Report of Classis East

January 13, 1999

Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 13, 1999 in the Byron Center PRC. Rev. Barry Gritters was the chairman for this session. Each church was represented by two delegates.

This was a lengthy session of classis. Classis had several issues on its agenda that warranted considerable discussion.

First, Rev. R. Flikkema appealed the decision of Covenant PRC not to transfer his ministerial credentials to his home church, the Faith PRC. Classis considered this matter to be illegally before it on the ground that this matter was not finished in the minor assemblies.

Second, two brothers and a consistory are appealing to synod 1999 a decision of classis taken on their protests by the September 9, 1998 session of classis. It is difficult to report extensively on this matter since part of the procedures for this matter occurred in closed session at the May 13, 1998 andSeptember 9, 1998 sessions of classis. The matter under appeal deals (1) with divorce and the understanding of how legal separation relates to divorce and (2) with whether a member of the church may consent to an unbiblical divorce. The brothers contend that classis was in error in its decisions taken in a case dealt with at the May 13, 1998 classis. The brothers protested that decision, classis did not sustain their protests, so now the matter is being appealed to synod. Classis decided to forward the appeals of the two brothers to synod with the advice that synod reject their appeals. Classis forwarded the appeal of the consistory to synod with the advice that synod not treat this appeal because, in the judgment of classis, no protest had been filed with the classis prior to this appeal.

Third, classis heard two appeals from a brother dealing with decisions taken by his council/consistory. The first appeal asked that his consistory be instructed to give him a letter that, in his judgment, touched this case. Classis sustained this appeal on the ground that all documents that touch a case should be given to a member who requests such. The second appeal from this same brother asked classis to instruct his consistory to answer his protest more fully and completely. Classis did not sustain this appeal, rather deciding that the consistory had indeed responded to the protest in question.

Classis heard the reports of its stated clerk, its church visitors, and the Classical Committee. The church visitors were mandated to discuss with Covenant PRC its continuing large subsidy as a small church as communicated to classis by the synod of 1994.

In voting matters, the following: Elected as delegates to synod: MINISTERS: Primi—W. Bruinsma, R. Cammenga, Dale Kuiper, J. Slopsema, R. VanOverloop; Secundi—M. Dick, K. Koole, Doug Kuiper, A. Spriensma, C. Terpstra; ELDERS: Primi—J. Buiter, D. Doezema, C. Kuiper (SW), D. Lotterman, D. Ondersma; Secundi—J. Engelsma, D. Gunnink, C. Kamstra, D. Kregel, S. Miedema, Jr. Rev. C. Terpstra was elected to a three-year term as primus delegate ad examina and Rev. R. Cammenga to a three-year secundus term. Rev. R. VanOverloop was elected to a three-year term on the Classical Committee. Elected as church visitors were the Revs. Dale Kuiper and K. Koole, with Rev. R. Van Overloop as alternate. J. Huisken was appointed to another three-year term as stated clerk.

Subsidy requests for the year 2000 of $19,000 for Kalamazoo and $37,500 for Covenant were approved and forwarded to synod. Classis also approved and forwarded to synod the request of Covenant to reallocate $5,000 of its 1999 subsidy for evangelism to the pastor's salary. Classis also approved and forwarded to synod Grandville PRC's request for a reduction of $5,850 in 1997 synodical assessments and $5,200 in 1998 assessments due to loss of families. Grandville was also instructed to give further evidence to synod of the economic hardship caused by this loss of families.

The expenses for this session amounted to $1,499.53. Classis will meet next on May 12, 1999 at Grace PRC.

Respectfully submitted,

w.s. Jon J. Huisken, 

Stated Clerk