Classis West met in regular session on August 29-30, 2018. The meeting was hosted by Peace PRC (Lansing, IL), but all sessions were held in the facilities of the neighboring Crete PRC, since Peace is in the process of transitioning to a new building. Rev. John Marcus chaired the meeting.
The highlight of this meeting was the examination of Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak, who had received and accepted the call extended to him by Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD). Mr. Langerak led a worship service on the night before Classis, expounding God’s Word from Proverbs 3:56. He was then examined the following day in the six loci of Dogmatics, Knowledge of Scripture, Knowledge of the Confessions, Controversy, and Practica. With the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, Classis unanimously approved his examination and advised Heritage PRC to proceed to his ordination into the ministry. Mr. Langerak was ordained in a special worship service held on August 31. We give thanks to God for supplying another under-shepherd, and pray for God’s blessings upon the ministry of Rev. Jonathan Langerak.
In closed session, Classis dealt with the request of a consistory to increase censure on an impenitent member. After hearing evidence of the member’s impenitence and the consistory’s careful labor, Classis advised them to proceed to making the second announcement of the second step of discipline.
Classis was also informed by a consistory that it had, with the concurrence of a neighboring consistory, suspended its pastor from exercising his office, and that it sought Classis’ approval to proceed with his deposition. With great sadness, Classis voted unanimously to advise the consistory to proceed, and the synodical deputies concurred.
On its agenda Classis also had an appeal from a member of a congregation against the decisions of his consistory. Classis declared two parts of the appeal not legally before it, as it was not finished at the consistory level. Classis did enter into one part of the appeal and gave careful instruction to both the appellant and the consistory concerning the procedural issues that were raised. By decision Classis also reminded the appellant of the importance of brevity in submitting materials and the importance of being patient with his consistory as they work through the issues.
Classis also approved an overture from Hull PRC to Synod 2019 to add a statement to the bylaws of the denomination regarding our stance on marriage and homosexuality and to write policies regarding this issue that might be adopted by local consistories to aid them in the legal protection of their property against lawsuits. Classis judged that the overture made compelling arguments for the legal protection afforded by such an action and that it would be helpful to local consistories.
The following classical appointment schedule for Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) was drawn up: Rev. N. Langerak (September 16 and 23), Rev. R. Barnhill (October 7 and 14), Rev. S. Regnerus (October 21 and 28), Rev. E. Guichelaar (December 9 and 16), Rev. B. Huizinga (January 13 and 20), Rev. M. De Boer (January 27 and February 3), Rev. J. Laning (February 17 and 24), Rev. J. Engelsma (March 17 and 24), Rev. S. Key (March 31 and April 7), Rev. D. Lee (April 21 and 28), and Rev. A. Brummel (May 12 and 19).
The expenses of Classis totaled $9,350.47.
The next meeting of Classis West is scheduled for March 6, 2019, in Heritage PRC, the Lord willing.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Stated Clerk, Classis West