Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this twenty-eighth Sunday of our Lord's year 2022, July 17.
Because our Lord Jesus Christ is risen from the dead on the third day - as He promised - and because He is returning in glory for our everlasting worship - as He has also 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 in His Son and by His Spirit. We cordially invite you to join us in worship on this day and on any Sunday.
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. ~ Psalm 61:1-4
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.
- Today Rev. E. Guichelaar preaches his farewell in Randolph PRC (WI). He and his family plan to move to Grand Rapids, MI this week, where he will be installed in Grace PRC on July 31, D.V. We commit him and his family to the Lord as they part Randolph and transition to Grace.
- Rev. N. Decker is considering the call to Hudsonville PRC (received June 26). He plans to answer on July 24.
- Last Sunday Rev. R. Smit (missionary to the Philippines) received the call from Hosanna PRC (Edmonton).
- Last Sunday Rev. N. Decker (Grandville PRC) received the call from Doon PRC.
- Randolph PRC's Council has formed a new trio from which to call a new pastor: Revs. J. Holstege (Zion PRC - Jenison, MI), J. Smidstra (First-Holland PRC), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC - Jenison, MI). The congregation will call July 24 after the morning service, D.V.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. S. Key (1st week) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. T. Miersma in Hosanna PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. N. Decker in Grace PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. J. Holstege in Hudsonville 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 Evangelism notices:
- Byron Center PRC: "The community Bible study meets for discussion of John 17:1 and following this week Thursday. Please join us July 21 at 7:30 PM at church."
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS
The 2022 Young People's Convention is coming up soon - August 1-5! Be sure to visit the website ( https:// prcconvention.com/ ) for details on the camp, what to pack, activities and tournaments, transportation, and the convention schedule. Follow the PRC Convention accounts on Facebook/Instagram for updates as well. The annual Pre-Convention Singspiration will be held at Fair Haven Church on Sunday, July 31, at 8:15 p.m. Please note that there will be no printed song sheets. Fair Haven will project the lyrics, but you are welcome to bring your own Psalter if you would like
Seminary History Class: Prof. D. Kuiper’s PRCA history class will meet again this Wednesday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., at Southwest PRC. This week we will cover the developments in the denomination from 1925-1929. Recordings of past classes are available on the seminary’s YouTube channel. A pdf of handouts is available from Prof. Kuiper by request.
Synod 2022: Synod met last month at Zion PRC (Jenison, MI). The annual Acts of Synod and the Yearbook for 2022 are being prepared. For daily reports and photos of this year's synod, visit this webpage.
- Philippines mission:
- Rev. R. Smit and his family are currently in the U.S. for their furlough. They are currently in the west Michigan area, with plans to return on July 28, D.V. May the Lord bless and be near them during their time in North America.
- "Rev. D. Kleyn and Sis. Sharon are currently in the U.S. for a six week furlough. They plan to return on August 22, the Lord willing. May the Lord bless and be near them during their time in North America." (Provident PRCP bulletin)
- Sem. Arend Haveman returned home safely this past Tuesday from his missions trip to the Philippines (June 23-July 11). He assisted Rev. D. Kleyn in various aspects of the work there and spoke a word of edification in the churches.
- India missions (Vellore). In Georgetown PRC's bulletin today:
"Update from our fellow saints of the PRCV of India: Covid cases are on the rise in Tamil Nadu and masks are mandatory in some cities. The Wednesday night Bible studies of the English speaking members are a “blessed time” A Tuesday Bible study is held in Tamil church member’s homes. The children of the PRCV have returned to school. On Friday a Youth Meeting was held on the Eden Campus. The government of India is becoming more hostile to the spread of the gospel, and our prayers are requested. The PRCV remain thankful for our continued support and encouragement and send their greetings and love."
Another good crowd of people came to Prof. D. Kuiper's PRC history class this past Wednesday at Southwest PRC. The third class will be held this Wednesday (see note below)
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary is now in its summer break. Continue to pray for the faculty, students, and staff as they stay busy with other labors and activities - from fall class preparation to weekly preaching assignments, from synod work to mission trips to Mexico, and from library/archives work to building maintenance projects.
- In the week Prof. B. Huizinga and his family travelled to Northern Ireland to participate in the BRF family conference this week, where he also spoke and preached.
- Prof. D. Kuiper is currently teaching a class on the history of the PRCA from 1924-1949. The class will meet again this Wednesday, July 20, 7:30 p.m., at Southwest PRC. This week he will cover the developments in the denomination from 1925-1929. Recordings of past classes are available on the seminary’s YouTube channel. A pdf of handouts is available from Prof. Kuiper by request.
- Recent graduate Marcus Wee, along with his wife and three sons, returned to Singapore this past week. We pray for them as they wait on the Lord's will back in their home church. This month Sem. M. Koerner has begun his internship in Hope PRC-Grand Rapids (now that Rev. Guichalaar has accepted the call to Randolph PRC). Sem. A. Haveman has plenty of preaching assignments this summer (after being licensed at the semester), in addition to mission trips to the Philippines (June 23-July 11) and to Mexico (August).
- The spring 2022 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printers (a paper shortage is holding it up), but the digital editions are on the seminary's website. This issue features the speeches from the seminary's fall 2021 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.
Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland, location of this past week's BRF conference (see news below)
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Pastor J. Tan is faithfully serving the CERC each week as her pastor. Her bulletin this week included these thoughts on the congregation's calling to comfort one another: "The comfort that we bring to each other as the family of Jesus Christ is and must be antithetical. The unbelieving world brings to each other half-truths spoken in half-heartedness. All the world’s philosophies and wisdom cannot bring one ounce of true comfort to the child of God. All the unbelieving world’s comfort to each other is void of true love. The true love of Jesus Christ. The love from one who has experienced the tender love of the heavenly Father."
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- The June 2022 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" has been released. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.
- This past week the 2022 British Reformed Fellowship family conference (July 9-16) was held. Attendees came from various parts of the world, including several PRC members from the U.S. It was held at Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland. The speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Prof. Brian Huizinga, lectured on "Union With Christ." For information see the website - http://brfconference.weebly.com.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led her services today. "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF) will join us in our worship services today via Zoom video call."
- Provident PRC bulletin: "Rev. D. Kleyn and Sis. Sharon are currently in the U.S. for a six week furlough. They plan to return on August 22, the Lord willing. May the Lord bless and be near them during their time in North America."
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!
- This month Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC - Hudsonville, MI) will be speaking for the RWH. The focus will be a series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 13:4-14 and titled "Why is the House of God Forsaken?"
Did you know that you can read speeches delivered at past British Reformed Conferences? Check out this booklet of past speeches from the 2008 BRF Conference.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
"The Scriptures teach us that God is absolutely sovereign. As the Almighty God, He rules the world. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Most High God. To Him belongs all power and all authority to do what He pleases in heaven above and in the earth beneath. This world and all that is within it is His world. Every creature is bound by His sovereign will and power. This King David recognized when he blessed the Lord with the words, "Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all." (I Chronicles 29:11).
"Indeed the Lord is "head above all." There is no creature, whether it be beast, man, or angel, that can frustrate God's sovereign rule. Nebuchadnezzar was absolutely right when he confessed, "I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:34-35). There is no one who can ever stay the hand of God from doing what He wants; not among the army of heaven and not among the inhabitants of the earth. Though many raise the fist in defiance of God, though they despise His statutes and commandments, and though they rebel against Him with all the wickedness of their hearts; yet in it all God reigns supreme. "For the kingdom is the Lord's and he is the governor among the nations." (Ps. 22:28).
"How could it be any other way? For if God is GOD, then He must be sovereign over all. If He is all-powerful, then there can be no one else with power in himself to ever frustrate God's power and dominion. He is God and He alone is God. Thus Moses instructed the people of Israel, "the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else" (Deut. 4:39). For we are all "reputed as nothing." "All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity." (Isa. 40:17). We are so insignificant in comparison to the Infinite God that we are nothing. We are less than nothing.
"Surely then we may not ever say to God, "What doest thou?" Surely we may not question anything He says or does. He is the Sovereign God and we are His finite creatures. He is the Potter and we are the clay. Thus we read, "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" (Isa. 45:9). God has the right to do with us whatever He pleases and we may never complain or question. We must bow before Him in humble submission always. "For thus saith thehigh and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isa. 57:15).
~ Rev. Steven Houck in God's Sovereignty in Salvation (one of this month's featured resources)