NORTH AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN AND REFORMED COUNCIL
November 30, AD 2018
The 44th annual meeting of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) convened on Tuesday afternoon, November 13, 2018 at the Jubilee Presbyterian Church, a church of the Korean American Presbyterian Church. Host pastor, Rev. Dr. S. Steve Park, led the opening devotions.
NAPARC is composed of 13-member churches which include the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), the Canadian Reformed Churches (CanRC), the Reformed Church of Quebec (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), the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Presbyterian Reformed Church (PresRC), 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). Representatives of the Bible Presbyterian Church (BPC) and the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA) attended as invited observers.
The basis of NAPARC’s fellowship is “Confessing Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Sovereign Lord over all of life, we affirm the basis of the fellowship of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches to be full commitment to the Bible in its entirety as the Word of God written, without error in all its parts, and to its teaching as set forth in the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.”
One of the first orders of business was the election of officers. Elected as Chairman was Rev. David Kim of the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (Kosin). Elected as Vice-chairman was Rev. Dr. L. Anthony Curto of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Rev. Ralph Pontier was elected to a second term as Secretary, and Rev. Todd De Rooy was elected for the first time as Treasurer replacing Rev. Dr. Maynard Koerner who retired from that position after serving faithfully for 20 years. The chairmanship and vice-chairmanship rotate annually between the 13-member churches following an alphabetical listing. The vice-chairman this year is slated to serve as chairman next year, and his denomination is asked to host the following year.
A large portion of time was spent on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning with each member church giving an oral report on the state of its church. Following each report delegates could ask questions and a designated delegate led the group in prayer for the church that had reported. One theme was repeated in several reports, that the work of missions is thriving among the churches.
On Tuesday evening Rev. Ryan Kim helped lead a devotional service during which he preached from Genesis 26. On the Wednesday evening following a sumptuous feast, we were inspired as we listened to a Korean pastor, Dr. Greg Paek, who spent many years as a missionary in Indonesia. He spoke about the challenges and opportunities for expanding our missionary engagement today.
On Wednesday afternoon delegates were able to challenge and encourage one another through a discussion of three topics suggested by member churches. The topics were:
- As North American culture is becoming increasingly pluralistic and secular, how might we develop a vibrant Reformed witness, although we are a small, minority group?
- Retaining the integrity of our commitment to our Reformed Confessions and understanding of the importance of the church in a secular world.
- Holding forth in our day the Biblical teaching and norms for gender, sexuality, marriage and the family.
On Thursday morning, Mr. David Nahkla, administrator of the OPC Committee of Diaconal Ministries, addressed the body concerning the diaconal goals of the International Conference of Reformed Churches (ICRC) and the diaconal relief work of the OPC. He hopes to organize a NAPARC consultation on diaconal relief, as authorized by last year’s Council.
In addition to the annual meeting of the Council, NAPARC sponsors consultations where representatives of member churches gather to discuss cooperation in a specific area of ministry. For more than thirty years, there have been annual world mission consultations in September of each year. This year’s mission consultation included representatives from ICRC member churches as well as NAPARC members, which enhanced the interchange and was reported by Mr. Mark Bube to be one of the most encouraging consultations in memory.
The NAPARC schedule runs from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday noon and provides time slots for bi-lateral meetings between the inter-church or ecumenical committees of the member churches. These smaller meetings have proven fruitful for member churches to grow closer together and manifest more fully their oneness in Christ. One fruit of these meetings, and of NAPARC itself, is that in this past year there were three concurrent synods/general assemblies involving six member churches.
The next meeting of the Council is scheduled to be hosted by the Korean Presbyterian Church of American (Kosin) at the Rohthem Presbyterian Church in Anaheim, California on November 12-14, 2019.
Rev. Ralph A. Pontier, NAPARC Secretary
118 Holland Drive
Pella, IA 50219
 NAPARC Constitution, II. Basis