It was a rainy day when Classis Michigan met at the beautiful new facility of Trinity United Reformed Church in Caledonia, Michigan. Chairman Rev. Brian Vos led the delegates in singing and opened the meeting with prayer.
Two overtures for implementation at classis were approved.
The first dealt with the method in which the churches answer the questions to Church Order Article 26. In the past, these questions were answered “yes” or “no” on the credentials. Classis approved that each church will provide brief answers to the questions on the back of their credentials to classis. In addition, the clerk will assign some of the churches to give a five minute, detailed oral report of how they are implementing these questions.
Classis also approved an overture requesting an additional Church Visitor. Rev. A. Besteman was assigned the role.
Classis also approved two overtures for Synod 2004.
The first dealt with the manner in which members of the Committee for Ecumenical Relations and Church Unity are selected and how long their terms should be. Classis agreed that nominations should come from each classis and that the terms should be three years.
The second overture for Synod was divided into three separate overtures. These overtures request that Synod declare that:
a. All homosexual desires and actions are sins that are condemned by the Word of God and the confessional standards of the URC.
b. Abortion is a sin condemned by the Word of God and the confessional standards of the URC.
c. The teaching that there was any human death or animal death before the Fall in Paradise is a false doctrine condemned by the Word of God and the confessional standards of the URC.
The remainder of the day was spent considering four appeals in regards to discipline matters. The serious and deliberative manner in which the delegates of classis considered the matter before them was commendable. After almost eight hours of discussion, the classis voted with one voice not to sustain the appeals. Classis advised the appellants to repent of their sin, seek reconciliation with their Council, and show the proper respect for those in spiritual authority over them as required by God Himself. Classis also appointed two ministers to serve as mediators in facilitating the reconciliation.
Rev. W. H. Oord Clerk of Classis