News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 22-28, 2019

luke 2 14On this fifty-first Lord's Day of 2019, December 22, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

 Now if the sight of Christ while he was yet a child had so powerful an effect on Simeon that he approached death with cheerfulness and composure; how much more abundant materials of lasting peace are now furnished to us who have the opportunity of beholding our salvation altogether completed in Christ? True, Christ no longer dwells on earth, nor do we carry Him in our arms: but His divine majesty shines openly and brightly in the gospel…not as formerly amidst the weakness of flesh but in the glorious power of the Spirit which He displayed in His miracles, in the sacrifice of His death and in His resurrection. In a word, His absence from us in body is of such a nature that we are permitted to behold Him sitting at the right hand of the Father. If such a sight does not bring peace to our minds and make us go cheerfully to death, we are highly ungrateful to God and hold the honor which He has bestowed upon us in little estimation. ~ John Calvin

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Come and worship the Incarnate Christ, sent of the Father by the Spirit to accomplish salvation for His people out of every nation, tribe, and tongue! The PRC congregations will be holding Christmas Day services this Wednesday, December 25, in the morning (most are at 9:30 am local time, but check the website of the church near you). We welcome you to join us in praise of the Redeemer of Israel who has come and who is coming again.

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). He plans to answer it by Jan.5.

  • Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor of Kalamazoo PRC) plans to become emeritus in the next few weeks. From Kalamazoo's bulletin today we find this note: "Rev. De Vries will preach his farewell sermon on Sunday morning, January 5, D.V. A brief program and lunch will follow the worship service."

  • On December 15 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC).

  • At her congregational meeting on December 18 Unity PRC voted to call Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC). From her bulletin today we learn this: "Due to the busyness of the holiday season, the Council has extended the time frame in which Rev. Van Overloop has to respond to our call to January 21, 2020."

  • On Dec.8 Rev. J. Mahtani preached his farewell sermon at Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He has accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore and plans to be installed in that position on Sunday morning, December 29. The Mahtanis are hoping to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year but are awaiting approval from the Singapore government. May the Lord be pleased to grant this soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose. (*see the update under CERC news below).

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote on Jan.5 for a new pastor from the Council's trio:  Revs. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA).

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

sem sign snow nov 2019

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its first semester, after exams were held this past week. The seminary will now enjoy a two-week break, but seminary will be open and staff will be available except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please call if you have any special needs or need assistance with anything.

  • The Interim class in the seminary this year will be “The Schism of 1953” taught by Prof. R. Dykstra. It will meet January 6-10 and 13-15 from 9:00-11:30 AM. Auditors are welcome. If you would like to attend, please call Sharon at the seminary (616-531-1490) between 7AM and 3PM before January 6.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been sent to the printer but the pdf and ePub editions are now available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use, or perhaps some gifts for the holiday season? 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. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. 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. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

ephesians 4 3 2

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until Sunday, January 12, 2020. He will lead the Christmas Gospel Meeting this Wednesday on Christmas Day.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "Central Manpower Base (CMPB) of the Ministry of Defence has not replied to our appeal regarding Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass. It may take up to two weeks for CMPB to respond to our appeal which was submitted on 13 December. As we face this uncertainty on the status of MOL, may we rise above any fear that steal upon us or any temptation that shake our faith, by committing our souls patiently and quietly to God as Isaiah says, “… in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength….” (Isaiah 30:15). Because we believe and confess that Jehovah God is the most high and King over all the earth, may we put our trust in God’s providence for our need for an under shepherd. We urge you to keep this matter of MOL in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning 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:
    • Denominational News:

~ (Provident PRC bulletin) "Rev. Holstege will preach in the first service today in which we commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. Ibe will preach in our second service (Rev. Holstege will preach for the Bereans). Rev. Kleyn will teach and preach at our outreach, the BLCC, in Guiguinto today, and Deacon Jun will accompany him. Next Sunday, Rev. Holstege will preach both times for Provident, Lord willing."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • 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.

MothersofChristALanning
Need some good reading for the Christmas season? Learn about the "unlikely mothers of Christ" in this booklet.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.  Don't forget that these books and magazine make for great gifts!

  • 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Currently, Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message being a special Christmas one - "Elizabeth's Inspired Revelation", based on Luke 1:39-45. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ Have you seen our recent end-of-the-year flyer passed out last month in the PRC? If you haven't, you may find a copy attached to this news post.
~ Special RWH newsletter note:
Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ 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!

 Yg Calvinists

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Please make note of next year's Protestant Reformed Young People's Convention date and location to be hosted by Georgetown PRC. The convention will be held Aug 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL. Visit prcconvention.com for more information. Chaperone registration will open January 1, and conventioneer registration opens March 15.
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

missionaries wedding may 2018
We thank the Lord for our missionaries, their wives, and familes and pray for them as they labor far from their loved ones in the Philippines (seated in front here). Let's remember them in prayer in a special way in this season of the year.

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.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown brought the gospel in the LRF today.
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Maranatha PRC bulletin: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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.

India:

The Council will be sending Rev. and Mary Haak and Deane and Donna Wassink for a three week visit to the PRCV of India during this first part of the new-year. (Haaks, Sundays of Jan 19, 26, and Feb. 2., Wassinks, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9)  Their work includes meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc. The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to also go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we learn about this upcoming involvement of Rev. A. Lanning: "The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28."

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Last modified on 22 December 2019

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