News

Report of Classis West, March 3-4, 2021

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Peace PRC in Dyer, IN, host of Classis West meeting this week

News Report of Classis West of the PRCA Meeting March 3-4, 2021
Joshua EngelsmaClassis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met for two full days on March 3-4, 2021, in Peace PRC (Dyer, IN). The meeting was chaired by Rev. Joshua Engelsma (pastor of Doon PRC), who was serving in this capacity for the first time in his ministry.
 
Twenty-six delegates from thirteen churches were physically present. The delegates from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) and First PRC (Edmonton, AB) were not able physically to attend the meeting due to the restrictions of the Canadian government with respect to COVID-19. Classis granted the request of these delegates to be seated and to participate virtually.
 
Routine reports from the stated clerk, the classical committee, and the reading sermon library committee were read and approved. The church visitors reported on their labors over the last year and the presence of peace, unity, and love prevailing in the churches.
 
On the agenda was a request from the consistory of Bethel PRC for Classis to concur with its decision to disband, a decision based on her declining membership. With sadness, Classis concurred and extended a word of commendation to the saints in Bethel, and to her present and former officebearers, for the labors so faithfully extended in the spread of the gospel over the past 32 years. Classis also thankfully acknowledged Bethel’s continuing heart for and gift to the denomination in her decision to forward her remaining assets to Synod. Bethel plans officially to disband at the end of June 2021.
 
In light of its decision to disband, Bethel also brought a request for her pastor, Rev. Dennis Lee, to be declared temporarily emeritus effective after the disbanding of the congregation, unless he should receive and accept a call to another congregation in that time. Classis approved the request, and will forward it to Synod 2021 for its approval.
 
Classis also had before it one appeal. An individual had raised objections to a sermon preached in his congregation, but his consistory did not sustain his objections. After careful deliberation of the appeal, Classis did not sustain the individual.
 
Classis also treated two protests. The first protest, which was treated in open session, was a protest of the decision of Classis in September 2020 to declare the individual’s appeal not legally before it. Classis did not sustain the protest, and therefore sustained its previous decision to declare the original appeal not legally before it.
 
The second protest was treated in closed session. This was a protest of the decision of Classis in September 2020 to declare a different appeal not legally before it. Classis did not sustain the protest, and therefore sustained its previous decision to declare the original appeal not legally before it.
Classis also approved a request for another year’s financial support of a minister released under Article 11 of the Church Order.
Classis approved the subsidy requests for 2022 for two churches and forwarded them on to Synod for its approval.
 
Classis also voted for various classical functionaries. Rev. J. Laning was reappointed to a three- year term on the Classical Committee. Rev. R. Barnhill was reappointed to a three-year term as a primus synodical deputy, and Rev. J. Laning was reappointed to a three-year term as a secundus synodical deputy. Classis appointed Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning as church visitors for the coming year, with Revs. J. Engelsma and R. Hanko as alternates.
 
Ministers delegated to Synod 2021 are Revs. A. Brummel, J. Engelsma, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and J. Laning. Their alternates are Revs. R. Barnhill, E. Guichelaar, M. Kortus, D. Lee, and S. Regnerus. Elders delegated to Synod 2021 are Keith Bruinsma (Peace), David Poortinga (Loveland), Jack Regnerus (Randolph), Don Terpstra (Peace), and Ed Van Egdom (Heritage). Their alternates are Kevin Brummel (Crete), Jonathan den Hartog (Redlands), Marlin Feenstra (Redlands), Victor Solanyk (Loveland), and Steve Van Drunen (Crete).
 
The expenses of this meeting totaled $7,048.47.
 
Classis will meet next in Crete PRC on September 29, 2021, the Lord willing.
 
Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Stated Clerk, Classis West

Classis East Meeting - January 13-16, 2021

Grace PRC

Classis East convened in Grace PRC (Standale, MI) at 8:00 am on Wednesday, January 13, and adjourned around 12:30 am early Saturday morning, Jan.16.

Classis mandated that the stated clerk prepare (Rev. C.Spronk) a report summarizing the decisions of the meeting and submit it to the Classical Committee of Classis East for approval. The reason for this mandate is that Classis East understands the importance of providing a helpful summary for the churches. This summary will be published as soon as possible, but it may take a few days due to the length of the meeting, the weightiness and amount of material treated by classis, and the need of the pastors mandated to make and approve this summary to preach sermons tomorrow (Sunday, Jan.17).

We thank the Lord of the church for sustaining the delegates during these long and difficult sessions. May the Lord bless the decisions reached for the glory of His name and the good of the churches of Classis East and the entire PRC.

Classis West Report - September 23, 2020

ClWest Sept 2020 Edgerton 

News Report of Classis West of the PRCA
Meeting September 23, 2020

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met on September 23, 2020, in Edgerton PRC (Edgerton, MN). The meeting was capably chaired by Rev. Matt De Boer (pastor of Edgerton PRC), who was serving in this capacity for the first time in his ministry.

Noticeably absent from the meeting were elder delegates from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) and First PRC (Edmonton, AB). These consistories were not able to attend the meeting due to the restrictions of the Canadian government with respect to COVID-19.

Routine reports from the stated clerk, the classical committee, and the reading sermon library committee were read and approved. A report from a special committee to assist a consistory was also received, their work approved, and the committee discontinued.

In closed session, a consistory sought the advice of Classis to increase the censure of two confessing members. Another consistory sought the advice of Classis to proceed with the erasure of a baptized member. After hearing of the impenitence of these individuals and the careful labors of these consistories, Classis took decisions to advise the consistories to proceed to further steps of Christian discipline.

Classis treated an appeal from an individual that objected to a statement in a sermon by his minister. Classis declared the appeal not legally before it on the grounds that the matter was not finished at the consistory level, that the individual had not researched and interacted with the decisions of recent PRCA synods that may touch on the matter, and that the individual gave evidence of not understanding the necessary function of the Three Forms of Unity in the process of protest and appeal.

In closed session, Classis treated an appeal regarding the work of a consistory. Classis ruled the appeal not legally before it because the requirements of Articles 30 and 31 of the Church Order had not been met.

Worth noting is that the Classis did not need to adopt a pulpit supply schedule, since at this time there are no vacancies in the Classis.

The expenses of this meeting totaled $5,897.52.

The next meeting of Classis is scheduled for March 3, 2021, in Hope (Redlands) PRC. The consistory of Hope (Redlands) PRC did inform Classis that they are located in a state with some of the tightest restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19, and asked Classis either to appoint a different host church or to appoint an alternate host church in case they believe it is not possible for them to host. Classis appointed Peace PRC as an alternate host, and authorized the Classical Committee to make the necessary arrangements in consultation with the consistory of Hope (Redlands) PRC. All this, the Lord willing.

Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Stated Clerk, Classis West

Classis East Report - Sept.9-10, 2020

byroncentrePRC
Byron Center PRC, host of this week's meeting of Classis East 

Summary of Classis East

We give thanks to God that Classis East was able to convene on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Sincere thanks is also directed to Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church for graciously and capably hosting the meeting of classis. In order to meet legally and safely classis declared that its meeting is “essential to execute the business of Classis East,” and it adopted restrictions about who was able to be present at classis. Unfortunately, it was not possible for visitors to observe the public deliberations of classis in person.

Rev. Eriks served as chairman of the meeting, appointing the committees of pre-advice, and presiding over the deliberations of the delegates.

Some of the routine business of classis included approving reports of the Stated Clerk, Classical Committee, and Church Visitors.

A classical appointment schedule was adopted for four vacant churches in Classis East: Cornerstone, Hudsonville, Kalamazoo, and Providence. This brings to mind the need to remember in our prayers to ask God to send forth more preachers into our churches. Let us also remember in our prayers the Wingham congregation, a fifth vacant church in Classis East, whose pastor will soon be moving to the First PRC of Edmonton. Border restrictions between the US and Canada will likely complicate providing pulpit supply for our sister congregation.

Rev. Cory Griess was appointed to serve as the Moderator for Wingham during itsvacancy.

Questions were asked of the delegates of each consistory to make sure that the consistories are properly governing the churches and to offer the assistance of classis to any consistory that might have a need (see Art. 41 of the Church Order).

Classis approved the expenses of the meeting totaling $1,941.

Other matters classis treated included:

• Classis received two overtures to Synod 2021 (from two churches) to plan a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the PRCA in 2025. Classis approved the overtures and forwarded themon to Synod 2021.

• One protest against a ground of a decision was sustained. Classis agreed with the protestant that the two points of explanation supporting the particular ground were in error.

• One protest was declared legal but not sustained by classis.

• Three protests were declared illegal because they were against decisions that have been treated by synod.

• One letter asked classis to reconsider an appeal that had declared illegal at an earlier classis.Classis ruled that the letter was not legally before it because it was not a protest against adecision, nor an appeal, nor an overture.

Classis accepted an invitation from the delegates of Grace PRC to host the next meetingof Classis at 8:00am on January 13, 2021.

Rev. Eriks thanked the delegates for their work and for their cooperation in doing the work of classis and closed the meeting in prayer.

Classis adjourned around noon on Thursday, September 10.

In Christ’s Service,
Rev. C. Spronk 
Stated Clerk, Classis East

PRC Synod 2020 - Day 4 (Friday, June 12)

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Aerial view of the host church, Trinity PRC (thanks to Nick Kleyn's drone!)

The PRC Synod of 2020 held its fourth and final session today at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

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Officers of synod: Revs.R. Kleyn (V.P), R. Van Overloop (Pres.), C. Spronk (1st clerk), J. Engelsma (2nd clerk)

Synod 2020 Highlights Friday, June 12

Synod spent a large part of the day treating an individual’s appeal which contained several different parts. One part was declared not legally before synod, and after careful deliberation the other legal parts were not sustained.

Synod approved the work of the Special Synodical Committee to Assist Hope PRC, declared that they had fulfilled their mandate, and disbanded the Committee.

Regarding the work of the Domestic Mission Committee, Synod did the following:

• Approved the work of Byron Center PRC Council and the DMC, and expressed appreciation for the work of our home missionary, Rev. Spriensma.

• Mandated the DMC to report to Synod next year with ways that it has increased their efforts to establish a concrete field of labor for the missionary.

• Expressed thanks for the work of Chuck Terpstra and Alex Postma on the website.

• Mandated the DMC to report to Synod 2021 with concrete plans and budget for professionally updating and maintaining our website.

Synod approved “Affirmations Regarding Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender Identity” for the greater legal protection of our denomination.

Synod approved the work of the Stated Clerk, Rev. Van Overloop, and thanked him for his work.

Synod approved the emeritation requests of our emeritus ministers and the widows of ministers.

Synod approved subsidy requests from 7 congregations.


Synod expressed thanks to our Synodical Treasurer, Don Offringa, and Bookkeeper, Pamela Bos, for their labors.

Synod adopted a budget for 2021 and set synodical assessments at $750 per family, down $25 from 2020. Synod carried out annual elections for various committees. Synod set June 8, 2021, as the date for next year’s synod, to be held at Georgetown PRC.

The President, Rev. Van Overloop, concluded by expressing appreciation for the exemplary way in which the delegates worked together on behalf of the churches, and the Vice-President, Rev. R. Kleyn, led the delegates in prayer, thanking God for the strength to do the work and asking for his blessing upon it.

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Committee I

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Committee II

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Committee III

 Comm4 2
Committee IV

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Committee V

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Seminary professors

Aerial view Trinity PRC 2

 Thanks to John Van Baren for all the "official" synod pics!

PRC Synod 2020 - Day 3 (Thursday, June 11)

Trinity building new part 1

The PRC Synod 2020 held its third session today, Thursday June 11, at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

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One of the great traditions of synod is the opening devotions, including the singing, sometimes accompanied, sometimes acapella.

It was photo day during coffee break this morning. Below is a couple of sample of the group picture.

Group pic 2

Group pic 1

Here is today's summary of synod's work:

This morning Synod dealt with the report of the Theological School Committee.

• Synod approved two men being admitted to our seminary this coming school year. Both are seeking the ministry in our churches.

• Synod approved the request of the TSC that Prof. Huizinga be granted an additional year in his transition to teaching full-time so that he can take a two-year course of theological Dutch.

• Synod expressed thanks for the work of the five professors, Mr. Chuck Terpstra, and Ms. Sharon Kleyn in our seminary.

• Prof. Cammenga was appointed to a three-year term as rector.

• Synod instructed the Stated Clerk in his letter to the churches to include a notice of the urgent need for seminary students.

Synod also approved the work and disbursements of the Student Aid Committee.

Synod appointed a PRC Psalter Revision Review Committee of nine members of our churches. They were tasked with evaluating all the proposed revisions to the Psalter and making recommendations to synod regarding adopting these proposed revisions.

Synod had before it two protests of decisions of Synod 2019. Synod decided not to sustain both protests.

Synod approved several new memory work schedules for Juniors and Seniors catechism classes, and mandated the Catechism Book Committee to propose to Synod 2021 the layout of new catechism books implementing the approved memory work schedules. Synod thanked Prof. Cammenga and Rev. den Hartog for their careful and diligent work on these memory work schedules.

And a few other candid photos taken.

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Elder R. Gritters and brother Prof. B. Gritters

Elder JRegnerus

Elder J. Regnerus (Doon, IA - Is the coffee as good as it is in NW Iowa?)

WLangerak NKleyn

Rev. W. Langerak (who's texting me now?!)

Elders JLenting BLooyenga

Elders J. Lenting (Crete PRC) and B. Looyenga (Zion PRC)

RBarnhill JEngelsma BGritters

Coffee-break chat: Revs. R. Barnhill and J. Engelsma, elder B. Gritters (Hull PRC)

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