secundus delegate. Both are for three-year terms. Rev. C. Spronk was elected for two-year term as secundus to replace Rev. R. Smit. Rev. J. Slopsema and Rev. K. Koole were elected as church visitors for 2018. Rev. A. Lanning and Rev. R. VanOverloop will serve as alternates. Rev. W. Langerak was elected to another three-year term to the Classical Committee.
Classis approved a 2018 subsidy request from Providence PRC ($30,000). 2019 Subsidy requests were approved for Pittsburgh PRC ($109,000), Providence PRC ($30,000), Wingham PRC ($36,000—CAD). Expenses for Classis amounted to $1,160.24. Classis will reconvene at Hudsonville PRC on February 28. The May Classis meeting will be held on May 9, 2018 at Faith PRC.
Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk