News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, June 21-27, 2020

Ps32 8 mountainsToday, June 21, is the twenty-fifth Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

As our PR congregations in the U.S. and Canada continue to worship publicly and a few of our sister churches begin to worship publicly again, we commit our way unto the Lord of heaven, in whose hands are all our times (Psalm 31:15). And we pray fervently for our fellow saints in those lands and places where tight restrictions remain, trusting that our Lord knows what is best and that He receives our praise and thanks whether it be from church sanctuary or home.

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Psalm 56:9-11

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Ultimately, this psalm finds its highest realization in Jesus Christ. “I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” Jesus lives in perfect harmony with His Father in heaven. He came to make the peace offering, taking away the sins of His people. He makes the church a place of peace. How His soul was distressed when He was slandered during the duration of His ministry. He was slandered by the leaders in Jerusalem. They said He cast out devils by the power of Beelzebub, a troubler of Israel, and guilty of blasphemy because He made himself equal with God. His disciples were called liars when they said that Jesus rose from the dead. God delivered Jesus from lying lips and deceitful tongues when He raised Him from the dead and Jesus ascended into heaven.

~ Rev. A. Spriensma in "I Am for Peace" his latest special meditation

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  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether in full or in part, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found.

  • Last Sunday Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC) announced his decline of the call to Kalamazoo PRC.

  • Also last Sunday, Rev. N. Langerak received the call from First PRC, Edmonton.

  • This past Wednesday (June 17) Unity PRC extended a call to Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC).

  • The Council of Grandville PRC recently made two decisions regarding calling a man to serve as minister on loan to Singapore. The first was to honor the request of Covenant ERC to put on hold calling an MOL due to ongoing restrictions in Singapore. And second, to withdraw their trio of Revs. G. Eriks, E. Guichelaar, and R. Kleyn out of wisdom and courtesy to these men. May the Lord soon open the way for calling a MOL again.
  • Did you know... that
    • another COVID-19 casualty is the church nursery? For the special protection of young children our churches too have suspended nursery functions for the time being. Does that mean more little ones are entering the services sooner or that more are staying home with dad or mom until they are ready?
    • on the positive side, some of our churches have resumed the sacrament of baptism? We thank God for this additional means of grace some of our members can receive and witness once again.
    • Rev. A. Stewart will be interviewed on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio on “Regeneration: God’s Gift of a New Heart” this Thursday from 9-11 PM (UK time, which is 4-6 PM Eastern Time)? Be sure to tune in if you can!

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

PRC Synod 2020:

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  • The PRC Synod 2020 met the week of June 9-12 at Trinity PRC. Below is a brief summary of her work and decisions.
  • Brief synod summary: On Monday June 8 Trinity PRC hosted the pre-synodical worship service. Rev. Eriks preached on Mal. 3:6-8 with the theme “What Is Required of Synod 2020.” Synod convened on Tuesday morning at 8:00. Rev. Van Overloop was elected as chairman. Synod made decisions regarding its standing committees (Board of Trustees, Catechism Book Committee, Contact Committee, Domestic Mission Committee, Emeritus Committee, Finance Committee, Foreign Mission Committee, Synodical Deputies, and Theological School Committee). In its treatment of the Theological School Committee’s report, synod approved the admittance of two students into our seminary who desire to be ministers in our denomination. Synod treated three protests against decisions of Synod 2019. Synod decided not to sustain the two protests, and it declared the other protest illegal. Synod treated appeals of two individuals against the decisions of Classis East. One individual appealed two decisions of Classis East; synod decided not to sustain his appeal. The other individual’s appeal contained many different sections; synod declared one section of his appeal illegal and decided to reject the other parts of his appeal and uphold the decisions of Classis East. Synod adopted a budget for 2021 and set synodical assessments at $750 per family. Synod 2021 will convene June 8 and will be hosted by Georgetown PRC. For more details see http://www.prca.org/about/church-government/synod.

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PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has completed its second semester and entered its spring/summer break. Some of the plans the professors and students had for the summer have changed due to COVID-19 cancellations and postponements, but there are other activities that may still be held. Continue to pray for faculy, students, and staff as they continue their labors this spring and summer.

  • Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted in Michigan, the seminary is open daily for any needs our members and friends may have. The library and bookstore are also open for use. Feel free to call or email the seminary if you wish to have your needs fulfilled in other ways.
  • The Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available in digital (pdf and epub) form. Our printer has informed us that it will be a few weeks before the print edition can be produced. There are good articles on nineteenth-century Southern Presbyterians, Calvin's view of the reward of grace, a plea for biblical languages, and two book review articles besides other book reviews. Check it out on the seminary's journal page!

  • Seminarian Josiah Tan and his family returned safely to the States a week ago. Plans are for him to begin his internship July 1 in First PRC under Rev. C. Griess. Due to the tight restrictions in Singapore Sem. Marcus Wee and his family are staying in the States this summer.

  • The PRC Synod 2020 approved the entrance of Luke Bomers (Hope PRC, Walker, MI) and Arend Haveman (Trinity PRC, Hudsonville, MI) into the seminary this Fall. Both are finishing their pre-sem studies this summer. Pray for them as they prepare to take up their studies for the ministry in a few months.

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SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • Due to the Phase 2 restrictions on travels and employment pass approval, Grandville PRC, our MOL calling church, has concurred with Session’s suggestion to suspend the calling of MOL for the time being. Grandville PRC’s consistory also decided to withdraw the trio that was formed on 17 March 2020 of Rev. Eriks, Rev. Guichelaar, and Rev. Kleyn.
    • The April 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #59 - was published and posted recently. 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.
    • Rev. Stewart will be interviewed on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio on “Regeneration: God’s Gift of a New Heart” this Thursday [June25] from 9-11 PM (UK time, which is 4-6 PM Eastern Time).
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - June 2020!
    • Read the new June 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, Bulacan PRC, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

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

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both Worship Services live-stream via Facebook. An extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila is up toJune 30, 2020. The guidelines are as follows: distancing with Face masks, 21 yrs. old below and 60 yrs. old above still under the 24-hour curfew, for other people the curfew hours from 10:00 PM - 5:00 AM. The permitted transportations are Cars, Pickup, SUV, AUV, Van, and Buses. With this, let us pray that the Church’s worship services will return to her normal Church activities.

~ Provident PRC:  Rev. Holstege will preach for our morning worship service today and next Sunday, DV. There will be a live-stream for us who cannot yet come to church (https://youtu.be/Lpv67ESzZpI). The elders will send a link to a worship service and sermon by Prof. Ron Cammenga for our afternoon family worship.

~ Re the PRCP Classis held June 12: God be praised beloved for the fruitful work of the Classis of the PRCP held at Provident PRC in Provident Village, Marikina City. One of the highlights of this meeting was the approval of the two brothers from PPRC... as full-time students in our Seminary with the view of serving God as Minister of the Word and Sacraments in the PRCP, the Lord willing. We pray for God’s blessings upon them and their families as they prepare for this coming school year.

~ 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.

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The Reformed Book Outlet in Hudsonville, MI is open once again! See below for details.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you interested in the PRC? Would you like to learn more about her? 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.
  • The Reformed Book Outlet  is open again, with temporary limited hours. We will be open on Tuesday, 10am - 1pm, Wednesday, 1pm - 6pm, and Saturday, 10am - 1pm. Please follow the guidelines that will be posted on the door when visiting the store. As always, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any orders as well!
    The Reformed Book Outlet’s 3rd annual summer reading challenge is beginning on June 15 and will go through August 22 this year! This challenge is for adults and children, and there are prizes for completing the challenge. Visit our store or Facebook page for more details. You can sign up and pick up a packet at the store during business hours, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up and we will send you a packet!

RWH Logo 2019

  • Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Beginning this month, Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) will deliver the messages, with a special focus on missions. Today's message is titled "Casting Bread upon the Waters" based on Ecclesiastes 11:1. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast, 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!

 
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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.

  • The newest issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the June 2020 issue here.
  • The Western Young People's Retreat - Update! Lynden and Spokane Young People's Retreat is still on for July 14-17, 2020, at Camp Sanders in Tensed, Idaho. For registration information or other questions please contact Rev. Rodney Kleyn by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Colorado Retreat: Registration for the retreat is closed! For further updates, please visit our Facebook page Colorado Young Adults Retreat 2020. Pastors Key and Guichelaar will speak for us on II Timothy 1:7, as we learn to be more 'Brave and Bold in the Faith'.
  • Save the date for a Singles’ Conference!  We will host another three-day event in the Grand Rapids area, September 25-27, for singles ages 25+. The weekend will include two speeches, a discussion group, and several social activities.  Plan to attend and be encouraged and edified by other like-minded singles! Stay tuned for more details.

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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 been writing short meditations for the PRC website and is now speaking for the Reformed Witess Hour radio program.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services via live-streaming during the UK's lockdown. He recently accepted 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, but it could be many months before that happens.
    • A new Limerick RF Newsletter was published last month (May). You may find that here.

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 restrictions).
  • PRC of Bulacan News: The Consistory reports that they have begun public services again in the PR Fellowship in Albuera. Rev. J. Flores plans to lead them by Zoom (morning service only).
  • Maranatha PRC News: 

    The missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occidental is temporarily cancelled due to the Enchancement Community Quaratine. 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 COVID-19  restrictions on their travels and labors. 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 continue to experience tight restrictions.
  • 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. This update was in CERC's bulletin today: Do continue to pray for our brethren in Kolkata. They are still recovering from the super cyclone that swept across Kolkata as they are still faced with the problems of unreliable internet connections. Last Sunday, they were unable to have live streaming due to internet issues. Pastor Singh has been working very hard during this period. Pray for him as he has Bible studies with some families who are interested in the Reformed Truth. He intends to restart the bible studies for the church as well as office bearer training in the coming week. We were told that they were able to receive food and fuel supplies but the prices have sky-rocketed!

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. Our brothers and sisters here too need our prayers and encouragement as they suffer under coronavirus quarantines and economic hardships.
Last modified on 22 June 2020

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