Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this eighteenth Sunday of our Lord's year 2022, May 8.
Because our Lord is risen from the dead on the third day, as He promised, today, on this first day of the week, we gather in worship as members of our living Savior's church. With gratitude and gladness we bring our praise to our triune God for fully accomplishing our salvation through His Son. We cordially invite you to join us in worship on this day and on any Sunday.
Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints. ~ Psalm 52:7-9
If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- Last Sunday (May 1) Prof. B. Gritters (PRC Seminary) declined the call to Grace PRC. Her Council has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. N. Decker (Grandville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and W. Langerak (Trinity PRC).
- Last Sunday Rev. J. Marcus accepted the call from Peace PRC. Over the next few weeks they plan to move their possessions there and then be installed in early June. May the Lord prosper these plans and prepare them for ministry in this congregation.
- Rev. J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland) is considering the call to Doon PRC (received April 24).
- Rev. S. Regnerus (Lynden, WA) is considering the call to First PRC-Edmonton (received April 17).
- The Council of Hudsonville PRC's new 'trio' is now a duo (Rev. J. Marcus took the call from Peace PRC) - Revs. D. Noorman (SW PRC) and J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland). The congregational meeting is planned for this Wednesday, May 11.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. K. Koole (1st Sunday) in Doon (IA) PRC; No supply in First PRC, Edmonton, AB (video sermon and livestream today); Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. N. Decker in Grace PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. W. Langerak in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. J. Marcus in Peace PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations.
- Special PRC Evangelism/missions notices:
- Georgetown PRC: India Update: "The PRC of Vellore, India expresses their thanks to God for the love, care, and support for the India Mission through GPRC. The FCRA license (permission to receive foreign funds for the GFH) was renewed by the India Gov’t for 5 years! This is an answer to prayer and cause of thanksgiving to God. The congregation enjoyed their Easter services with visitors and family members. Weekly Bible studies in the book of Romans continue."
- Pittsburgh (PA) PRC: Her spring lecture will be held this Friday, May 13 at 7 PM. Rev. J. Marcus will speak on the subject "Redeeming the Time." "Invite a friend or family member. Refreshments will follow."
- Wingham (ON) PRC: "The Consistory has decided to start an evangelism committee for the purpose of organizing and facilitating our outreach as a church to our local community. The committee is subject to our consistory and intended to be a servant of the congregation to help us be faithful witnesses of our Lord. The consistory has appointed Rev. Holstege, Jason and Julie Dickert, and Nolan and Derica Crich as the first members. May the Lord bless this endeavor for his glory."
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS
- Classis East will meet this Wednesday, May 11, hosted by First PRC-Holland, MI and *held at Redeemer Christian School, 7250 Ransom St., Zeeland, MI.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary completed its final classes of the second semester this past Friday, and now this week final exams will be taken (May 9-13). Continue to pray for the faculty, students, and staff that they may press on in faithfulness.
- Aaron Van Dyke led in devotions this past week; Rev. J. Maatman led the final chapel of the semester last Wednesday.
- The seminary's final Friday lunch of the semester was a "farewell" celebration for Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol (see photo above, which included Mr. Arnold Dykstra, his father, as well as other seminary family guests and friends). After 26 years of faithful service to the PRC Seminary, he has now officially retired from his active duties of teaching. We thank the Lord for His goodness in giving us Prof. Dykstra and his gifts of teaching and leadership over these years, and pray that His rich blessing be on him and Carol as they continue to serve the Lord in the ministry at Byron Center PRC, where he now serves as pastor.
- With joy the faculty announces that it has licensed student Arend Haveman to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. All scheduling of Mr. Haveman must be done through the seminary, either by sending a request to the seminary secretary, Miss Sharon Kleyn, or the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga.
- The printed edition of the Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal was mailed out in March. The digital editions (pdf and ePub) are also available on the seminary's website. Work is being finalized on the Spring 2022 issue, which will feature the speeches from the seminary's fall conference on preaching, plus numerous book reviews. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital) or wish to pick up a copy, contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- The seminary is open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., including the library and bookstore. PRC members and friends are welcome to visit and make use of these resources.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Pastor J. Tan is faithfully serving the CERC each week as her pastor. Their bulletin this week included this note from the Foreign Mission Committee re her work in Kolkata, India: "FMC would like to inform you that our recent regular letter to the saints in Kolkata Fellowship has been put up on the noticeboard, located at the MPH, for your reading. In the country where about 90% of the population believes in Hinduism, the letter serves to encourage the saints in living out the Christian Faith in the midst of spiritual darkness and always to look to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, for strength to bear all circumstances of their lives. Keep our fellow brothers and sisters in Kolkata in your prayers." May we in the PRC remember to do so also.
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" was published in December 2021 - #65. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- A March newsletter has been released by the CPRC. Visit this page to read it and catch up on all the exciting news out of Ballymena!
- Sign up for the 2022 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland from Saturday, July 9, to Saturday, July 16. The speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Prof. Brian Huizinga will lecture on "Union With Christ." For information see the website (http://brfconference.weebly.com).
- The April 2022 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" was published at the end of the month. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- A new Philippines mission newsletter has just been published in April. Read the news from the Far East here.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led the worship services today. "A live stream of our worship services will be available at the official Berean PRC Facebook page. FYI, starting June 05, 2022, we will no longer have live streaming of our worship services." In addition: "Elder Alann Penaverde and deacon Rudy San Juan are scheduled to visit the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today, the Lord willing."
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R. Smit preached and lead her worship services today. "Rev. D. Kleyn is scheduled to visit the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, Bulacan today, the Lord willing, in order to preach and teach there."
- The PRCP Seminary is also coming to the end of its second semester.
- This month Rev. R. Kleyn (First PRC-Grand Rapids, MI) continues speaking for the RWH. The focus will be a series on the life of Joseph. Today's message is based on Genesis 42:1-25 and titled "The Path to Reconciliation."
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
What should the church and believers teach and practice with regard to marriage and divorce according to the Word of God? Read this resource to receive an answer explaining what the PRC believes and practices.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is temporarily closed while it moves into a new building that is being renovated. See the following note for details.
- Are you interested in learning 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.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- The PR Sunday School Association also publishes complete OT and NT Bible Story Lessons for young children and older children. Visit this page to learn more.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
"If repentance is “a change of mind,” how exactly do we classify it theologically? Confusion in the church world forces us to face that question. Is it something we do, is it something God does, is it a gift to us, is it an activity of man, is it part of our salvation? These questions are asked today.
"First, repentance is the gift of God. In Acts 5:31 we read about Jesus, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” In Acts 11:18 we read that God “also to the Gentiles hath granted repentance unto life.” In 2 Timothy 2:25 Paul writes, “if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Repentance leads to an acknowledgment of the truth and it is God’s gift to give or to withhold: he gives it to the elect and he withholds it from the reprobate. Left to ourselves we would never—and we could never—repent. By nature we are so in love with our sins that we could never have a change of mind concerning them. By nature we are in utter, miserable bondage to sin—sin’s servants or slaves. But when God works in us by his grace and Spirit, then we have a change of mind (metanoia), or we repent; then we sorrow over our sins and turn from them. “God, who as he has chosen his own from eternity in Christ, so he confers upon them faith and repentance” (Canons 3-4.10).
"Second, repentance is the activity of the sinner: God works in us, so that we repent. Obviously, or it should be obvious, God does not repent for us, in us, through us, or instead of us. We sin, and we repent—we have a change of mind. God does not change his mind: he is unchangeably opposed to all sin. Mark 6:12: “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” Luke 5:31-32: “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Acts 26:19-20: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Canons 3-4:12 summarizes this teaching of Scripture: “Man is himself rightly said to believe and repent by virtue of that grace received.”
~ Rev. M. McGeown in a recent blog post, "Preaching Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins (2): Classifying Repentance"