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Classis East Meeting - Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (Updated with Official Report)

GTPRC2012Classis East met for its first regular session of 2017 (meeting also in May and September) on Wednesday, January 11.

Below is the Stated Clerk's official report of this meeting (the last one Mr. Jon Huisken will submit - cf. below in his report).

 

Report of Classis East

January 11, 2017

Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at the Georgetown PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Present also were the synodical deputies from Classis West: Revs. S. Key, D. Kuiper, and N. Langerak. Rev. K. Koole was the chairman for this session.

 

The classis dealt first with the request from Faith PRC to organize a new congregation in the Jenison area which congregation will be known as Zion PRC.

With thanks to God, the classis approved this request and instructed Faith PRC to proceed with the organization of this congregation. The synodical deputies expressed concurrence with the decision of classis.

 

Classis considered an appeal from a brother who protested a decision of his consistory to admit non-Protestant Reformed believers to its communion table. At issue was whether the consistory followed the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945 to admit such people to the communion table. Classis East in 1945 decided that indeed non-Protestant Reformed believers could be admitted after the consistory was satisfied that those who requested admission reveal themselves as believers in their walk and conversation and are in good standing in their home churches. Further, it should be demonstrated that those asking permission do not have ready access to the table in their home churches. The brother contended that his consistory did not follow the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945; his consistory believed that they indeed had done so. Classis East decided not to sustain the appeal of this brother.

 

The report of the church visitors was received. The report indicated that the visitors found peace and unity in our churches.

 

Classis spent time, as is usual at the January meeting, in voting. The following delegates to Synod 2017 were elected: MINISTERS: Primi: W. Bruinsma, G. Eriks, C. Haak, C. Spronk, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: N. Decker, K. Koole, W. Langerak, R. Smit, A. Spriensma. ELDERS: Primi: Pete Adams, Gary Boverhof, Jim Lanting, Sid Miedema, John VanBaren; Secundi: Mike Bosveld, Dave Bouwkamp, Bruce Jabaay, Wes Koops, Joel Minderhoud.

 

In other voting, Revs. R. VanOverloop and R. Smit were elected to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates ad examina respectively. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed to another three-year term on the Classical Committee; Revs. J. Slopsema and C. Haak were elected as church visitors with Revs. G. Eriks and R. VanOverloop as alternates.

 

Classis also needed to replace its Stated Clerk and Assistant Stated Clerk. After 40-plus years serving as Stated Clerk, Jon Huisken notified classis in September, 2016 that he would not be seeking another term. Gary Boverhof was elected to serve as his successor. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed as Assistant Stated Clerk.

Classis expressed its thanks to J. Huisken for his service to classis over these years and wished him Godspeed in the years ahead.

 

In other business, classis approved the 2018 subsidy requests for Wingham PRC ($41,000 – CDN) and Pittsburgh PRC ($99,000). Classical appointments were given to Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and to the new congregation, Zion PRC.

 

In closed session, classis considered the request of a consistory for the erasure of a baptized member.

 

The expenses of classis amounted to $1698.65. Classis will meet next on May 10, 2017 at the Byron Center PRC.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

Classis West Meeting, Sept.28, 2016 (Updated with Clerk's Report)

RandolphChurchCLASSIS WEST met in regular session on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at Randolph (WI) PRC.

An Officebearers' Conference on Biblical Counseling was held the day before the meeting, Tuesday. Sept.27, in the church (cf. the flyer below and attached).

The professors and students of the PRC Seminary also attended the Tuesday conference.

May the Lord give His blessing to the conference and the meeting of Classis.

Official report:

Classis West met in regular session on September 28, 2016, in Randolph, WI.

    Rev. S. Key opened the meeting with devotions and an exhortation based on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6.  He reminded the delegates that God has entrusted us with the gospel.  This becomes a source of confidence for us who minister the word, as well as a reason for commitment and the power of divine commission. 
    Rev. R. Kleyn chaired this meeting of Classis.  The agenda was brief.  The stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon committee all reported routine labors.  The expenses of this meeting totaled $6,871.73.  Classis adjourned before 11:00, after hearing Rev. Kleyn give a brief parting exhortation based on 1 Corinthians 15:58.  Classis is scheduled to meet next on March 1, 2017 in Redlands.
    The day before Classis, the delegates and several visitors enjoyed fellowship and instruction at an officebearers’ conference on the topic of “Biblical Counseling.”   The two morning sessions were led by Rev. Jeff Doll, pastor of biblical counseling at Cornerstone United Reformed Church, and director of the Institute for Reformed Biblical Counseling.  Rev. Doll’s first presentation set forth seven foundational principles for Reformed Biblical counseling.  In his second speech he laid out seven steps to follow in counseling God’s people.  The afternoon sessions were led by Rev. Garry Eriks and Rev. Rodney Kleyn.  Rev. Eriks spoke on
“The Practice and Goal of Biblical Counseling,” and Rev. Kleyn on “Implementing Biblical Counseling in the Local Church.”  The instruction was timely and the fellowship pleasant.
 
Rev. Douglas Kuiper

Stated Clerk, Classis West  

biblicalcounseling CW sept 2016 Page 1

Classis East Meeting - Sept.14, 2016 (Updated with Clerk's Report)

SouthwestPRC2012CLASSIS EAST meets this Wednesday, Sept.14, 2016, at Southwest PRC, beginning at 8 AM.

This will be the first time that there will be delegates from Pittsburgh PRC.

In addition to the usual business, the agenda has two other matters:

1. A report from Southwest PRC of its serving as the committee of Classis for the organization of Pittsburgh PRC.

2. An emeritation request from Rev. Arie denHartog, pastor of SW PRC, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Let us remember the delegates as they do the work of Christ's church today.

The Stated Clerk's report is now included here (as of Sept.17, 2016). It is also attached in pdf form.

Report of Classis East

September 14, 2016

Southwest PRC

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Southwest PRC.   Each church was represented by two delegates.  Rev. C. Haak served as the chairman for this session.  Welcome was given to the delegates from Pittsburgh PRC who were attending classis for the first time and to the delegates ad examina from Classis West who were present for the consideration of the request for emeritation from Rev. A. denHartog.

 

Southwest PRC requested approval for the emeritation of their pastor, Rev. Arie denHartog effective January 1, 2017.  Classis granted this approval as did the delegates ad examina from Classis West.  Rev. Haak spoke fitting words to Rev. denHartog on this occasion, thanking him for his able and faithful work as a minister of the gospel in our churches.

 

The Classical Committee reported on their work in approving the 2016 and 2017 subsidy requests from Pittsburgh and of their approval of the transfer of the ministerial credentials of Rev. W. Bruinsma from Southwest PRC to Pittsburgh PRC.

 

Classis granted classical appointments to Holland PRC.  Classis also appointed a search committee to bring nominations to the January, 2017 for the selection of a new Stated Clerk.  Classis also informed the Pittsburgh PRC that they did not need permission to ask the churches in Classis East and Classis West for collections for their Building Fund.

 

The expenses of classis amounted to $1866.99.  Classis will meet next at the Georgetown PRC on January 11, 2017.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

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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.

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