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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

Report on Meeting of Classis East, Sept.9, 2015

byroncentrePRCReport of Classis East

September 9, 2015

Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at Byron Center PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. A. denHartog was the chairman for this session.

Most of the business was routine. The exception was a request from a consistory to increase censure to the second step for one of its members. Classis advised this consistory to proceed with this action.

Expenses for this classis amounted to $55.72.

Classis will meet next on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the Trinity PRC.

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

July 2015 "Standard Bearer" - Annual PRC Synod Issue

The July 2015 issue of The Standard Bearer is the annual special PRC Synod issue, with special pictures and an editorial summarizing the work and decisions of the Synod (done by Prof.R. Dykstra this year).

Since that issue has now been published, we may post here the cover and one page of pictures. If you wish to receive this issue or to subscribe to the "SB", contact the RFPA at the link above.

SB July 2015 Synod Issue

For more information on this year's PRC Synod, visit this page.

SB July 2015 Synod Issue 2

Synod 2015: Day Four - Summary of Final Decisions

216A2373

The PRC Synod completed its work on Friday, June 12, 2015. Below is a summary which the 2nd clerk, Rev.A.Brummel, put together for information.

For a complete record of Synod 2015's decisions look for the published Acts of Synod in the next few months.

Synod treated an appeal against a decision of Classis East regarding the timing of the Prayer Day service. Synod did not sustain the appeal, but maintained the decision of Classis East which stated that a consistory did not err in scheduling a day different than the 2nd Sunday in March for their prayer day service. The date of Prayer Day is not established by the Church Order nor any decision of our churches.

More Contact Committee Matters: Synod approved the CC once again sending visitors to NAPARC and granted them an extended deadline regarding the mandate of Synod 2014 “to study and recommend what guidelines synod would follow to determine whether and how to participate in an ecumenical council of churches.” Synod approved the request of the CC to send a delegation to Namibia and South Africa in 2016 in response to an invitation from two consistories. Synod referred the matter of the Free Reformed Church Publication Committee request that we appoint three men to an interdenominational Psalter Revision Committee back to the CC to bring a detailed, grounded recommendation to Synod 2016. In the interim synod authorized the CC to appoint 3 delegates to attend the meetings making clear that our involvement is on an interim basis, and report this committee’s work to Synod 2016.

Synod approved an exception to the By-Laws of the PRC regarding the division between Classes (VI.B) by allowing Peace PRC the right to remain in Classis West should the congregation move across the Classical boundary into Indiana in the future.

Synod expressed itself in favor of some formatting changes to the catechism books and declared that the implementation of those changes belongs to the work of the Stated Clerk, not the Catechism Book Committee, instructing the CBC to make the Stated Clerk aware of inconsistences in uniformity.

Synod noted that the sale of the parsonage in NI has been finalized.

Synod expressed deep gratitude to God and presented plaques of tributes of thanksgiving for Mr. David Ondersma (13 years as treasurer) and Mr. Don Doezema (20 years as stated clerk), both of whom are retiring from their respective positions after synod.

All the emeritation requests were approved as were the subsidy requests after careful evaluation. The work of the Student Aid Committee was approved.

Hope PRC- Walker, MI was informed that synod did not need to approve their request for collections from the churches for their Myanmar Fund because they have the right to do this without synod’s approval.

Synod approved a recommendation of the Theological School Committee to begin the transition plan for the replacement of the current faculty in 2017 with subsequent appointments in 2019 and 2021. Approval was given for the relocating of the seminary driveway, resurfacing the parking lot, and bringing in city water. Synod approved the recommendation of the TSC regarding live streaming of student examinations when feasible, reserving for itself the right not to do this any given year. No permanent record will be retained of those exams. Three students were admitted to the seminary for next year- Mr. Matthew Kortus, Mr. Jacob Maatman, and Mr. Darrin Vink. Synod expressed gratitude to the professors and support staff of seminary for their work.

Rev. Van Overloop was elected to replace Mr. Doezema as Stated Clerk and Mr. Doezema agreed to fill the remaining one year term of Rev. Van Overloop’s assistant Stated Clerk position. The position of treasurer will be filled by the assistant treasurer this year while the BOT seeks suitable candidates for the position.

Synodical assessments were slightly raised to $790 for each family in the denomination.

Synod 2016 will be held in Hull, IA.

Synod adjourned Friday at 5:00 pm ET. The chairman, Rev. Key, offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the unity that prevailed during the deliberations of synod and asked God to use the decisions for the good of the church of Jesus Christ.

216A2490

Synod 2015: Day 3 - Sem.R.Barnhill Sustains Examination & Synod Treats More Committee Reports

After observing Sem. Ryan Barnhill examined in church history (Medieval) by Prof.R.Dykstra and NT history by Prof.R.Cammenga, and then to conclude, in practica by his pastor, Rev.G.Eriks, Synod met in closed session to vote on approving the brother's examination and recommending him as a candidate for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC.

Synod 2015 ProfRDykstra 1 Synod 2015 RevGEriks 1

This was unanimously done, and the brother was heartily recommended to the churches as a candidate for the gospel ministry. He was declared eligible for a call on July 11, 2015.

Synod 2015 approval CandBarnhill

Rev.S.Key, president of synod 2015, reads Synod's decision to Ryan and Miranda.

Deep thanksgiving to God was expressed in song and prayer for His faithfulness in providing us another man for the ministry.

Synod 2015 post exam 2

The delegates of synod as well as the visitors were then given opportunity to congratulate the new candidate.


synod 2015 congrats RevDKuiper

Congratulations from Rev.D.Kuiper, Cand.Barnhill's mentor during his internship last year.

Synod 2015 congrats RevGEriks

Congratulated by Rev.G.Eriks, the Barnhill's pastor.

Synod 2015 congrats LandBBarnhill

Ryan and Miranda are congratulated by his parents, Les and Bev Barnhill.

The Seminary graduation program for Cand.R.Barnhill will be held this evening in Faith PRC beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prof.R.Cammenga will deliver the address, "The Minister and His Marriage." Afterward there will be an open house for Cand.Barnhill and his family in the church fellowship room. All in the area are invited to attend this event. The graduation will also be live-streamed from Faith's website for the benefit of those who cannot attend. (A copy of the program is attached here in pdf form.) We can now add a few pictures from last evening.

SemGrad 2015 ProfRC

SemGrad 2015 RBarnhillKK

Rev.K.Koole, president of the Theological School Committee presents Cand.R.Barnhill with his diploma.

SemGrad 2015 ProfRDRB

Prof.R.Dykstra, current rector of the PRC Seminary, congratulates graduate R.Barnhill.

Following its work of examining Sem.Barnhill, synod returned to receiving and acting on its committees of pre-advice.

Daily summary report from 2nd clerk of Synod:


Mr. Ryan Barnhill sustained his oral examination before Synod and was declared a candidate eligible for call in the churches on or after July 11, 2015. We rejoice in God’s gift of another candidate for the ministry to the churches.

Synod took up the work of the Board of Trustees and noted that the sale of the parsonage in NI has been finalized. Expressions of deep gratitude to God were given for the faithful labors of Mr. David Ondersma (13 years as treasurer) and Mr. Don Doezema (20 years as stated clerk), both of whom are retiring from their respective positions after synod.

All the emeritation requests were approved as were the subsidy requests after careful evaluation.

Rev. Eriks left synod due to a death in his congregation and Rev. Nathan Decker was seated as his alternative.

Synod treated an appeal against a decision of Classis East regarding the timing of the Prayer Day service. Synod did not sustain the appeal, but maintained the decision of Classis East.

Synod treated the work of the Contact Committee with both the CERC of Singapore and the CPRC of Northern Ireland. Deacon Tang and Deacon Hall addressed synod on behalf of their respective congregations. Synod received a joint letter from the two churches expressing their desire to establish sister church relationship between one another. Synod not only expressed no objections but great joy and thankfulness to God for opening this manifestation of the unity and Catholicity of the church.

Synod approved the work of the CC with the EPC of Australia and approved a 2017 conference to be held in Australia.

Synod also expressed approval of the CC’s work with the BERG and declared that their explanation regarding the differences between the PRCA and the BERG satisfied the requirement of Synod 2014.

Synod will resume labors Friday morning at 8:00 with the expectation of finishing its work tomorrow.

Respectfully Submitted,
Rev. Allen Brummel, second clerk

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