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PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of January 6, 2019 *(Updated)


Ps113 3On this first Lord's Day of 2019, January 6, we provide the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On December 30 Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph WI PRC) to serve as minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore.

  • On Sunday, Jan.6, Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville) DECLINED the call from Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI - received Dec.2).

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Labombe, AB) has drawn up a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. Ryan Barnhill (Peace, PRC), Rev. Brian Huizinga (Redlands, PRC), and Rev. James Laning (Hull, PRC). On Jan. 6 the congregation voted to call Rev. B. Huizinga.

  • Zion PRC (Jenison, MI) recently voted to approve the purchase of the building and parsonage of 12th Ave CRC (near corner of 12th Ave. and Baldwin St. in Jenison) after that congregation voted to disband and sell her property. The congregation began worshiping in her new facility Old Year's night, Dec.31. May God bless them richly as they use this place to glorify Him and grow up in Christ their Head.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East: Classis East will meet in regular session Wednesday, Jan.9, at 8:00 a.m. at Hope PRC, Walker, MI.

 Sem addit spancrete roof Jan 2019 1
*Work continued this week on the new seminary addition as the first roof (span-concrete) was set (see note below)

PRC Seminary News:

  • The new PRC seminary website is now live! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • Seminary has completed its two-week Christmas/New Year break and the 2019 Interim course has begun (Fri., Jan.4).  Prof. B. Gritters is teaching his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which comes with this special notice:

"Seminary Interim Course on Heidelberg Catechism Preaching." Members of the PRCA are invited to Prof. B. Gritters' interim class at seminary, from January 4 - 15. The class meets for 8 mornings, from 9-11:30. Among other things, included will be instruction on why catechism preaching is required by the Church Order, proper and improper methods of preaching the catechism, and discussion on ways to preach the Heidelberg Catechism well. Area ministers have been invited. Others are welcome to attend. If you are interested, please call the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490. The class will be live-streamed [on the seminary's Youtube channel] for those not able to attend in person."

*You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to benefit from the class at your convenience.

  • The internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman came to an end this past week. Sem. Kortus interned at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker (now pastor at Grandville PRC) and the Council there. Sem. Maatman interned at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. These two seniors are now taking their final Interim course and will soon begin their final semester. May God continue to bless their studies and prepare them for the gospel ministry in the PRC.

  • The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available. The digital (pdf) version may be found here. The print version was mailed out the week of Christmas. If you would like a copy, you may stop by the seminary and pick one up If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga and his wife Rhonda are currently in Singapore for four weeks of service in our sister church, Covenant ERC, on behalf of the PRC Contact Committee (through Jan.13).

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • *Work continues on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. For more updates, visit this blog post.

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  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy implementing plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  Don’t forget that the conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  Sign up and submit your essay by January 15 at the conference website Dordt400.org

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*For the latest issue from our "sister" in Singapore, read on below!

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Since June of 2018, the PRC has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. 
    • From the bulletin of the Bulacan PRC today we find these notes:
      • Revs. Joshua Engelsma and Nathan Decker will visit the Philippines next month. They will also visit PRFA from February 18 through 20 together with our pastor.
      • We gladly announce that the Committee for Contact with Other Churches of the PRCP(Committee #2) have concluded our meetings with the Committee sent by the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore, composed of Elder Leong Fai Chong and Deacon Lee Meng Hsien! We were able to cover all areas of history, church government, life and practice, and are convinced that we do have complete organic union with them. We are ready to make a report and recommendation to Classis on this work for approval, Lord willing, on February 25, 2019 Classis meeting. Let us continue to pray that our Faithful Covenant God will bless this ongoing work and that we may receive response from the Session of the CERC sometime soon."
    • And from Doon PRC's bulletins of last week and today we learn this: "Synod 2018 approved Rev. & Sharon Kleyn taking an extended furlough in 2019.  The purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family.  Their plans are to leave the Philippines on January 1 and stay in the States until June 18." And, "Rev. and Sharon Kleyn left the Philippines this past week and arrived safely in Michigan. Lord willing, they plan to stay in the States until June 18."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters," read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Jan.6):
    • "Last Sunday, Grandville PRC congregation had voted to extend the call to Rev Erik Guichelaar to be the Minister-on-Loan to Singapore. Rev Guichelaar is currently the pastor of Randolph PRC Wisconsin. He has 3 weeks to consider this special call and prayerfully seek the Lord’s will. Do remember to commit Rev Guichelaar in your personal and family prayers. Pray that the Lord will make His will plain to Rev Guichelaar so that he answers the call with a clear conviction of his heart. Let us wait patiently upon the Lord who knows our needs and will send us the man of His choosing in His perfect time.

    • "We thank God for the message on the new church theme, “Keeping the unity of the Spirit” (Eph 4:1-3) spoken by Prof Cammenga at the church retreat. We are reminded that the unity of the church of Jesus Christ is marvelous. The unity can be described by the figure of a human body where all parts of the body participate to serve the body and no parts are competing against one another. It is the Holy Spirit that accomplishes the unity of the church. Nevertheless, we have an important and serious calling to keep this unity because God uses means to accomplish His work. Therefore Paul, in the book of Ephesians, beseeched us to give our all, devote all our strength and expend ourselves in this calling of keeping the unity of the church...."

    • *Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • *Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Grandville PRC's bulletin today carried this important news item: "Wednesday, January 9, Lord willing, Rev. & Pat Koole and Peter & Dorothy Vander Schaaf will travel to Ballymena, N.Ireland and Limerick, Ireland on behalf of our churches to conduct church visitation. May God grant them safety and by this labor, prosper the gospel and saints in our sister church and mission field on the island."
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (December 2018).
    • Read the latest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (November 2018) may be found here.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

sb logo rfpa
*Why not resolve to become a Standard Bearer subscriber in 2019?

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • *Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website. 
  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)! Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (pastor of Pittsburgh PRC) gives a special New Year's message based on 2 Thess.1:7-10 titled"The Lord Revealed from Heaven" (which you may listen to at this link).

  • The RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the PRC.

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

 2019 YP Conv logo

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC YP and YA:

  • *Note re the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Loveland Young Adults Retreat: Registration for the Loveland Retreat, held March 14-17, is still open! The deadline is January 10. Space is limited, so register quickly! Check out our Facebook page or the Loveland PRC website for more details and a link to the registration form. The theme is "Our Lives of Joy" based on Psalm 118:24. Rev. Key and Rev. Huizinga will be our speakers. Post-high to age 35 are encouraged to attend. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to come, but were unable to register in time.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Gospel to all nations

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. In Byron Center PRC's bulletin this week we find these notes concerning our missionary's labors:
    • "Missionary Spriensma will be preaching at the New Hope Reformed Fellowship Church in Dorr at noon today."
    • "The Domestic Mission Committee and our Council have approved a request for Pastor Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the 4 Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma will be teaching catechism, leading Bible Societies, conducting a wedding, administering the sacrament of Baptism and working closely with Singapore's Evangelism committee. Remember Rev. Spriensma and Alva in their travels and work in Singapore."

United Kingdom:

ProvidentCC Oct 2018
*The congregation of Provident Christain Church.

Philippine Missions:

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (October 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • *From this Sunday's bulletin of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC:
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. After the first worship service, he will teach Lesson 8 on “Creation” in the Essentials class.

      • You can listen to the speeches from the Synod of Dordt conference on the website of our missionaries: https://prcaphilippinesaudio.wordpress.com.

      • Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn arrived in Michigan last week. We thank the Lord for bringing them safely through their journey. May He bless the studies and labors of Rev. Kleyn in the months to come.

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

Myanmar:

  • Do not forget Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.

  • We also find this note in Hope PRC's bulletin today:

"This week Thursday Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee will depart for Myanmar. Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren will accompany them. The men will return on Tuesday evening, January 22. Your Myanmar committee has a list of mandates, including conducting a seminar for forty men arriving from many churches all over Myanmar and giving encouragement to the saints on the other side of the world. Remember to put your cards, pictures, and letters of encouragement in the box located in the kitchen for the delegates to deliver personally. Please pray daily for this delegation of five and the saints in Myanmar."

Last modified on 08 January 2019

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