The forty first annual meeting of the North American Presbyterian Reformed Council (NAPARC) was held November 10th – 12th, 2015 at the Quebec Inn at Québec City, QC. This Council Meeting was hosted by the Église réformée du Québec. Each Council session was opened with scripture reading, devotions and prayer. On November 11th, the Canadian Remembrance Day was observed with a moment of silence followed by prayer.
Following the Interim Committee meeting on the morning of November 10th, 2015, in which the docket for the plenary session of the Council was approved, the Council was called to order by the Chairman, Rev. Bernard Westerveld at 2:00 PM. Thirteen member churches were represented by their delegations as follows: the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC); the Canadian Reformed Churches (CanRC); the Église réformée du Québec (ERQ); the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA); the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC); the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC); the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin) (KPCA-Kosin); the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC); the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA); the Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC); the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS); the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA); and the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA). These churches were represented by a total of thirty eight delegates.
The Protestant Reformed Churches in North America (PRCNA) as well as the Bible Presbyterian Church (BPC) attended as invited observers. A total of three observer delegates were present from these two churches.
Since representatives from so many likeminded churches are gathered in the same place for the annual NAPARC Meeting, the meeting is designed to allow time for delegates to meet separately with one another, as desired. Thus, many denominations take this advantage for their own Interchurch Relations Committees to meet with those of specific member churches, as needed. Another benefit of this process is that it brings even more brothers to NAPARC from these various Interchurch Relations Committees to observe the NAPARC proceedings.
Upon recommendation of the Interim Committee the following officers were elected to serve NAPARC: Chairman, Dr. L.W. Bilkes (FRCNA); Vice-chairman, Rev. Bartel Elshout (HRC); Secretary, Rev. Ron Potter (RCUS), Treasurer, Rev. Maynard Koerner (RCUS).
A major item on the NAPARC Docket is the reporting of member Churches both through a standardized reporting form previously distributed with the Docket and an oral presentation on the floor of the Council designed to supplement that report. Each reporting Church is assigned another member Church to ask questions of, and to pray for when it reports. Questions are also asked of the reporting Church by the other member Churches present. Extensive interaction thus took place between the NAPARC member Churches concerning what the LORD is doing among us. Reporting took place on Tuesday afternoon and extended through Wednesday morning and most of Wednesday afternoon. During this time reports were also given by the Observer Churches present.
On the Tuesday evening of NAPARC a 6:00 PM meal and a 7:30 PM Devotional Service was hosted by the ERQ at St. Marc Reformed Church with a number of members from St. Marc’s present for both the meal and the Devotional Service. Rev. Ben Westerveld led the Devotional Service and Pastor Mario Veilleux preached a sermon in French from Matthew 28:20 entitled: I am with you always to the very end of the age. Translation into English was made available in printed form. Hymns were sung in both French and English. Fellowship followed.
On the Wednesday evening a 6:00 PM meal and a 7:30 PM Lecture was hosted by the ERQ again at St. Marc Reformed Church. Members from St. Marc’s Church again were present for the Lecture. At the Lecture, Pastor Patrice Michaud of the ERQ spoke on his experience within the ERQ as a church receiving the missionary support of English-speaking Churches of North America. Questions from those attending followed. The evening closed with fellowship.
Among the various items of business dealt with by the Council were the presentations of the Treasurer’s Report, the Auditors Report, the Web Site Committee Report and the World Missions Consultation Report. In addition discussions were held on the topic of organic union and as to how each member church receives baptized members into communicant membership. A budget for 2016 was also approved. Permission was given by the Council for a presentation by Pastor Paulin Bedard of the ERQ to provide a power point introduction to Ressources chrétiennes (Christian Resources Ministry).
In the light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision the Council also moved to: “ . . . remind the Member Churches of their biblical responsibility to teach the whole counsel of the Word of God, including that pertaining to the God-ordained institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman.”
The 2016 Council Meeting is slated to be held in Pompton Plains, NJ and will be hosted by the FRCNA November 8th-10th, 2016. Those invited to observe the 2016 Council meeting are the PRCNA and the BPC.
Rev. Ron Potter,