The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, September 27, 2020, the thirty-ninth Lord's Day of this year.
- Rev. M. Vanderwal (Wingham ON PRC) has accepted the call to First PRC, Edmonton, AB (August 16). He preached his farewell in Wingham PRC today.
From First PRC's-Edmonton's bulletin today we find these details about the VanderWal's move this week: Rev. VanderWal will be preaching his farewell sermon tomorrow in Wingham and then traveling, with his wife, Tricia, and their two children, Cameron and Olivia, to Edmonton this coming week. Chris and Jon Miersma are flying out there this week and will be driving the VanderWal’s U-Haul to Edmonton. Rev. VanderWal will then be installed, as our pastor, next Sunday morning, October 4. May they all have safe traveling mercies as they make their way to Alberta this week. All this, the Lord willing.
- Last Sunday (Sept.20) Hudsonville PRC extended a call to Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA). May the Lord guide him into the certain knowledge of His will concerning this new call.
- Rev. R. Kleyn is considering the call from Kalamazoo PRC (received Sept.6). He plans to answer by Oct.4. May the King of the church guide him as he considers this call.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. A.Spriensma in Cornerstone PRC; Rev. T.Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton; Prof. R. Dykstra and Rev. W. Langerak in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. K.Koole and Rev. J.Maatman in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. C.Spronk in Providence PRC. What a blessing that our PRC federation gives such help to these churches! May we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations.
- The Consistory of Wingham PRC (ON) has formed its first trio following their pastor's acceptance of the call to First PRC Edmonton, AB. It consists of Revs. C. Spronk (Faith PRC), R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), and J. Engelsma (Doon PRC). A congregation meeting is scheduled for Monday September 28 to vote from this trio.
*Update: Rev. C. Spronk has received this call.
- Let us not forget to pray for the needs of Rev. J. Marcus, who awaits a call to the churches, of Rev. M. McGeown, who awaits permission to enter the States to be installed in Providence PRC, and of Covenant ERC, our sister church in Singapore, as she awaits both pulpit supply from the PRC and a call for minister-on-loan through Grandville PRC - both on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found.
- Did you know that:
- At the meeting of Classis West this past week a pulpit supply schedule was not needed? The reason? With Rev. M. VanderWal's installation in First PRC-Edmonton next Sunday, D.V., there will be no vacancies in the West for the first time in many years. We thank the Lord for supplying pastors for all these congregations. Now, how many vacancies are there in Classis East?
- Prof. R.Dykstra has begun to lead 'live' (stream) morning services for our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC? From the PRC Seminary assembly room in Wyoming, MI on Saturday night he leads the service and preaches the Word via Zoom, while the saints in Singapore gather at her place of worship on Sunday morning (the 12-hour difference in time allows for this to happen)! That also means that Prof. Dykstra is able to lead two morning services in two different countries (perhaps a first in PRC history!), since he also has been supplying the Catechism preaching for Kalamazoo PRC in the morning. What a blessing! Here's why that was special for our Singaporean sister today: This morning, we thank God that we can witness the installation and ordination of three brothers into the offices of elders and deacons, despite a delay of about 3 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. ...We rejoice in the Lord for providing men to serve in Session. The installation and ordination of special offices speak of Christ’s faithfulness and care for His church. This is a significant event of CERC and also an unprecedented one! Prof Dykstra will conduct the installation and ordination of the new office-bearers, through live-stream from the U.S.
- Mrs. Sharon Kleyn has a new post on her blog about (missionary/church) life in the Philippines under the present quarantine? The post has bugs, flowers - and people (see one below in the sister-church section)! Read all about it here.
Delegates to this past week's meeting of Classis West in Edgerton (MN) PRC
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- Classis West plans met this past Wednesday (Sept.23) in Edgerton (MN) PRC. For a report on its proceedings, visit this page.
- The 2020 PRC Acts of Synod is now available and is in process of being distributed to the congregations. If you have not yet received yours, seek out your congregation's clerk, the stated clerk (Rev. R. Van Overloop), or contact the seminary.
- 2020 edition of the Church Order: The 2020 edition of the ring-bound Church Order book is now available and may be ordered through the PRC Seminary (616-531-1490). As per synodical decision, these books are updated every five years to incorporate new synodical decisions affecting them. In addition to the Church Order, this book also contains such things as the Constitutions of all synodical committees, the Rules of Synodical Procedure, the Explanation of the Rules for Protests/Appeals/Overtures and the denomination's Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. All these are of most practical use to the office bearers. But, all of our families would do well to cultivate a knowledge of and interest in Protestant Reformed church polity. If you already have the six-ring green binder, you need only order the new inserts ($4.00). The inserts with the binder with the 2020 edition is $10.00. Payment can be made to the PRCA after you receive your materials.
Special PRC Seminary Notices:
- Seminary has now completed five weeks of its first semester - one third already! Pray for the professors, students, and staff as they labor in the task of training men for the ministry of the Word.
- Due to the current restrictions on indoor gatherings in the state of Michigan, the Theological School Committee has cancelled the 2020 Seminary Convocation (usually held in early September). The plan is to have a news report in the October 1 Standard Bearer, including an introduction to the students. Watch for that coming soon (this week)!
- For several years, the seminary faculty have permitted auditors to audit some classes. The presence and input of the auditors has been appreciated. With regret, because of COVID restrictions, the faculty is not inviting any auditors this semester. This decision will be reviewed at the end of the semester with a view to Interim 2021 and the second semester.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
Missionary-pastor D. Kleyn preparing to livestream a sermon from his home in Antipolo City, the Philippines (still under quaratine)
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: This past Thursday, our government has announced to ease the restrictions on religious activities to allow religious organization to host up to 100 people for services. Session is currently waiting for the new guidelines from MCCY and will be updating and publishing a new worship roster. As the psalmist testified that the Almighty God, the Creator of the heaven and earth, will bless His people, our hearts ought to fill with joy and eagerness when we will soon be able come more frequently to worship God and receive His blessings.
- And in her India mission news, the CERC includes this note today: Do remember our fellow brethren in Kolkata in your personal and family prayers. ...Pray that God will uphold other saints, in Kolkata, who may suffer from hardships from the pandemic. Pray that God will provide the means for Rev Singh to reach out to these saints to ascertain their needs so that our deacons can send the necessary diaconate assistance to them. As the saints gather to worship in Rev Singh’s home on the Lord’s Day, pray that God will use the preaching of the word of God, by Rev Singh, to comfort and bring encouragement to our brethren in Kolkata.
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is the August 2020 one, #61). Read that issue here.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. R. Hanko brought the Word there today.
- Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to preach the gospel in Limerick, Ireland until he can enter the U.S. and be installed as Providence PRC's pastor.
- Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - September 2020 - just out!
- PRC in the Philippines:
- With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic, the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies (cf. the photo of Rev. D.Kleyn above).
- PRCP Seminary News: Our PRCP seminary students will be having their mid-term examinations in this week. Then, October 5-9 is “Reading Break” for our students and instructors. Please remember them in your prayers before our heavenly Father for His blessings upon them in their seminary labours this week.
- The latest PRCP newsletter was published last month - don't forget to read the August 2020 report!
- Are we continuing to pray for our dear brothers and sisters throughout the world as they also face trials and tribulations? May we also show the communion of saints in this way.
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
- Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is currently delivering the messages, and this month he is finishing his messages on the truth of God's covenant of grace. Today's concluding message is titled "The Covenant Life of God's Children" based on Hebrews 13:20,21
- Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:
Looking for things to read on the Reformed doctrine of assurance? Check out this resource, The Gift of Assurance by Prof. D. Engelsma
- Are you desirous to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation:
What was the cost? What was the price for our redemption? How was it paid and to whom was it paid? We read in our text, “in whom we have redemption through his blood” That “in whom” refers to Christ. In eternity Christ was declared the Head of His people, to be the Head of the church. In the fullness of time, Christ came into our flesh to shed His lifeblood on the accursed tree. And therefore we have redemption. It means that we are freed from the guilt and the power of sin. And that freedom is through His blood. This phrase means the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the shedding of His blood. He gave up His life willingly. He gave up His life in the love of God. He gave up His life as the Person of the Son of God in human nature. This is the forgiveness of sins.
Could not we be forgiven in some other way? The answer is, “absolutely not.” For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus paid the penalty for our sins to the righteous and just God. The sinner must die. But Jesus died that death for us. Not only that, but He procured the perfect obedience that is demanded of us. This is the only way of salvation! We are sinners. Because it was the person of the Son of God that shed His lifeblood willingly, and in love to God, and in perfect obedience, we are forgiven and much more! We will be united with Him. And we will have eternal life and glory. This is all of God’s rich grace. How you and I should sing God’s praises each and every day in gratitude.
From this past week's special meditation by Rev. A. Spriensma, PRC home missionary - Redemption by Christ's Blood (Eph.1:7)