Report of Classis West

March 7-9, 2001 at Doon, Iowa

The March meeting of Classis West was held at Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa from Wednesday, March 7 through Friday, March 9.

An officebearers’ conference was held on Tuesday, the day before Classis. The theme of the conference was “The Minister As the Man of God.” Rev. Steven Key gave the keynote address, which was entitled, “Men Before God: Servants for Jesus’ Sake.” Several ministers also presented papers relating to the general theme of the conference. The conference was attended not only by the delegates to Classis, but also by several members of our Doon, Hull, and Edgerton congregations, and a few visitors. The conference served as a reminder and encouragement, not only to the ministers, but to all who attended, concerning the work of the ministry of the Word.

Classis began its work on Wednesday morning, with Rev. Garrett Eriks chairing the meeting of Classis.

Classis treated a lengthy and weighty agenda, which included two overtures, four protests, and one appeal.

The first overture Classis treated deals with two matters, both relating to the labors of a missionary on the mission field. First, the overture asks Synod to declare that missionaries may administer both the sacraments, but specifically the Lord’s Supper, subject to the approval of the calling church and concurrence of the respective mission committees, in instituted churches which are the regular objects of our preaching and mission work and which are laboring with us and our missionaries toward denominational federation. Secondly, the overture asks Synod to declare that missionaries may pronounce the votum, salutation, and benediction on the mission field, with the approval of the calling church and concurrence of the respective mission committees, in either an unorganized group or instituted church, where such pronouncement is in conjunction with the regular administration of the Word in an established object of mission work. This overture was forwarded to Synod 2001 with Classis West’s approval of all points in the overture.

The second overture was asking Synod to set up proper, official, denominational oversight and funding of the website. After much discussion, this overture was declared illegally before Classis on the ground that the ownership of the website was not clearly known.

Classis dealt with various matters in closed session, all of which were declared legally before Classis.

The four protests were against prior decisions and actions of Classis. All four protests dealt with the same case. The protests were rejected, and the previous decisions and actions of Classis sustained. However, Classis labored patiently and at length with these protests in order to help the protestants, as much as possible, with their questions and concerns.

In the appeal Classis treated, the appellant was asking Classis to declare that the charges of sin brought against him by his consistory were improper. After careful consideration of the case, and particularly of the appellant’s own writings, the consistory was upheld in all points of its actions of discipline.

Classis also dealt with the request of the consistory of our Pella congregation for the advice of Classis regarding the future viability of the congregation. In response to this request Classis appointed a special committee to assist the consistory of Pella in considering the question of their future viability. The committee, and Pella’s consistory, are to report to Classis in September.

In other business, Classis approved subsidy requests from five of our churches and forwarded these requests to Synod.

Classical appointments were granted to two vacant churches, Lynden and Randolph.

The schedule adopted for Lynden PRC is as follows: Rev. G. Eriks (April 22 and 29), Rev. A. Brummel (May 20 and 27), Rev. W. Bekkering (June 17 and 24), Rev. A. denHartog (July 15 and 22), Rev. S. Key (August 12 and 19), Rev. D. Kleyn (September 9 and 16).

The schedule adopted for Randolph PRC is as follows: Rev. S. Houck (April 15 and 22), Rev. S. Key (May 13 and 20), Rev. R. Smit (June 3 and 10), Rev. R. Miersma (July 8 and 15), Rev. C. Haak (August 5), Rev. M. DeVries (August 19 and 26), Rev. C. Haak (September 9), Rev. W. Bekkering (September 23 and 30).

Annual elections were also held. Elected as delegates to Synod 2001 were Ministers: Primi: A. Brummel, A. denHartog, S. Key, D. Kleyn, R. Smit; Secundi: W. Bekkering, M. DeVries, G. Eriks, C. Haak, R. Miersma. Elders: Primi: Al Brummel (Edgerton), Charles De Groot (Randolph), Henry Hoekstra (Hull), Ryan Regnerus (South Holland), Gene VanBemmel (Doon); Secundi: Eugene Braaksma (Randolph), Robert Brands (Loveland), Marty DeVries (Randolph), Henry Nieuwenkamp (Edmonton), Philip VanBaren (South Holland).

In other elections: Rev. S. Key was reappointed to the Classical Committee, Rev. C. Haak was elected to a three-year term as a Synodical Deputy of Classis West, with Rev. R. Smit being chosen as the alternate; and Revs. W. Bekkering, A. denHartog, C. Haak, and R. Miersma were elected as church visitors, with Revs. M. DeVries and S. Key as alternates.

Although serious matters had to be dealt with, with thanks to God we can report that Classis was very united in its deliberations and decisions.

Classis decided to hold its next meeting in Hull PRC, Iowa, on September 5, 2001. The March 2002 meeting is scheduled to be held in Loveland PRC.

Rev. Daniel Kleyn

Stated Clerk, Classis West