The March meeting of Classis West was held in Loveland,CO on Wednesday, March 1. The customary Officebearers’ Conference was held the day before. The theme of the Conference was “The Truth of God’s Gracious Covenant.” The keynote address was given by Rev. Russ Dykstra, who spoke on “God’s Gracious Covenant: A Glorious Truth, A Blessed Experience. Sectionals were led by Rev. Mitchell Dick, “Setting the Record Straight on Pre-Supposed Regeneration”; Rev. Thomas Miersma, “A Critique of the Conditional Covenant”; and Rev. Arie denHartog, “Covenant Breakers.” Healthy discussion followed each paper, showing unity of thought among our officebearers concerning this significant truth.
Tuesday evening the delegates and members of Loveland’s congregation gathered for a slide presentation by Rev. Richard Moore, a member of the Foreign Mission Committee of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Rev. Moore, together with Elder Don VerMeer, recently spent several weeks in Ghana, Africa, investigating further the possibility of the PRC doing mission work in that country. For further information concerning this investigatory work, confer the March 1, 1995 issue of the Standard Bearer. Our congregations would be well served by having Rev. Moore come and show his slides.
Rev. Michael DeVries began the session of class with devotions based on John 13:14, 15. Rev. Dick then chaired the Classis meeting.
The agenda of Classis was brief. There were regular reports from the Classical Committee, the Stated Clerk, and the Reading Sermon Committee. At the March meetings of Classis West, the Church Visitors annually give their report. The Church Visitors noted with gratitude to God that all the churches in Classis West are experiencing unity, peace, and love, and that the consistories are faithfully caring for the sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ. They stated, “We must not take this blessing for granted, but we must continue to seek this blessing earnestly before God’s face. Of particular interest to the Classis was a report by the Church Visitors of their visit to the Trinity PRC in Houston, Texas. It was especially encouraging to hear of the extensive evangelism efforts of that small congregation, and of the Lord’s evident blessing upon their labors and those of Pastor Mahtani. God has graciously added to their number, but also has given them much opportunity to spread God’s truth. This they have done not only among the general population, but also in the Sindhi Indian community in Houston, most of whom are Hindu. Classis will report to Synod 1995 that although the congregation in Houston is small, “the churches can enthusiastically continue to support Trinity PRC according to her need.” We pray that God, will continue to bless their efforts to proclaim the gospel, and also those evangelism labors of all the churches.
The Classis also considered an overture which asks Synod 1995 “to investigate through its committee for contact the possibility of having our sister church in New Zealand join one of the Classes in our Protestant Reformed Churches in America.” Classis West decided to send the overture on to synod with disapproval, The grounds for disapproval were three: 1) Past synods have had the opportunity to face these matters when they formed sister-church relationships with the PRC of New Zealand and the ERCS, when they renewed the support of the PRC of N.Z., and when they established the “Principles for Assistance in Discipline”; 2) No evidence is presented that the current arrangements involved in our sister-church relationships do not serve the spiritual well-being of the PRC of N.Z.; 3) Such a request of a congregation/denomination joining another denomination ought to arise from the congregation/denomination itself.
Classis granted classical appointments as follows: Edmonton PRC—Rev. Houck (April 23 and 30); Edgerton PRC—Revs. DeVries (May 21, 28), Dykstra (Aug. 13, 20), Bekkering (Sept. 10, 17); Lynden PRC—Revs. Moore (April 23, 30), Dick (May 14, 21),Key (July 23, 30),Terpstra (Aug. 13, 20), Haak (Sept. 10, 17). Classis instructed the vacant church to seek supply from seminary students or candidates from Mid-June, through July.
Classis approved subsidy requests as follows and forwarded them to Synod: Bethel PRC—$20,300; Edgerton PRC—$14,000; Edmonton PRC—$32,378; Lacombe PRC—$15,221; Pella PRC—$22,500; Trinity PRC—$32,000.
Voting for synodical delegates resulted in the following: Ministers: Primi: W. Bekkering, R. Dykstra, C. Haak, C. Terpstra, G. VanBaren; Secundi: A. denHartog, M. Dick, S. Houck, S. Key, R. Moore.Elders: Primi: Ed Gritters (Redlands), Henry Hoekstra (Hull), Chester Hunter, Jr. (Doon), David Poortinga (Loveland), Ed VanGinkel (Doon); Secundi: Gary Buteyn, Henry Ferguson, Tim Kooima, Herman Molenkamp, Michael VanBaren.
Rev. R. Moore was elected to serve a three-year term and Elder Ed VanGinkel a one-year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. C. Haak was elected to serve a three-year primus term ,and Rev. S. Key was re-elected to a two-year term as Synodical Deputies, with Rev. G. VanBaren elected to a three-yearsecundus term. Revs. G. Lanting and G. VanBaren were elected to be church visitors, with Revs. W. Bekkering and A. denHartog as alternates.
The next meeting of Classis West will be in South Holland, IL on September 20, 1995, the Lord willing.
Rev. Steven Key,