September 1 – 4, 1999
South Holland, Illinois
The September meeting of Classis West was held at the South Holland Protestant Reformed Church from September 1-4, 1999.
An officebearers’ conference was held the day before. The theme of the conference was “Fully Equipped for the Work: A Conference for Elders and Deacons.” The conference was attended not only by many of the delegates to classis, but also by a large contingent of men from Western Michigan, including the seminary students and professors, as well as many other visitors. Rev. Charles Terpstra gave the keynote address, the theme of which was “The Reformed Understanding of the Office.” Several sectionals were also made available for both elders and deacons.
The delegates of Classis West gathered Tuesday evening, together with the congregation of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, in a special worship service which was conducted by Pastor-elect Garry Eriks, who had received the call to the Loveland PRC in Loveland, Colorado. The sermon he delivered was part of his classical examination.
Classis convened Wednesday morning, September 1. Rev. Wayne Bekkering chaired the meetings of classis and provided careful leadership. Most of Wednesday was given to the extensive examination of Pastor-elect Eriks for the office of the ministry. With gratitude to God we may report that he passed his examination with unanimous approval, and that the Loveland PRC in Loveland, Colorado was instructed to proceed to his ordination and installation into the office of the ministry of the Word and sacraments. That installation has since taken place, and Pastor Eriks has taken up his labors in the ministry.
In an extended session which lasted from Wednesday through Saturday morning, classis faced several important matters. Ten appeals and a protest were treated by Classis West. Some of them were rejected as not legally before classis, but several were adjudicated. All were dealt with in closed session. There were cases in which appellants were sustained in their protests against the actions of their consistory, as well as cases in which consistories were sustained in the appeals brought against them. All the appeals were different and were treated with great care. A protest against a decision of classis last March was rejected, and the previous decision of classis unanimously sustained.
Among other business conducted, two discipline cases were carefully considered in closed session and approval was given to the decisions of the consistories in each case. Classical appointments were again assigned for Hull PRC as follows: Rev. W. Bekkering (October 10 and 17); Rev. M. DeVries (November 21 and 28); Rev. S. Key (December 12 and 19); Rev. A. Brummel (January 9 and 16, 2000); Rev. C. Haak (February 6 and 13, 2000); and Rev. A. denHartog (March 5 and 12, 2000).
We may thank God that the meetings showed a good spirit of unity throughout. Careful advice and instruction were formulated by the various committees of pre-advice, and are reflected in the decisions taken. The importance of the broader assemblies was again very evident, as well as the carefulness with which matters are deliberated and decisions are made. May God use the decisions and instructions given by classis for the welfare of His church, and the restoration and preservation of peace in the churches.
The March 2000 meeting is scheduled to be hosted by Bethel PRC, Roselle, Illinois, convening on March 1.
Rev. Steven Key, Stated Clerk