Report of Classis West

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in Doon, Iowa from Tuesday morning, September 21, until late in the evening on Thursday, September 23. At the request of two Consistories and by the action of the Classical Committee, Classis had been postponed from the date originally set, September 1, in order that Classis might examine two men who had accepted calls to churches in the West. Ten ministers and fourteen elders represented the churches of the West. Rev. R. Moore presided over the meeting. The delegates ad examina from Classis East—Rev. C. Hanko, Rev. G. VanBaren, and Rev. B. Woudenberg—were present for the examination of the men who had accepted calls; and Rev. G. Lubbers, minister emeritus in Classis West, was present at the sessions of Classis. 

On Tuesday, Classis examined Mr. Thomas Miersma and Mr. Jon Smith, according to the requirements of Article 4 of the Church Order. This examination was requested by the Consistories of Edmonton, Alberta and Edgerton, Minnesota, whose calls the men had accepted. Mr. Smith gave his “specimen of preaching” before the Classis on Tuesday morning; Mr. Miersma gave his “specimen of preaching” at a special worship service of the Doon congregation on the evening before Classis, in the presence of the delegates of Classis and the delegates ad examina. Both men successfully sustained the preemptor (decisive) examination. Classis advised Edmonton to proceed with the ordination and installation of Mr. Miersma; Classis advised Edgerton to proceed with the ordination and installation of Mr. Smith. The president expressed to both the joy and thankfulness of the Classis. 

A great deal of Classis’ time was taken up with the consideration, in closed session, of several appeals and of a Consistory’s request for Classis’ advice concerning the second step of censure of an impenitent member. 

Classis forwarded to Synod, 1983, with its approval, an overture of South Holland, that Synod see to the inclusion in our Psalter of the three Trinitarian Creeds—the Apostles’ Creed; the Nicene Creed; and the Athanasian Creed. 

Edmonton sent to the Classis a “request for help, according to Article 41-4 of the Church Order.” Edmonton asked for the interpretation of Article 21 of the Church Order: “The consistories shall see to it that there are good Christian schools in which the parents have their children instructed according to the demands of the covenant.” Classis responded in six points: 1) Because God’s covenant is with believers and their children, our children must be instructed according to the “demands of the covenant.” 2) Christian parents have the calling to train up their children in the way they should go according to the Word of God. 3) This covenant instruction is accomplished not only in the home and church, but also in the day school. Therefore, Reformed believers establish Christian day schools.. . 4) The consistory is called to encourage the organization of our schools by the members of the congregation. 5) The consistory has the duty to admonish and exhort those parents who fail to carry out their covenant obligations. 6) Consistory members themselves ought to support our own Christian schools. 

Edmonton and Isabel asked for special (emergency) subsidy for 1982 in the amount of $4,250.00; Isabel asked for additional subsidy for 1983 in the amount of $3,000.00; and Edgerton asked for $1,000.00 for the moving expenses of their new pastor. Classis granted these requests and forwarded them to the Finance Committee of Synod. 

Because of the delay (due to immigration proceedings) in the installation of Mr. Miersma, Edmonton asked for pulpit supply. Rev. Kuiper was appointed to fill Edmonton’s pulpit the Sundays of October 17, 24, and 31. 

Classis West will meet next in South Holland on March 2, 1983, the Lord willing. 

Rev. David Engelsma, Stated Clerk 

Classis West