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




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.



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

Classis West Meeting, Edgerton, MN, Sept.30, 2015 - Official Report Now Published

EdgerPRC2012Classis West met this week in Edgerton, MN PRC.

Update from Wednesday afternoon, Sept.30: Pastor-elect Ryan Barnhill successfully sustained his classical exam and Classis West unanimously approved him to serve as a minister of the Word and sacraments in the PRC.

Peace PRC was also instructed to proceed with his ordination and installation, which is scheduled for Friday evening, Oct.9 in Peace PRC (Lansing, IL), with Prof.B. Gritters leading the service.

We rejoice in God's gracious provision of another servant to herald the gospel of sovereign grace. May He continue to prepare this brother for his work in the church of Jesus Christ in our Peace congregation.

RBarnhill CW Sept 2015
Chairman for this meeting of Classis West, Rev.B.Huizinga, informs Pastor-elect Barnhill and his wife Miranda of its decision.

The Stated Clerk of Classis West provides this official public report of this meeting:

On September 30, 2015, Classis West held its fall meeting in Edgerton, MN.

The meeting was preceded by an officebearers’ conference the previous day on the topic “The Local Church and Missions.” In his keynote speech, Rev. Slopsema emphasized first that every local church has the calling before God to do mission work. The church should not think this is optional for her; she also should view it as a privilege, not a burden. The second part of his speech explained that some of the work of missions becomes the work of the denomination, and laid out guidelines for how and when a congregation would turn to the denomination for help. The fourth presentation of the day supplemented this instruction; members of the Domestic Mission Committee spoke on “Promoting Mission Outreach by the Local Congregation.” The other two presentations were by members of Hope PRC and Georgetown PRC, giving overviews of Hope’s work with Rev. Titus in Myanmar, and Georgetown’s work with the Protestant Reformed Church of Vellore, India.
The presentations were informative, and I personally found them encouraging. A hearty thanks to Revs. Griess and Kleyn for organizing the conference, and to those who came from Michigan to take part in it.
After Rev. R. Hanko opened the meeting with an edifying devotional on Zechariah 1:8, Rev. B. Huizinga capably chaired this meeting for the first time in his ministry. .
The highlight of the meeting of Classis was the examination of Mr. Ryan Barnhill, who has accepted the call to serve as pastor of Peace PRC in Lansing, IL. The evening prior to Classis, the delegates of Classis and synodical deputies from Classis East gathered in the sanctuary of Edgerton PRC for an official worship service, at which Mr. Barnhill preached his specimen sermon on Psalm 25:14. Both in his preaching as well as in the rest of the exam, Mr. Barnhill gave good account of his natural and spiritual gifts for the ministry of the Word. With joy, Classis approved his exam and advised Peace PRC to proceed with his ordination. With this decision, the synodical deputies concurred.
Also on the agenda was an appeal of a brother from Peace PRC against a decision of his consistory. Peace PRC was unable to find pulpit supply for its worship services on December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2015. The consistory decided, with the approval of Crete PRC’s consistory, to hold a combined worship service with Crete, under the supervision of both consistories. The brother presented his consistory with several reasons why he considered this decision to be an error and, not satisfied with his consistory’s response, appealed the matter to Classis. Classis decided not to sustain the brother’s appeal for five reasons. Of those five, the first two regard significant principles of the Church Order, and the last three regard matters that were specific to the appellant’s wording in stating his case. I’ll summarize the first two. First, Classis pointed out that at this combined service, the elders of Peace PRC did not relinquish their responsibilities toward their congregation, but rather called the congregation to worship, and were able to oversee both the attendance of the members of Peace PRC as well as the preaching that the members received. In this way they fulfilled the mandate of Scripture in 1 Peter 5:2-3. Second, Classis declared that in so doing both consistories adhered to Article 67 of our Church Order; that Peace PRC did not relinquish their autonomy; and that Crete PRC did not lord it over Peace PRC (something which Article 84 of our Church Order specifies may not happen).
The consistory of Covenant of Grace PRC requested an additional subsidy of $4000 for 2015 and $12,000 for 2016. The reason for this request is that Rev. and Mrs. Kleyn decided to enroll their children in a different school than they had been using since moving to Spokane, which school had significantly higher tuition. Classis granted these requests and forwarded them to the synodical finance committee.
The expenses of this meeting totaled $9362.36. Classis is scheduled to meet next in Crete PRC on March 2, 2016.
The fellowship was again enjoyable. God is to be thanked for giving us the freedom to hold such assemblies claiming the protection of the authorities, and for giving the delegates to this particular meeting safety in travel and freedom to speak the convictions of their heart in love for the churches.
Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

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