When NAPARC (North American Presbyterian Reformed Council) met from November 11-13, 2014, new practices streamlined reporting and increased interaction.
According to NAPARC Secretary Ron Potter, recent changes to the organization’s constitution and by-laws affected the November meeting in a positive way. Each member church prepared a standard form that included current statistics, significant actions, and matters of importance to the Council. These reports were distributed to member churches prior to the meeting and supplemented on the floor by delegates.
As each church reported, the chairman assigned another delegate to question the reporter and lead the assembly in prayer for the reporting member church. All delegates were also given opportunity 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,” Rev. Potter said.
He explained that in anticipation of the increased interaction, NAPARC had scheduled an extra day for this meeting. He added, “This extension also facilitates an evening devotional service on the Tuesday night of NAPARC, which is open to the public.”
Because the Canadian Reformed Churches hosted the 40th annual NAPARC meeting, the Covenant CanRC in Grassie, ON, welcomed delegates and observers to a service at which Dr. Gerhard H. Visscher, president of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, preached on church unity.
Forty delegates represented 13 member churches, including the newest, the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin). Two observers from the Protestant Reformed Churches in North America were also present.
Delegates elected Rev. Bernard Westerveld as Chairman, Rev. Joel Overduin as Vice-chairman, Rev. Ron Potter as Secretary, and Rev. Maynard Koerner as Treasurer.
New by-law changes now provide time for Interchurch Relations Committees to meet before, between, and after Council sessions.
“NAPARC has proven to be the ideal venue for these meetings,” Rev. Potter said.
Another change requires the Secretary to compile statements and studies of member churches, and delegates took action to facilitate that process in preparation for the information’s inclusion in Council minutes.
In the past, delegates have heard report from two consultations associated with member churches: World Missions and Home Missions. Newly-adopted changes added Christian/Church Education, Relief/Diaconal Ministries, Theological Training, and Youth Ministries. Rev. Bernard Westerveld was appointed as convener of the new Youth Ministries consultation.
NAPARC’s only operating committee is its Website Committee, which regularly updates the website with member churches’ contact information and events as well as Council minutes.
Following an evening banquet on Wednesday, Mr. Hans VanDooren spoke on “Reformed Christian Day Schools.”
Member churches of NAPARC include: 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), and United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA).
Église réformée du Québec is scheduled to host NAPARC’s next meeting on November 10-12, 2015, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
[The above report is based on information contained in a press release written by Rev. Ron Potter, Secretary of NAPARC.]
This article appeared on pages 10 & 11 of the January 14, 2015, issue of Christian Renewal.