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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.

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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 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

Report of Classis East - May 10, 2017

byroncentrePRC

Below is the public report on the meeting of Classis East at Byron Center PRC this week Wednesday, provided by Mr. Gary Boverhof, the Stated Clerk.

May 10, 2017

Byron Center PRC

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. Wm. Langerak was the chairman for this session.

Rev. K. Koole was appointed as the new moderator of Southwest PRC. He replaces Rev. A. denHartog who has been on the west coast assisting our Lynden Church during the illness of Rev. Ron Hanko. Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and Zion PRC were granted Classical pulpit supply for evening services from June through September, should they be needed.

Classis was informed that a brother intends to appeal to Synod a decision that Classis made during the January 2017 meeting. This decision was regarding admitting non-Protestant Reformed believers to the communion table.

                The new Stated Clerk of Classis East was instructed to send a letter of thanks to Jon Huisken for his 40 plus years of faithful service to Classis East. Further, to place a notice of thanks in the bulletins of Classis East as well as the Standard Bearer.

                Most the day was spent on a protest by a sister protesting the content of various sermons of her pastor. This was appointed to pre-advice committee for recommendations. After thorough deliberations, Classis declared that this protest was illegally before Classis on the basis that her work was not finished with her consistory. Classis appointed the church visitors of Classis East to assist the Consistory and appellant with advice and guidance in their work.

A committee was appointed to digitize the minutes and supplements of Classis East. Due to the scope of this work, the committee is to report to Classis annually with their progress.

Classis approved the expenses for its meeting of $1,268.80. The next meeting of Classis East will be at Grandville PRC on September 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM, Lord willing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk

 

*UPDATE: On May 16, 2017 the Stated Clerk sent out this special note of thanks concerning the labors of Mr. Jon Huisken, previous Stated Clerk of Classis East:

At the May 10, 2017 meeting of Classis East it was decided to charge the Stated Clerk to send a letter of thanks to Mr. Jon Huisken and a bulletin announcement for his 40 plus years of faithful service as Stated Clerk of Classis East. This is a daunting task to express our thanks for such a monumental gift he has given the churches of Classis East.

Saying thank you for giving of yourself as a selfless laborer to the churches for so many years seams insufficient. Please know that your work has been deeply appreciated as the labor of love that it was for you.

Psalm 90: 17 “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

 

In His service,

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk Classis East

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News from Classis West, March 1, 2017 - Stated Clerk's Report

News From Classis West

    HopeRedlandsPRCClassis West met on Wednesday, March 1, in Redlands, CA.  Visiting Redlands for Classis in early March is a nice break for many of the delegates.  Delegates who live in colder climates enjoy a break from winter’s cold, and all enjoy a break from the normal routine of work.  The fellowship was warm, both in temperature and in spirit.
    Attended by two delegates from each church, and chaired by Rev. Kuiper, Classis treated both routine and weighty matters.
    Weighty were two matters of discipline regarding which a consistory sought Classis’ advice.  After hearing of the extensive work of the consistory regarding the two baptized members, Classis advised the consistory to proceed to erasure in both cases.
    Routine were the reports of the stated clerk, classical committee, church visitors, and reading sermon committee.  The church visitors reported using the text Deuteronomy 17:18-20 and the theme “An Officebearer’s Dependence On the Word of God” for their visits.  They testified to finding “unity, peace, and love prevailing in our congregations,” with the officebearers “faithfully carrying out the duties of their offices according to their abilities.”  Carrying out this aspect of mutual oversight, the visitors incurred expenses of $6,430.75.
    Not routine, and also weighty, were two requests from ministers, coming through their consistories, to be declared emeritus.  Rev. T. Miersma, presently serving Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, requested emeritation due to age (66) and increasing physical limitations and infirmities.  Classis granted this request and will forward it to synod for final approval.  Rev. R. Hanko, presently serving our congregation in Lynden, WA, also requested emeritation.  His stated reason for his request was neither age nor health, but his desire to be closer to his son Neal who lives in Spokane.  Most of us are aware that Neal has special needs which require him to live in an institution.  Classis rejected Rev. Hanko’s request as not satisfying the requirements of Article 13 of our Church Order.  Classis also advised Rev. Hanko and Lynden’s consistory regarding several specific issues which any future request for early emeritation must address.
    Routine, for the March meeting, was the treatment of subsidy requests.  Six churches requested subsidy for 2018, for a total of $276,055.  Two churches asked for the same amount of subsidy as in 2017; two asked for more than 2017, explaining their reasons; two asked for less.  Each church submitted financial documents supporting its request, as well as a letter explaining what efforts it was making to reduce the amount of subsidy it needs.  All six requests were approved and forwarded to synod.
    Also routine was the task of voting for various classical functionaries.  For three year terms, Rev. C. Griess was appointed to the classical committee, Rev. D. Kuiper as stated clerk, and Rev. J. Marcus as assistant stated clerk.  Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and D. Kuiper were appointed church visitors for the coming year, with Revs. J. Laning and T. Miersma as alternates.  Classis appointed Revs. S. Key and N. Langerak to three year terms as primus and secundus synodical deputy, which appointment requires the final approval of synod before going into effect.
    Ministers delegated to synod were Revs. B. Huizinga, S. Key, R. Kleyn, D. Kuiper, and J. Laning, with Revs. A. Brummel, J. Engelsma, C. Griess, N. Langerak, and J. Marcus as their alternates.  Elder delegates are Robert Brands (Loveland), Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Henry Ferguson (Edmonton), Chester Hunter (Edgerton), and Alan Meurer (Bethel).  Should they be unable to attend, they will call on their alternates, who are Rod Griess (Loveland), Loren Gritters (Hull), Steve Huizenga (Crete), Ed Stouwie (Crete), and Ed VanEgdom (Heritage).
    The expenses of this meeting totaled $10,985.41.
    The fall meeting of Classis is scheduled for September 27, 2017, hosted by Hull PRC.
    We thank God for the traveling mercies He gave the delegates and for the brotherly spirit that prevailed at the meeting.  And we - delegates not only, but all members of the PRC - now earnestly beseech Him to use the decisions which were made for the good of our churches, and to give those affected by these decisions the grace to receive them in a humble and willing spirit.
    Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

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