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March 6, 1996

at Pella, Iowa

The March meeting of Classis West was held in Pella, Iowa on Wednesday, March 6. The customary Officebearers’ Conference was held the day before. The theme of the Conference was “Discerning the Spirits.” The keynote address was given by Pastor Steven Key, who spoke on “Trying the Spirits.” Also giving presentations at the conference were Rev. Ron Cammenga, “Promise Keepers: What Should Be Our Response?”; Rev. Charles Terpstra, “Conferences: Of What Value?”; and Rev. Michael DeVries, “The Multiplication of Signs and Miracles: An Examination of the Influences of Pentecostalism.” In attendance at the conference were almost all the delegates to Classis, as well as several visitors. The discussion and the fellowship were appreciated by all.

Rev. Carl Haak began the session of Classis on Wednesday with a devotional based on I Timothy 4:16, “Take heed to thyself.” Rev. Steven Houck then chaired the Classis meeting.

The agenda of Classis was brief. Among the customary reports that are received early in the agenda, the Church Visitors annually give their report at the March Classis. The Church Visitors reported that the churches in Classis West are experiencing the gracious blessing of our God upon both councils and congregations. We give thanks to God for the unity in the truth that we enjoy as churches.

The Classis considered an overture which asked Classis “to make it their practice to treat the questions of Article 41 (of the Church Order) early in the agenda.” These questions; which are asked as part of the mutual supervision exercised among the churches, have long been asked near the close of the Classis meetings. One of the grounds for the change pointed Classis to historical precedent, where the practice all the way back to 1571 was to treat these questions at the beginning of the Classis meetings. The second ground stated that such a change is proper when one takes into account one of the reasons for the questions, namely, to insure the unity of faith and walk within the federation of churches. And a third ground pointed to a practical consideration of allowing the Classis, early in the meeting, to consider any matters that a consistory may bring under the fourth question of Article 41: “Do you need the judgment and help of the classis for the proper government of your church?” Classis West adopted the overture and made it the practice to ask the questions of Article 41 immediately after the reading of the minutes of the previous Classis meeting.

Classis granted classical appointments as follows: Doon PRC — Rev. Terpstra (April 21 and 28); Rev. DeVries (June 2 and 9); Rev. C. Haak (June 23 and 30). Immanuel, Lacombe PRC — Rev. Moore (April 21 and 28); Rev. VanBaren (June 23 and 30); Rev. denHartog (July 28 and August 4); Rev. Brummel (August 25 and September 1); Rev. Joostens (September 22 and 29).

Classis approved subsidy requests as follows and forwarded them to Synod: Bethel PRC — $20,300; Edgerton PRC — $9,000; Edmonton PRC — $31,773; Lacombe PRC — $19,134; Pella PRC — $22,500; Trinity PRC — $31,000.

Voting for delegates to Synod 1996 resulted in the following elections: Ministers: Primi: A. denHartog, C. Haak, S. Key, C. Terpstra, G. VanBaren; Secundi: W. Bekkering, M. DeVries, S. Houck, M. Joostens, R. Moore. Elders: Primi: Robert Brands (Loveland), Allen Brummel (Edgerton), Ken DeJong (Peace), Jack Regnerus (Randolph), Bill Smit (Lynden); Secundi: John Feenstra (Redlands), Henry Ferguson (Edmonton), John Hilton (Edgerton), John Hoksbergen (Hull), Chester Hunter, Jr. (Doon).

Among other elections: Rev. S. Key was re-appointed to a three-year term as Stated Clerk. Elder Ed VanGinkel was elected to a one-year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. Key was re-elected to serve a three-year primus term and Rev. W. Bekkering was re-elected to a three-year secundus term as Synodical Deputies. Revs. G. Lanting and G. VanBaren were re-elected to be church visitors, with Revs. A. denHartog and S. Houck as alternates.

The next meeting of Classis will be in Randolph, Wisconsin on September 4, 1996, the Lord willing.

Rev. Steven Key,

Stated Clerk