Friday, June 14, 2013: The last day of synod was another day of giving thanks to God for His great goodness. The morning devotions began with Psalm 145, a Psalm of praise to God. Every session of synod begins with prayer. The many heartfelt prayers of the delegates focused on giving thanks to God for His undeserved goodness.
When synod made decisions regarding the work in the Philippines, Rev. Smit, one of our missionaries in the Philippines, addressed synod. He expressed the gratitude of the missionaries to the churches for their interest in and support of Christ’s work in the Philippines. Rev. Smit also brought the greetings of the churches with whom they work in the Philippines by reading a letter of greeting from the combined consistories of the Berean PRC and the First Reformed Church of Bulacan. Rev. Van Overloop expressed words of thanks for the dedicated labors of Rev. Smit, Rev. Kleyn, and their families, on behalf of our churches.
When synod approved the work of the Contact Committee, the delegates from our sister-churches were given opportunity to address synod. Mr. Wee Gim Theng, the elder representative from the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, read a letter of greeting from the Session of the ERCS. Mr. Ivan Reid, an elder representative of the Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland, informed synod of the peace and prosperity in the congregation, the ongoing work they have in Wales and Limerick, and the busy labors of their pastors. He expressed the gratitude of the CPRCNI for all the support the PRCA has given them. Synod also expressed thanks to both men for the blessings of the sister-church relationship we enjoy with them.
Much of the work of synod on the last day was the approval of different financial matters of our denominational work. Synod approved budgets for the denominational committees, subsidy requests for the smaller churches of the denomination, and emeritation requests for our retired pastors. Synod gave thanks to Mr. Ondersma, our synodical treasurer, and to Mrs. Pamela Bos, who is the synodical bookkeeper. The synod instructed the Board of Trustees to review some of the financial practices of the denomination and to report to Synod 2014.
Synod adopted a budget of $1,559,556 for 2014, and approved assessing each family $770 per family, a $70 decrease per family from 2013. The reason for the decrease was the decision of synod to use some of the surplus funds in the accounts of the PRCA. The financial prosperity of the churches is another reason to give thanks to God.
Hope PRC will host Synod 2014, which will convene on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
The work of synod was done in a good spirit of humility and love, as it was capably and efficiently led by Rev. Van Overloop. May the Lord bless the decisions of synod and continue to give to us peace and unity in the truth.