The fortieth annual meeting of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) was held November 11th – 13th, 2014, at Covenant Canadian Reformed Church, in Grassie, ON. The Council was hosted by the Canadian Reformed Churches.
Following the morning Interim Committee meeting, which sets the docket for the plenary session of the Council, the Council was called to order by the Chairman, Rev. Peter Holtvlüwer at 2:00 PM. Thirteen member churches were represented by their delegations, the newest addition being the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin).
All the member churches were present at the Council, represented by a total of forty delegates. The Protestant Reformed Churches in North America were invited to observe NAPARC. Two delegates from those churches were also present.
Upon recommendation of the Interim Committee the following officers were elected: Chairman, Rev. Bernard Westerveld, Vice-chairman, Rev. Joel Overduin; Secretary, Rev. Ron Potter, Treasurer, Rev. Maynard Koerner.
Recent proposed changes to the NAPARC Constitution and By-laws are now fully ratified and operational. One of the several By-law changes that affected this year’s meeting was the preparation of a standardized reporting form setting forth the statistics for each member church along with the significant actions of their assemblies or synods, as well as items deemed to be of significance for NAPARC. This was forwarded to delegates prior to the meeting of the Council and supplemented on the floor by the reporting church.
As each church reported, the Chairman assigned another member church to question the reporting church on items appearing in their report and then to lead the Council in prayer for that church. Opportunity was also given after the initial questions for the Council as a whole to ask questions. The benefits of this newer approach to reporting and questioning were immediately apparent inasmuch as there was much more substantial interaction than in former years.
Anticipating this, the By-laws extended the time NAPARC meets for an additional day. This extension also facilitates an evening devotional service on the Tuesday night of NAPARC which is open to the public. Members in the region of the host church therefore joined with the NAPARC delegates and observers for a time of worship and for a sermon on Church Unity preached by Dr. Gerhard H. Visscher, President of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary.
On the Wednesday evening the By-laws provide for the host church to bring a presentation to
the delegates and observers following the evening banquet. This year the address was by Mr.
Hans VanDooren who spoke on: Reformed Christian Day Schools. This presentation was
followed by a question period.
In addition the By-law changes now allow for time before, in between, and after Council sessions, for the Interchurch Relations Committees of the various churches to arrange to meet with one another to further Interchurch Relations among the member churches. NAPARC has proven to be the ideal venue for these meetings.
The new By-laws also require that the Secretary gather the various adopted statements of member churches, together with their grounds and as well compile a list of ongoing and completed studies by the member churches. Action was taken to facilitate getting this information in the hands of the Secretary as a prelude to this information being provided with the annual Minutes of the Council.
The present and sole operating committee of NAPARC is its Web Site Committee. That Committee reported on its labors and its efforts to keep the Web Site as current as possible. Information regarding contacts within each member church, past and present Minutes of NAPARC, and events posted by the Member Churches of interest to other churches within NAPARC are kept up to date. (www.NAPARC.org)
Formerly NAPARC heard reports from two consultations associated with the member churches of the Council, World Missions and Home Missions. The By-laws have extended that number to six by adding Christian/Church education, Relief/Diaconal Ministries, Theological Training, and Youth Ministries. A report was heard this year from the World Missions Consultation and organizational steps were taken to establish a Youth Ministries Consultation by appointing Rev. Bernard Westerveld to be the convener.
By extending the order of the day the Council completed its business on November 12th and adjourned to the next scheduled meeting to be held November 10-12, 2015, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Lord willing, this meeting will be hosted by the Église réformée du Québec.
Rev. Ron Potter,
The following churches are members of NAPARC:
- Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC)
- Canadian Reformed Churches (CanRC)
- Église réformée du Québec (ERQ)
- Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA)
- Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC)
- Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC)
- Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin) (KPCA-Kosin)
- Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)
- Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
- Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC)
- Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS)
- Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA)
- United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA)