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

1 Corinthians 14 33Today, July 5, is the twenty-seventh Lord's Day of 2020; we may report 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 (Covenant ERC in Singapore and Covenant PRC in N. Ireland for the first time today! see the sister-church news below), we commit our way unto the Lord of heaven, who holds the whole world in His powerful hands and who holds His people in His hands of love and grace. As we bring one another to the throne of grace in this time of need, let us pray fervently for our fellow saints in those lands and places where restrictions remain tight (India, the Philippines), trusting that our Lord will care for us all and will receive our thanks and praise whether it comes from two or three or from 200.

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:1,2, 10,11

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

What kinds of snares are set before you to catch you unawares? Great are the temptations of our sinful  flesh: sexual lust, greed, pride, worldliness, drunkenness, bitterness, anger, and revenge. There are the snares of the world with flattery, pleasure, attention, or the threat of violence, ridicule, persecution, and death. Satan has a whole legion of demons with him who has had 6000 years of practice at seducing, tempting, and deceiving God’s saints. How can the church stand up to such power? How are you and I able individually to withstand them? The only reason the people of God continue in this world is the almighty power of their God. His strength is all sufficient. What would the people of God have been like if the Lord was not on their side?

~ Rev. A. Spriensma in "The Great Escape!," one of his special meditations from this past week

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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.

  • Rev. G. Eriks is considering the call to Unity PRC (received June 17). He plans to answer by July 12.

  • Rev. N. Langerak is considering the call from First PRC, Edmonton, AB (received June 21).

  • The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. S. Key (Loveland, CO), R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA), and C. Spronk (Faith). The congregation will vote today. UPDATE: Rev. C. Spronk has received this call.

  • Special matter of prayer as mentioned in Immanuel PRC's (Lacombe, AB) bulletin today: Rev. and Deb Bleyenberg plan to attempt a border crossing at Coutts, Alberta this week Thursday so that they can join our congregation. We ask that the Lord will grant strength and watch over our pastor and his wife as they travel to the border and D.V. be admitted into Canada.
  • Did you know... that
    • There was a special wedding in NW Iowa this past Friday night and the groom was one of our PRC pastors? We congratulate Rev. Stephan Regnerus (pastor of Lynden, WA PRC) and his bride Tori (Mowery), who were united by the great Bridegroom of the church on July 3. May the Lord richly bless their union for His glory and their good. 
    • Grace PRC is 25 years old this week? This from her bulletin today: Tomorrow, July 6, marks the 25th anniversary of the organization of Grace Protestant Reformed Church. As we worship our Lord today, may this milestone in the history of our church give additional cause to rejoice in His faithfulness and wonderful grace. A celebration is being planned for this fall.
    • Wingham PRC (Ontario) is worshiping for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown in that province? We rejoice with them in God's goodness and pray God continues to care for them in His perfect wisdom and mercy.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

sem front july 2020

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now enjoying its summer break. Some of the plans the professors and students had for the summer have changed due to COVID-19 cancellations and postponements (trip to Mexico, PRYP's Convention, etc.), but there are other activities that may still be held. Continue to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they continue their labors this 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 seminary's summer break always brings with it some maintenance and enhancement projects. Already completed are the parking lot re-striping and a new AC unit. This past week some new landscape was added in the back along the new addition outside the library window. Still to be done are the re-routing of our roof drains in the front of the building, some more repainting inside, and carpet cleaning, among other things being investigated and quoted.

  • The Fall 2020 semester schedule and calendar has been approved by the Theological School Commitee and posted on the seminary's website. The first semester will begin, D.V. the week of August 24.

  • Seminarian Josiah Tan began his internship this past week (July 1 - Dec.31) in First PRC under Rev. C. Griess. 

  • 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.

  • The Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently 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!

RefdNewsAsia Banner
Check out the latest newsletter from our "sister" in Singapore!

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today (and recently):
    • We thank God that the authority has allowed religious worship to resume, though in a limited way. In compliance to MCCY’s guidelines, Session has divided the congregation into four groups, with approximately 50 worshippers per group, so that each group will be able to come to church for two worship services a month. Session reminds the congregation to follow the safe management measures that are implemented for our worship service. Pray for patience as we wait for the authority to lift more restrictions on public worship so that we come back to church as a whole body of Christ to worship God on Sunday.
    • 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. 
    • The June 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #60 - was published and posted this past week. You may find it on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • She resumed services for the first time since the lockdown in the UK in March. Her bulletin today had this note: We welcome everyone back to the worship services here in our church building.... We are thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe and enabling us to worship together again. May we be blessed under the preaching of the Word.
    • 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. V. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live-streaming on Facebook Live. The saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us today in services via live streaming on Facebook, the Lord willing. We pray for God’s continued care and blessings upon them in this time of crisis. May God strengthen them with His Word!

~ Maranatha PRC:  

 Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both Worship Services live stream via Facebook: Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church, at 9:00 a.m and 11: a.m., Lord willing.

An extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila is up to July 15, 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 both times today. Both the first (https://youtu.be/XS1hQrsS1sw) and the second service (https://youtu.be/dDEZ2d7DKWI) will be live-streamed.

~ 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.

Matthew 28 19 20

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 (for four months).
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown sent this note along with the bulletin this week: Today was our first day back after 14 weeks of listening to/watching the service from home. It was wonderful to be with the saints again and to mingle our voices together in praise to our God! We rejoice with them in the blessing of corporate public worship once again.
    • 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 is leading 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 to 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 and limited functions.
  • 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. This update was in CERC's bulletin today: Do remember the saints in Kolkata in your personal and family prayers. Rev Singh has informed that the family, whose roof was blown away by Amphan cyclone in May, has completed rebuilding their house. We thank God for the quick restoration provided to the family. Pray that God grant patience and faithfulness to the saints as they wait for the authority to lift the lockdown so that worship service can resume. Pray that the Lord bless the labours of Rev Singh as he preaches the Word of God to bring comfort to the saints and to gather the people of God into the fellowship.

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. Rev. Titus continues to minister the Word to his flock through the means of social media and modern technology.

July Standard Bearer preview article
Watch for the July issue of the Standard Bearer - it's the special PRC Synod 2020 issue - plus plenty of other good content!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you interested in the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Would you like to learn more about her? Or, 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!
    • At present Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is delivering the messages and this month he is focusing on the truth of God's covenant of grace. Today's message is titled "Enoch Walks with God" based on Genesis 5:22-24. 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!

 
Yg Calvinists

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The Young Calvinists will be holding a Virtual Young People's Gathering via zoom on August 8 from 11am-5pm. As a small replacement for convention, this will feature a lecture on Heaven by Prof. B. Gritters, mixer games, discussion groups and more! There will also be an indoor and outdoor Singspiration at Fair Haven on Sunday, August 9 at 8pm. Sign up for one or both before July 20 at the following link! https://forms.gle/vhpopvBpDUUYi8bQ8.

  • 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.

  • PRYP Convention News (good news from Georgetown PRC!): 2021 Young People’s Convention: Our Steering Committee has signed a new contract with Lake Williamson Christian Center for next year.  ...We have reserved the second week in August, arriving on Monday August 9 and departing on Friday August 13, 2021.  There will be no other groups at Lake Williamson on the second week and we would have the camp to ourselves (similar to this year). May the Lord preserve our enthusiasm and bless our plans for our Young People’s growth.

  • The latest issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the June 2020 issue here.

  • 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.
Last modified on 06 July 2020

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