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This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, May 10-16, 2020 *(Updated)

Proverbs 31 30Today, May 10, is the nineteenth 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 PR congregations and fellow saints who can begin worshiping publicly again, though it be with some restrictions yet (in Indiana, Iowa, and Loveland, CO, for example). As most of our congregations and fellow believers (including our sister churches) continue to experience the temporary loss of this freedom, we pray for grace to wait on the Lord and to be content in His way until these restrictions are removed. And may we together - from sanctuary and from home - through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit continue to worship our good and faithful Father.

The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. (Psalm 99:1-3)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

The children of this virtuous woman rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her. Not all children and husbands of virtuous woman do this. This is not to the credit of these ungrateful and derelict children and husbands. Sad to say, even in the sphere of the church there are wicked and ungrateful husbands and children. This is a shameful thing. Yet in the covenant home we see this on every hand. Husbands and children who have wives and mothers who show the virtues described in Proverbs 31 ought to praise and bless them profusely. The blessing of her children and the praise of her husband are a great reward for the virtuous woman. Because she has understanding and wisdom she rejoices greatly in these things. Husbands and children have a great calling and obligation regularly to bless and praise their virtuous wife and mother. There are few things in life that God gives which are a greater blessing than a virtuous wife and mother. The spiritual and psychological well-being of children are the fruits of the labors of the virtuous mother in the home.

The principle from which the virtuous woman lives her life is the fear of God. …  As much as the virtuous woman is motivated in all her life and business by her faithfulness to her husband and devotedness to her children, there is a higher principle out of which she does all things. This principle is the fear of the Lord. God Himself works His fear and love in the heart of the virtuous woman. She is therefore His glorious workmanship created in Christ Jesus. This is the greatest reason for her virtue and praiseworthiness. And therefore also, more important even than the blessing and praise of husband and children, she is blessed of the Lord and she will receive a great reward from Him.

Let us look around us in our churches and in our covenant homes. The Lord has given us such virtuous women. How worthy they are of praise, and what reason for thanking God we have that He has given such great women to His church. ~ Rev. Arie DenHartog in the Standard Bearer

  • 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; Georgetown PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); 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.

  • Last Sunday, May 3, Rev. J. Mahtani accepted the call to Hope PRC-GR. We rejoice with this congregation in God's good provision in this time of need.

  • Last Sunday, May 3, First PRC of Edmonton extended a call tol Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC). We pray for clear guidance from the Lord as he considers this call.

  • 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).

  • From Kalamazoo PRC's bulletin this week: The Consistory has formed a trio consisting of Revs. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC), S. Key (Loveland PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC). A congregational vote will be held on Monday evening, May 18, at 7:00 p.m., the Lord willing.
  • 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. In the meantime he continues preparing pre-recorded sermons for them, as well as catechism lessons.
  • Rev. John Marcus and his family plan to leave Edmonton May 20 (next week) to live in West Michigan, as he awaits a call within the PRC.
  • Did you know... that
    • some of the congregations able to meet now are doing so with half the congregation coming in the morning and the other half in the evening, and that they are maintaining social distancing by occupying every other pew?
    • our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, has begun writing short meditations for the PRC website - just for these present times and circumstances. Be sure to look them up and read them for your spiritual profit!
    • 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 issues - May 1 and 15 - at the newly revamped SB website.

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

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PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary was able to complete its regular course of the second semester with online classes, and students will be taking exams this weekPray for them as they prepare and take these final exams of the school year.

  • 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.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan and his family remain in Singapore for the time being (his mother passed away there on April 11 after a long battle with cancer). He resumed and completed his classes online and is assisting in 'speaking a word of edification' for his congregation (Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church). He plans to stay until mid-June, when he will return to the States to begin his seminary internship in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) on July 1, D.V.
  • Work continues on the Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal, and it is close to completion. 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.

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Read the latest issue from our sister church in Singapore! And happy 37th birthday to Maranatha PRC! (see below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • We are now entering into the second month of the circuit breaker measures implemented by our government. From the recent updates, by our authority, on easing the measures, religious activities are given a lower priority than other industries to resume normal activities. This means that we may have to continue live-streaming of the worship service for a while more. ...In this COVID-19 situation, God in His Providence has prevented us from attending worship service and caused most of us to remain at home on the Lord’s Day. We remain at home not because we want to. But in God’s Providence, we remain at home for the love of the neighbour in this COVID-19 situation. Nevertheless, we thank God for technology, such as live-streaming, that we are able to participate worship service though we cannot attend the worship service except for the few persons present in church.
    • The April 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #59 - was published and posted this week. You may find it on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • Rev. A. stewart continues to lead the services via live-stream.
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
    • Read the new May 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.

~ PRC of Bulacan: The members of the congregation continue to worship at home. Rev. J. Flores is doing a short devotional each night via Zoom. The Consistory reports that due to the relaxing of some of the quaratine orders in Luzon, the PR Fellowship in Albuera has begun worshiping again (as of May 3).

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit 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 is celebrating its 37th Church Anniversary, today. 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. Kleyn will lead us in worship this morning at 9:30 on YouTube. Here are the links to the two livestreams: https://youtu.be/YbVz5AUZvw8 (9:30 am) and https://youtu.be/2D02P7Tt5Nc (5:30 pm). 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 issues, May 1 (a special issue on death and dying) and May 15, 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, however, is a special one for Mother's Day and is titled "The Praiseworthy Woman." based on Proverbs 31:10-31. 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 recently - Are you reading it? (see below)

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • PRYP Convention News: With heavy hearts Georgetown PRC and the Federation Board have decided to postpone the 2020 Young People’s convention until next year. Due to the current conditions in our country, getting 500 -600 people together in one location does not seem wise at this time. The Fed Board would like to adhere to the guidelines put out by the government and we do not want to have the parents weigh the benefits of sending their child to the convention against the risk of exposing them to this virus. Georgetown PRC is planning to host the convention next year.
  • *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.

Gospel to all nations

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.
    • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, his present travels and activities are quite limited. The ongoing Bible study in Dorr, MI led by our missionary is currently postponed also.
    • But, he has begun writing short meditations for the PRC website. You may find those here.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services via live-streaming during the UK's lockdown. 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.
    • A new Limerick RF Newsletter was published this week. You may find that here.

    • (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).
  • PRC of Bulacan News: The Consistory reports that due to the relaxing of some of the quaratine orders in Luzon, the PR Fellowship in Albuera has begun worshiping again (as of May 3). 
  • 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 remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. The saints in that part of the world are experiencing severe restrictions too.
  • 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. Hope had this update from him in her bulletin this week:

On May 2 the Myanmar committee was again able to meet remotely by video with Rev. Titus. He reports that he and the Hope PRCM congregation are staying healthy. The shutdown orders are still in place and enforced by army checkpoints. This affects the working men and the formal training of Htay Nine. As of May 2, there were about 150 reported cases of Covid-19 in the Yangon area. About 70 of them were linked to a Pentecostal church, whose pastor before had proclaimed to his congregation that it was revealed to him that the Lord would not permit him or his congregation to contract the virus. This caused a bit of a disturbance among the community and an occasion to mock the Christian faith in general. Rev. Titus has publically responded in defense of the Reformed faith regarding the Spirit of truth as revealed in his scripture alone. He continues his translating work, as you will soon read in his upcoming letter. The Hope PRCM congregation is able to meet for worship in a limited capacity. We are grateful to the Lord and for Rev. Titus for his dedication to magnify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through his preaching, translating, training, pastoral work, and other evangelistic activities. We ask that you keep Rev. Titus and the saints in Myanmar in your prayers.

Last modified on 11 May 2020

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