There is quite a bit of news concerning calls extended and trios formed. A trio for home missionary to serve in the northwestern Washington area consists of Rev. Arie den Hartog, Rev. James Slopsema, and Rev. Jason Kortering. Lynden, Washington is the calling church. From a duo of Rev. den Hartog and Rev. Bernard Woudenberg; our Hudsonville Church extended a call to Rev: den Hartog to serve as minister-on-loan to Christchurch, New Zealand, Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Some information concerning Rev. den Hartog’s call is found in a newsletter attached to Hudsonville’s bulletin. The church at Christchurch, New Zealand specifically and urgently requested the loan of one of our ministers for a period of not less than three years. They desired this assistance in order that such a man could serve in preaching, pastoral labors, and in giving some basic instruction to several of their young men who aspire to the ministry. Our Synod of 1979 has agreed to provide that assistance and appointed the Hudsonville congregation to be the calling church for such a man.
Concerning the O. P. church of New Zealand, it may be pointed out that they have no relationship to the Orthodox Presbyterian Churches of our country. The denomination consists of three or four small churches. The Christchurch congregation is very active, supporting a bookshop, a tape library, and is responsible for printing their denominational magazine, The Gospel Witness.
Our Synod decided that this Minister-on-loan “have the status of associate pastor of the calling church, that accordingly he also be under the supervision and discipline of his home consistory . . . ultimate responsibility for the supervision of this minister and responsibility for discipline in case of deviation in doctrine and walk rests solely with the calling consistory.”
The Synod further decided: “that the original term of service shall be three years. This shall be subject to renewal for periods of two years, with the consent of the minister concerned, at the discretion of the calling church, to whom the request of the Christchurch Session (consistory) shall be directed.” Additional details on this decision will soon be available in the 1979 Acts of Synod.
Candidate Ronald Cammenga was called to serve at our Hull, Iowa church and candidate Carl Haak was called to serve our Southeast Church in Grand Rapids.
Rev. Marvin Kamps has declined the call extended to him by our church in Loveland, Colorado. From a trio of Rev. David Engelsma, candidate Ronald Hanko, and Rev.. Kortering, Loveland has extended a call to Rev. Kortering.
Rev. and Mrs. Robert Harbach planned to leave Victoria, B.C. on July 30. Rev. Harbach served our churches as home missionary in Victoria for the past several years. Rev. Harbach observed his 65th birthday on July 29 and has now retired from the active ministry.
Our Doon, Iowa church has formed a trio from which to call a missionary to Singapore. The trio consists of Rev. den Hartog, Rev. Richard Flikkema, and Rev. Meindert Joostens. There has been some discussion as to whether this is a proper trio. Neither Rev. Flikkema nor Rev. Joostens have served their respective congregations for more than two years. The decision of our churches pertaining to Article 5 of our Church Order states that ministers who have not served their present congregations two years not be placed on nomination unless “there be preponderant considerations.” The question is whether or not “preponderant considerations” exist.