Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met on March 4–5, 2020, in Peace PRC (Dyer, IN). This was the first time that Classis was held in Peace’s new building, which accommodated the Classis very well. The meeting was capably chaired by Rev. Allen Brummel (Calvary PRC).
After opening devotions and the constituting of Classis, routine reports of the stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon committee were read and approved. The church visitors also reported on their work over the last year and the presence of unity, peace, and love prevailing in the churches.
Before Classis was a protest from an individual against a decision made by the previous Classis. The previous Classis had judged that a consistory had erred when the consistory did not seek the concurrence of a neighboring consistory to suspend its minister after Classis had advised suspension. The protestant argued this decision of Classis to be in error and that concurrence of a neighboring consistory was not necessary. After careful deliberation, Classis decided not to sustain the protest.
Classis also dealt with an overture from a consistory who requested that Article 67 of the Church Order be amended by removing the requirement that the churches hold worship services on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Classis ruled this overture not to be legally before it as the consistory had not demonstrated that it had researched and interacted with past decisions of the PRCA touching this matter.
In closed session, Classis treated an appeal related to the work of a consistory.
Classis also had before it a protest from an individual against aspects of several decisions made by the previous Classis related to a minister’s teaching on providence and sanctification. Classis decided not to sustain the protestant in any of the aspects of his protest, although Classis recognized one matter where it had misrepresented a consistory.
The special committee appointed by the last Classis to assist a congregation, its consistory, and its pastor reported on their labors. Classis voted to approve the work of the committee and thank them for their labors. It also approved making the special committee available to the consistory going forward, if the consistory feels the need for such help.
This consistory also brought before Classis a request to dismiss its pastor from his duties in the congregation according to Article 11 of the Church Order, thus making him eligible for a call elsewhere in the denomination. Classis, with the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, approved this request, after which the chairman addressed fitting words of encouragement to the pastor and elders present.
In other matters, Classis drew up a schedule to supply the pulpit of First PRC of Edmonton, and it approved the subsidy requests for 2021 for three churches and forwarded them on to Synod for its approval.
Voting took place for various classical functionaries. Rev. Engelsma was reappointed to a three-year term as stated clerk. Rev. J. Langerak was appointed to a three- year term as assistant stated clerk. Rev. M. DeBoer was reappointed to a three-year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. S. Key was reappointed to a three-year term as a primus synodical deputy, and Rev. N. Langerak was reappointed to a three-year term as a secundus synodical deputy. Classis appointed Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning as church visitors, with Revs. R. Hanko and D. Lee as alternates.
Ministers delegated to Synod 2020 were Revs. A. Brummel, J. Engelsma, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning. Alternates are Revs. R. Barnhill, H. Bleyenberg, E. Guichelaar, D. Lee, and S. Regnerus. Elders delegated to Synod 2020 were Glenn Feenstra (Hope Redlands), Brian Gritters (Hull), Jim Lenting (Crete), Jim Regnerus (Doon), and Leon Uittenbogaard (Calvary). Alternates are Kevin Brummel (Crete), Marlin Feenstra (Hope Redlands), Hilgard Goosen (Immanuel), David Griess (Loveland), and Alan Van Bemmel (Calvary).
The expenses of this meeting totaled $13,397.60.
Classis will meet next in Edgerton PRC on September 23, 2020, the Lord willing.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Stated Clerk, Classis West