On October 10, 2006, the twenty-second meeting of Classis Michigan began. It was a beautiful, sunny, autumn day. For many, the drive to Walker United Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan was a spectacle of God’s work in creation. As the meeting progressed, it was clear that the Lord was also at work in His Church.
The Chairman, Rev. Casey Freswick, welcomed the delegates and visitors; went through the regular opening items on a typical classis agenda with great aptitude, bringing the classis to what would take up the bulk of the day: the candidacy examination of Mr. Steve Postma.
After finding all things in order for the examination and hearing a sermon evaluation of two sermons exhorted by Mr. Postma, several ministers and one elder examined the Mid-America Reformed Seminary graduate in seven different areas: Practica, Bible Knowledge, Biblical Exegesis, Confessional Knowledge, Reformed Doctrine, Church History, and Ethics. Mr. Postma proved himself up to the task and moved diligently through each area giving testimony of his knowledge, his love for the Lord, and his desire to proclaim the Word of God.
After the examination the delegates voted unanimously to recommend that the Consistory of the Dutton URC declare Mr. Postma a candidate for the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments. An additional motion was approved that, should Mr. Postma receive and accept a call within our classis, there would be no need for an Ordination Exam. It was with great joy that delegates, Mr. Postma, and his family shared the news of the sustaining of the exam. A prayer of thanksgiving was offered by Rev. Klompien.
During the lunch break, Rev. Alan Vander Pol of Cape Coral, Florida, spoke of the mission work that he is involved with at the Miami International Seminary.
Three overtures were considered by Classis Michigan. The first, asking Synod 2007 to establish a method for classis to collect and distribute monies for missionaries, was defeated.
The second overture, brought by four churches from classis, sought to overture Synod to make a clear statement on justification by faith alone. It sought, in light of the fact that we are in Phase Two with the RCUS, the adoption of the RCUS’ statement on Justification.
While delegates seemed in harmony on the need for a clear statement on justification, debate was held over the proper method to bring about such a statement: should the URCNA form its own study committee or should we adopt the forty page document of the RCUS? In the end, the majority of delegates voted in favor of overturing synod to adopt the RCUS report. Three delegates asked that their negative vote be recorded in the minutes of classis.
The third overture also dealt with justification. Classes deemed that the decision made on the second overture was our answer to the third overture.
In other matters, Rev. David Klumpenhower and Elder Marv Vander Berg were appointed to the Classis Mission Committee and Rev. Brian Vos was appointed as Church Visitor. Several churches sought and received advice from classis.
We give thanks to our God for the work that was accomplished at classis and pray that it may be beneficial to the churches.
—Submitted by Rev. W. H. Oord Clerk of Classis