Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in South Holland, Illinois on March 2 and 3, 1983. Classis welcomed Rev. T. Miersma (Edmonton), Rev. J. Smith (Edgerton), and Elder O. Gaastra (Redlands) as first-time delegates to Classis. Rev. R. Moore led Classis in opening devotions. He spoke to the delegates on Matthew 5:1-5: “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” etc.
Rev. Slopsema was president of this Classis.
The Reading Sermon Committee (Edgerton Consistory) reported that our reading sermons are being used by a Reformed church outside of our denomination and by the Protestant Reformed Fellowship of New Zealand, and asked for more, new reading sermons. Each minister in the West is to write at least one reading sermon a year, due at the September Classis. The Taped Sermon Committee (South Holland Council) suggested that the churches keep the cassettes that they receive and that Classis be billed for them. This was adopted.
The Church Visitors reported on their visit of all the churches of the West in the past year. They emphasized the work of the elders, this time. Classis thanked them (Rev. J. Kortering and Rev. G. Lanting) for their labor and gave them the mandate, “to give special attention to the discussion of the pastor’s salary with the various consistories this year. Grounds: A. It appears to us that some of our congregations are balancing their budgets at the expense of the pastor’s salary. B. In our judgment, some of the pastors’ salaries are quite low.”
Classis treated several overtures. It disapproved an overture of Hull “that Article 2 of the Domestic Mission Committee, entitled ‘Constituency,’ be altered so that the constituency of this synodical committee be placed once again exclusively in Classis East.” It adopted the overture of Redlands “that the meeting of Synod be changed from June 1 to June 8, 1983,” on the ground that the early date conflicts with the school term in Redlands and possibly other areas. Classis sent this overture on to the calling church of Synod, 1983.
Trinity, Houston overtured “that Classis West advise the Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches, meeting at Hope Church (G.R.), June, 1983, to instruct the calling church for the Jamaican Mission Field to call a missionary and to begin working in Jamaica as soon as possible.” Classis decided that the overture was not legally before Classis, because the requirement of Article 46 of the Church Order had not been met.
Classis also treated several appeals of members against decisions of consistories. It turned back two appeals either because the deadline of Classis was not met or because the matter was not finished in the minor assembly (Article 30 of the Church Order). Classis entered into two appeals and rendered its judgment.
Classis approved the subsidy requests for 1984 of Edgerton, Edmonton, Houston, Isabel, and Pella, in the amount of $71,051. It also approved Edmonton’s request for additional subsidy in 1983 in the amount of $2,580. Classis approved Lynden’s request for release from $1,364 in synodical assessments in 1982, according to the synodical rule that assessments may be adjusted if a congregation loses 10% or more of her families.
Results of the elections were the following:
1) Rev. R. Cammenga for a three year term.
2) Rev. J. Smith for a two year term, to fill the unexpired term of Rev. J. Slopsema who resigned at this Classis.
—Delegates ad examina:
1) Primus: Rev. J. Slopsema.
2) Secundi: Rev. W. Bekkering for a three year term; Rev. R. Moore for a two year term, to fill the unexpired term of Rev. J. Slopsema.
—Church Visitors: Rev. J. Kortering and Rev. G. Lanting.
—Primi minister delegates to Synod: Bekkering, Engelsma, Kamps, Kortering.
—Secundi minister delegates to Synod: Cammenga, Koole, Lanting, Slopsema.
—Primi elder delegates to Synod: E. Bruinsma (Loveland), W. Buys (Edgerton), L. Regnerus (South Holland), M. Smits (South Holland).
—Secundi elder delegates to Synod: J. den Hartog (Lynden), R. Ezinga (Loveland), A. Hendriks (Edgerton), P. Meulenberg (Houston).
Classis adjourned at midnight on Thursday evening, having decided to meet next in Edgerton, Minnesota on September 7, 1983, the Lord willing.
Rev. David Engelsma, Stated Clerk