Synod 2011 did not give permission for classes (regional groups of churches) to hold more classis contracta meetings. Classes usually meet two or three times each year. Classis contracta is an additional meeting where not all the churches in a classis are represented.
Those meetings usually include a situation where only one issue, such as an examination of a candidate for ministry, needs to be handled.
Rev. Peter Jonker, Classis Grand Rapids East, explained the reasoning behind the proposal. “In the last six years, we’ve had 33 exams. We just don’t have the time to get through everything on our agenda. It would give some flexibility to us to be able to do our business better.”
Rev. Timothy Ouwinga said, “[The advisory committee’s] sentiments are that this overture makes it a little too easy to have abbreviated classes—that it almost becomes a norm.”
Synod voted to keep the guidelines the way they are.