Church Government

Synod 2016 (Hull, IA) - June 14-17, 2016

News items on the PRC meetings of the Synod of 2016, held at Hull PRC (Iowa) June 14-17.

July Standard Bearer - Synod 2016 Issue

The July 2016 issue of the Standard Bearer is out and it features the PRC Synod of 2016, which met in Hull, IA from June 14-17. Besides pictures of the delegates and their work, the issue contains the pre-synodical sermon delivered by Rev. Steven Key (president of Synod 2015) and a significant summary of Synod's work by Prof. R. Cammenga (see contents below).

Below is the cover along with the inside page with its contents. To obtain your copy and begin your subscription to this Reformed magazine, contact the Reformed Free Publishing Association.

SB July 2016 Synod

SB Synod 2016 issue contents

PRC Synod 2016 - Day 4, Friday, June 17

Synod at work 3

The PRC Synod of 2016 concluded its work about 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 17. Below is the final summary of the decisions as provided by Rev. A. Brummel, second clerk.

Synod began the day finishing the work of the FMC by approving the work with Hope PRC-Walker in Myanmar and with Georgetown PRC in India.

The work of the Catechism Book Committee was approved in its work of publishing and distributing the Confessions and Church Order of the PRC in E-pub and Mobi formats.  The committee was instructed to poll the consistories of our churches for suggested improvements to the catechism curriculum and bring a recommendation regarding possible revisions to Synod 2017.  The Stated clerk reported good progress on redesigning the catechism book covers and standardizing the formatting of all the catechism books.

Taking up the matter of Psalter revision, synod declared that the Contact Committee has fulfilled the mandate of Synod 2015 regarding a detailed and grounded proposal about whether to proceed with the work.  Synod instructed the CC to continue its participation in the interdenominational project with the Free Reformed Churches and the Heritage Netherland Reformed Churches and adopted the principles that are guiding the revision, central to which is the accuracy of the text to the Psalms.  Synod expressed the desire to have a song book that is more faithful to the Psalms and will assist us and our children with a greater love and appreciation for the Psalms.  Toward that end the songs will be numbered according to the respective Psalms to encourage learning the Psalms better, and the lyrics revised to be more faithful to the Psalms.  Concern was expressed that the scope of the revision not become too broad in terms of changing tunes and lyrics without compelling reasons.

Synod declared Mr. Wes Koops’ appeal as not legally before synod seeing as it missed the deadline of April 15.  He was thanked for the spirit with which he brought the appeal as well as for its brevity.  His main concerns had been already addressed by synod on Thursday.

Mr. Don Offringa was appointed as Synodical Treasurer.  Mr. Tom Holstege was appointed as Assistant Treasurer.  Mr. Kevin Van Overloop was thanked for his 19 years of service to the churches, and especially his willingness this past year to step up to fill the position of synodical treasurer.

Emeritation requests totaling $346,887, a reduction of $3,200 from 2016, were approved for 2017.  8 subsidy requests totaling $273,910US and $56,000CN were approved.   Total expenses of synod totaled $5,437.59. 

The total budget of synod for 2017 is $2,018,999.  Assessments were increased $25 over 2016 to $815 per family per year making use of the projected family count of 2110.

Synod approved Hudsonville PRC as host to the meeting of synod in 2017 to convene on Tuesday, June 13 at 8:00 a.m.

RVO Haak Adams Pipe

DKleyn Spronk etc

RVO Lanning Minderhoud

PRC Synod 2016 - Day 3, Thursday, June 16

The PRC Synod of 2016 had a long and busy day of discussions and deliberations Thursday, June 16. Below is the summary report of the day's decisions as provided by second clerk, Rev.A. Brummel.

Synod turned this morning to the material of the Contact Committee regarding NAPARC  Approval was given to the CC to accept NAPARC’s invitation and send two observers to the 2016 meeting and a mandate approved.  The work of the CC with Namibia and South Africa was approved and an encouraging update on the recent delegation.  Approval was given to the CC regarding continuing discussions with the PRC of the Philippines with a view to establishing sister church relations.

Next year synod anticipates the joyful prospect of many examinations.  Synod approved the TSC’s proposed concept for the student examination of 2017 of dividing the synodical delegates and students into two groups and shortening the length of the examinations according to a specific schedule.

Synod approved the work of the FMC in the Philippines and expressed gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Daniel Kleyn for their faithful service.  Rev. Kleyn addressed the synod briefly.  The chair of synod had opportunity to personally thank him and encourage him in the labors. 

DKleyn address

The proposal to call a third missionary in the Philippines was approved with the view to one of the missionaries devoting time to investigate the possibility of setting up a theological school in the Philippines. 

Synod treated the Neil Meyer appeal.  Synod did not sustain the appeal of Mr. Meyer in his contention that the sermon on John 14:6 taught a conditional covenant.  Synod declared that Hope’s consistory erred in their wholesale defense of the sermon in light of statements that were confusing and apparently contradictory.  Synod sustained the appeal of Mr. Meyer against the charge of Hope’s consistory and the decision of Classis East that he “maintains and teaches antinomianism.”

Synod concluded its business at 10 p.m. with the prayer that God would bless the decisions and continue to guide the delegates and all involved with wisdom.

PRC Synod 2016 - Day 2, Wednesday, June 15 (Updated)

The PRC 2016 Synod reconvened on Wednesday, June 15, in Hull PRC to begin hearing committee reports and acting on them.

Below is the summary of Synod's actions today, as provided by the second clerk, Rev.A. Brummel:

Synod convened on Wednesday morning at 8:00 and immediately took up the matter of the legality of the appeal of Mr. Neal Meyer.  Synod declared the appeal in its entirety to be legally before synod.  A motion passed to treat the appeal in open session.  Synod plans to take up the appeal around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, Lord willing.

Synod treated the Domestic Mission Committee material expressing thanks to Rev. Bruinsma and his wife Mary and Southwest PRC for their faithful work and joy in the Lord’s work of bringing the Pittsburgh Fellowship to the point of being organized as an instituted congregation.  Provisions were made for the financial support of our missionary and the purchase of a house if necessary.  $50,000 of excess funds in the Pittsburgh Fellowship’s General Fund, half of which were contributed by the Fellowship, were given to them as has been done in the past with other churches organized as a result of our mission labors.  All of the matters brought by the DMC passed Synod’s approval, most significant of which was the proposal for calling another home missionary.  Expressing a desire to remain faithful to the Lord of Church by being busy in the work of missions in our land, approval was given to call another home missionary who will develop a field of labor and then preach and teach on that field which the Spirit provides.  Byron Center PRC was approved as the calling church for this missionary.

The Theological School material was treated and approved with the exception of the matter of the examination of next year’s students.  Synod recommitted that matter to Committee 1.  With thanksgiving to God synod approved the admission of Mr. Josiah Tan, a student from our sister-church in Singapore to the seminary next Fall.

Synod took up the matters of the Contact Committee treating the material relating to the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore.  Synod expressed agreement with the changes they are proposing in their church order which brings it closer in agreement with our church order.  Approval was given for Rev. D Kleyn and another PR pastor to travel to Singapore in October to assist the CERC in the examination of Emmanuel Singh with a view to his being called as their missionary to India.   Rev. Andy Lanning, pastor of the CERC, read a letter to the synod expressing the appreciation of the CERCS for the sister- church relationship we enjoy and outlining some of the highlights of their labors.  The chair of synod expressed mutual appreciation for the relationship and gave words of encouragement to the brother.

ALanning adress
Rev.A. Lanning of the ERC in Singapore addresses synod.

Synod approved the work of the Contact Committee with the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland and their mission work in Limerick.  Opportunity was given to Rev. McGeown to address synod and he spoke of the work being performed in Northern Ireland and Limerick and expressed similar appreciation for the relationship they enjoy with the PRCA and the CERCS.  The chair of synod also addressed gratitude to God for our relationship and the witness of the gospel in that land.

McGeown address
Rev. M.McGeown addresses synod on behalf of the CPRC in N.Ireland.

Synod approved the labors of the Contact Committee in their work with the BERG in Germany, a congregation which sent a representative to be present at synod.  Dr. Klautke addressed synod using the parting works of the president of the synod of Dordt as words of encouragement as now those of Dutch heritage reach out to assist those who find themselves alone in Germany.  Dr Klautke gave a brief summary of the history of the congregation and the seminary and expressed great appreciation for the contact that we enjoy.  Once again the chair of synod expressed mutual appreciation for our contact with this small congregation and our desire to grow together by getting to know them better.

Klautke address
Dr.J. Klautke of the BERG of Giessen, Germany addresses synod.

Synod approved careful guidelines submitted by the CC regarding participation in Ecumenical Councils and approved a lengthy addition in the CC constitution under the heading of their Task.

Synod ended its work around 3:45 on Wednesday afternoon in order to allow for Committee 4 to continue their pre-advice work on the appeals.  Tonight Dr. Kautke gives a lecture at Calvary PRC sponsored by the Contact Committee expanding on the work of the BERG in Germany at 7:30 p.m.   Synod anticipates returning to the work of Committee 2 Thursday morning regarding the rest of the CC material involving NAPARC, Namibia and South Africa, the PRCP, and the Psalter Revision Committee.  If there remains time in the morning we will proceed to the materials of Committee 3 regarding the FMC.  At 1:00 we plan to turn our attention to the appeal of Mr. Meyer, Lord willing.

And to this report we may add the group pictures taken today by our synodical photograper, Elder John Van Baren.

Group pic 2

Group pic 1

You may notice some additions and subtractions.

And here are a few other photos taken around Synod today - by others too.

Elders Bylsma Hunter
Elders Bylsma and Hunter

Elders JVB SM
Elders J. Van Baren and S. Miedema
Klautke Eriks
Dr. J.Klautke and Rev.G. Eriks

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PRC Synod 2016 - Day 1, Tuesday, June 14 (Updated)

On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, the PRC Synod convened officially and began its work. Last year's president, Rev. S. Key, opened the initial session.

Synod begins 1

Voting for new officers took place with Rev.G. Eriks elected as president, Rev. R. Van Overloop as vice-president, Rev.D. Kuiper as first clerk, and Rev. A. Brummel as second clerk.

Officers 1

Committee assignments were then determined with the following results (first-named is chair):

Committee I - Revs. R. Van Overloop and C. Spronk; Elders A.Bylsma and H.Pastoor

CommI 1

Committee II - Revs. C.Haak and J.Laning; Elders C.Hunter and T.Pipe; Prof.R. Cammenga, advisor

CommII 2

Committee III - Revs. K.Koole, D. Kuiper; Elders J.Van Baren and K.Bruinsma

CommIII 1

Committee IV - Revs. S.Key and R. Kleyn; Elders S.Miedema and L.Regnerus; Prof.B. Gritters, advisor

CommIV 1

 CommIV 1

Committee V - Revs. G.Eriks and A. Brummel; Elders P.Adams and B.Van Engen

 CommV 1

CommV 1

Second clerk, Rev. A. Brummel adds these notes for today:

All the delegates were present with Elder Pete Adams as secondi in the place of David Kregel and Prof. Dykstra absent due to work in Singapore.

Synod also seated Rev. Martyn McGeown and Rev. Lanning as delegates from our sister churches and gave them advisory vote in all matters.

Greetings were directed to Dr.  Klautke from the BERG in Germany.

The committees were appointed and synod adjourned for the day to allow the committees to do their work.

And a few examples of the fellowship with fellow delegates and vistors on day one.

Gritters Miersma visitor
Prof.B. Gritters, Rev.R. Miersma with guest.

Visitors fellowship 1

Trio 1
Elders J.Regnerus and K.Bruinsma with Rev.C. Spronk

Klautke Eriks
Dr.J. Klautke and Rev.G. Eriks

CommII 1
Committee II at work

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PRC Synod to Meet this Week, June 14-17, 2016 (Updated)

HullPRC2012The PRC Synod will meet this week in Hull, Iowa at the Hull PRC, the calling church for this session.

The pre-synodical service will be held on Monday night, June 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the Hull PRC. Rev. S.Key (Loveland PRC), president of last year's synod, will preach the sermon. 

Synod convenes Tuesday morning, June 14, at 8:30 in Hull PRC.

Look for updates on the work of synod here daily.

Let us remember the delegates and officers of synod in our prayers, that the work of the Lord may be done orderly, for the edification of the churches and sister churches, and above all for the glory of our Head, Jesus Christ.

Rev.S.Key's sermon has now been posted on the Hull PRC website; below is the information on it:

Partakers of the Mystery

Passage: Ephesians 5 (Text: Ephesians 5:32)
   1. A Great Privilege
   2. A Profound Calling
   3. A Blessed Relationship

Below are a few pictures from the pre-synodical service, compliments of Elder John Van Baren (Hope PRC).

HullPRC 2016
The host church.

SKey Monday
Rev.S. Key (Loveland, CO PRC) leads the pre-synodical service and delivers the sermon.

Audience pre synod service
A full sanctuary for the pre-synodical service at Hull PRC.

Acts Synod 2016 cover

The PRC Acts of Synod 2016 and Yearbook are now available. Contact the Stated Clerk (Rev. R. Van Overlloop) or the PRC Seminary for copies.

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