News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, May 3-9, 2020 (Updated)

Psalms 61 2Today, May 3, is the eighteenth Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

We rejoice with those fellow churches and saints who can begin worshiping publicly again today, though still with some restrictions (in Iowa and Loveland, CO, for example). As most of our congregations and fellow saints continue to experience the temporary loss of this freedom, we pray for courage to wait on the Lord and for contentment in His way until these restrictions are removed. And may we together - from sanctuary and from home - press on in worshiping our faithful God and Father, whose love knows no bounds and whose grace is immeasurable.

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. (Psalm 96:2-6)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

To be sure, death is an awful power, and as far as we mortal men are concerned, invincible. But there is one mightier than death, and that is the Almighty One, who is Jehovah God.

And God be thanked, to those living in the midst of death in a creation under the sentence of death, this Lord God has given a Word, a Word that gives us mortal men words to withstand the horror of death. Words that give hope so real that the believer can stand at the lip of the grave and say “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” Words of defiance when nothing but a corpse remains and the grave is about to swallow our loved one.

How can this be? It can only be because of who Jehovah God is. The almighty Creator God to be sure, but also God triune, who as such is a covenant-making and keeping God. And not only within Himself, but also regarding a people, a remnant of the human race He would call His own. How God’s people dealing with the awful power of death need to hear this! How pastors and preachers need to remember this!  ~ Rev. K. Koole in the May 1, 2020 issue of the Standard Bearer, a special issue on death and dying, now available online

  • These PRCs are live-streaming services today (and for the time being, full or partial). You are encouraged to worship with one of these congregations: Byron Center PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM (EST); Calvary PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM CDT;  Crete PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM CDT; Faith PRC at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM (EST); First PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); First PRC-Holland at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM; Grace PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM EST; Hope PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Hope PRC-Redlands, CA at 10 AM and 5 PM (PST); Hudsonville PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST; Hull PRC at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM; Loveland PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM MST; Lynden PRC at 10:00 AM PST; Pittsburgh PRC at 9:30 and 5 PM EST; Southeast PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST; Southwest PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 (EST); Trinity PRC at 9:30 and 5:00 (EST); Zion PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM (EST). There are also many audio sermons that you can access on this website for your further use.

  • Rev. J. Mahtani has been considering calls from Kalamazoo PRC (April 13), Hope PRC-GR (April 14), and Unity PRC (April 15). Today he announced his acceptance of Hope PRC"s call. We rejoice with this congregation in God's good provision in this time of need.

  • The Consistory of First PRC of Edmonton announces a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC), and Rev. M. VanderWal (Wingham PRC). The congregation will be voting, Lord willing, the afternoon of Sunday, May 3. *Update: The congregation voted to call Rev. E. Guichelaar.

  • Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) announces a new trio from which to call a minister: Rev. M. DeBoer (Edgerton PRC), R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC), and R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC).

  • The Council of Grandville PRC has formed a new trio for minister on loan to Singapore: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC). At present the congregation is not able to gather for a congregational meeting to vote; when restrictions are lifted, she will.

  • On April 5 Rev. M. McGeown announced his acceptance of the call to Providence PRC (Hudsonville, MI). Rev. McGeown is making application to come to the States as he finishes his mission labors in Limerick, Ireland.

  • Rev. H. Bleyenberg and his wife remain in West Michigan awaiting permission to move to Lacombe, AB so he can take up his ministry in Immanuel PRC. We pray that the Lord will soon open that door for them.
  • Rev. John Marcus and his family plan to leave Edmonton May 20 to live in West Michigan, as he awaits a call within the PRC.
  • Did you know... that
    • for the Parenting Conference Hudsonville PRC held online this week over 700 devices (on average each night) from 6 countries were participating? A great idea and a great response!
    • Doon PRC recently held a "birthday parade" for their pastor, Rev. J. Engelsma (a new trend in these days of restricted gatherings)? On April 29 many members rode past the parsonage tooting their horns and then joined in the church parking lot to sing "Happy Birthday" as well as some other songs.
    • you can read the Standard Bearer FREE online at this time (while the SB is not allowed to be printed)? You can find the latest issue -May 1, a special issue on death and dying - at https://rfpa.org/pages/the-standard-bearer (the website is down for maintenance until Monday morning, so be patient!)

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East Update:

Classis East of the Protestant Reformed Churches will not meet on May 13, 2020. This decision was made by the Classical Committee of Classis East on the ground that because of the “current restrictions by the state, Byron Center PRC cannot host Classis, and these restrictions make it impossible to hold Classis at an alternate venue.” The next scheduled meeting of Classis East is September 9, 2020. There is a possibility of an earlier meeting of Classis East after the legal restrictions on meetings have been removed. The Rules of Order for Classis East state, “When a consistory desires an early or special Classis, it shall request two neighboring consistories to join with it in requesting such of the Classical Committee, which shall then make the necessary arrangements.” If arrangements are made for an earlier meeting of Classis East, the churches will be informed in due course.
In the service of Christ’s Church,
Rev. C. Spronk, Stated Clerk, Classis East

Sem front May 2020 1
With landscapers allowed to start up their work in the last week, the seminary has a fresh cut look this week!

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is entering its fifteenth and final week of the second semester this week (exams are next week) with continued online classes. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, seminary is open only for essential operations at this time. No auditors or visitors should come until the restrictions are lifted. The staff can try to assist you with any needs, however. Call or email the seminary with your important needs.

  • Due to the extended "stay-at-home" order from the Michigan governor (now through May 15), the faculty and students have switched to all online classes for the rest of the semester. Some classes are using previously recorded videos while other classes are being live-streamed using Zoom. We are thankful to be able to continue instruction and learning in this way. Faculty and students remain well, content in God's will. Pray for the professors, students, and staff as they seek to carry on with their labors under these difficult circumstances.

  • Work continues on the Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal. Though we may have to wait for the print edition under the present circumstances, the seminary will produce and post the digital copy as soon as it is ready.
  • 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.

Ps133 1 2

Let us remember to pray for our fellows saints in every land and place, especially during these days of quarantine and isolation!

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • We are now into the fourth week of the “circuit-breaker” restriction and the restriction will be extended for another four weeks till 1 June 2020. Though we cannot meet physically for another four weeks, we are thankful to God that we are allowed to continue to live-stream our worship services. We are also thankful that bro Josiah Tan could help to lead the worship services and bring God’s word to the congregation. Our Session has approved our brother to bring a word of edification in all the morning services until he and his family return to USA to complete his seminary training.
    • Session received an update from Grandville PRC that they are not able to meet as a congregation to call the MOL due to the restrictions in Michigan. Once the restrictions are lifted, Grandville will meet soon to call the MOL for us.
    • 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:
    • From last week's bulletin: The arrangement for the CPRC Sunday services today involves livestreaming a streamlined meeting with only prayer and exposition of the Word on video at 11AM and 6PM (https://cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/). During this difficult time when we are unable to meet together, may we pray with the Psalmist, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God” (Ps. 43:3-4).
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
    • Read the new March 2020 issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"!
    • Sadly, given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (in God's sovereign decree), the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference has been rescheduled to (basically) the same week next year. Thus the BRF Conference will not be taking place in 2020. Instead, it is rescheduled to 10-17 July, 2021. Same venue: Castlewellan Castle (http://castlewellancastle.org/). Same theme: Union With Christ. Same speakers: Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning (USA), with John Perkins (England) giving the special lecture. For more on the BRF, see https://www.britishreformed.org/

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

~ Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live-streaming on our Facebook page. Our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us today in our worship services via Facebook live, the Lord willing.

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. L.Trinidad will lead us in both Worship Services live-stream via Facebook . Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. D.V. Our Church will be celebrating its 37th Church Anniversary on May 10, 2020. As we celebrate, let us pray for one another that our God and Father will continue to protect, to guide and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ accordingly.

~ Provident PRC: Rev. D. Holstege will lead us in worship this morning at 9:30 on YouTube. This is the link to the livestream: https://youtu.be/_BYwLUC1emg. The elders have sent a link to a worship service of Zion PRC (Rev. J. Holstege) for the evening. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. D. Kleyn will provide messages for us in the morning and evening.

~ PRCP Seminary: Classes have resumed and are being given long distance.

~ The next meeting of the PRCP Classis is scheduled for June 12, D.V.

~ 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.

SB May 1 2020 cover

Due to printing restrictions related to COVID-19, the RFPA is temporarily unable to print and distribute hard copies of The Standard Bearer. Once these restrictions have been lifted, the RFPA will print and mail out all postponed issues of the magazine. In the meantime, these issues will be available for free online as they are produced. You can find the newest issue, May 1 (a special issue on death and dying), at this link on the home page.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.

  • Psalter 1912 2Psalter music available FREE: the entire collection of Psalm Choir videos and CDs is currently available free. With many PRC members and fellow saints worshiping at home due to the present pandemic, these are a valuable resource. You may find the playlists on YouTube here. And, all volumes of the Psalm Choir CDs may be found here. These too can be used for family or personal devotions, as well as for personal comfort and peace in seasons of fear and distress.
     

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0148/7987/products/Unfolding6_1024x1024.png?v=1580485685Two NEW books from the RFPA: 1) Unfolding Covenant History Vol. 6 (From Samuel to Solomon) by Prof. D. Engelsma will be sent to book club members and those who ordered it. 2) Letters from Katie Luther: A Novel by Shirley Casemier will be sent to Gold Star members and others who ordered it. While we are facing delays in the delivery of some of these books, we are working with your church’s book club agent to get them to you as soon as possible. If you would like to order either book, visit rfpa.org, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 457-5970. Your book club agent will deliver your book as soon as he/she is able.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is temporarily closed 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • 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 (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) has some special messages based on the end of Hebrews 10. Today's message is titled "Encouraged to Persevere" based on Hebrews 10:23. 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 simply by 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!

 BL header lighthouse
*A new issue (May) was released last week - see below!

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • *From the Beacon Lights staff: Due to our printer not being able to print the magazine right now because of COVID-19, we have decided to put the May issue of Beacon Lights on our website, free of charge, for anyone who wishes to read the month’s issue. Visit us at beaconlights.org to read the issue, which will be published on May 1!

  • The Western Young People's Retreat, hosted by the Lynden and Spokane Young Peoples, will be held July 14-17, 2020, at Camp Sanders in N. Idaho.  This is a retreat for Young People ages 13-18 (going into 9th-12th grade).  More information and registration will be available in March. Contact Rev. Kleyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

  • Colorado Retreat: Save the date August 3-6, 2020 for a young adults retreat in Colorado!

  • 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. 

  • A new issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the March 2020 issue here.

GrtCommissionMap

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. The ongoing Bible study in Dorr, MI led by our missionary is currently postponed also.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services. He recently announced his acceptance of the call to Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Plans are being made for him to complete his labors in Limerick and move to Michigan as soon as it is possible.
    • While the “lockdown” continues, we shall attempt to conduct our meetings electronically. Let us cry out to God to restore the means of grace to us:My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth for the living God” (Ps. 84:2). Bible Study: Tuesday 8 PM by video conferencing beginning at James 5:4.

    • (From the PRC Contact Commitee) Our sister church, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland, reports that they have decided to close the mission station in Limerick, Ireland that they had been overseeing for the past ten years. ...We submit this disappointment to the good providence of God who is alone wise. Remember the saints in Limerick and Rev. McGeown in your prayers.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija (the saints join Berean PRC services via live-stream during this time of confinement).
  • Maranatha PRC News: 

    The missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occ is temporarily cancelled due to the Enchancement Community Quaratine (through May 15 at this time). Let us pray that the Lord will end this plague and let His work of preaching and teaching be continued.

  • 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, especially in these difficult days of quarantine. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to carry on as best they can and be encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us pray for our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. The body of Christ in that place is also deeply affected by the pandemic. Let's be in prayer for these fellow saints too.

Myanmar:

  • We also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. He and the saints there are also seriously affected by the pandemic. Let us be in prayer for these dear believers also.
Last modified on 06 May 2020

Leave a comment

back to top

Contact Details

Denomination

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Reading Sermon Library
  • Taped Sermon Library

Synodical Officers

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Synodical Committees

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Emeritus Committee
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact/Missions

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classical Officers

Classis East
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classis West
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.