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Report on Classis West Special Meeting - Wednesday, Nov.29, 2017

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Pastors-elect Stephan Regnerus (l) and Brian Feenstra (r) being examined

Report of Classis West

Classis West held a special meeting on Wednesday, November 29, in Lynden PRC.  The purpose of this meeting was to examine Pastors-elect Brian Feenstra and Stephan Regnerus, who had accepted the calls extended to them by Immanuel PRC (Lacombe) and Lynden PRC, respectively.

 
The night before Classis, Lynden held a special worship service at which Pastor-elect Regnerus preached a specimen sermon on Romans 12:1-2.  On Wednesday morning, after Classis was constituted, Pastor-elect Feenstra preached a specimen sermon on Revelation 5:1-17.   Classis approved both sermons, and then proceeded to examine the men in ten different subject areas for 20 minutes each.  The oral examination lasted until mid-afternoon.  Both men gave a good account of their knowledge, convictions, and spiritual character.  Classis West, with the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, unanimously approved their examinations and advised both consistories to proceed with their ordinations.  Pastor-elect Regnerus' ordination in Lynden is scheduled for Friday, December 1, and Pastor-elect Feenstra's ordination in Lacombe is scheduled for Sunday, December 10.
 
Lynden PRC did a fine job of hosting the meeting of Classis, and the delegates had several opportunities to enjoy good fellowship with each other and with the congregation.
 
The expenses of Classis totaled $14,964.87.  The next meeting of Classis is scheduled for March 7, 2018, in Loveland PRC.
 
Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Stated Clerk, Classis West

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Receiving the news of their approval from the chair of Classis, Rev. J. Laning

SR BF CW exam 2017

We praise God for the gift to the churches of gospel preachers and pastors.

Special Classis East Meeting - October 18, 2017 *(Updated)

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A special meeting of Classi East was held on Wednesday, Oct.18, 2017, at Georgetown PRC.

Below is the brief summary report from the Stated Clerk, Gary Boverhof.

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Report of special meeting of Classis East for the purpose of examining Pastors-elect Joe Holstege (left in picture above) and Justin Smidstra (right in picture above).

They each preached a specimen sermon and then were examined extensively on the six loci of Reformed dogmatics, and their knowledge of the Scriptures, confessions, controversy, and practica.

Both men gave excellent demonstrations of their knowledge and training in all these areas over roughly 5 hours of oral questioning. Classis voted unanimously to approve of their examinations (and the Synodical Deputies from Classis West concurred), recommending that Zion PRC and First PRC of Holland proceed to the ordination and installation.

With much thanksgiving to God, we rejoice in His provision of these ministers of the gospel to the PRCA.

Also a classical appointment schedule was made for First PRC while they are without a pastor.

Pastor-elect Joe Holstege will be ordained and installed as Zion PRC's pastor on Friday Oct.20 at Faith PRC (7 p.m.), D.V. *UPDATE: Below is a picture from Rev. J. Holstege's ordination/installation service Friday evening in Faith PRC. It captures the important ceremony of the laying on of hands by the professors and ministers who were present.

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Pastor-elect Justin Smidstra will be ordained and installed as First PRC-Holland's pastor on Tuesday, Oct.24 at First PRC of Holland (7 p.m.), D.V.

You are cordially invited to witness these events if you are in the area, or via live-stream through these churches' website.

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Meeting of Classis West - September 27, 2017 *(Updated)

HullPRC2012Classis West met on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, in Hull, IA PRC.

Rev. Nathan Langerak (Crete PRC) served as chair, and Rev. John Marcus (First, Edmonton PRC) as clerk.

The newly appointed Stated Clerk of Classis West, Rev. Josh Engelsma, has now completed his first official public report, which now follows, along with some pictures sent in from various observers.

 
Report of Classis West

While Classis West did not officially convene until Wednesday, September 27, two noteworthy events took place the day before.

 
First, an officebearers' conference was held in Hull PRC.  In connection with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the conference was entitled "The Five Solas and How They Matter for the Ministry."  Rev. C. Griess spoke on "Scripture Alone," Rev. A. Brummel on "Faith Alone," Rev. E. Guichelaar on "Grace Alone," Rev. R. Barnhill on "Christ Alone," and Rev. B. Huizinga on "God's Glory Alone."  The speeches were a great encouragement to all assembled.  If you weren't able to attend the conference but would like to hear the speeches, go to Covenant of Grace PRC's page on sermonaudio.com
 
Second, on Tuesday night the delegates of Classis assembled with the congregation of Hull PRC to hear the specimen sermon of Pastor-elect Matthew De Boer, who had accepted the call to serve as pastor of Edgerton PRC.  Mr. De Boer preached on Psalm 91:1-2 and gave evidence of his abilities to feed God's sheep.

The following morning Classis convened to hear the oral examination of Mr. De Boer.  He was examined in the six sections of Reformed doctrine, knowledge of Scripture, knowledge of the confessions, controversy, and practica. Classis West, with the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, unanimously approved his examination and advised Edgerton PRC to ordain him to the ministry. Edgerton intends to do this at a special worship service on September 29.
Classis also approved the request of Lynden PRC for the emeritation of her pastor, Rev. Ron Hanko.  His emeritation will be effective on October 15, and he and his wife plan to move to Spokane, WA to be closer to their son, Neal.  Classis expressed its deep appreciation to Rev. Hanko for his 38 years of faithful service in our churches and on the mission field.
 
In other matters, Classis advised a consistory to increase the censure on an impenitent member.  Increased subsidy for one of our churches was approved.  The following schedule of classical appointments for Immanuel (Lacombe) PRC was approved: Nov. 5 and 12 – Rev. Brummel; Nov. 19 and 26 – Rev. De Boer; Dec. 3 and 10 – Rev. Griess; Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 7 – Rev. Engelsma; Jan. 21 and 28 – Rev. Langerak; Feb. 11 and 18 – Rev. Key; March 4 and 11 – Rev. Huizinga; March 18 and 25 – Rev. Guichelaar.
 
With his accepting of the call to serve as professor in our seminary, Rev. Doug Kuiper tendered his resignation as stated clerk of Classis West, a service he has performed for almost 10 years.  Rev. Joshua Engelsma was appointed to replace him.
 
The expenses of Classis totaled $8,433.31.  The next regular meeting of Classis is scheduled for March 7, 2018 in Loveland PRC.
 
Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Stated Clerk, Classis West  

 

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The highlight of the day was the examination of Pastor-elect Matt DeBoer (Edgerton, MN PRC). After careful examination in all branches of theology and the main subjects of practical theology (cf. picture above). 

Classis West voted unanimously to approve the brother for ordination into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, and informed the Council of Edgerton PRC that she may proceed to his ordination and installation. That will take place Friday evening, Sept.29, at 7 pm (CT) in Edgerton PRC.

We rejoice with Pastor-elect DeBoer and his wife and their families and thank God for His sustaining grace evident during the examination.

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Pastor-elect Matt De Boer (with wife Kelsey) receiving his classical diploma from Rev. N. Langerak

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Some of the (young) audience in attendance at Classis (local Christian school children).

On Tuesday, Sept.26 an Officebearers' Conference on the Five Solas of the Reformation was held, also in Hull PRC (cf. flyer below). If you would like to listen to the speeches on each of the solas, visit this special Sermonaudio link.

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Report of Meeting of Classis East, September 13, 2017

Grandville smallSeptember 13, 2017 – Grandville PRC

Classis East met in regular session on the morning of Wednesday, September 13, 2017. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. J. Mahtani was the chairman for this session.

Rev. W. Langerak was appointed as the moderator of Byron PRC in their vacancy. Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and Zion PRC were granted Classical pulpit supply for evening services during their vacancies.

Most of the morning was spent on an appeal by a brother against his consistory. This was appointed to pre-advice committee for recommendations. After thorough deliberations Classis declared that this appeal was illegally before Classis on the basis that his work was not finished with his consistory.

The Classical Committee of Classis East has scheduled a special meeting of Classis East in order to examine Pastors-elect Smidstra (Holland PRC) and Holstege (Zion) at Georgetown PRC on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Rev. Overway will preside by rotation.

Classis approved the expenses for its meeting of $788.65. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be at Hudsonville PRC on January 10, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Lord Willing.

Respectfully Submitted

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk

PRC Synod 2017 - Day Six Report

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A large crowd gathered for the discussion of several protests and appeals relating to the doctrine of salvation by grace alone in Christ alone.

The following report from day six of the PRC Synod 2017 (Wednesday, June 21, 2017) is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk. We take this opportunity to thank him for the daily reports.

Early in today’s session Rev. Doug Kuiper read a letter acknowledging the call to serve as professor of Church History and New Testament Theology and expressed his intention to answer the call no later than July 16, 2017.

Synod then turned to the advice of Committee II regarding the report of the Psalter Revision Committee. Synod instructed the Contact Committee (which is overseeing the work of the Psalter Revision Committee on behalf of synod) to poll the consistories in order to gauge denominational support for the project of Psalter revision and report back to Synod 2018.

Synod treated an appeal that contended that a consistory violated a members right to protest and appeal according to Article 31 of the Church Order when it placed that member under discipline after he filed a protest. Synod rejected this appeal and ruled that Article 31 of the church order was not violated.

Synod voted for synodical committee members with the following results (3 year terms unless otherwise stipulated):

A. Catechism Book Committee: Rev. R. Barnhill, Bob Vermeer.
B. Contact Committee Prof. R. Dykstra, Rev. Eriks, Sid Miedema.
C. Domestic Mission Committee: Revs. A. Spriensma, R. Van Overloop, Doug Dykstra (Faith), Doug Pastoor.
D. Emeritus Committee: Chester Hunter (primus), Gaylen Te Slaa (secundus).
E. Foreign Mission Committee: Revs. C.Griess and D.Kuiper, Leon Uitenbogaard, Perry Van Egdom.
F. Student Aid Committee: Jeremy Meulenberg, Steve Bylsma.
G. Theological School Committee: Revs. R. Van Overloop and W. Langerak and Cal Kalsbeek, Greg Van Overloop.
H. Finance Committee: Revs. G. Eriks and C. Haak.
I. Board of Trustees: Rev. G. Eriks (3 year term), Nick Kleyn (3 year term), Rev. R. Smit (2 year term), Sid Miedema (2 year term).

Synod treated the advice of Committee IV regarding five protests. This committee started last week by bringing recommendations regarding the legality of six protests. One protest was declared illegal on the ground that the protestant is not a member of the PRCA. So today Committee IV brought advice about the substance of the other five protests.

All of the protests had to do with decisions of synod 2016 regarding a sermon on John 14:6. Synod 2016 decided not to sustain an appeal that contended that the sermon in question teaches a conditional covenant. Synod 2017 sustained three protests against that decision declaring that the sermon did make “our good works part of the “way” of the text.” Synod also declared that another protest did not need to be treated since it asked for a clarification of a decision that synod has now overturned. Synod also rejected the protest of the consistory (of the pastor who preached the sermon) that defended the sermon on John 14:6. Synod made some decisions to try to help the consistory and the pastor work through and implement these decisions, and appointed a committee to help them in all matters pertaining to this case.

Synod 2016 also took a decision not to sustain the decisions of a consistory and Classis East to charge a man with antinomianism. Synod 2017 decided not to sustain a protest against that decision today. However, it did note that some of the statements made by the individual in question “taken at face value, are contrary to Scripture and the Reformed Confessions.”

Sometime around 8:00 p.m. the minutes of the day were read and approved. The Vice-President, Rev. Bruinsma thanked Rev. Key for his capable leadership as chairman of Synod 2017. Rev. Key thanked the delegates for their cooperation. Prof. Russell Dykstra Closed with prayer.

Synod 2017 is adjourned.

PRC Synod 2017 - Day Five Report

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The following report from day five of the PRC Synod 2017 (Monday, June 19, 2017) is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

Synod began the day by treating the recommendations of Committee II regarding an appeal against the decision of Classis East to uphold a consistory’s decision to grant permission to members of the BERG (Confessing Protestant-Reformed Congregation of Giessen, Germany) to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Synod rejected this appeal.

The Catechism Book Committee (CBC) reported that it polled the consistories of our churches with regard to suggested improvements in the catechism books and workbooks used for the Bible History and Heidelberg Catechism classes. The CBC plans to evaluate the results of the poll and bring appropriate recommendations to Synod 2018. Synod approved the actions of the CBC.

The Contact Committee reported good news today about a potential seminary student, Dr. Ronald Carey. Dr. Carey is a physician in Vellore, India. Georgetown PRC is working with the group to which Dr. Carey belongs and recommends him for seminary. He, his wife, and their one child plan to move to the US in the fall of 2017. The Theological School Committee is in the process of admitting Dr. Carey as a special student. Because of Dr. Carey’s need for support synod decided to ask the congregations to take three collections in 2018 for the Foreign Student Assistance Fund.

Synod approved of the work of the synodical deputies from Classis West in their concurring with the decision of Classis East to approve of the organization of Zion PRC.

The following motions where moved, supported, and carried regarding our mission work in the Philippines:

1. That synod approve the work performed by Doon PRC’s Council and the FMC in the Philippines on behalf of the churches.
2. That synod express its appreciation to Doon PRC for their faithful oversight of the mission work in the Philippines.
3. That synod express its gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Holstege and to Rev. and Mrs. Kleyn for their faithful service in the cause of the mission work in the Philippines.
4. That synod adopt a 2018 budget of $457,000 for the mission work in the Philippines (note: This amount is for three missionaries).
5. That synod grant financial assistance to the PRCP Classis in the amount of P671,952.44 (about $13,439) for 2018 to be taken from the FMC Special Mission Fund.

The FMC reported that it is working closely with Georgetown PRC in evaluating the work in India. The India Committee of the FMC is growing in its conviction that the time to call missionaries to India might be sooner rather than later. Another reason to pray that God will
provide us with more ministers!

Synod took a decision to request that our congregations designate four offerings for foreign missions and one offering for the Philippine book fund in 2018.

This afternoon synod began by treating the recommendations of Committee II regarding the Psalter Revision Committee. Synod declared that the proposed revisions of Psalms 73- 89 are in harmony with the principles of the text, music, and format approved in 2016. This decision is not a final approval of the section but is simply a statement that synod judges that the committee has faithfully followed the adopted principles. Synod also approved the distribution of Psalms 73-79 to the congregations for usage and feedback. Hopefully these booklets will be available in your church soon. Until then you can find the revisions at psalter.net. Committee Two made one more motion regarding Psalter revision that was recommitted for reformulation. More on that another day.

Synod welcomed Revs. Carl Haak and Andy Lanning to its session today. Rev. Haak did not attend the sessions of synod last week to attend to a pastoral need in the congregation he serves. Rev. Bill Langerak filled in for him, and we are thankful for his willing service to synod last week. Rev. Lanning, pastor of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, was not able to attend last week’s sessions because he was a speaker at the CERC’s church camp. He arrived today in time for the afternoon session of Synod.

Finally, synod took a decision to recess until Wednesday in order to give Committee IV more time to formulate its advice regarding six protests.

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