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This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 5-11, 2020 *(Updated)

Ps27 1Today, January 5, is the first Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

On the Christian's duties in the church: Uniting with the church, brings its duties. It allies us with Christ and makes us coworkers with Him. We are not to think merely of what the church may do for us—but also of what we may do for the church. Church loyalty is a mark of true and wholesome Christian life. One need not be a narrow sectarian to be a good church member; but one will always be the better Christian for being entirely devoted to his own church and enthusiastic in all its life and work. Anything that weakens a man's loyalty to his own particular church, hurts his spiritual life and lessens his usefulness as a Christian.…It is a high privilege to be a church member, and one who has such honor should seek to be worthy of it, as the church is the body of Christ in this world. ~ J. Miller

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This is the time of year for new officebearer installations (elders and deacons), and with that in mind we mention the special section for officebearers on the PRC website. Here you will find valuable resources - books, syllabi, articles, speeches, and sermons - all designed to help the ministers, elders, and deacons serve the Lord and His people. Be sure to visit this page and browse its aids.

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) has been considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). Today he announced his decline of this call.

  • Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor of Kalamazoo PRC) is retiring from the active ministry and will preach his farewell sermon this morning. We thank the Lord for his 41 years (ordained in October 1978) of faithful service in the churches and pray God's blessing on him and his wife Dawn as they continue to serve the Lord and His people.

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote today 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). *UPDATE: Rev. G. Eriks has received this call.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) is considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). He now plans to answer this call by Jan.19. Today Rev.A. Brummel is leading her services and bringing the Word.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) is considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). He plans to answer by January 21.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. The Mahtanis are still awaiting the permission of the Singaporean government and hope to leave for Singapore as soon as that is granted (*see the update under CERC news below). In the meantime, they are residing in the West Michigan area. May the Lord be pleased to grant this approval soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose.

  • Rev. R. Kleyn is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Next week Rev. A. Brummel is scheduled to. From Doon PRC's bulletin we also learn this: "As the special committee appointed by Classis West, Revs. Brummel and Engelsma will be in Edmonton this weekend to assist the consistory and congregation there." Let us pray for God's blessing on those special labors.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Zion PRC 2019
Zion PRC (Jenison, MI), host of this week's Classis East meeting

Classis East meeting: Classis East holds its regularly scheduled meeting this week Wednesday at 8 AM at Zion PRC. In addition to annual elections, the agenda has three appeals concerning matters believed to be finished at the consistory level and two protests against decisions taken at Classis’ September meeting.

Brief summary of this meeting provided by the stated clerk:

CLASSIS EAST met this past Wednesday and Thursday at Zion PRC. There were three appeals and two protests. One appeal had portions upheld and portions not sustained. One appeal was not sustained, and the third was declared illegally before Classis due to the manner of its submission. Both protests were judged legally before Classis, however not sustained.  The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2019. Rev. Haak and Rev. Koole were chosen to be church visitors in 2020. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2020 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Langerak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Rick Gritters, Nick Kleyn, Dave Kregel, Brendan Looyenga, and Sid Miedema. Classis advised two consistories to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline. Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2020 with the approval of the classis. Pulpit supply was granted for Cornerstone PRC, Kalamazoo PRC, and Unity PRC. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be on May 13, 2020 at Byron Center PRC.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its two-week holiday break and will begin the ten-day Interim this week. The second semester begins Tuesday Jan.21. The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • 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 is back from the printer and was mailed this week; the pdf and ePub editions are 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. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area. 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? 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."

Logo BEREAN 1

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led the services today. From her bulletin last week: "Mary’s father in Michigan... gained his eternal rest last night. We leave for the U.S. tomorrow for a week and return to Dublin the next Tuesday morning (7 January). Then we will be going to Limerick where we are to stay till after the Sunday evening service (12 January). We covet your prayers for us and pray that the Lord will watch over all of you while we are apart." And related to that:  "Rev. Koole will be arriving in N. Ireland on Friday, 3 January, and will be preaching for the CPRC on 5 and 12 January." Let us remember this special request in our prayers this week.
    • Covenant PRC's last church newsletter was received and posted (August 2019).
    • Read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"! Find the December 2019 issue here.
  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC until next Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "With regard to the appeal for the Employment Pass (EP) for Rev J. Mahtani, we met with the CMPB Senior Manager in charge of our appeal this past Thursday. We were asked to make a further appeal to the higher authority in charge of policy matters on such cases. We have written to them and we ask members to put this in your daily prayer for the approval of the EP. Do also remember Rev Mahtani and his family in your prayer as they wait patiently to come over to Covenant to serve as MOL."
    • Her last newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - has been posted 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:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Berean PRC: "Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit will lead our worship services today. Rev. V. Ibe is scheduled to lead our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija in their worship service today."

~ Provident PRC: "One of our elders will lead our first worship service today using a video sermon of Rev. James Slopsema, one of the emeritus ministers in the PRCA. Rev. Holstege will preach in our second service" [officebearer installation].

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Canons of Dordt. D.V.

~ 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.

Jhvh Savior SHouck
Do you know the God who truly is the Savior? Read this pamphlet to find out Jehovah's mighty work of salvation!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Looking for 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 this 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!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "Jedidah and the Elect Remnant" based on 2 Kings 22:1,2. 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:

~ 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!

 young peoples convention header 2020

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

SNegros men 2018 1
The men being taught each month in Sipalay, S. Negros, the Philippines

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. K. Koole is currently in Limerick to bring the word while Rev. McGeown is "down under." (see next note)
    • 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:

  • Berean PRC news: "Rev. V. Ibe is scheduled to lead our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija in their worship service today.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • Provident PRC news: "Next Sunday, January 12, Elder Bien will accompany Rev. John Flores on the monthly delegation visit to the PRCP mission field in Albuera, Leyte."
  • 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 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 11 January 2020

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