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PRC Synod 2017 - Day Four Report

Group pic 1

The following report from day four of the PRC Synod 2017 is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

SISTER-CHURCH RELATIONSHIP APPROVED!
The highlight of today’s work was the approval of a sister-church relationship between the Protestant Reformed Churches in America and the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines! We give thanks to God for the mutual love that our denominations have for the
truth of God as confessed in our churches. We look forward to the rich blessings we will enjoy in a our mutual encouragement and oversight of each other.

Synod began the day considering the report of the Student Aid Committee. The committee reports that the student assistance fund has a balance of $163,649.29. Synod approved the recommendation to request each congregation take one collection for this fund.

Synod then turned to the report of the Contact Committee (CC). We give thanks to God for all the opportunities that He has given our denomination to interact with other churches through the CC. Synod approved the CC’s work with the following congregations and denominations:


• The Covenant Evangelical Church in Singapore
• The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Australia
• The Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland
• The Bekennende Evangelisch-Reformierte Gemeinde of Giessen, Germany
• The Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines
• The Korean Presbyterian Church (Koshin)
• Gereformeerde Kerke in Nord Afrika (a newly formed denomination consisting of five
congregations that left the GKSA).
• There are also some individuals with whom the CC has contact in South Africa.

Last year’s synod adopted a policy for the CC to use in evaluating the possibility of participating in or joining ecumenical councils. The CC applied this policy to the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) and recommended that our denomination not apply for membership in this council. Synod approved this recommendation and mandated that the CC send observers to the November 2017 meeting of NAPARC with the following mandate:


• Express thanks for the invitation and greetings from the PRCA.
• Give a brief introduction of the PRCA.
• Convey synod’s decision that we will not be applying for membership in NAPARC at this time. The grounds for not applying for membership are:


a. Although NAPARC shows a level of commitment to the confessions, which is evident from their actions of removing the Christian Reformed Church, yet the council does not manifest a sufficient commitment to the confessions. This is evident from their allowance of member denominations who have exonerated those who embrace the teaching of the Federal Vision and their allowance as member denominations those who teach a doctrine of creation that does not interpret literally the Genesis creation account.
b.Although NAPARC does address some of the matters that divide its member denominations, according to our observers, there has been little to no discussion during plenary sessions of the threat of the teachings of Federal Vision, especially in the denominations in which officebearers have been accused of teaching this heresy.

We are thankful to God for all of the people who serve our denomination. Today Synod expressed its appreciation for the work of:


•The Stated Clerk, Rev. Ron Van Overloop
• The Assistant Stated Clerk, Don Doezema
• The Denominational Treasurer, Don Offringa
• The Denominational Bookkeeper, Pamela Bos
• The Board of Trustees

Synod took a decision to reject a protest against the decision of Synod 2016 to “Instruct the [Contact Committee] and its Psalter Revision Committee to continue their participation in the interdenominational project of Psalter revision” (Acts of Synod 2016, Article 49, B, 3, p. 61-62). This does not conclude synod’s treatment of Psalter Revision. Sometime next week synod will treat the report of the Psalter Revision Committee which is working under the auspices of our Contact Committee.

Synod approved the emeritation request of Rev. Tom Miersma. The chairman noted that Rev. Miersma spent many years serving as a missionary for our denomination as well as a pastor in our churches in Classis West.

Subsidy requests were approved in the amount of $350,055. The Denominational Budget for 2018 was approved in the amount of $2,112,432. Due to the wise management of funds over the past several years the per-family synodical assessment was able to be reduced by $40 so that the assessment of each family will be $775 in 2018.

During the Contact Committee Report regarding the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Northern Ireland (CPRCNI) synod received a report from the CPRCNI’s Elder Brian Crossett. Brother Crosset reported on the spiritual health of the congregation in Ballymena and of the mission group in Limerick, Ireland. At the end of our session today synod bid farewell to brother Crossett, wishing him safe travels home and God’s blessings on the saints in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Brother Crossett also told the joke of the day: “There are three kinds of people: people who can count, and people who can’t.” This helped get the otherwise sober delegates to smile during the synodical photo session.

Synod accepted the invitation of Byron Center PRC to host Synod 2018 that is to convene on June 12 at 8:00 AM.

Synod 2017 will not meet in session tomorrow [Saturday]. But you can be sure that some of the committees of pre-advice will be working away to finish their advice. Synod will reconvene as a body Monday morning at 8:00 AM.

Have a blessed weekend and a blessed Lord’s Day!

Below are pictures of this year's synodical officers and committees:

Synod 2017 officers
Officers: Rev. C. Spronk, 1st clerk; Rev. D. Kuiper, 1st clerk; Rev. S. Key, President; Rev. W. Bruinsma, Vice-president

 Comm 1
Committee 1 - Rev. R. Van Overloop, Elder Bob Brands, Elder Sid Miedema, Rev. J. Laning, Prof. B. Gritters

 Comm 2
Committee 2 - Rev. W. Bruinsma, Rev. R. Kleyn, Elder Al Muerer, Elder Pete Adams, Prof. R. Cammenga

 Comm 3
Committee 3 - Elder John Van Baren, Rev. C. Spronk, Rev. B. Huizinga, Elder Henry Ferguson

Comm 4
Committee 4 - Elder Skip Hunter, Rev. Doug Kuiper, Rev. Gary Erils, Elder James Lanting, Prof. R. Dykstra

Comm 5
Committee 5 - Rev. S. Key, Elder Gary Boverhof, Rev. W. Langerak, Elder K. Bruinsma

PRC Synod 2017 - Day Three Report

Sem exam practica

The following report from day three (Thursday) of the PRC Synod 2017 is provided in part by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

Today Synod heard the final portions of the examination of the seven senior seminarians, with the men being examined in the final loci of Dogmatics, Church Polity, NT History, and then in Practica.

Following that, Synod approved the examinations of Matt DeBoer, Brian Feenstra, Joe Holstege, Jon Langerak, David Noorman, Stephan Regnerus and Justin Smidstra. They are no longer seminarians! Synod has declared them candidates for the ministry of the word and sacraments in the Protestant Reformed Churches. They will be eligible for calls on July 15.

Faith choir sem grad
Faith PRC Choir sings at Seminary graduation.

The graduation ceremony took place tonight in Hudsonville PRC. Prof. B. Gritters spoke on “The Ministry: An Existence, Not An Occupation.” (picture below)

BG speech sem grad

RD KK diplomas
Prof. R. Dykstra (Seminary rector) and Rev. K. Koole, president of the Theological School Committee prepare to hand out diplomas.

JLangerak diploma

Candidate J. Langerak receives his diploma.

There is nothing more to report today. After the examinations finished synod adjourned for the day to allow the committees of pre-advice to do their work.

PRC Synod 2017 - Day Two Report

The following report from day two of the PRC Synod 2017 is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

DougKuiper 1Synod voted today to extend a call to Rev. Doug Kuiper to replace Prof. Dykstra as professor of Church History and New Testament Theology. Rev. Andy Lanning was elected as the alternate and will receive the call should Rev. Kuiper decline. Our prayers are with Rev. Kuiper as he considers this call.

The oral examination of the seven senior seminary students began today. Once again the delegates and the students divided into two groups. Professor R. Cammenga examined the students in Introduction to Dogmatics, Theology, Anthropology, and Christology. Professor R. Dykstra examined the students in Church History. Professor B. Gritters conducted the examination in Old Testament History. Prof. Gritters also examined one of the groups of students in Church Polity. Hopefully the students will get a good night of rest and be ready to conclude the examination tomorrow.

Synod had time today to treat the advice of Committee 1. Here are some of the important decisions:
• Synod noted that Southwest PRC’s work as the calling church for our home missionary has ceased after 18 years and expressed appreciation to the congregation for its faithful labors.
• A budget of $137,000 for a home missionary was adopted. Let us pray that God will provide our churches with a home missionary soon!
• Professor Barry Gritters was appointed to a three-year term as Rector of our seminary beginning on July 1 of this year.
• Thanks was expressed to Profs. Cammenga, Dykstra, and Gritters, and to Judi Doezema and Charles Terpstra for their faithful labors in the seminary. They do a tremendous job!
• The stated clerk was instructed to inform the churches of the urgent need for seminary students! Let us heed the words of Jesus in Luke 10:2 “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
• It was noted that Matt Kortus, Jacob Maatman, and Darren Vink have finished their second year at the seminary, and Josiah Tan (from Singapore) has finished his first year. May the Lord sustain these men in their preparation for the ministry of the gospel.

Synod also treated the advice of Committee 4 concerning the legality of 7 protests that have to do with the decisions of Synod 2016 in regard to the Hope PRC (Walker, MI) and Neil Meyer case. Five of the protests were declared legal. One part of a three-part protest was declared legal (the other parts were declared illegal). One protest was declared illegal. Committee 4 will now craft advice concerning the substance of the legal protests.

Synod Day 2 Update 1 2 Page 1

Synod Day 2 Update 1 2 Page 2

Synod Day 2 Update 1 2 Page 3

Synod Day 2 Update 1 2 Page 4

PRC Synod 2017 - Day One Report

HudsonvillePRC pic

The following report from day one of the PRC Synod 2017 is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

RevCSpronk

Synod convened this morning at 8:00am in Hudsonville PRC. Present were the 20 delegates from Classes East and West, our three seminary professors, and Mr. Brian Crossett. Mr. Crossett a special guest of synod who represents our sister church, the Covenant Protestant
Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Rev. Steven Key was elected as president, Rev. Bill Bruinsma as vice-president, Rev. Doug Kuiper as 1st clerk, and Rev. Clay Spronk as 2nd Clerk.

The following committees of pre-advice were appointed:

Committee 1: Rev. Van Overloop, Rev. Laning, Elder Robert Brands, Elder Sid Miedema, and Prof. B. Gritters. This committee will bring advice regarding domestic missions, our seminary, student aid, and an appeal from Mr. Gerald Feenstra.


Committee 2: Rev. R. Kleyn, Rev. W. Bruinsma, Elder Pete Adams, Elder Al Meurer, and Prof. R. Cammenga. This committee will bring advice regarding the work of the Contact Committee and the Catechism Committee. It will also treat the appeal of Mr. Case Lubbers.


Committee 3: Rev. C. Spronk, Rev. B. Huizinga, Elder Henry Ferguson, Elder John Van Baren. This committee’s task is to bring advice regarding foreign missions and the appeal of Mr. Wes Koops.


Committee 4: Rev. G. Eriks, Rev. D. Kuiper, Elder James Lanting, Elder Chester Hunter, and Prof. R. Dykstra. Synod appointed this committee to treat seven protests that are related to the same case.

Committee 5: Rev. S. Key, Rev. C. Haak, Elder Keith Bruinsma, and Elder Gary Boverhof. As is always the case at synod, committee 5 will bring advice regarding various financial matters.

Synod has the privilege of examining seven seminarians this year. Today was sermon day. Synod divided into two groups to listen to the sermons. One group remained at Hudsonville to listen to the specimen sermons of four students. The other group met at Providence PRC to hear the specimen sermons of the other three students. Synod approved of all of the sermons.

The oral examination of the students will begin tomorrow morning. Live-streaming of the examinations, at least portions of it, will be available at: http://www.hudsonvilleprc.org/. After the approval of the students’ sermons synod adjourned for the day so that the pre-advice committees could begin their work.

Finally, it should be noted that Rev. Bill Langerak filled in for Rev. Haak today. Yesterday a family in the congregation Rev. Haak serves experienced the sudden loss of a teenage daughter. Synod was led by Rev. Eriks in prayer to ask God to care for those who are hurt by this tragedy and for Rev. Haak as brings the gospel of comfort in this time of need.

GEriks pulpit

If you wish to listen to Rev. G. Eriks' pre-synodical sermon preached Monday night in Hudsonville PRC, "The Vision of the Holy God," visit this Sermonaudio link.

Below are a few images from Day 1 - thanks to John Van Baren for the synod pictures this year!

delegates table 2

Delegates table 1

Key Kuiper 1
A diligent president (Rev. S. Key) and first clerk (Rev. D. Kuiper), checking time to ensure a prompt session.

PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Mission News - June 11, 2017

Ps14 2 lakeOn this Lord's Day dated June 11, 2017 we may report on the following news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields:

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. N. Decker (Trinity PRC) is considering the call from Southwest PRC (received May 21). He plans to answer it by June 25.
  • Rev. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull IA) is considering the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB (received May 28).
  • From its new trio of Revs. N. Decker, C. Griess (Calvary, Hull, IA), and R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA), the congregation of Zion PRC (Hudsonville/Jenison, MI) voted TODAY to call Rev. N. Decker to serve as her first pastor.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • The delegation from the PRC Contact Committee and Faith PRC to the BERG in Giessen, Germany concludes its visit and labors today, returning tomorrow, D.V. May God grant His blessing on this trip and give a safe return to the couples (Rev. & Mrs. K. Koole, Mr. & Mrs. Pete Vander Schaaf, and Mr. & Mrs. Dave Bouwkamp).
  • This second notice was also sent out this week from the Sated Clerk of Synod concerning the convening of the PRC 2017 Synod this week:

The pre-synodical service will be held Monday evening, June 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church. Rev. G. Eriks, president of Synod 2016, will preach.

Synod convenes Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. The seven seminarians who will be examined at synod will preach their specimen sermons on Tuesday. The oral exams will take place on Wednesday and Thursday – the schedule can be found on the prca.org website (http://www.prca.org/current/news), below in image form, and attached here in pdf.

Graduation is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, at 7:30 pm. in Hudsonville PRC. Prof. B. Gritters will deliver the commencement address on “The Ministry: An Existence, Not An Occupation.” The pre-synodical service and the graduation exercises will be streamed live at http://hudsonvilleprc.org.

Remember the synodical delegates in your prayers as they oversee the exams of the seminarians and as they deal with all the other matters brought before them. May God grant insight and wisdom in the deliberations so that the decisions  edify the church and glorify God.

MISSION NEWS:

  • On May 28 Rev. C. Haak declined the call from Byron Center PRC to serve as a home missionary.
  • On May 14 the congregation of Doon PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. H. Bleyenberg to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. In order to properly consider this call, Rev. Bleyenberg and his wife are currently visiting the field for two weeks (June 9-22). We pray God's blessing on them as they consider this special call (for more on this, see below).
  • From the Provident Christian Church for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • We welcome everyone here today. A special welcome to any visitors. May the Lord give us joy in worship, for His glory and for our blessing. Rev. Kleyn will preach for us in the first service today, and Rev. Bleyenberg in the second. Next Sunday, the Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach for both our worship services.
    • We welcome Rev. Heath Bleyenberg and his wife Deb into our fellowship today. They are visiting the Philippines for 2 weeks while Rev. Bleyenberg considers the call to be a missionary here. We pray God will use the visit as a means to make the answer to the call clear. Rev. Bleyenberg plans to answer the call on June 25.
    • The Wednesday night Bible study will be held this week, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. Rev. Bleyenberg will be giving a special lecture on how to read and study the Word of God. All are encouraged to attend.
    • The Classis of the PRCP is scheduled to meet tomorrow, June 12, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela. You are welcome to attend and observe the meeting of Classis.

 Below is a picture posted recently on the Kleyn's blog (along with others) about a new young people's forum called "Reformed Discussion Table":

RD Table 2017 2

And this week Mrs. Stephanie Lanning (wife of Rev. A. Lanning, pastor of Covenant ERC in Singapore - blog is "Stories from Singapore") posted some recent pictures of a wedding there, as well as of the last delegation to Kolkata, India (April 2017). We include one of the latter pictures here - from the church camp that was held.

Kolkata camp 2017 1

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PRC Synod 2017: Initial Notice of Pre-Synodical Service, Convening, and Seminarian Exam Schedule

HudsonvillePRC picNext week Tuesday, June 13, the PRC Synod of 2017 will begin its meetings at Hudsonville PRC. Below is the initial notice from the Stated Clerk, Rev. Ron Van Overloop.

SYNOD 2017 NOTICE:

eriks 02The pre-synodical service will be held Monday evening, June 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church. Rev. G. Eriks, president of Synod 2016, will preach.

Synod convenes Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. The seven seminarians who will be examined at synod will preach their specimen sermons on Tuesday. The oral exams will take place on Wednesday and Thursday – the schedule can be found on the prca.org website (http://www.prca.org/current/news), below in image form, and attached here in pdf.

Graduation is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, at 7:30 pm. in Hudsonville PRC. Prof. B. Gritters will deliver the commencement address on “The Ministry: An Existence, Not An Occupation.” The pre-synodical service and the graduation exercises will be streamed live at http://hudsonvilleprc.org.

Remember the synodical delegates in your prayers as they oversee the exams of the seminarians and as they deal with all the other matters brought before them. May God grant insight and wisdom in the deliberations so that the decisions  edify the church and glorify God.

Synod exam schedule 2017 Proposed Page 1

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