Denominational News

Pray the Lord of the Harvest… (The Agenda for Synod 2015)

FaithPRC2012The annual PRC Synod is set to meet in Faith PRC, Jenison, MI, June 9-12, 2015. Watch for reports here on the sessions of this broadest assembly of the PRCA at the time of Synod 2015.

This annual preview of the PRCA's Synod of 2015, scheduled to be published in the June 1, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer, is being posted here on the PRCA website and on the RFPA Blog so that our Standard Bearer subscribers can read the preview in advance to receiving their hard copy subscription.

What follows is Prof.R.Dykstra's editorial on the upcoming PRC Synod 2015.

Pray the Lord of the Harvest… (The Agenda for Synod 2015)

The church belongs to the Lord. God gave His elect to Jesus Christ in eternity, who in time redeemed each member from sin and death. God rewarded Jesus by lifting Him up to be Head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22). We confess that Jesus gathers, defends and preserves His church throughout history by His Word and Spirit (LD 21, Q. & A. 54).

Thus, whenever the church meets together in her assemblies, she is careful that everything be done in harmony with the Word of Jesus Christ and His Spirit. For the work of the church is the work of Jesus Christ. All the delegates of the Protestant Reformed Synod who meet the week of June 8 in Faith Protestant Reformed Church (Jenison, MI) are conscious that the work is His. This reality is driven home by the fact that the most pressing need in one of the works the Protestant Reformed Churches carry out in common, a need that is at the very heart of Jesus’ command to His church—“go ye into all the world”—only Jesus can fill.

I speak of the need for a missionary to the Philippines. God has called the churches to labor in these islands, given us faithful missionaries, and prospered the work, so that the FMC reports that a denomination of churches has been formed by two congregations that hold to the Reformed confessions and adhere to the same doctrine and walk as the Protestant Reformed Churches! The reports on the work—the FMC, Doon PRC (the calling church), and the missionaries—are overwhelming. The reader is overwhelmed by the work being done, by the opportunities the Lord gives, by the spiritual and theological progress of the believers there, and by the zeal for spreading the gospel in the Philippines.

And, overwhelmed by the need. The need arises because the Lord, the King of the church, has called Rev. Smit, one of the two missionaries, to be the pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church (in Grand Rapids, MI). But the need in the Philippines is unspeakably great—the need for ongoing training of ministers; the need for seminary training; the need for guiding (four) consistories, and classis and classical committees; the need for preaching; the need for one, preferably, two more missionaries. Some of the work must be curtailed; some stopped. Rev. Kleyn cannot do the work of two men. Only the Lord can fill this need.

Pray the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest (Matt. 9:38).

With that same conscious dependence on the Lord, may the entire agenda of synod be completed.

The purpose of this editorial is to furnish a brief summary of the agenda (with comments). The report on the Philippines comes from the Foreign Mission Committee, and we take note of only one other item in their report—a significant proposal to revise synodical guidelines for paying the travel cost of “the wives.” The FMC argues convincingly that frequently it is very beneficial for the work of the churches that wives of minister/elder delegations accompany their husbands. Currently the guidelines allow reimbursement for the wife’s travel costs only when the husband is gone for four Sundays or more. The FMC proposes that synod authorize full reimbursement for “the expenses incurred when a wife accompanies her husband on the business of the churches, when the standing committee:

  1. Is convinced of the value of the wives accompanying for that particular trip, considering each trip on a case by case basis, and
  2. Stands ready to defend its decision before synod, if synod should so inquire.

These benefits are real, but difficult to grasp for one who has never gone on such a trip for the churches. The value is not “companionship.” Surely a man can live and survive and work well enough without his wife for a few weeks. Rather, the benefits include her observations and her balanced perspective for the man sent. And on the other hand, as regards the people visited, the value is the encouragement and counsel for the women there. Should synod agree with this change, the committees will need to be honest and wise in implementation. For those worried this will produce exorbitant costs, believe me, all synodical committees are aware that they and the fellow members of their congregation pay the synodical assessments. There is a natural caution about spending the hard-earned money of the people in the pew.

Next, we turn to another vital work of Christ—missions in North America—the Domestic Mission Committee. The only active field of the DMC is in Pittsburgh, PA. Missionary W. Bruinsma reports on the joys and the sorrows of missionary labors, which, he notes, are quite similar to those in established congregations.

Included in the agenda is a special appeal from Rev. Bruinsma for a second missionary to Pittsburgh. He has four main grounds—well fleshed out—for his request. These are (in skeletal form):

  1. His present labor as a pastor in our mission in his area of Pittsburgh (Forest Hills) is a full-time labor, demanding nearly all his time.
  2. There is demonstrable need for additional labors in surrounding areas which he is not able to perform.
  3. The combined efforts of two missionaries would be advantageous to the fellowship and the present missionary.
  4. It would give time to write tracts and study guides for use on the mission field.

The DMC agreed with the principle of two missionaries on a field and with the advantages for this field. The Council of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church, the calling church, disagreed. And the DMC acquiesced to Southwest’s decision.

Admittedly, such a weighty matter must be carefully considered and good grounds provided for the decision produced. While conceding that Southwest’s consistory is in a much better position than the editor to make a wise judgment in this field, I also have to say that the grounds for rejecting Rev. Bruinsma’s request are not overwhelming.

And now to step back a bit, consider that the PRC has money and manpower for a second missionary. The pulpits of all the PRC may well be filled in just a few months. Times are relatively good in the USA, and the PRC are financially able to do more work. Also, consider that a fairly large class is scheduled to graduate from seminary in 2017, D.V.

With as many as nine graduates in two years, we will have a goodly number of graduates with very few openings. What to do? One option is to push ministers in their low to mid-sixties into early retirement. Another far better option is to look for opportunities—that is, pray the Lord of the harvest for open doors.

In Pittsburgh, does not opportunity stare us in the face? We have the opportunity to do work that Rev. Bruinsma is currently not able to do. The concrete advantages to this field are well presented. And add this—this is the opportunity for a younger minister to learn from an experienced missionary by working alongside him for several years. By now, all agree that God has endowed this seasoned missionary (Bruinsma) with wisdom, diligence, zeal, patience, and the ability to work well with consistory, DMC, and mission group. Add to that, he has not only demonstrated his heartfelt commitment to all the truths that the PRC hold dear, but he knows how to teach and preach them in a mission setting. What tremendous profit for a young missionary to learn from him! In my judgment, this is an opportunity that ought not be passed by. My prayer is that the Lord of the harvest will lead synod to agree with Missionary Bruinsma’s request.

The Contact Committee reports their conviction that sister church relations with the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore have never been better. Since the Synod of 2014, CERC called and installed Rev. A. Lanning as her pastor. CERC has welcomed church visitors from the PRC for the second year now, to the benefit of both.

Our relation with Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland is likewise as firm and vibrant as ever. A CC delegation came for official church visitation to CPRC NI in January and visited the mission fellowship in Limerick as well. The report is true oneness and unity among these saints and steadfastness in the Reformed faith. Another sister to be cherished in these last days.

Both of our sister churches are committed to sending representatives to synod—Deacon Tang from CERCS, and Deacon Hall from CPRC NI.

The CC also reports on a conference on the doctrine of God’s covenant held with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Australia in July of 2014. The EPC and the CC propose another conference for 2017.

The CC gives a lengthy report on our contact in Giessen, Germany—the BERG. The CC is fulfilling the mandate of Synod 2014 to “identify in their report to next year’s synod the differences between the BERG and ourselves and what progress has been made in the discussions.” This is a developing contact in the spiritual wasteland of the country of Martin Luther. The report indicates the care with which the CC pursues such contact, subject to synod’s approval and direction.

To the synod of 2014 the CC proposed that they be mandated “to study and recommend what guidelines synod would follow to determine whether and how to participate in an ecumenical council of churches, and report their study to synod.” However, the CC reports that they were not able to complete this, and ask for another year.

The CC requests permission for a follow-up trip to Namibia and South Africa in 2016 in response to invitations received. Details will need to be worked out.

The final point in the CC report is that the Free Reformed Churches and the Heritage Reformed Churches are proceeding with preliminary plans for limited Psalter revision and desire the PRC to join them in this endeavor. Psalter revision is hardly the CC’s area of labor or expertise, and they leave this judgment to synod without recommendation. If synod decides to participate, a more extensive report will be forthcoming.

The Catechism Book Committee returns with a request for reformatting all the catechism material—books and workbooks. It would be quite helpful to synod if they would bring a sample (a finished product) of what they have in mind. They also inform synod that the confessions will soon be available in electronic format free of charge.

The Board of Trustees, in addition to the normal financial reporting, informs synod of the desire of two faithful servants to be replaced. They are the stated clerk, Mr. Don Doezema, and the synodical treasurer, Mr. David Ondersma. Their importance for the smooth and efficient running of the denomination cannot be overstated.

Peace PRC (Lansing, IL) comes with a reasonable request, namely, that if in their search for a new place to build, they find a plot “across the border” in Classis East territory, they be allowed to remain in Classis West.

The Theological School Committee reports on various details—physical and educational—that they oversee. The most important: a qualified graduate is recommended for examination at synod, namely, Ryan Barnhill. They recommend that the exam be shifted a little from the ordinary. If Seminarian Barnhill gives his sermon specimen Tuesday morning (as per usual), then, with synod’s approval, Prof. B. Gritters will examine him in the afternoon in two areas of study. This is recommended because Prof. Gritters is scheduled to speak in the June camp of CERC in Singapore on Monday, June 15. Graduation is scheduled for Thursday, June 11 in Faith PRC. All are welcome to witness the glad event and to hear Prof. R. Cammenga’s address.

The TSC brings a significant report on retirements for the current seminary professors. The current method for replacing professors can be found in the Constitution of the Theological School (found in the PRC’s Church Order Book). The basic provision is that when a professor reaches the age of 65, a replacement is called; subsequently, there is a transition period of up to five years (it has not gone beyond three years to this point). Replacements for the three current professors are scheduled to occur in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Recognizing that such a quick transition is not wise, the TSC brings a proposal to spread out the replacements to 2017, 2019, and 2021. In addition, they desire the transition period to be the full five years.

And there is one appeal to synod. The appeal concerns the church political question of whether a congregation may change the date of a special day set aside by the churches in the church order (in this case Prayer Day), and whether a congregation may do that on its own, that is, without going through classis and synod. Classis East decided that a congregation may. The appeal asks synod to overturn classis’ decision.

This appellant deserves to be heard carefully. I suppose from a certain point of view, all appellants deserve to be heard. But some approach the broader assemblies with rancor; some with sarcasm; some casting about unfounded charges. This appellant wrote carefully, in a most Christian manner. Whether one agrees with him or not, one can appreciate the genuine concern and Christian spirit that his appeal breathes.

The appeal raises an interesting question that deserves a good discussion. On the one hand, the PRC are death to independentism. On the other hand, they have historically and emphatically rejected hierarchy, and the notion that the authority of the synod is higher than that of a congregation. This issue must be worked out between those two extremes.

And the best part is, neither side (whichever Synod adopts) is a denial of Reformed truth. Synod will need to make a judgment as to the proper application of the principles of the church order. But there is no reason for the discussion to be heated or rancorous—though it certainly may be spirited!

There you have the highlights of the agenda. If you can visit, you are most welcome, especially for the examination of Mr. Barnhill. (You can also watch that online, since the examination will be live-streamed from Faith PRC—subject to synod’s approval.)

The purpose of this editorial is, you understand, not to satisfy curiosity. It is rather that you may know the work Jesus will be doing through the twenty delegates the week of June 8 in Faith Protestant Reformed Church. And knowing that, you can pray with understanding for the work.

Pray, then, to the Lord of the harvest.

Prof. Russell Dykstra, Co-Editor of the Standard Bearer

Report on Classis East Meeting - May 13, 2015

HudsonvillePRC pic

Classis East met on Wednesday, May 13, at Hudsonville PRC. What follows is the public report of this meeting by the Stated Clerk of Classis East.

Report of Classis East

May 13, 2015

Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Hudsonville PRC. Each church was represented by two delegates. Rev. N. Decker was the chairman for this session. Rev. R. Smit attended Classis East for the first time.

A notice of an appeal to Synod 2015 was given by a brother whose protest against a decision of Classis East in January, 2015 regarding the scheduling of Prayer Day services was not sustained.

The other business was routine. There were no requests for classical appointments since all the churches in Classis East now have pastors. There were no expenses incurred.

Classis will meet next on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at the Byron Center PRC.

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken, Stated Clerk

PRC Seminary News - April 2015 Journal Now Available!

The faculty of the PRC Seminary have just published the next PRC Seminary Journal. The April 2015 issue (Vol.48, #2) contains the speeches given last Fall (September 2014) at the Classis West officebearers' Conference hosted by Peace PRC, Lansing, IL.

The theme of this conference was preaching, and as you will see from the cover of this Journal (below), the topics covered were broad and significant - for ministers of the Word, for elders and deacons, but also for all of God's people who hear the gospel each Lord's Day.

In addition, there are a good number of book reviews in this issue, including two lengthy review articles. The April 2015 issue makes for profitable reading for pastors, officebearers, and people "in the pew."

PRTJ April 2015 cover Page 1

Prof.R.Cammenga, editor of the PRTJ, introduces it with these words:

Preaching is fundamental to what the church is called to be and is called to do. It is at the heart of worship. It is the chief means of grace. It is the means for the salvation of the elect, both in the generations of believers and from the nations through missions. It is the means to work faith, to strengthen faith, and to preserve in faith. It is the means for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven and the gathering of her citizens.

Preachers are what we aim to train for the church of Jesus Christ in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. We aim to produce pastors who are preachers—chiefly preachers. As preaching is the chief, from a certain point of view the only task of the minister, so does all the instruction in PRTS have as its goal the development of sound, capable preachers of the gospel.

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America sponsored an officebearers’ conference prior to its September 2014 meeting. The speeches presented at this conference make up the main contents of this issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal. Domestic missionary of the PRCA, the Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma, gave the keynote address: “The Minister’s Development of His Preaching after Seminary.” In his speech Rev. Bruinsma not only emphasized the need for the minister’s development as a preacher after graduation from seminary and once in the active ministry, but also gave a number of concrete suggestions with a view to this development. The remaining speeches were given by the faculty of PRTS: “The Elders’ Supervision of the Preaching,” “Developing God-Honoring, Faithful, and Effective Preaching,” and “Application in Preaching.” We hope that our readers, especially ministers and seminary students, will find these articles to be worthwhile.

Besides the conference speeches that have been put into print, readers should take note of the two review articles that are included in this issue. Past issues of PRTJ have contained reviews of the individual volumes of Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, edited by James T. Dennison, Jr., as they were published. Recently the fourth and last volume of this very worthwhile set was released. With the completion of the set, Rev. Angus Stewart, minister in the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena, Northern Ireland has submitted a review article. You will definitely want to read what he has to say. Another significant book that has recently been published by B & H Publishing Group (formerly Broadman and Holman Publishers) is entitled Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement: 3 Views. Emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at PRTS, Prof. David Engelsma, offers readers an insightful analysis of this new book. At the same time, his review article is a passionate call to Reformed churches and officebearers to defend the biblical and confessional truth concerning the redemption of the cross of Christ. That cross, an offense and stumbling block to so many today—also in the church—is “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

And then there are the book reviews. Notable among recently published books is the publication of The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible. This new study Bible is the first of its kind—a Reformed King James Version study Bible. Up until now Arminians and Dispensationalists have held the field among KJV study Bibles. At long last a King James Version study Bible whose notes and articles are written from a distinctively Reformed perspective. Reformed believers who treasure the King James Version of the Bible—among them the members of the PRCA and her sister churches—should welcome this new study Bible.

Now read and enjoy.

Soli Deo Gloria! —RLC

You may find this issue in digital form at the Seminary's Journal page (pdf for now; Mobi and ePub coming soon). If you would like to subscribe to this Journal, kindly call or write the Seminary at the information provided on its website homepage.

For more Seminary news and pictures, visit the Seminary's homepage.

Classis West Meeting March 4 in Doon PRC (Stated Clerk Report Now Added)

DoonPRCPicThe next regular meeting of Classis West is set for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at the Doon PRC in Doon, IA.

The agenda looks to be light. At this meeting Classis will be voting for its synodical delegates, functionaries, and committee members.

Pray that the men may be given traveling mercies as they make their way to NW Iowa and that these delegates may be given wisdom for the work the King of the church, Jesus Christ, has in store for them.

UPDATE: Below you may now find the Stated Clerk's public report of this meeting (also attached in pdf form):

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches

Rev. Douglas J. Kuiper, Stated Clerk
321 Maple St W, PO Box 212, Edgerton, MN 56128
Phone: (507) 442-4441
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report of Meeting of Classis West
March 4, 2015

On March 4, 2015, the thirty delegates to Classis West met in the Doon, IA PRC. The day dawned sunny, clear, cold, and windy - a typical winter morning on the eastern edge of the plains. Inside, the delegates enjoyed warm fellowship.

Rev. Erik Guichelaar opened the session by reading 1 Timothy 4:11-16, and giving a meditation on verse 16. The young pastor reminded the delegates of the need both to be diligent in our labors, and to be personal examples of godliness, assuring us from God’s Word that in this way we will enjoy God’s blessing on us personally and on our congregations. After devotions, Rev. R. Hanko took the chair and capably led the Classis through its work.

For the most part, this was a routine spring meeting. Classis approved the labors of its stated clerk, classical committee, church visitors, and reading sermon committee. It provided Peace PRC with classical appointments. Classis approved Edgerton’s request for subsidy for 2015, and approved subsidy requests for six churches for 2016. Since 1999, Edgerton has been able to subsidize its own General Fund by drawing annually from the interest and principal of a sizeable bequest. Edgerton informed Classis that, because the bequest could be completely gone in about 5 years, Edgerton thought it prudent to subsidize its General Fund partly from that bequest fund, and partly from denominational subsidy - which Classis granted. All subsidy requests will now be forwarded to Synod 2015 for final approval or disapproval.

Voting for various functionaries and synodical delegates is always on the agenda of the spring meeting. Classis appointed Rev. J. Laning to a three year term on the classical committee. It chose Revs. S. Key, R. Kleyn, D. Kuiper, and J. Laning as church visitors for the next year, with Revs. A. Brummel and D. Lee as alternates. It brings to Synod the recommendation to approve Rev. D. Kuiper for a three year term as primus synodical deputy, and Rev. J. Laning for a three year term as secundus. It delegated to synod Revs. Brummel, Key, Kleyn, Kuiper, and Laning, and elders Keith Bruinsma (Peace), Chester Hunter (Edgerton), Alan Meurer (Bethel), Jack Lenting (Crete), and Jack Regnerus (Randolph). Alternate delegates are Revs. Griess, Huizinga, Langerak, Lee, and Marcus, and elders Jim Andringa (Hull), Glenn Feenstra (Hope), Jim Hoogendoorn (Doon), Victor Solanyk (Loveland), and Steve Van Drunen (Crete).

Classis dealt with two non-routine matters.

First, Peace PRC informed Classis that its congregation has authorized its council to investigate buying property or existing buildings south of its current location, “most likely in Indiana.” Recognizing that the Illinois/Indiana border is the designated boundary line between Classis East and Classis West, Peace asked Classis to bring to Synod its request to be permitted to remain in Classis West, should Peace move across the classical boundary into Indiana. Classis forwarded this request to Synod, with its approval.

Second, the stated clerk informed Classis that he was nearly finished preparing an index of the decisions of Classis West, and desired advice from Classis regarding the printing, distributing, and updating of this index. Classis decided to permit every consistory in the denomination to receive a printed copy, and every minister in the denomination to receive a printed and/or electronic copy of this index. Because the index contains publicly known information, Classis faced the question whether to make the printed version available to any member of the denomination who requests it. Classis decided instead that members of the congregations may ask their consistory to use their copy, as the consistory is in a better position to judge why the member desires to use it. The stated clerk was then instructed to update and redistribute the electronic version of this index every year, and the printed version every ten years. However, every year the stated clerk must send those who receive the printed version a looseleaf sheet of cumulative updates.

Glancing through the minutes, I see that consistories have asked for advice regarding erasure or increase of censure at 7 of the last 11 meetings. This meeting was one of those four at which no consistories sought such advice.

The expenses of this meeting totaled $8029.82.

Classis is scheduled to meet next on September 30 in Edgerton, MN.

Rev. Douglas Kuiper, Stated Clerk

Seminary News - January 2015

Semsign Dec2013As we begin the new year, the PRC Seminary gives you a few updates "from the hill."

1st, Senior Ryan Barnhill, his wife Miranda, and daughter Mya have now safely returned from Edgerton, MN where Ryan completed his internship in the PRC congregation there. He was able to perform a variety of pastoral labors (preaching, teaching, pastoral care, etc.) under the mentorship of Edgerton's pastor, Rev.Doug Kuiper. We pray that the Lord uses this experience to confirm his call to and preparation for the gospel ministry.

2nd, the January Interim course is now in session. Prof.R.Cammenga, professor of Dogmatics and OT Studies, is teaching a special course on "The Theology of John Calvin." All the students are taking this course, including one by "Google Hangout" - our Singaporean student, Aaron Lim, who is still in his homeland for the semester break. In addition, we have a good number of visitors sitting in on the class, including two foreign students enrolled in Calvin Seminary's Th.M program (one from Nepal and the other from S.Korea).

Interim 2015 1

Also, you will be interested to know that this course is being video-taped on a new HD recording system and will be made available (on Vimeo) when they have been edited and uploaded. Look for notice of this here and on the Seminary's site.

3rd, second semester classes will begin on Tuesday, January 20. The schedule has been posted on the Seminary's website and is also attached here as a pdf. In that connection the faculty gives this special notice for auditors:

Two classes are offered that may interest auditors. Prof. R.Cammenga, Dogmatics, on Anthropology (the study of man, including creation, providence, the original state of man, and the fall of man into sin), meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:10 – 12:05. Prof. R. Dykstra, Church History From Dordt to Today, meeting Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:10-11:05. Those interested in attending should call the seminary (616-531-1490) this week.

Finally, if you missed the December notice about the latest issue of the Seminary's Journal (November 2014), you are invited to visit the Journal page to see its contents and download it as a pdf (other digital forms will be available soon.)

The faculty, students, and staff continue to covet your prayers for the vital labors of the Seminary on behalf of and for the good of our denomination. "Pray for us" (2 Thess.3:1).

Update: Sem.Stephan Regernus underwent an emergency appendectomy Sunday night, January 11 at Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids. He is doing well, but will miss the rest of this week's Interim and activities. Remember him in a special way in prayer as he recovers.

Classis East Meeting in Holland January 14 - Update: Report Now Available


Classis East meets this coming Wednesday, Jan. 14, at First PRC in Holland, MI.

The main items of business are a protest against Classis' decision in October to allow congregations freedom to change their Prayer Day service from the traditional date, and choosing delegates for Synod 2015. At this meeting Classis also selects its church visitors and various standing committees.

Pray that the delegates may be given wisdom to treat the matters before Classis, for the good of the churches and for the glory of Christ, the Head of the church.

Update: The following is the official public report of the Stated Clerk of Classis East on this meeting (Jon Huisken) - also attached here in pdf form:

Report of Classis East

January 14, 2015

First Holland Protestant Reformed Church

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, MI. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. Heath Bleyenberg served as chair for this session.

Classis received a protest from a brother against its decision taken at its September/October, 2014 session regarding the scheduling of Prayer Day services. The protestant argued that the way to make this change in the date for Prayer Day services would be through overture. Classis did not sustain this protest. The grounds given by classis (summarized): 1) Classis East’s decision did not make allowance for an individual consistory to determine for itself matters of the Church Order or that which belongs to the churches in common. Classis allowed only the change of the date of the service, not the elimination of the day. 2) The protest erroneously assumes that all common practices are of the same importance and therefore must be changed only by overture. 3) The protest is based on a fear that the change of the date on which Prayer Day is observed will lead to other changes. This fear is not a legitimate conclusion. 4) The protest claims that the decision of classis would establish precedent that would prove destructive to denominational unity. The protest, however, does not prove this point. 5) The protest does not respond to nor interact with any of the grounds classis gave for its decision.

Classis elected the following to serve as delegates to Synod 2015: MINISTERS:

Primi: G. Eriks, C. Haak, K. Koole, W. Langerak, R. VanOverloop; Secundi:

N. Decker, M. DeVries, D. Holstege, A. Spriensma, C. Spronk. ELDERS: Primi:

R. Drnek, D. Kregel, Gerald Kuiper, S. Miedema, H. Pastoor; Secundi: Brad Dykstra, J. Engelsma, Steve Kuiper, H. Langerak, J. Warner.

In other voting Rev. A. denHartog and Rev. M. DeVries were elected to serve three-year terms as primus and secundus terms respectively. Rev. W. Langerak was apponted to serve a three-year term on the Classical Committee, and Revs. Haak and Van Overloop were chosen as church visitors; Revs. Koole and DeVries will serve as alternates.

The church visitors reported that they found a spirit of peace and unity in the churches.

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