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News from Classis West, March 1, 2017 - Stated Clerk's Report

News From Classis West

    HopeRedlandsPRCClassis West met on Wednesday, March 1, in Redlands, CA.  Visiting Redlands for Classis in early March is a nice break for many of the delegates.  Delegates who live in colder climates enjoy a break from winter’s cold, and all enjoy a break from the normal routine of work.  The fellowship was warm, both in temperature and in spirit.
    Attended by two delegates from each church, and chaired by Rev. Kuiper, Classis treated both routine and weighty matters.
    Weighty were two matters of discipline regarding which a consistory sought Classis’ advice.  After hearing of the extensive work of the consistory regarding the two baptized members, Classis advised the consistory to proceed to erasure in both cases.
    Routine were the reports of the stated clerk, classical committee, church visitors, and reading sermon committee.  The church visitors reported using the text Deuteronomy 17:18-20 and the theme “An Officebearer’s Dependence On the Word of God” for their visits.  They testified to finding “unity, peace, and love prevailing in our congregations,” with the officebearers “faithfully carrying out the duties of their offices according to their abilities.”  Carrying out this aspect of mutual oversight, the visitors incurred expenses of $6,430.75.
    Not routine, and also weighty, were two requests from ministers, coming through their consistories, to be declared emeritus.  Rev. T. Miersma, presently serving Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, requested emeritation due to age (66) and increasing physical limitations and infirmities.  Classis granted this request and will forward it to synod for final approval.  Rev. R. Hanko, presently serving our congregation in Lynden, WA, also requested emeritation.  His stated reason for his request was neither age nor health, but his desire to be closer to his son Neal who lives in Spokane.  Most of us are aware that Neal has special needs which require him to live in an institution.  Classis rejected Rev. Hanko’s request as not satisfying the requirements of Article 13 of our Church Order.  Classis also advised Rev. Hanko and Lynden’s consistory regarding several specific issues which any future request for early emeritation must address.
    Routine, for the March meeting, was the treatment of subsidy requests.  Six churches requested subsidy for 2018, for a total of $276,055.  Two churches asked for the same amount of subsidy as in 2017; two asked for more than 2017, explaining their reasons; two asked for less.  Each church submitted financial documents supporting its request, as well as a letter explaining what efforts it was making to reduce the amount of subsidy it needs.  All six requests were approved and forwarded to synod.
    Also routine was the task of voting for various classical functionaries.  For three year terms, Rev. C. Griess was appointed to the classical committee, Rev. D. Kuiper as stated clerk, and Rev. J. Marcus as assistant stated clerk.  Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and D. Kuiper were appointed church visitors for the coming year, with Revs. J. Laning and T. Miersma as alternates.  Classis appointed Revs. S. Key and N. Langerak to three year terms as primus and secundus synodical deputy, which appointment requires the final approval of synod before going into effect.
    Ministers delegated to synod were Revs. B. Huizinga, S. Key, R. Kleyn, D. Kuiper, and J. Laning, with Revs. A. Brummel, J. Engelsma, C. Griess, N. Langerak, and J. Marcus as their alternates.  Elder delegates are Robert Brands (Loveland), Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Henry Ferguson (Edmonton), Chester Hunter (Edgerton), and Alan Meurer (Bethel).  Should they be unable to attend, they will call on their alternates, who are Rod Griess (Loveland), Loren Gritters (Hull), Steve Huizenga (Crete), Ed Stouwie (Crete), and Ed VanEgdom (Heritage).
    The expenses of this meeting totaled $10,985.41.
    The fall meeting of Classis is scheduled for September 27, 2017, hosted by Hull PRC.
    We thank God for the traveling mercies He gave the delegates and for the brotherly spirit that prevailed at the meeting.  And we - delegates not only, but all members of the PRC - now earnestly beseech Him to use the decisions which were made for the good of our churches, and to give those affected by these decisions the grace to receive them in a humble and willing spirit.
    Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

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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

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