News from All Churches
On Sunday October 30, 2016 it was announced in First PRC of Holland, MI that Rev. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC, Hudsonville, MI) had declined the call extended to him by the congregation on October 9.
We continue to remember in prayer Rev.C. Griess (from Byron Center PRC for home missions) and Rev. B. Huizinga (from SW PRC, Wyoming, MI) as they consider their calls.
In his "pastoral voice" part of Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church's (Singapore) October 30, 2016 bulletin Rev. A. Lanning reported on the wonderful news relating to the examination and call of Emmanuel Singh from Kolkata, India:
Dearly beloved saints of CERC,
Yesterday, we were privileged to witness firsthand the fulfillment of God’s promise in Jeremiah 3:15 – “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Through the examination of Emmanuel Singh, God has brought CERC very close to having our own missionary in Kolkata. It would be good to record here the actual decisions that Session made after the examination.
Decision 1: The Session approve Emmanuel’s examination. Ground: Emmanuel demonstrated his knowledge of, and commitment to, the Reformed faith as taught in CERC, and demonstrated his commitment to teaching the truth in Kolkata.
Decision 2: That, with the concurrence of the brethren from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, who assisted in the examination of the brother, Session declares Emmanuel Singh eligible to receive a call from Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore into the ministry of the Word as a Missionary to India. Ground: All of the requirements of Article 9 of the Church Order have been met.
These decisions mean that, although Emmanuel is not yet our pastor or missionary, CERC may now proceed to call him as our missionary to India. In the next few weeks, Session will be meeting to discuss this call, presenting its nomination to the congregation, and calling a congregational meeting. At that congregational meeting, the congregation will vote whether to extend a call to Emmanuel to serve as our missionary to Kolkata. After that call is issued, Emmanuel would then consider whether to accept the call. Continue to pray for our brother and for CERC as we continue to follow the Lord’s will in India.
Today, our joy continues as we witness the Confession of Faith of Emmanuel and Sonali. One of the requirements of calling him to be our missionary is that he must be a communicant member of CERC. We rejoice to receive our brother and sister as members of this congregation, and look forward to partaking the Lord’s Supper with them next week.
As part of this report, we may add some pictures taken by Daniel Tang of the CERCS and posted by Mrs. S. Lanning on her blog.
Members of the CERC Session examine Emmanuel Singh
Emmanuel S. receives his diploma from Rev. A. Lanning, pastor of the CERC, as Emmanuel's wife Sonali looks on.
Emmanuel S. receives congratulations from Rev. W. Bruinsma and Rev. D. Kleyn, examiners representing the PRCA.
On Sunday, October 30, 2016 the Council of Faith PRC will begin overseeing worship services at Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI - meeting in the new music room on the far east end) for a group of about 40 families (200 of her members) who desire to form a new daughter congregation in the Hudsonville/Jenison area.
Worship services will be at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The morning services will be led by Rev. J. Slopsema (emeritus PRC pastor), who will preach the Heidelberg Catechism sermons. The evening services will be supplied by PRC Seminary professors and students, as well as area ministers.
Those in the Hudsonville/Jenison area who are looking for a faithful Reformed church home are welcome to join the group in worship and fellowship.
Through Faith PRC's Council, the group plans to request Classis East in January 2017 to be organized into a new congregation.
Pastor Emmanuel Singh at a November 2015 presentation in the CERC
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore, sister church of the PRC, has a busy couple of weeks beginning the week of October 23, 2016.
From their bulletin of October 23 we find these special events mentioned in the "pastoral voice" section:
...This week will be busy for our congregation as we host the church visitors and conduct Emmanuel’s [Singh, from Kolkata, India, where the CERC is supporting a mission work] examination this Saturday (29 October). Pray for our brother as he preaches his sermon and answers the questions.
...Church Visitation, which is required by Article 44 of our Church Order, will be conducted on Thursday, 27 October, at 8pm at church. During the Church Visitation, the brethren that we have invited from the PRCA will ask the Session a set of pre-determined questions regarding the church and the work of the officebearers. The purpose of the questions is to help CERC remain faithful in the calling that God has given us as a church, and to help the officebearers remain faithful in their work.
The Lord is good to His church, and through these many events we can see the Lord’s goodness to CERC. Let us continue to seek His face in all our life as a church.
Conducting the church visitation will be Rev. D. Kleyn, PRC missionary to the Philippines, and Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (on behalf of the PRC Contact Committee). Rev. and Mrs. (Sharon) Kleyn plan to arrive in Singapore on Monday, Oct.24, leaving on Oct.31, while Rev. and Mrs. (Mary) Bruinsma plan to arrive on Wednesday, Oct.26, departing on Nov.8. Emmanuel Singh and his wife Sonali are scheduled to arrive in Singapore Oct.27, staying until Nov.7.
Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Bruinsma will also be preaching at the afternoon service in the CERC while there - Rev. Kleyn on Oct.30 and Rev. Bruinsma on Nov.6.
In addition, the CERC will hold its annual Reformation Day Conference on Nov.4-5, at which Rev. Bruinsma will be speaking.
Let us do as Rev. A. Laning exhorted his congregation to do - pray for these events and for all those involved, including for safe travels for the special visitors.
From the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA comes notice of a special Reformation Day lecture to be held Friday evening, October 28, 2016, at 7 p.m. in the church.
Rev. Cory Griess, pastor of Calvary PRC in Hull, IA will speak on the timely topic: "Reformation in the End Times."
The community is cordial invited to join the members of the church for this important lecture and for fellowship afterwards.
A flyer advertising this event is posted here and also attached in pdf form.