Report of Classis West – Convened March 5, 1947 at Rock Valley, Iowa
Classis West convened at Rock Valley, Iowa, on March 5, 1947.
The meeting was opened with the usual devotions, conducted by the Rev. P. Vis.
All the churches of the Classis were represented by their respective delegates. A word of welcome was extended to Rev. J. Howerzyl, representing Oskaloosa for the first time at our Classis, as also two other delegates who attended our Classis for the first time. They were given an opportunity to sign the formula of subscription.
After the meeting was declared constituted, Rev. G. Vos took up the presidency for the day, and Rev. P. Vis officiated as clerk.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
The sermon committee reported that they have compiled another set of sermon books, containing sermons to be read in our churches. Classis decided to offer these books for sale at three dollars per set. Those desiring a set can obtain them from Rev. J. Blankespoor, Doon, Iowa.
The church visitors for Bellflower and Redlands reported that both the congregations visited are prospering under the blessings of God. The visitors for the churches of Iowa and Minnesota reported that “conditions prevailing in our churches are satisfactory and indicative of spiritual growth and the blessings of God. Peace and unity seem to prevail in them.”
The committee appointed to visit our Manhattan congregation reported that it had not carried out its work, because one of the members was unable to make the necessary arrangements for the visit. This committee is continued, in order that it may carry out its work at a later date, and Rev. P. De Boer is appointed as alternate for Rev. L. Doezema.
Classis decided to instruct the church visitors, that henceforth their work should be carried out before the end of the calendar year in which they are appointed, so that the retiring elders will still be present at the church visitation.
Two consistories presented overtures to Classis, requesting that the date of the Pall meeting be changed back to the first week of September, because the present arrangement of meeting in the last week of September interferes too much with the Catechism classes, particularly for those ministers who must be absent from the congregation for about a week, in order to attend Classis. It was decided to comply with this request.
The chairman appointed a committee consisting of Rev. A. Petter, and elders E. Dykstra of Hull, and G. Ryken of Oskaloosa, to consider the requests for subsidies sent in by the needy churches.
In the afternoon session this committee reported on its work and advised Classis in regard to the requests for subsidy given for their consideration. Classis decided to adopt the advice of the committee, with but one exception. Classis decided to present this matter to our next Synod for its final approval.
Classis received a communication from Mr. Id. H. Kuiper, who requested to be reinstated as minister of the Word in our churches, on the grounds that he has now complied with a former decision of Classis, that he must return within the pale of our churches. It was decided to inform him, that Classis cannot accept the grounds he offers for reinstatement, since his former status as minister in our churches automatically ceased when he left our churches to affiliate himself with another denomination.
The consistory of Edgerton presented an overture to Classis, to be forwarded to Synod, advising Synod to retract its former decision to refer the matter of Psalter revision back to the various Classes for further study, on the basis that this procedure is contrary to correct Reformed ecclesiastical procedure.
In regard to the matter of Psalters, Classis decided to overture Synod to contact the Netherlands Reformed Church, which is considering the publication of a new edition of our present Psalter, and to assure them that we are ready to purchase a sufficient number of Psalters to tide us over the period in which our proposed Psalter is in the making.
Rev. B. Kok, who attended our afternoon session, was given permission to address the Classis in behalf of the Mission Committee.
The following were chosen as delegates to our next Synod:
P. De Boer
C. Vander Molen
W. De Vries
E. Vander Werff
Classis decided to accept the invitation of Doon, Iowa, to hold our Fall meeting in their church.
The questions according to article 41 of the Church Order were satisfactorily answered.
The minutes of the day were adopted. After a few fitting closing remarks by the president, Rev. L. Vermeer led the assembly in thanksgiving to God for the Christian fellowship we might experience and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
REV. C. HANKO, Stated Clerk