On this thirty-seventh Lord's Day of 2019, September 15, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "In presenting this request that God’s will be done, we renounce the desires of our flesh because he who does not entirely resign his affections to God opposes the divine will, since everything which proceeds from us is vicious. By this prayer we are taught to deny ourselves that God may rule us according to his pleasure. And not only so, but having annihilated our own will may create new thoughts and new minds so that we shall have no desire save that of entire agreement with his will. In short, we wish nothing of ourselves, but to have our hearts governed by his Spirit, under whose inward teaching we may learn to love those things which please him and hate those things which displease him." (John Calvin)
- This past week pastor-elect Jacob Maatman was examined at the meeting of Classis East at Southwest PRC. He successfully sustained his exam and Southeast PRC (who has called him) was instructed to proceed with his ordination and installation into the ministry of the Word. Concerning that, SE-PRC has this note in her bulletin today: " "With great joy Southeast PRC celebrates Pastor-elect Maatman's successful examination by Classis East and authorization to proceed with his ordination. His ordination and installation into the gospel ministry as the next pastor of Southeast PRC is scheduled for Friday evening, September 27, 7:00 pm, at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. David Engelsma will officiate."
- On September 1 Cand. M. Kortus accepted the call to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). Lord willing, he will be examined at the meeting of Classis West on Sept.25 in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), with his specimen sermon delivered the night before at a special worship service in Calvary PRC. May the Lord strengthen this brother as he prepares for his examination.
- The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has announced a new trio from which to call a pastor: "Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace), Rev. S. Key (Loveland), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd after the afternoon service, D.V."
- Prof. R. Cammenga and Prof. R. Dykstra are leading the worship services of Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) today. Her pastor-elect, J. Maatman, was examined at Classis East this week and approved for ordination, which is set for Sept.27 (see note above). The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.
- Rev. R. Kleyn is leading Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) in worship again today. Rev. R. Hanko is leading the services in Covenant of Grace (Spokane, WA).
- Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is supplying the pulpit of Hope PRC Redlands for the next two weeks.
- Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26. Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"
*Pastor-elect J. Maatman being examined this past week at the Classis East meeting in Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI).
Classis East: Classis East convened this past Wednesday and Thursday at Southwest PRC. The following is an unofficial summary of the actions and decisions: "Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman sustained his classical exam and Southeast PRC was advised to proceed to his ordination. Classis approved the organization of a new congregation (to be called Unity PRC). Approval was given for the emeritation of Rev. Michael DeVries effective January 1, 2020 after 41 years of faithful service at five PR congregations. Approval was given in a matter of discipline. In addition, classis treated six appeals and protests and one overture, adopted a pulpit supply schedule, and appointed a moderator for Kalamazoo PRC (Rev. D. Noorman)."
Sem. Doner Bartolon leading the daily mid-day devotions this past week.
PRC Seminary News:
- The seminary is now entering its fourth week of the first semester in the new school year. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.
- On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. R. Cammenga, whom he will be replacing over the course of the next few years, preached a fitting sermon from Acts 27:23b, "Whose I am, and whom I serve." Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary.
- Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, starting with the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course. We thank the Lord for enabling him to reach this point in his career as professor. Over the course of the next few years he will also take over the church history courses and others from Prof. R. Dykstra.
- This past Wednesday the seminarians were given the day off from their regular classes so that they could attend the meeting of Classis East "down the hill" at Southwest PRC. This also meant they witnessed the examination of 2019 graduate and pastor-elect Jacob Maaatman.
- Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.
- Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.
- Work continues on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). There are some finishing touches to be done in the library yet, including new furniture (first shipment arrived; second is due soon, plus some custom items are being made). In the archives room all is ready for the special flooring and shelving, which is scheduled for the week of Sept.23. Prof. Huizinga's office also received new furniture this week.
- Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.
*Installation of new officebearers in Covenant ERC Singapore (found in the August newsletter, Reformed News Asia)
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
- The elders are leading the services today and next Sunday. After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return, until late December.
- Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
- Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
- Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead the worship services today.
- And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
- Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead the worship services today.
- Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
- 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.
Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!
- If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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.
- Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? 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.
- You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.
- Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
- For the rest of September we feature some "classics" of Rev. C.Haak. Today's message is "Youth, Remember," based on Eccles.12:1 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL.
A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
- The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
- The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
*Pastor E. Singh, CERCS missionary in Kolkata, India
PRC MISSION NEWS:
- 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. From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
- Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit today and next Sunday for Hope PRC in Redlands. He will also be working with their evangelism committee.
- The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, September 19, at 7:30 PM. Our discussion will begin at John 8:12. Join us at the Dorr library with your friends and neighbors to study God's Word.
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
- Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
- The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.
- PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
- The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
- For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!
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.
- Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
- *And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From CERC's bulletin today we find this important note concerning this work: "We thank God for the safe arrival of Elders Tang and Leong in Kolkata. We greatly rejoice with the brothers and sisters in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of India, Kolkata (CERCI) today as they witness the Confession of Faith, Adult and Infant Baptisms. It is indeed our great joy to see how God gathers His own in India through our humble work. Let us continue to remember this wonderful work God has given to do in prayers. Let us pray for CERCI as they work with us towards the institution of their Church. Pray for Reverend Emmanuel Singh that God may be pleased to bless his labours in CERCI; that God will continue to grant him zeal and grace to serve Him courageously and effectively in Kolkata. Remember also the needs of our brothers and sisters in CERCI."
- Daniel Holstege
- Brian Huizinga
- Immanuel PRC
- Reformed literature
- young people activities
- Martyn McGeown
- Audred Spriensma
- missions and evangelism
- PRC Seminary
- sister church relations
- ministerial calls
- Reformed Book Outlet
- Myanmar missions
- PRC young adult retreats
- India mission work
- Emmanuel Singh
- Rodney Kleyn
- Joshua Engelsma
- Angus Stewart
- Jacob Maatman
- Matt Kortus
- Daniel Kleyn
- Steven Key
- Ryan Barnhill