Church Government

Synod

The PRC Synod is the broadest church assembly or gathering, made up of 20 delegates, 5 ministers and 5 elders from each Classis (of which there are two in the PRC). It meets annually during the second week of June to treat the ecclesiastical matters of the denomination (Missions, Seminary, etc.) and whatever matters have been brought from the narrower assemblies, viz., the Consistories and the Classes. The decisions of this body are published in the annual "Acts of Synod".

PRC Synod 2021 - Day 7 - Thursday June 17 *(Updated with Report)

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The delegates of the 2021 PRC Synod gathered again this morning in Georgetown PRC (Hudsonville, MI) for their seventh day of discussion and deliberation. We pray for them as they hope to complete their work today.

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Preparing to start the work this morning.

The body returned to some recommitted advice from Committee 2 this morning. Commmittee 5 material was also to be dealt with.

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Synod stands to sing each morning for devotions.

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Synod president, Rev. R. Kleyn, makes closing remarks Thursday afternoon as synod ends its work.

 And here is the final public report of the day's decisions, per the second clerk of synod:

Report of Day 7 - Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America
June 17, 2021
After opening devotions, Synod treated reformulated advice on a protest of an individual who objected to Synod 2020’s decision regarding a sermon (entitled “Dealing Rightly With Our Sins”) preached by a former minister in the denomination. The individual’s main contention is that Synod’s decision contradicts Scripture and the confessions and brings Synod 2020 into contradiction with decisions of Synods 2018 and 2019. Synod did not sustain the protest.

Synod then dealt with reformulated advice on a protest of a decision of Synod 2020 related to the release of that former minister from the ministry under Article 12 of the Church Order. The protestant contended that Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order ought to have been applied instead. Synod voted not to sustain the protest.

Synod treated reformulated advice on another protest that objected on procedural grounds to Classis East’s concurrence to depose a minister according to Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. Synod did not sustain the protest.

Synod approved the work of the synodical deputies from Classis West in their concurrence with the decision of Classis East to proceed with the deposition of that minister according to Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. Synod judged that Classis East’s grounds, on the basis of which the synodical deputies concurred, demonstrate that the minister was guilty of sin that warranted deposition. In addition, although synod granted some points made by those who protested, synod did not sustain the protests against the work of the synodical deputies.

Synod took a decision to express the churches’ deep gratitude to God for the work that Prof. R. Dykstra has performed on our behalf over the past 25 years in faithfully training our pastors in the seminary. Over half of our present pastors were formed, in part, by Prof. Dykstra’s instruction and example. May the Lord continue to bless the instruction Prof. Dykstra gives, and strengthen him for his work as pastor of Byron Center PRC.

Synod approved publishing and distributing an open letter to those who have recently left the PRCA, gave specific direction on how that distribution would take place, and approved the letter that would be sent. It did so believing that seeking reconciliation is the solemn duty of the church with those who have left because reconciliation is the very heart of the gospel (2 Cor. 5:18-21); because seeking reconciliation is expected of those who are members of the church, as Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”; and because seeking reconciliation is consistent with the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17:21, “That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Synod declared not legally before it two pieces of correspondence.

Synod approved the recommendations made by the Catechism Book Committee regarding memory work schedules for the Juniors Bible History classes.

Synod concurred with the decision of Bethel PRC to declare Rev. Dennis Lee temporarily emeritus since, by this coming July, through no fault of his own, he will have been left without a fixed charge due to the disbanding of the congregation. Synod also approved the financial support of Rev. Lee. May the Lord be pleased soon to open up a place of labor for Rev. Lee in our churches.

Synod approved the requests of four congregations for financial subsidy for 2022.

Synod adopted the overtures of two congregations to schedule a denominational commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the PRC for the summer of A.D. 2025, and appointed a steering committee to present concrete proposals for implementing these overtures.

Synod adopted the budget for 2022 of $2,534,463, which is adjusted to $1,415,729 because of surplus funds, collections, and monies from the “endowment” funds. Synod approved assessing each family $675 for 2022, a decrease of $75 from 2021.

Synod appointed Zion PRC as the host church of Synod 2022 to convene Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 8:00 AM. The Lord willing, Sem. Marcus Wee, a member of Zion, will be examined by that Synod.

Having completed all the matters on its agenda, Synod adjourned at about 4:00 PM. May the Lord bless the decisions of Synod and cause them to serve for the good of our churches.

A special word of appreciation to Georgetown PRC for the outstanding job they did in hosting the delegates for nearly two weeks. The comfortable accommodations, the good food, the warm hospitality, and the colorful posters made by the children were greatly appreciated!

In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Second Clerk of Synod 2021

PRC Synod 2021 - Day 6 - Wednesday, June 16

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Here follows the public report of the sixth day of meetings for the 2021 PRC Synod being hosted by Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America
June 16, 2021
After opening devotions, Rev. Cory Griess read a letter of acknowledgment to the call he has received to serve in our seminary as Professor of Practical Theology and New Testament Studies (see photo below). He plans to answer the call on or before July 4. Continue to remember him in your prayers as he considers this weighty call.
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Synod treated another protest that objected on procedural grounds to Classis East’s concurrence to depose a minister according to Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. The matter was recommitted to the committee of pre-advice for reformulation.

Synod treated a protest of an individual who objected to Synod 2020’s decision regarding a sermon (entitled “Dealing Rightly With Our Sins”) preached by a former minister in the denomination. The individual’s main contention is that Synod’s decision contradicts Scripture and the confessions and brings Synod 2020 into contradiction with decisions of Synods 2018 and 2019. This matter was recommitted to the committee of pre-advice for reformulation.

A different individual brought a protest against that same decision of Synod 2020. Synod voted not to sustain his protest, judging that the individual had failed to prove his contention that the sermon militated against Synod 2018 by making repentance an instrument to obtain blessings of salvation.

Two individuals protested another decision of Synod 2020 related to another sermon of that former minister (a sermon entitled “The Reward of Grace”). Synod did not sustain either of the protests, judging that the individuals failed to prove that the former minister militated against the decision of Synod 2018 in the sermon.

Synod dealt with a protest of a decision of Synod 2020 related to the release of that former minister from the ministry under Article 12 of the Church Order. The matter was recommitted to the committee of pre-advice for reformulation.

Synod took up reformulated advice regarding a protest of a decision of Synod 2020 not to publish a report from a special committee appointed to assist a congregation. Synod did not sustain the protest, but judged that Synod 2020 had acted within its rules by not including in the printed Acts a report regarding a mandate that synod gave to a committee in closed session and that synod treated in closed session.

Synod also considered reformulated advice regarding a protest that objected to Synod 2020 giving instruction to an appellant regarding the form of his appeals after treating those appeals. Synod did not sustain the protest.

Synod approved the dispersing of funds for the financial support of our seminary students. It also approved changes to the constitution of the Student Aid Committee which make clear the uses of the two main funds it oversees.

Synod had before it an appeal of an individual whose objections to a sermon were not upheld by his consistory or Classis. Synod voted not to sustain the appeal, but expressed its agreement with the judgment of the Classis that the sermon did not promote the wisdom of the world; did not promote the Pelagian heresy; did not violate the first commandment; and did not teach the false gospel concerning God, hope, Christ, sin, and the covenant.

Synod approved the work of the Board of Trustees during the past year, including its work with the Investment Subcommittee concerning the synodical investments. The synodical treasurer and stated clerk were reappointed to three-year terms.

Synod approved the financial support of fifteen emeritus ministers and their wives for 2022.

The Stated Clerk was instructed in his letter to the churches to include a notice of the urgent need for seminary students. “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-28).

Synod finished for the day at 5:00 PM, and will meet again tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM, the Lord willing. It’s possible that Synod will conclude its business tomorrow.
In Christ’s service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Second Clerk of Synod 2021

PRC Synod 2021 - Day 5 - Tuesday June 15 *(Updated with Report)

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After allowing extra time for her committees to draft advice, the 2021 PRC Synod returned to its work on Tuesday June 15 at noon (not at 8 a.m. as previously decided).

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The delegates and visitors (now a maximum of 60) are now meeting in the fellowship room of Georgetown PRC.

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Much of the work today involves treating protests and appeals. May the Lord give wisdom to the delegates as they discuss and decide on these matters.

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Let us remember to pray for the body in all its work, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and faithfulness to the Word of the Head of the church, Jesus Christ.

Here is the public report to the churches on today's work:

Report of Day 5
Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America June 15, 2021

Synod had initially planned to assemble again this morning, but, due to committees of pre-advice needing more time to prepare advice, it did not begin meeting until noon.

Synod began the work of the day by rescinding a previous decision to declare a letter from a consistory not legally before it. Synod declared the letter legally before it because the letter addresses several slanderous allegations made against the consistory by a protest included in the agenda. Synod decided to publish the letter in the printed Acts to set the record straight in a matter that has been made public even beyond the realm of our churches.

Synod spent most of the day treating the substance of five protests that objected to the concurrence of the synodical deputies of Classis West with the decision of Classis East in the deposition of a minister. Synod voted not to sustain the five protests in their objections to Ground A of Classis East (the minister’s making public accusations of sin), with regard to Ground B (the minister’s sins against the 9th commandment), with regard to Ground C (the minister’s sins against the 5th commandment), and with regard to the charge against the minister of the sin of public schism, believing that there was clear and sufficient evidence of these sins.

Synod also treated the protest of an individual who objected on procedural grounds to Classis East’s concurrence to depose this minister. The protestant argued that the work was not finished at the level of the consistory, that another consistory called in to render judgment on the case was not the nearest consistory, and that officebearers he believed to be conflicted were permitted to advise, deliberate, and render judgment in the case. Synod did not sustain the individual’s protest.

Synod worked until around 8:30 tonight, and will meet again tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM, the Lord willing.

In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Second Clerk of Synod 2021

PRC Synod 2021 - Day 4 - Friday June 11

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One of the delegates did some drone pictures of Georgetown PRC today. Can you guess who?

The 2021 PRC Synod gathered for a new day and a new session in Georgetown PRC on Friday June 11. With the examination of Sem. J. Tan completed, she could dig into her regular business and begin trearting committee report recommendations right away. The delegates and visitors are back meeting back in the fellowship room of the church.

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The summary report of today's deliberations and decisions follows:

Protestant Reformed Churches in America June 11, 2021
Synod began the day by continuing to deal with material from the Theological School Commitee (TSC). The TSC had received a request from a congregation to delay calling a replacement for Prof. Gritters for a year. The TSC did not approve this request, and synod concurred with the TSC’s action. Synod then proceeded to calling a man to replace Prof. Gritters as Professor of Practical Theology and New Testament Studies. The result of the voting was that Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to receive the call. We pray that the Lord would make his will known clearly to Rev. Griess over the next weeks, and, if it be his will, that he would accept this call. In the event that he is led to decline the call, Rev. Engelsma was chosen as an alternate to receive the call.
Before Synod was a protest of a decision taken by Synod 2020 not to include a report in the printed Acts. After deliberations, the matter was recommitted to the committee of pre-advice for reformulation.
Another protest objected to Synod 2020 giving instruction to an appellant regarding the form of his appeals after treating those appeals. This matter was also recommitted to the committee of pre-advice for reformulation.
Synod treated an appeal from an individual who objected to a decision of Classis West to declare a protest of his not legally before it. Synod rejected the appeal and upheld the decision of Classis West, declaring that Classis West correctly ruled that the individual may not appeal to Classis without bringing a protest of the consistory’s decision to the consistory.
Synod approved the appointment of synodical deputies from Classis East and West, recommitted advice from a committee of pre-advice regarding a letter of correspondence, and approved the work of the stated clerk.
At around 2:00 PM, Synod moved to recess until Tuesday morning in order to give committees of pre-advice time to work.
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Second Clerk of Synod 2021
*UPDATE on Tuesday Start time: Synod now plans to begin at NOON on Tuesday, June 15.
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Revs. C Griess (l) and J. Engelsma (r)

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PRC Seminary professors and advisors to synod: R.Dykstra, B.Gritters, R.Cammenga (back); D.Kuiper, B.Huizinga (front)

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Audience singing Thursday night at the commencement program for Josiah Tan (in front with his wife)

PRC Synod 2021 - Day 3 - Thursday June 10 (Updated with Report)

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After a busy night of committtee work, the delegates of the PRC Synod convened on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. in the sanctuary of Georgetown PRC.

First on the agenda is the final sections (4) of oral examination of Sem. Josiah Tan. This part of the exam is also be livestreamed on Georgetown PRC's website.

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Prof.D. Kuiper examining Sem. Tan in knowledge of confessions.

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Prof. B.Gritters examining Sem. Tan in Church Polity and NT History. 

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Rev.C. Griess examining Sem. Tan in practica.

Pending the approval of synod, the graduation ceremony of Sem. J.Tan will take place this evening at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

Sem. J.Tan successfully sustained his exam, with the following reported in today's record: "The chairman, Rev. R. Kleyn, informs Mr. Tan that synod has unanimously approved his synodical examination and will inform the Session of the CERC that we judge him worthy to be declared eligible for a call. He reads Joshua 1:4-9. Synod sings the doxology. The delegates of synod are given opportunity to congratulate Mr. Tan and his wife."

We rejoice in this blessed provision of another candidate for the gospel ministry and pray that God will provide him a call that will lead to his ordination in the near future.

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Sem. Tan and his wife Huiqi congratulated by the president of synod, Rev. R. Kleyn

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Sem. Tan and his wife congratulated by Prof. R. Cammenga

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Sem. Tan and his wife congratulated by Rev. C.Griess, under whom Sem. Tan did his internship

The rest of the day was taken up with deliberation on synod's committee reports. Here is the public report for this day:

Report of Day 3
Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America June 10, 2021

Synod continued its work this morning with the oral examination of senior seminarian, Josiah Tan. Prof. Kuiper examined Mr. Tan in Knowledge of Confessions (for 30 minutes), Prof. Gritters examined him in Church Order (for 30 minutes) and Knowledge of Scripture (for 30 minutes), and then Rev. Griess (who supervised Mr. Tan’s internship) examined him in Practica (for 20 minutes). The brother gave a very good account of himself, and synod unanimously approved his examination. May the Lord soon open up a place of labor for Josiah in his kingdom. We thank him for providing another faithful laborer in the harvest!

Believing missions to be one of the primary callings of the church, synod authorized the Domestic Mission Committee (DMC) to designate a new calling church for a home missionary from the West Michigan area. The desire is that this church call a missionary as soon as possible and work with the DMC in developing a new field of labor.

Synod dealt with the work of the Contact Committee (CC) in this past year. It approved the work of the CC with our sister church in Singapore, and approved discontinuing the calling of a minister-on-loan to serve there. Synod approved the CC’s work with our sister church in Northern Ireland. It approved the work with our sister church in the Philippines, and approved letters of encouragement to our sister church and our missionaries in light of recent struggles they have experienced. Synod approved the work of the CC with our contacts in Australia, Germany, and Namibia/South Africa, and received information regarding other contacts in South Korea and Mexico. Synod approved sending observers to NAPARC in 2021. A committee of three men reported on the work they did in the past year reviewing the doxologies and spiritual songs in the back of our Psalter, and sent this on to our denominational Review Committee for a final review.

Synod also began treating the material related to our Theological School Committee (TSC). One young man who aspires to the ministry in our churches was admitted to the seminary in the coming year. This is great cause for rejoicing as it means that, the Lord willing, next school year we will have four men studying for the ministry in our churches, as well as two other foreign students. Having served his initial four-year term, Prof. Kuiper was reappointed to another three-year term as professor of Church History and New Testament in our seminary. Synod also declared that Profs. Cammenga, Dykstra, and Gritters are capable to continue teaching in our seminary for another year, a decision demanded by the TSC Constitution on account of their being over 65 years old.

The delegates of Synod gathered tonight with the seminary faculty, members of the TSC, and supporters of our seminary to celebrate the graduation of Josiah Tan. Georgetown PRC’s choir treated the audience to two beautiful numbers, and Prof. Kuiper gave a fitting address on “Putting One’s Neck to the Work.”

In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Second Clerk of Synod 2021

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Synod's first clerk - Rev. C. Spronk - busy at his post.

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The PRC's assistant stated clerk, Mr. Dirk Westra, has made himself available with his digital resources for synod and her committees.

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Another important member of synod's "team": Jay A. Kuiper, Georgetown PRC's facility coordinator, janitor, livestream-controller, etc.

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PRC Synod 2021 - Day 2 - Wednesday June 9 (Updated with Report and Photos)

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The PRC Synod of 2021 convened Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. in the  sanctuary of Georgetown PRC.

On the agenda for the morning session is the oral examination of Sem. Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore). He will be examined by Prof. R. Cammenga in all the loci of Dogmatics and then in Church History by Prof. R.Dykstra. The exam is being livestreamed through Georgetown PRC's website.

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Prof. R. Cammenga questioning Sem. Tan in all branches of theology.

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Prof. R. Dykstra examining Sem. Tan in Reformation church history (his last time doing this!).

In the afternoon Synod took up the reports of its committee that were ready (cf. report below).

Report of Day 2

Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America June 9, 2021
Synod continued its work this morning with the oral examination of senior seminarian, Josiah Tan. Prof. Cammenga examined Mr. Tan in the six loci of Dogmatics (for 20 minutes on each section), and then Prof. Dykstra examined him in Church History (with a focus on Martin Luther and the sixteenth-century Reformation) for 40 minutes. At the end of each section the delegates were given opportunity to ask follow-up questions of the student. The oral examination of Mr. Tan will conclude tomorrow morning, the Lord willing. For those who are interested, the exam is being live-streamed by Georgetown PRC.
After lunch break, Synod dealt with the legality of protests from three individuals of decisions of Synod 2020. The protests have to do with decisions regarding two sermons preached by a former minister (“Dealing Rightly with Our Sins” and “The Reward of Grace”) as well as with the decision to release that minister under Article 12 of the Church Order. These protests were all declared legally before Synod.
Synod also dealt with the legality of nine protests and one letter from a consistory related to the deposition of a minister under Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. Synod declared seven of the protests legally before it. Two of the protests were declared not legally before Synod on the ground that the protestants are no longer members of the denomination and therefore no longer have the right of protest. Synod also declared not legally before it the letter from a consistory because it addressed one of the protests that Synod declared not legally before it.
Synod then treated the material from the Foreign Mission Committee. Rev. Daniel Holstege, one of our missionaries to the Philippines, was present at Synod and addressed the delegates and visitors regarding the work on our established field of labor. Synod approved the work done by Doon PRC and the FMC in the Philippines and expressed thanks to our missionaries for their faithful labors. Synod approved the congregations taking one collection in 2022 for foreign missions and one collection for the Philippines Book Fund.
Synod also treated the report from the Domestic Mission Committee. Synod approved the work of Byron Center PRC and the DMC, expressed thanks to Rev. Spriensma and his wife for their labors as home missionary for 3.5 years, and approved the decision of Byron Center council no longer to serve as the calling church for home missions. Synod directed the DMC to expand greatly its use of technology, internet, and radio to establish a concrete field of labor for a missionary, and budgeted $50,000 to carry out this mandate. Synod also approved the DMC proposal for updating the general purpose, form, structure, and development of the prca.org website. Synod directed the DMC to form a new sub-committee of qualified individuals to oversee and maintain the denominational website (prca.org) and all other denominationally related digital technology (social media, podcasts, etc.). The members of this sub-committee would be appointed and supervised by the DMC, and their specific work and compensation determined by the DMC. Synod approving having the churches take one collection in 2022 for the cause of Domestic Missions.
Synod recessed for the day at about 5:00 PM to allow committees of pre-advice to work.
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Second Clerk of Synod 2021

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It was also photo day at synod and John Van Baren again took a variety of pictures, a sampling of which you find above and below.

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Synodical officers: front - Revs. C.Spronk (1st clerk) and J. Engelsma (2nd clerk); back - Revs. R.Kleyn (Pres.) and G.Eriks (VP)

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Committee 1 - Revs. R.Kleyn and W. Langerak (front); Elder E. Van Egdom, Prof. R. Dykstra, Elder D.Kregel (back)

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Committee 2 - Revs. C.Griess, J.Laning (front); Elder J. Regnerus, Prof. B.Huizinga, Elder J.Holstege (back)

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Committee 3 - Revs. G.Eriks, J.Engelsma (front); Elder B.Looyenga, Prof.B. Gritters, Prof. D.Kuiper, Elder D.Terpstra (back)

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Committee 4 - Revs. S.Key, C.Spronk (front); Elder K.Bruinsma, Prof. R. Cammenga, Elder J.Lanting (back)

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Committee 5 - Revs. A.Brummel, R.Van Overloop (front); Elders N.Kleyn, D.Poortinga (back)

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Missionary to the Philippines D.Holstege addressed synod

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This year's synod has a Dutch theme - check out the fine art-work the Georgetown PRC children did!

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And at lunch it appears chef/griller Deane Wassink has some eager taste-testers

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PRC Synod 2021 - Day 1 - Tuesday June 8 (Updated with Report)

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The PRC Synod 2021 began its sessions this morning at Georgetown PRC at 8 a.m.

After receiving the credentials of the delegates from Classes East and West, election of synodical officers took place. Chosen were Revs. R. Kleyn as president, G. Eriks as vice-president, C.Spronk as first clerk, and J.Engelsma as second clerk.

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The Committee on Committees was appointed to organize the work of synod. More on this report later.

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Synodical delegates gathered for Sem. J.Tan sermon

Beginning at 10 a.m. the examination of Sem. Josiah Tan (Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, Singapore) will take place, with his specimen sermon to be preached before synod and visitors. Tomorrow (Wednesday) his oral examination will begin, with more continuing on Thursday. The entire exam will be livestreamed on Georgetown PRC's website.

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Sem. J.Tan delivering his sermon specimen before synod

Synod has approved Sem. Tan's sermon specimen and will proceed to the rest of his examination Wednesday morning. 

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Synod has recessed for the day in order for her committees to do their work.

UPDATE: The following is the summary report of day one by the synod's clerks:

Report of Day One of Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches of America June 8, 2021

Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church called its congregation together for the pre-synodical service last night, June 7, and began its duties of hosting the delegates of Synod 2021. Rev. Van Overloop, chairman of last year’s synod, led the service, preaching on the mercy and lovingkindness of God as set forth in Psalm 36:7-8. The pastorally delivered sermon encouraged the delegates of synod and the congregation to view everything that is happening in the churches and their individual lives in light of the excellent lovingkindness/mercy of God towards His people. The congregation and delegates of synod enjoyed a time of Christian fellowship after the service.

This morning the delegates of synod were once again warmly welcomed by the members of Georgetown PRC who are working in various capacities to serve synod. If today is any indication, the delegates will be very well cared for by the janitor, the kitchen committee, and others who are helping in this effort. Synod gathered in the spacious fellowship hall to begin its proceedings. Rev. Van Overloop read the names of the delegates from Classis East and Classis West. After synod voted to approve the credentials of the delegates, Rev. Van Overloop declared synod properly constituted.

Synod proceeded to elect officers resulting in the election of Rev. Rodney Kleyn as president, Rev. Garry Eriks as vice-president, Rev. Clayton Spronk as first clerk, and Rev. Joshua Engelsma as second clerk. Rev. Kleyn took the chair, asked for the cooperation of the delegates, and read from Ephesias 3:14-21 commenting that the passage is a prayer that God be glorified through the church. He encouraged the delegates to make this prayer and to have this perspective that all should be for God’s glory in the work of synod.

Senior Seminarian Josiah Tan preached a specimen sermon on Psalm 89:1 at around 10:00 this morning. As it had the night before, synod heard a stirring word of God about the amazing mercies of God. Synod unanimously voted to approve Sem. Tan’s sermon and to proceed to his oral examination. The sermon was livestreamed on the internet. Hopefully members of the churches were able to tune in, especially the members of the CERC in Singapore.

Those who are interested in witnessing the proceedings of synod will want to take note of the following decisions that were adopted by synod. 1. The examination of senior seminarian Josiah Tan will be livestreamed on the internet Wednesday and Thursday. 2. Sixty visitors will be allowed in the fellowship hall for the regular deliberations of synod; 285 visitors will be allowed in the sanctuary during the oral examination of Sem. Tan.

Synod adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Committees regarding the appointment of the committees of pre-advice. Around noon synod recessed for the day so that these committees could get to work. Synod will convene at 8:00am tomorrow and shortly thereafter begin the examination of Mr. Tan in the six sections of Reformed Dogmatics. May God give our brother all he needs to give a good account of what he has studied in seminary.

In Christ’s Service, Rev. Spronk First Clerk of Synod 2021

PRC Synod 2020 - Day 4 (Friday, June 12)

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Aerial view of the host church, Trinity PRC (thanks to Nick Kleyn's drone!)

The PRC Synod of 2020 held its fourth and final session today at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

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Officers of synod: Revs.R. Kleyn (V.P), R. Van Overloop (Pres.), C. Spronk (1st clerk), J. Engelsma (2nd clerk)

Synod 2020 Highlights Friday, June 12

Synod spent a large part of the day treating an individual’s appeal which contained several different parts. One part was declared not legally before synod, and after careful deliberation the other legal parts were not sustained.

Synod approved the work of the Special Synodical Committee to Assist Hope PRC, declared that they had fulfilled their mandate, and disbanded the Committee.

Regarding the work of the Domestic Mission Committee, Synod did the following:

• Approved the work of Byron Center PRC Council and the DMC, and expressed appreciation for the work of our home missionary, Rev. Spriensma.

• Mandated the DMC to report to Synod next year with ways that it has increased their efforts to establish a concrete field of labor for the missionary.

• Expressed thanks for the work of Chuck Terpstra and Alex Postma on the website.

• Mandated the DMC to report to Synod 2021 with concrete plans and budget for professionally updating and maintaining our website.

Synod approved “Affirmations Regarding Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender Identity” for the greater legal protection of our denomination.

Synod approved the work of the Stated Clerk, Rev. Van Overloop, and thanked him for his work.

Synod approved the emeritation requests of our emeritus ministers and the widows of ministers.

Synod approved subsidy requests from 7 congregations.


Synod expressed thanks to our Synodical Treasurer, Don Offringa, and Bookkeeper, Pamela Bos, for their labors.

Synod adopted a budget for 2021 and set synodical assessments at $750 per family, down $25 from 2020. Synod carried out annual elections for various committees. Synod set June 8, 2021, as the date for next year’s synod, to be held at Georgetown PRC.

The President, Rev. Van Overloop, concluded by expressing appreciation for the exemplary way in which the delegates worked together on behalf of the churches, and the Vice-President, Rev. R. Kleyn, led the delegates in prayer, thanking God for the strength to do the work and asking for his blessing upon it.

Comm1 2
Committee I

Comm2 2
Committee II

Comm3 2
Committee III

 Comm4 2
Committee IV

Comm5 2
Committee V

sem profs 2 2
Seminary professors

Aerial view Trinity PRC 2

 Thanks to John Van Baren for all the "official" synod pics!

PRC Synod 2020 - Day 3 (Thursday, June 11)

Trinity building new part 1

The PRC Synod 2020 held its third session today, Thursday June 11, at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

Singing 1

One of the great traditions of synod is the opening devotions, including the singing, sometimes accompanied, sometimes acapella.

It was photo day during coffee break this morning. Below is a couple of sample of the group picture.

Group pic 2

Group pic 1

Here is today's summary of synod's work:

This morning Synod dealt with the report of the Theological School Committee.

• Synod approved two men being admitted to our seminary this coming school year. Both are seeking the ministry in our churches.

• Synod approved the request of the TSC that Prof. Huizinga be granted an additional year in his transition to teaching full-time so that he can take a two-year course of theological Dutch.

• Synod expressed thanks for the work of the five professors, Mr. Chuck Terpstra, and Ms. Sharon Kleyn in our seminary.

• Prof. Cammenga was appointed to a three-year term as rector.

• Synod instructed the Stated Clerk in his letter to the churches to include a notice of the urgent need for seminary students.

Synod also approved the work and disbursements of the Student Aid Committee.

Synod appointed a PRC Psalter Revision Review Committee of nine members of our churches. They were tasked with evaluating all the proposed revisions to the Psalter and making recommendations to synod regarding adopting these proposed revisions.

Synod had before it two protests of decisions of Synod 2019. Synod decided not to sustain both protests.

Synod approved several new memory work schedules for Juniors and Seniors catechism classes, and mandated the Catechism Book Committee to propose to Synod 2021 the layout of new catechism books implementing the approved memory work schedules. Synod thanked Prof. Cammenga and Rev. den Hartog for their careful and diligent work on these memory work schedules.

And a few other candid photos taken.

RGritters BGritters

Elder R. Gritters and brother Prof. B. Gritters

Elder JRegnerus

Elder J. Regnerus (Doon, IA - Is the coffee as good as it is in NW Iowa?)

WLangerak NKleyn

Rev. W. Langerak (who's texting me now?!)

Elders JLenting BLooyenga

Elders J. Lenting (Crete PRC) and B. Looyenga (Zion PRC)

RBarnhill JEngelsma BGritters

Coffee-break chat: Revs. R. Barnhill and J. Engelsma, elder B. Gritters (Hull PRC)

PRC Synod 2020 - Day 2 (Wednesday, June 10)

TrinityPRC front 2

This morning the 2020 Synod of the PRC continued its sessions at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

Officers 2
Synod's officers ready to work

The following is the clerk's summary of the day's actions and decisions:

Wednesday, June 10

  • Synod began the day today treating two protests of an individual against decisions of
    Classis East. Synod decided not to sustain both protests.
  • A protest against a decision of Synod 2019 was declared illegal.
  • Regarding the work of the Foreign Mission Committee synod:
    • approved the work of Doon PRC and the FMC in the Philippines
    • expressed gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Holstege, Rev. and Mrs. Kleyn, & Rev. and Mrs. Smit and
      their families for their faithful service in the cause of the mission work in the Philippines
    • approved a six month furlough for the Holsteges
    • approved the work of the FMC in its work in Myanmar with Hope PRC (Walker, MI), and its work in
      India with Georgetown PRC
    • approved asking the churches to take 2 collections for foreign missions and 1 collection for the
      Philippine book fund in 2021
  • Synod approved the work of the Contact Committee in its work with the following
    contacts:
    • sister churches in Northern Ireland, Singapore, and the Philippines
    • the EPC in Australia
    • the BERG in Giessen Germany along with another congregation in Osnabruk Germany
    • the United Reformed Church in North America
    • in South Korea
    • in Mexico
    • in Namibia and South Africa
    • Synod approved the work of the Contact Committee in sending a delegation to the
      2019 meeting of NAPARC (North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council).
      Approval was also given to the recommendation to accept the invitation to send two
      observers to the meeting of NAPARC in 2020.

4 men CSRDRVOJE
Rev. C. Spronk, Prof. R. Dykstra, Rev. R. Van Overloop, Rev. J. Engelsma

four men SMBGGERK
Elder S. Miedema, Rev. G. Eriks, Rev. R. Kleyn, Prof. B. Gritters

DKregel GEriks
Elder D. Kregel and Rev. G. Eriks

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