Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
29 August 2019
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
New CPRC Website
Our website has always been a vital means of spreading the truth and, with its extensive content, it has benefitted many and gotten us contacts throughout the world. However, as technology and the internet changed, some weaknesses with our older website became evident. Because the website was created when we were the Covenant Protestant Reformed Fellowship, we still used the url with the “f” ( www.cprf.co.uk ). The site was not properly smart phone compatible, which also resulted in a drop down external search engine listings. The software that Mary used to set up and maintain the website was obsolete, for the company that produced it had stopped making it and was no longer going to upgrade it. The ability to download audios from the website was difficult for some to understand and was not easy to do on smart phones and tablets. The internal search engine on the old website was not working properly and gave only one result. Clearly, a change was needed.
Since outside companies charge a lot to design and convert even small websites, Mary volunteered to do the work, ably assisted by Carol Nienhuis of Hope PRC. Be-cause the website is large (5,000 pages, plus PDFs and about 2,000 audio files), we needed the new program to be able to import our old web pages and audios easily, and with-out losing all the formatting. After checking out five or six platforms, Mary decided that WordPress was the best fit. According to Wikipedia, WordPress is the world’s most popular website management system, being used by more than 60 million websites, including over a third of the top 10 million websites (as of April 2019). Even with the ability to import much of our old website, it has taken about two years to get the new site up and running.
Besides solving the problems (mentioned above), our new style website ( www.cprc.co.uk ), which has all the content of the earlier one, has a number of helpful features: it has a Bible reference tagger (placing the cursor over the Scripture cited will automatically bring up the text), related webpages and books pop up on the right side of the page, it is printer-friendly, etc. The new website is so easy to work that I can add and modify its content too on my computer.
However, more has to be done with our new website. Some glitches must be fixed. The books and box sets of CDs and DVDs need to be displayed better. We also want to set things up so that people can order and pay for books and box sets online. At least until these things are sorted, we intend to keep our old website up as well.
Our new look website was first uploaded on 12 June, so that people could see it at our congregation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that night. Other reports covered our audio-visual witness (Stephen Murray does a lot of fine work), our finances (the CPRC has had a very good year), and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship or LRF (covering its families, individuals and potential). As is our custom, the AGM comes after Family Visitation, which, this year, focused on I Peter 2.
During our biennial holiday in America (17 June-15 July), Mary and I had a week of camping with many of her family in Tellu-ride, SW Colorado, and another week of camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota, etc. I preached 7 sermons in 5 different churches in 4 states (Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan), and gave 3 Power-Point presentations on the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) and its conferences (espe-cially the upcoming one in Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland, on 11-18 July,
2020) in Loveland, Edgerton, and Hudson-ville Protestant Reformed Churches.
In Loveland PRC, I officiated at the wedding of our nephew, Eric Hanko, who married Molly Moore (21 June) and gave a lecture with slides on “Are Unbelievers in God’s Image?” (29 June). In Hull PRC, I baptized little Aubrey Westra, our great-niece (7 July).
Making it on a Lord’s day to Edgerton PRC—leaving the best to last!—meant that, finally, after over 18 years, I have preached in all of the 33 Protestant Reformed Churches in the US and Canada. That Sunday (7 July) also marked the first services of the group seeking to become Unity Protestant Reformed Church, a daughter church of Byron Center PRC. So it looks like I should visit number 34 when next in Michigan, Lord willing!
Our thanks to family and friends in the PRC for their hospitality and fellowship during our time in America. While we were away, Rev. and Nancy Key stayed in our house. This was their first visit to Northern Ireland, and Rev. Key was the obvious choice for pulpit supply in the CPRC, since my schedule meant that I would be spending 2 Lord’s days in Loveland.
[To continue reading the newsletter, download the attached pdf with the full report.]