On behalf of the convening church, the American Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Rev. Ken Kok welcomed the delegates and opened the meeting by reading from Isaiah 9:1-7. He remembered the following matters in prayer: the acceptance of the call extended to Rev. Steve van Leeuwen by Grace-Kerwood, and the acceptance of the call extended to Rev. John Louwerse by Grassie-Covenant.
The credentials were examined and found to be in good order. Classis was declared constituted. The following brothers took their places as executive: chairman – Rev. Jeff Temple; vice-chairman – Rev. Timothy vanBeek; clerk – Rev. John VanWoudenberg.
The agenda was adopted with minor revisions.
Question Period ad Art. 44 CO was held. All the churches indicated that they are continuing the ministry of the office-bearers, as well as honoring the decisions of the broader assemblies. Two churches requested advice on any matters related to the government of their congregations. Both London-Pilgrim and Trinity-Glanbrook requested and received advice in matters of church discipline. Together, the delegates prayed for wisdom and diligence in the matters brought forward.
Classis received a letter from the CER communicating the desire of Bethel URC in Woodstock to honor the “Golden Rule” Comity Agreement (1984) and inform Classis Ontario West that they have established an URCNA church plant in the Mitchell area. It was agreed that a response be sent to the CER.
The church of Hamilton-Cornerstone was appointed as the convening church for the next classis on March 6, 2024, with May 22, 2024 / June 5, 2024 as an alternate date. Suggested officers for the next classis are Rev. Timothy VanBeek (chair); Rev. John VanWoudenberg (vice-chair); Rev. Arjen Vreugdenhil (clerk). The Revs. Ken Kok, Peter Holtvlüwer and John VanWoudenberg were appointed as the Committee for Examiners.
Personal question period was held.
With thankfulness, the chairman concluded that the meeting had been conducted in a spirit of harmony and that there was no need for Christian censure (Article 34 CO).
After question period, the acts were adopted, the press release was approved, and the chairman led in thanksgiving prayer. Classis Ontario West, December 13, 2023, was declared closed.
For Classis Ontario West,
Rev. Timothy vanBeek (vice-chairman at that time)