News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, March 15-21, 2020

Psalm 46 1 2Today, March 15, is the eleventh 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:

When Martin Luther was dealing with the Black Death plague, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world at this time.

...I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it.

I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.

If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.

If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.

Luther's Works (Volume 43 p.13-32), the letter "Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague"

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • The significant news today is the impact of COVID-19 on the PRC congregations and sister churches. The Lord in His wise sovereignty has not only ordained and directed this virus, but He has also ordained and directed the governments of this world to restrict our worship and church activities for a time. Some of our congregations are not holding services at all today; others are gathering in split groups because of size limitations on gatherings. Some of the members of our sister churches are under quaratine and forbidden to gather; our missionaries in the Philippines are limited in their travels and therefore in their labors. All this, we believe, is ordained and directed by our Lord for the good of His people. In Christ, we still have fellowship with our covenant God and with one another, though separated in worship and functions. Our God has still given us means to read and hear His Word (in print and online). And no matter where we are and how limited we are, we all have access in prayer to His throne of grace. May we trust in Him, look to Him, and abide in quiet peace with Him. And may we pray for one another, as well as for our neighbors who may be without Christ, without hope, and without God in this world. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge (Psalm 46:10,11).

  • On March 1, Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) received the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He plans to answer by March 29. May the Lord guide his consideration of this call and the one mentioned next.

  • On March 1, the congregation of Kalamazoo PRC voted to call Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC). He plans to answer this call too by March 29.

  • The Consistory of Providence PRC has announced a new trio from which to call their next pastor: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rev. M. McGeown (Limerick Mission, Ireland), and Rev. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC).  They plan to call from this trio March 22.

  • This week Rev. H. Bleyenberg and his wife Deb plan to leave Hudsonville, MI and begin their trip to Lacombe, AB, where he has accepted the call to serve Immanuel PRC. They hope to arrive on March 25. Rev. T. Miersma is bringing the word in Lacombe today and next week.

  • Let us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and his family and the flock of First PRC in Edmonton, AB. With the approval of Classis West at their March meeting (see last week's news report) Rev. Marcus was released from the ministry in First PRC under Article 11 of the Church Order and is eligible for a call from another PRC. He is also available to preach in the churches and has been busy doing so. Consistories needing pulpit supply are encouraged to contact him.

  • Rev. R. Kleyn is bringing the Word in First PRC in Edmonton again today. From her bulletin we also learn this: "There will be a presentation, by Rev. Kleyn, of the work being done in Mexico following the afternoon service, along with coffee and baked goods."
  • After exhausting the appeal process for Rev. Jon Mahtani’s employment pass application, Covenant ERC in Singapore has requested that Grandville PRC re-initiate the calling process for minister-on-loan (cf. her bulletin note below). May the Lord turn this setback into good for our sister church and for Rev. Mahtani and his family.

  • The visit of the delegation to the Philippines that was scheduled this month on behalf of Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee has been postponed due to travel concerns. The FMC hopes that the visit can be made later this year.

  • Did you know... that in 1918 there was a very serious worldwide influenza epidemic (named the "Spanish flu", it came in two phases - Spring and Fall - and claimed an estimated 50 million lives - one fifth of the world's population). In the "Centennial History of the Fourteenth Street CRC" in Holland Michigan, the following is recorded. "During a flu epidemic, the church was closed for three Sundays by order of the governor of the State of Michigan, Gov. Albert E. Sleeper. Rev. Hoeksema distributed mimeographed copies of his sermons to the congregation during this time. The consistory also had to cancel its meeting of October 31."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East Notice: There will be a special meeting of Classis East this week Tuesday, March 17  in Hudsonville PRC to give its advice on a decision of Hope PRC to release their pastor from the ministry under Article 12 of the Church Order. May the Lord give the delegates wisdom as they treat this matter.

March 2019 front 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is entering its ninth week of the second semester. The class schedule and calendar may be found on the seminary's website. The students will be having some mid-terms exams again this week, now that the halfway point of the semester has been reached. Remember to pray for the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of this new semester.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan and his wife and children returned to Singapore this past week due to the declining health of his mother. Pray for him and his family during this difficult time.

  • The faculty and students will be holding a meeting of the Student Club on Thursday, March 26, beginning at 7:00 PM, at Prof. R. Dykstra’s house.  They plan to discuss the first entry in the book, The Rock Whence We are Hewn.  The contribution is divided into five chapters and is the transcription and translation of a speech by Rev. H. Danhof entitled “The Idea of the Covenant of Grace.” (This year is the centennial of the publication of that speech.)

  • Are you in need of 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.

  • Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2020 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 30th. 

  • 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."

PRCP Classis Feb 2020

Classis Meeting of the PRCP, held on Tuesday February 25 in the building of the Provident PRC (the Philippines)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol returned home this past week after serving the CERC from March 1-8. According to her bulletin today, this is the pulpit supply in the months ahead: 15 & 22 March – Reading Sermons by CERC Elders 29 March & 5 April – by Rev. Jon Marcus; 12,19 & 26 April and 3 May – by Rev. J. Mahtani?
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, our sister church had this update in today's bulletin: This past Thursday our lawyer has informed that CMPB was unable to support Rev Mahtani’s EP application after reconsidering Rev Mahtani’s circumstances carefully. With this latest rejection of the EP application, we have exhausted the appeal process with CMPB. Therefore, we submit to the Lord’s will, which will is always good for us. Session has informed Rev Mahtani, Grandville PRC and Contact Committee of the unsuccessful outcome of Rev Mahtani’s EP and has requested Contact Committee to re-initiate the calling process of the MOL.
    • *The February 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led Covenant's services today.
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
    • Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2020 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland from Saturday, July 11 to Saturday, July 18.  Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "Union with Christ".  For information see the website http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins at 616-214-2779;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Rooms are filling quickly, so complete your booking form today!
    • Read the new February 2020 issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"!

  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, the following may be gleaned from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both Worship Services.

~ Provident PRC: Rev. Holstege will lead both of our worship services today. Also, this note is found in her bulletin today: The trip of our two missionaries Rev. D. Kleyn and Rev. R. Smit to Canturay Church and Inayawan Church, Sipalay, Negros Occ. to preach and teach to the two congregations is cancelled due to the Community Quarantine from March 15to April 12, 2020. Let us remember to pray for their missionary work.

~ The most recent mission newsletter (January 2020) was published and distributed this Fall.

~ 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.

Jesus paid it all 1

Who was this Jesus who was crucified for sinners? If He was a King, why did He die so shamefully? Read this resource to learn more.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • The Reformed Book Outlet will be closed through April 4 for the safety of our volunteers. If you need to place an order or have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will not be answering the phone. Thank you.

  • Are you 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.

  • Would you like to learn more about the PRC and her doctrines and practices? Are you 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!
    • Continuing this month, Rev. R. Kleyn of the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA is delivering a series on prayer, with today's message titled "Forgive Us Our Debts" based on Luke 11:4. 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:

~ The Reformed Witness Hour Committee wishes to remind everyone that you can receive their bi-monthly newsletter via email by simply signing up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL.  Each newsletter contains information about places around our globe where the RWH is downloaded; news about the RWH’s witness on the radio and via the internet, printed booklet, and CD and links to many popular and relevant RWH messages.

~ A 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:

Refd Free Church Canturay 2020

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Rev. D. Kleyn taught a class here in the Reformed Churchin Canturay where Pastor Ariel Labrador is the minister

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 led the services today.
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Update: The visit of the delegation to the Philippines March 12-25 on behalf of Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee has been postponed due to travel concerns. The FMC hopes that the visit can be made later this year.
  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Provident PRC News: The trip of our two missionaries Rev. D. Kleyn and Rev. R. Smit to Canturay Church and Inayawan Church, Sipalay, Negros Occ. to preach and teach to the two congregations is cancelled due to the Community Quarantine from March 15to April 12, 2020. Let us remember to pray for their missionary work.
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The January 2020 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!

We remember in prayer 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:

  • Let us also hold up in prayer our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.

Myanmar:

  • We 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 15 March 2020

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