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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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Classis East Meeting - May 11, 2016 - *Updated

Providence PRC 2015One of the three annual meetings of Classis East took place on Wednesday, May 11, at Providence PR Church in Hudsonville, MI.

Besides the normal business of the churches, the agenda included the request of the Pittsburgh PR Fellowship to be organized into an instituted congregation. It also has two protests brought by individuals against decisions taken by Classis in January.

May God graciously bless the deliberations and decisions of the Classis.

UPDATE: The Stated Clerk's official public report is now available and posted below.

Report of Classis East

May 11, 2016

Providence PRC

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Providence PRC.  This was the first time that Providence has hosted a meeting of classis.  The churches were each represented by two delegates.  Rev. G. Eriks was the chairman for this session.

In its first order of business, classis approved the organization of a new congregation in Pittsburgh, PA.  The request for organization came via the council of Southwest PRC.  A sizeable delegation from Pittsburgh was present as was the current home missionary, Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma.  The delegates ad examina from Classis West were present as well and gave concurrence to the decision of classis to organize this congregation.  Southwest PRC was given the responsibility to organize this congregation.  Rev. A. denHartog was appointed as its moderator.  Needless to say, this was a joyous moment for the classis as God,  through the ardent work of its missionary, gave our churches another congregation.  The new congregation will consist of six families (seven if the pastor is included) and five confessing adults.  Two more adults are in the process of making profession of faith.

Classis considered two protests against the decisions of the January, 2016 classis regarding the sustaining of a charge of antinomianism against an appellant.  The first protestant contended that classis, in its January, 2016 decision, adopted grounds that were illogical and contradictory.  Further he contended that Article 79 of the Church Order was misapplied since, he argued, that Article 79 applied only to public sins.  Finally, the protestant contended that a countercharge of antinomianism interfered with the protest and appeal process.   Classis did not sustain this protest.  Classis adopted the advice of its committee of pre-advice that

1) Article 31 does not prohibit a consistory from bringing a charge of sin in the course of a protest or appeal; 2) Article 79 was not used by classis as a ground in its January, 2016 decision; and 3) The decision of classis in January, 2016 gave proof for its upholding the consistory’s charge of antinomianism against the appellant. The protestant failed to cite this part of classis’ decision.  Classis further decided that the recommendation made was not legally before the classis since the requirements of Article 31 of the Church Order had not been met.

The second protestant contended on the basis of Ezekiel 33:6,7 and Article 31 of the Church Order that the right of a believer and/or officebearer who is protesting or appealing, as compelled by their conscience, is prevented or hindered when charges of sin are brought against him in the course of considering his protest.  Classis did not sustain this protest since the brother who brought the appeal to the January, 2016 classis has indeed filed his appeal to synod.  Classis further ruled that it is legitimate for a consistory to raise a charge of sin when there is sufficient evidence of an unbiblical or un-Reformed position set forth in a protest or appeal.

 A notice of appeal to Synod 2016 was received from the brother whose appeal against his consistory had been adjudicated at the January, 2016 meeting of classis.

Classis took note of this appeal and further informed synod: 1) that the brother fails to comply with the Rules of Synod which apply to protests, appeals, and overtures which require brevity and exclude the bringing of new material regarding the appeal. and 2) that the appellant adds new explanations which show agreement with classis’ and his consistory’s  decisions regarding his appeal.

In other business classis received the report of the church visitors, entered closed session to deal with matters of discipline, adopted a classical appointment schedule for Holland PRC and the new Pittsburgh congregation, transferred the Ministerial Credentials of Rev. Daniel Holstege to Classis West, appointed Rev. C. Haak as the moderator for Holland PRC, and approved expenses for the classis’ meeting of $1868.33

Classis will meet next on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at Southwest PRC.

Respectfully submitted,

 Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

And, as of May 26 we may add this note re the organization of the Pittsburgh PR Fellowship:

At the May 11, 2016 meeting of Classis East, approval was given to organize the Pittsburgh Protestant Reformed Fellowship as an instituted church.  SW Protestant Reformed Church was instructed to organize this congregation on the behalf of Classis.  With thanksgiving to God, SW Protestant Reformed Church’s Council, as well as the Pittsburgh Protestant Reformed Fellowship, invites you to Pittsburgh on June 24, 2016, at 7 PM, for this organizational service.  Everyone is invited for a time of refreshment and fellowship following the service.

Classis West Meeting - Crete PRC, IL - Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Updated!)

SouthHollandCreteChurchClassis West will hold its regular March meeting today, Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at Crete PRC, IL.

The agenda appears to be normal, with delegate voting for Synod 2016 also to take place.

May the Lord guide the delegates with wisdom and charity, for the good of the churches in the West, and for the glory of His name.

Let us remember them in prayer today.

UPDATE: The Stated Clerk of Classis West has submitted his report, which may be found below.

Crete PRC hosted the spring meeting of Classis West on Wednesday, March 2.  This meeting was the occasion for thirty ministers and elders, traveling from points near and far, to labor for the wellbeing of the fifteen churches of the classis, and to enjoy each other’s fellowship.

    The stated clerk, classical committee, church visitors, and reading sermon committee all reported routine labors.  A particular cause for thanksgiving to God was the church visitors’ testimony of seeing “God’s work and faithfulness in the churches of Classis West,” in whom “unity, peace and love” prevails.
    With sorrow, the Classis advised one consistory to proceed to the second step of censure in its labors with a member.
    Six churches requested subsidy for 2017 in the total amount of $266,910.  Classis approved these requests and will forward them to synod.  These smaller churches are thankful for the willingness of every family in the denomination to help support them.  At the same time, the resolve of these churches to support themselves as much as possible is evident from the fact that their General Fund budgets are usually higher than most other churches.  Of the six churches on subsidy in Classis West, the lowest per family per week General Fund budget is $73; the average is $85; the highest is $112.
    An hour or more of the meeting of the March classis is spent voting for various classical functionaries.  For terms of three years, Rev. J. Engelsma was appointed to the classical committee, Rev. D. Lee to be a primus synodical deputy, and Rev. C. Griess to be a secundus synodical deputy.  Appointed as church visitors were Revs. Key, Kleyn, Kuiper, and Laning, with Revs. Brummel and Lee as alternates.  Appointed to represent the Classis at Synod 2016 were Revs. Brummel, Key, Kleyn, Kuiper, and Laning, with Revs. Engelsma, Griess, Huizinga, Lee, and Marcus as their alternates.  Elder delegates are Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Alvin Bylsma (Calvary), Chester Hunter, Jr. (Edgerton), Lou Regnerus (Randolph) and Brian VanEngen (Hull).  Their alternates are George DeJong (Crete), Henry Ferguson (Edmonton), Steve Kooima (Hull), Jack Lenting (Crete), and Mike Gritters (Redlands).
    The expenses of the meeting totaled $8360.47.
    Classis is scheduled to meet next on September 28 in Randolph.
    Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

Report on Jan.13, 2016 Meeting of Classis East

TrinPRC2012Report of Classis East

January 13, 2016

Trinity Protestant Reformed Church

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the Trinity PRC.  Rev. M. DeVries was the chairman for this session.  Each church was repsented by two delegates.  Three pastors were absent; one was in Northern Ireland, one in Australia, and one in the Philippines.

 

As is usual for the January classis, voting for delegates to synod and other functionaries was done.  Elected as delegates to Synod 2016:  MINISTERS: Primi:  G. Eriks, C. Haak,

K. Koole, C. Spronk, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: A. denHartog, M. DeVries, W. Langerak,

R. Smit, A. Spriensma.  ELDERS: Primi:  D. Kregel, S. Miedema, H. Pastoor, T. Pipe,

J. VanBaren.  Secundi:  P. Adams, D. Bouwkamp, M. Gritters, C. Kalsbeek, J. Lanting.

 

In other voting, Rev. Koole and Rev. Bleyenberg were elected to serve three-year terms as delegates ad examina primus and secundus respectively.  Revs. J. Slopsema and R. VanOverloop were elected as church visitors with Revs. A. denHartog and M. Devries as alternates.  Rev. K. Koole was reappointed to a three-year term on the Classical Committee.

 

Classis heard the appeal of a brother who maintained that his pastor, in a sermon on John 14:6, was teaching a conditional covenant.  He was also appealing his consistory’s charge that he was guilty of antinomianism.  Classis did not sustain this appeal.  Classis maintained that the brother had misrepresented his pastor’s sermon and that the charge of teaching antinomianism should stand.

 

Classis dealt with a request from a consistory to increase censure to the second step for one of its members.

 

The report of the church visitors, normally presented at the January session of classis, will be presented at the May, 2016 meeting.

 

In matters of finance, classis approved the 2017 subsidy requests of Kalamazoo PRC for $22,000 and of Wingham PRC of $41,000 (CDN).  Classis approved expenses for this session in the amount of $339.02.

 

Classis will meet next on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Providence PRC.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

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