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Classis East Meeting - Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (Updated with Official Report)

GTPRC2012Classis East met for its first regular session of 2017 (meeting also in May and September) on Wednesday, January 11.

Below is the Stated Clerk's official report of this meeting (the last one Mr. Jon Huisken will submit - cf. below in his report).

 

Report of Classis East

January 11, 2017

Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at the Georgetown PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Present also were the synodical deputies from Classis West: Revs. S. Key, D. Kuiper, and N. Langerak. Rev. K. Koole was the chairman for this session.

 

The classis dealt first with the request from Faith PRC to organize a new congregation in the Jenison area which congregation will be known as Zion PRC.

With thanks to God, the classis approved this request and instructed Faith PRC to proceed with the organization of this congregation. The synodical deputies expressed concurrence with the decision of classis.

 

Classis considered an appeal from a brother who protested a decision of his consistory to admit non-Protestant Reformed believers to its communion table. At issue was whether the consistory followed the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945 to admit such people to the communion table. Classis East in 1945 decided that indeed non-Protestant Reformed believers could be admitted after the consistory was satisfied that those who requested admission reveal themselves as believers in their walk and conversation and are in good standing in their home churches. Further, it should be demonstrated that those asking permission do not have ready access to the table in their home churches. The brother contended that his consistory did not follow the principles adopted by Classis East in 1945; his consistory believed that they indeed had done so. Classis East decided not to sustain the appeal of this brother.

 

The report of the church visitors was received. The report indicated that the visitors found peace and unity in our churches.

 

Classis spent time, as is usual at the January meeting, in voting. The following delegates to Synod 2017 were elected: MINISTERS: Primi: W. Bruinsma, G. Eriks, C. Haak, C. Spronk, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: N. Decker, K. Koole, W. Langerak, R. Smit, A. Spriensma. ELDERS: Primi: Pete Adams, Gary Boverhof, Jim Lanting, Sid Miedema, John VanBaren; Secundi: Mike Bosveld, Dave Bouwkamp, Bruce Jabaay, Wes Koops, Joel Minderhoud.

 

In other voting, Revs. R. VanOverloop and R. Smit were elected to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates ad examina respectively. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed to another three-year term on the Classical Committee; Revs. J. Slopsema and C. Haak were elected as church visitors with Revs. G. Eriks and R. VanOverloop as alternates.

 

Classis also needed to replace its Stated Clerk and Assistant Stated Clerk. After 40-plus years serving as Stated Clerk, Jon Huisken notified classis in September, 2016 that he would not be seeking another term. Gary Boverhof was elected to serve as his successor. Rev. H. Bleyenberg was appointed as Assistant Stated Clerk.

Classis expressed its thanks to J. Huisken for his service to classis over these years and wished him Godspeed in the years ahead.

 

In other business, classis approved the 2018 subsidy requests for Wingham PRC ($41,000 – CDN) and Pittsburgh PRC ($99,000). Classical appointments were given to Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and to the new congregation, Zion PRC.

 

In closed session, classis considered the request of a consistory for the erasure of a baptized member.

 

The expenses of classis amounted to $1698.65. Classis will meet next on May 10, 2017 at the Byron Center PRC.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

Classis West Meeting, Sept.28, 2016 (Updated with Clerk's Report)

RandolphChurchCLASSIS WEST met in regular session on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at Randolph (WI) PRC.

An Officebearers' Conference on Biblical Counseling was held the day before the meeting, Tuesday. Sept.27, in the church (cf. the flyer below and attached).

The professors and students of the PRC Seminary also attended the Tuesday conference.

May the Lord give His blessing to the conference and the meeting of Classis.

Official report:

Classis West met in regular session on September 28, 2016, in Randolph, WI.

    Rev. S. Key opened the meeting with devotions and an exhortation based on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6.  He reminded the delegates that God has entrusted us with the gospel.  This becomes a source of confidence for us who minister the word, as well as a reason for commitment and the power of divine commission. 
    Rev. R. Kleyn chaired this meeting of Classis.  The agenda was brief.  The stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon committee all reported routine labors.  The expenses of this meeting totaled $6,871.73.  Classis adjourned before 11:00, after hearing Rev. Kleyn give a brief parting exhortation based on 1 Corinthians 15:58.  Classis is scheduled to meet next on March 1, 2017 in Redlands.
    The day before Classis, the delegates and several visitors enjoyed fellowship and instruction at an officebearers’ conference on the topic of “Biblical Counseling.”   The two morning sessions were led by Rev. Jeff Doll, pastor of biblical counseling at Cornerstone United Reformed Church, and director of the Institute for Reformed Biblical Counseling.  Rev. Doll’s first presentation set forth seven foundational principles for Reformed Biblical counseling.  In his second speech he laid out seven steps to follow in counseling God’s people.  The afternoon sessions were led by Rev. Garry Eriks and Rev. Rodney Kleyn.  Rev. Eriks spoke on
“The Practice and Goal of Biblical Counseling,” and Rev. Kleyn on “Implementing Biblical Counseling in the Local Church.”  The instruction was timely and the fellowship pleasant.
 
Rev. Douglas Kuiper

Stated Clerk, Classis West  

biblicalcounseling CW sept 2016 Page 1

Classis East Meeting - Sept.14, 2016 (Updated with Clerk's Report)

SouthwestPRC2012CLASSIS EAST meets this Wednesday, Sept.14, 2016, at Southwest PRC, beginning at 8 AM.

This will be the first time that there will be delegates from Pittsburgh PRC.

In addition to the usual business, the agenda has two other matters:

1. A report from Southwest PRC of its serving as the committee of Classis for the organization of Pittsburgh PRC.

2. An emeritation request from Rev. Arie denHartog, pastor of SW PRC, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Let us remember the delegates as they do the work of Christ's church today.

The Stated Clerk's report is now included here (as of Sept.17, 2016). It is also attached in pdf form.

Report of Classis East

September 14, 2016

Southwest PRC

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Southwest PRC.   Each church was represented by two delegates.  Rev. C. Haak served as the chairman for this session.  Welcome was given to the delegates from Pittsburgh PRC who were attending classis for the first time and to the delegates ad examina from Classis West who were present for the consideration of the request for emeritation from Rev. A. denHartog.

 

Southwest PRC requested approval for the emeritation of their pastor, Rev. Arie denHartog effective January 1, 2017.  Classis granted this approval as did the delegates ad examina from Classis West.  Rev. Haak spoke fitting words to Rev. denHartog on this occasion, thanking him for his able and faithful work as a minister of the gospel in our churches.

 

The Classical Committee reported on their work in approving the 2016 and 2017 subsidy requests from Pittsburgh and of their approval of the transfer of the ministerial credentials of Rev. W. Bruinsma from Southwest PRC to Pittsburgh PRC.

 

Classis granted classical appointments to Holland PRC.  Classis also appointed a search committee to bring nominations to the January, 2017 for the selection of a new Stated Clerk.  Classis also informed the Pittsburgh PRC that they did not need permission to ask the churches in Classis East and Classis West for collections for their Building Fund.

 

The expenses of classis amounted to $1866.99.  Classis will meet next at the Georgetown PRC on January 11, 2017.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

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PRC Seminary Convocation - Sept.7, 2016 (Updated)

Sem front May 2016 1

The PRC Seminary held its annual convocation on Wednesday, Sept.7, at Grandville PRC. Rev. Ken Koole, president of the Theological School Committee led in opening devotions.

Convoc 2016 KK

Bryan Westra (SW PRC) performed a beautiful arrangement of "Praise Him, Praise Him" on the piano for the special music.

Convoc 2016 BW

Prof. Russell Dykstra spoke on “The Ezra Model: Having a Heart for the Lord’s House,” expounding the Word of God in Ezra 7 and Nehemiah 8. It was a wonderful instructive and inspirational message (Watch for a link to it on Sermonaudio soon).

Convoc 2016 RD

And at the end of the program Prof. R. Dykstra introduced the four (4) students taking classes this semester (seven seniors are gone for their internships): from left to right, first-year student, Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore); then second-year students Darren Vink (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI), Jacob Maatman (Crete/SW PRCs), and Matthew Kortus (Loveland/Faith PRCs).

 Convoc 2016 Students

May the Lord bless the faculty, students, and staff in this new season of instruction and preparation for the ministry of the Word. Let us remember to pray for this important cause in our daily prayers.

Profitable quote (from program - cf. attachment):

It has been shown, that by the faith of the gospel Christ becomes ours, and we are made partakers of the salvation and eternal blessedness procured by him. But as our ignorance and sloth (I may add, the vanity of our mind) stand in need of external helps, by which faith may be begotten in us, and may increase and make progress until its consummation, God, in accommodation to our infirmity, has added such helps, and secured the effectual preaching of the gospel, by depositing this treasure with the Church. He has appointed pastors and teachers, by whose lips he might edify his people (Eph. 4:11); he has invested them with authority, and, in short, omitted nothing that might conduce to holy consent in the faith, and to right order. In particular, he has instituted sacraments, which we feel by experience to be most useful helps in fostering and confirming our faith. For seeing we are shut up in the prison of the body, and have not yet attained to the rank of angels, God, in accommodation to our capacity, has in his admirable providence provided a method by which, though widely separated, we might still draw near to him…. I will begin with the Church, into whose bosom God is pleased to collect his children, not only that by her aid and ministry they may be nourished so long as they are babes and children, but may also be guided by her maternal care until they grow up to manhood, and, finally, attain to the perfection of faith. What God has thus joined, let not man put asunder: to those to whom he is a Father, the Church must also be a mother.
~ John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.1.1.

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PRC Seminary Update: Classes Begin August 29; Convocation Sept.7

 Sem front May 2016 1

With a new season of instruction set to begin soon at the PRC Seminary, the following updates may be given:

Our first semester schedule for the 2016-17 school year has now been approved by the faculty and the Theological School Committee. It is attached here as a pdf download, but the schedule may also be found on the Seminary calendar on the Seminary's homepage. Classes will begin on Monday, August 29, D.V. On that day we will be following the FRIDAY schedule of classes (see the schedule for details).

 

Once again the Seminary is inviting those who are interested to attend selected classes this coming school year.  The first semester begins Monday, August 29 and three classes are open to auditors:  Dogmatics –Ecclesiology (doctrine of the church, including the essence, attributes, and marks of the church, as well as the government of the church and the sacraments), by Prof. R. Cammenga; Hermeneutics (interpretation of Scripture), and Reformation Church History by Prof. R. Dykstra. If you are interested in attending any of these classes, please call the Seminary at 616-531-1490 to find what times they meet (or check the class schedule below).  Please register for these classes by this Thursday, August 25.

 

RDykstra1The annual Seminary Convocation will be held Sept.7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grandville PRC. Prof. R. Dykstra will be speaking on "The Ezra Model: Having a Heart for the Lord’s House." All PRC members and friends of the Seminary are cordially invited to join us as we mark the beginning of the new school year.

 

Lest we forget, the seven senior seminarians are now in place for their internships, which run from July 1 through Dec.31, D.V. These are the churches in which they are currently serving:

  • Matt DeBoer in Georgetown PRC (Hudsonville, MI), under Rev.C. Haak
  • Brian Feenstra to Loveland PRC (Colorado), under Rev.S. Key
  • Joe Holstege to Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), under Rev.C. Griess
  • Jonathan Langerak to Edgerton PRC (Minnesota), under Rev.D. Kuiper
  • David Noorman to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA), under Rev.B. Huizinga
  • Justin Smidstra to Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) under Rev.C. Spronk
  • Stephan Regnerus to SE PRC (Grand Rapids, MI), under Rev.W. Langerak

 

Also of significance for our members and especially our young men is this statement approved by this year's PRC Synod for publication in the PR churches concerning the ongoing need for ministers of the Word:

The 2016 Synod of the PRC is conveying to the congregations through its Stated Clerk the future, urgent need for seminary students.  Although we currently have ten students (7 seniors; 3 sophomores), 13 of our pastors are over the age of 60, we have one vacant congregation, Doon PRC is authorized to call a third man to the Philippines, and Byron Center PRC is authorized to call a home missionary. This represents 16 present and future openings, without factoring in the possibility of larger churches having daughter congregations. Let us pray that the Lord of the harvest send forth sufficient, qualified laborers into His harvest, and incline their hearts now to that work.

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July Standard Bearer - Synod 2016 Issue

The July 2016 issue of the Standard Bearer is out and it features the PRC Synod of 2016, which met in Hull, IA from June 14-17. Besides pictures of the delegates and their work, the issue contains the pre-synodical sermon delivered by Rev. Steven Key (president of Synod 2015) and a significant summary of Synod's work by Prof. R. Cammenga (see contents below).

Below is the cover along with the inside page with its contents. To obtain your copy and begin your subscription to this Reformed magazine, contact the Reformed Free Publishing Association.

SB July 2016 Synod

SB Synod 2016 issue contents

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