The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, November 8, 2020, the forty-fifth Lord's Day of this year.
- Last Sunday (Nov.1) Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) extended a call to Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary). We pray that the Lord will show him plainly what His will is.
- The Council of Hudsonville PRC has announced a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. W.Bruinsma, R.Kleyn, and C.Spronk. The congregational will vote this Thursday Nov.12 at a special meeting.
- The Consistory of Wingham PRC has formed a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Revs. J.Engelsma, J.Laning, and N.Langerak. The special congregational meeting is planned for Wednesday Nov.25.
- This past Thursday, Nov.5, it pleased the Lord to take home to glory Mrs. Fran Woudenberg, wife of Rev. Bernie Woudenberg, one of our emeritus ministers. Georgetown PRC (where her membership was) had this notice in today's bulletin: We express our sympathies today to our brother, Rev. Bernie Woudenberg in the death of his beloved wife, Mrs. Fran Woudenberg. Fran had struggled with pneumonia caused by Covid-19 this past week and was received into glory this past Thursday evening. Members of the hospital staff were with her in her last moments and prayed with her as the Lord received her soul to be with Him. We remember Rev. Woudenberg and his family in our prayers that God of all comfort and Father of all mercies may sooth their sorrows and fill their hearts with the comfort that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
May we remember in prayer and with words of comfort all those who have lost loved ones during these difficult pandemic months.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Slopsema in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Marcus in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. R.Dykstra and Rev. W.Langerak in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. N.Decker in Providence PRC. Let us not take for granted this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need. And may we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel 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. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Did you know that:
- Loveland PRC (CO) is holding her Reformation Day lecture this week? It had been scheduled a few weeks back but the speaker became ill (not COVID!) and the event was postponed until this week. Here's the notice in Loveland's bulletin today: The annual lecture has been rescheduled for this Friday, November 13th at 7:00p.m. Prof.B. Huizenga will speak on the topic "Of God, Through God, and to God: Our Covenant Doctrine as Protestant Reformed Churches."
- While many events have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic (We read today about the cancellation of the PRYP's annual Thanksgiving Mass Meeting), other events go on, such as this Thanksgiving Singspiration in Lynden PRC: The Congregation is invited to a Thanksgiving Singspiration on Sunday, November 22, after the evening service. A collection will be taken for the Western Young People’s Retreat and Young People’s Convention. Refreshments and a time of fellowship will follow. Make plans to join us in thanksgiving and praise to our great God! God is teaching us all to be content in whatsoever state we are in (Phil.4:11). May we give Him thanks this year in all the ways we can, whether together or apart!
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- 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.
- If you are also interested in Prof. H. Hanko's "Notes on the Church Order" or his "The Believer's Manual for the Church Order," you may find these online on this site (follow the links) or order them in syllabus form from the PRC seminary.
Special PRC Seminary Notices:
- Seminary has now completed ten and a half weeks of its first semester (the other "half" week will be during Thanksgiving week). Continue to remember the seminary in prayer as we enter the final third of the semester.
- *Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches. Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore. We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel. Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty. This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry. Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38. For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
- The second round of practice preaching is scheduled for Nov.16 and 23. Pray for the students as they prepare for this vital part of their training.
- The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
There's a new issue available! Find out about it below.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: The current pandemic is likened to the ‘wilderness’ that we are now coping and struggling with. We have many restrictions and even threats to our lives! Do we in the midst of this pandemic, like King David, thirst, long for, follow hard after God, desiring to be found in His House to worship Him? Now, God has now given us the opportunities to worship in the Sanctuary with the fellow saints of God, albeit with restrictions of ‘no singing, no mingling etc.’ Do we seize these opportunities to worship despite the restrictions or do we rather remain in the ‘Wilderness’, just attending the online services?
- And concerning her missionary (Rev. E. Singh) and his work in Kolkata, India, the CERC bulletin last week had this note: May we continue to pray for our brethren in Kolkata in the midst of the coronavirus situation over the land. May God keep them faithful and supply their daily needs and a church premise for their worship.
- This week the October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was published (#62). Read that issue here.
- A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints assembled in Ballymena.
- Missionary-pastor M. McGeown reports that Ireland is once again under lockdown and online services only will be held for the near future. Because of the Level 5 lockdown in the Republic of Ireland, Rev McGeown's immigration appointment scheduled for November 6 has been cancelled. The US Consulate advised the McGeown’s that they will not be offering routine appointments during the lockdown. The next available appointment is in March, 2021. We remember the McGeown’s, the remaining saints of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, as well as Providence Protestant Reformed Church as they await the arrival of their next pastor.
- Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - October 2020 - just out this week!
- PRC in the Philippines:
- With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through November 30), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies. There are still record [number] of persons added under the Quarantine facilities and hospitals and also died of COVID-19. Our concern is to wait for a little while before we go to our normal corporate gathering, Lord willing. (Maranatha PRC bulletin today). Pray for them and the saints there as they continue to live and labor under these tight restrictions.
- PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
- The PRCP Classis met on October 31 at the Provident PRC Marikina City - via Zoom! The Classis is in recess and plans to resume on Nov.30, D.V.
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
- Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.-Jan 2021). Today he continues a series on 1 Corinthians with a message titled "The Spiritual Man Versus the Natural" based on 1 Corinthians 2:14.
- 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. Have you listened lately?
Special notices for November:
The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning last month (Oct.) we have added a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI). The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.
The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning last month (Oct.) we have added a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:
Are you a subscriber to the Standard Bearer? The latest issue (Nov.1, 2020) is a special issue on the French Reformation! Want to learn about that aspect of God's work in His church at that time? For more information, visit the link provided here.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including Reformation titles!, visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- Are you seeking 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:
But now in Christ Jesus, those who were afar off have been drawn near in the blood of Christ! “Drawn near” does not mean that they were almost in the covenant. Rather, they now had fellowship and belonged to the covenant of God and the covenants of the promise. How? It is only in the blood of Christ Jesus. Paul was talking about being brought near to God as a result of Christ’s atonement. Without the blood of Christ there is no possibility of being near to God.
What a difference there is in our past and now the present! Paul indicates a change in the situation as a result of God’s intervention. No longer cut off from Christ but as believers, we are now united to Christ. Yes, as the Apostle Paul wrote in vs. 4,5: “But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Now we are “of God’s household…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone” (vs. 19-20).
The apostle used the word “remember” twice in this section. We too must remember. If we forget how God drew us near to Him, we can become insensitive to God’s great grace to us. We also become insensitive to those who are lost in sin around us. We then become insensitive to God’s ability to bring others to Himself as he did with us. Remember “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” With whom are you going to share what the Lord has done for you?
From Rev. A. Spriensma's meditation on Ephesians 2:11-13 this past week, Once Far Away, Now Brought Near!