North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council
2013 Council Meeting
The thirty-ninth meeting of the North American Presbyterian Reformed Council (NAPARC) convened for its annual meeting at Bonclarken, the beautiful assembly grounds of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, in East Flat Rock, NC, November 19-20, 2013.
Present were delegates from the 12 member churches of NAPARC: The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), the Canadian Reformed Churches (CanRC), the Église réformée du Quebec (ERQ), the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA), the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC), the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC), the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC), Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS), the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (RPCNA), and the United Reformed Churches of North America (URCNA).
Present also were observers from the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin) which is a Korean speaking denomination in the process of applying for membership in NAPARC. Since the annual NAPARC meeting is increasingly becoming a venue for interchurch relations committee meetings, there were a number of visitors from these committees also present.
The Interim Committee of NAPARC, which consists of one delegate from each member church, met in the morning of November 19, to finalize the docket for the plenary session of NAPARC which began that afternoon. The plenary session was called to order by the chairman, Rev. Rob Patrick (ARPC) who led the Council in opening devotions and prayer from 2 Timothy 3. Once the roll call of churches was completed, the Council proceeded to the election of a new slate of officers. Upon recommendation of the Interim Committee, the Rev. Peter Holtvlüwer (CanRC) was elected chairman and the Rev. Ben Westerveld (ERQ) was elected vice-chairman. Rev. Maynard Koerner (RCUS) was returned to the office of treasurer and the Rev. Ron Potter (RCUS) to the office of secretary.
Once assuming the Chair, Rev. Holtvlüwer, expressed appreciation to Rev. Patrick for his service as chairman and proceeded to call for each of the member churches to present their reports assigning a member of the next delegation in line to report, to pray for the reporting church. After each report an opportunity was given for questions. What was evident in these reports is scriptural and creedal fidelity among the member churches of NAPARC, the distinguishing characteristics of the three marks of the true church, the active missionary efforts of the churches at home and abroad, the evident working of Christ and conversely, the attempts of the Devil, in some cases, to cause disruption. It was plainly evident to all in attendance that the Kingdom of our LORD is advancing.
The adjournment for the evening meal and speaker fell before the reports were finished. These were completed the following morning. The Council and those in attendance as visitors and visitors from local ARPC churches gathered in the dining hall at Bonclarken for a meal and to hear Dr. Mark Ross of Erskine Seminary (ARPC) address the assembled on the subject of “Church Unity” from John 17:20ff. This presentation was extremely edifying and was well received by those in attendance.
On Wednesday, following devotions and prayer by the chairman from Luke 10:38-42 and after the completion of the remaining church reports and the report from the one observer church in attendance, the Council reviewed the communications received by the Secretary, received and adopted the Treasurer’s and Auditors report, adopted the Interim Committee report , received the report on the Foreign Missions Consultation and then proceeded to take up the report of the Committee of Review (COR.)
The COR was tasked several years back with reviewing the function of NAPARC, its Constitution and its By-laws and to bring recommendations to the Council. Their work resulted in changes to the NAPARC Constitution, which were then, upon action of the Council, proposed to the member churches for approval. Their work also resulted in changes to the NAPARC Bylaws, which after amendments by the Council, were voted on and adopted unanimously. These new Bylaws, too numerous to list here, will be posted on the NAPARC web site, published in the minutes and are now governing the operations of the Council.
As a result, NAPARC will thus meet in 2014 over a three-day period instead of a two-day period, with time given between sessions for interchurch relations committees to meet and conduct business without having to labor early in the morning before the Council convenes, or late at night after it adjourns. In addition, a member church of the NAPARC host church will ordinarily conduct a devotional service on one evening and the practice of a meal and provision of a speaker by the host church will take place on the second evening.
Also approved by the Council was the publication, in its minutes and on its web site, of several informational documents that have been produced over the years by NAPARC and were gathered together by the COR. These documents will be of use to the member churches as they relate in the context of the Council. Then finally the Council determined to maintain a cumulative list of the topics of ongoing and completed studies by the member churches to be distributed with the Minutes of the Council meetings. .
Before adjourning, the Council invited the following churches to observe NAPARC 2014: the Bible Presbyterian Church, the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin) and the Protestant Reformed Churches of North America. The vice chairman, Rev. Ben Westerveld, closed the Council with devotions and prayer from 1 Timothy 1:6-7.
The next (40th) meeting of the Council will be hosted by the Canadian Reformed Churches near Hamilton, ON, Canada, November 11-13, 2014.
Rev. Ron Potter (RCUS)