Today, September 10, is the thirty-seventh Lord's Day of this year of our Lord 2023. Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news. It is our hope that these reports not only inform you but also give you opportunity to pray for the needs of these churches and mission fields throughout the world.
If you are new to this website and the PRCA, we invite you to join us in worship today or on any of the Sunday's of this year at one of our local congregations near you, or listen online.
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion ...Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. ~ Psalm 114:1,2; 7,8
- Today after the evening service Loveland PRC will vote from her Consistory's new trio: Revs. A. Brummel (Calvary PRC, IA), G. Eriks (Unity PRC, MI), and D. Noorman (Southwest PRC, MI). UPDATE: Rev. Noorman has received this call.
- Last Sunday Cand. M. Koerner accepted the call from Hosanna PRC (Edmonton, AB), declining calls from Randolph (WI) PRC and Zion PRC (Jenison, MI). We rejoice with him and his wife Sharon in God's provision of his first charge, and with the saints in Hosanna in God's provision of an undershepherd to lead them once again. Plans are being made for him to be examined at the upcoming meeting of Classis West in Crete PRC (IL) on Sept.27. Pending approval of that examination, the brother will be ordained and installed in Hosanna.
- Last Sunday Rev. A. Spriensma (Cornerstone PRC-Dyer, IN) declined the call from Georgetown PRC.
- Last Sunday Rev. J. Mahtani (Hope PRC-Walker, MI) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC.
- Hudsonville PRC's Council announces a new trio: Revs. N. Decker (Grandville PRC), Rev. W. Langerak (Trinity PRC), and Rev. D. Noorman (SW PRC). The congregation will choose from the trio next Sunday, September 17 after the evening service.
- Randolph PRC's Council announces a new trio: Revs. M. Kortus (Hope PRC-Redlands), J. Maatman (SE PRC), and R. Smit (foreign missionary). The congregational meeting will be held on September 24, after the morning service.
- UPDATE from Lynden PRC: "The Consistory presents the following trio: Rev. J. Engelsma, Rev. D. Noorman, and Rev. R. Smit. A congregational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 1, after the morning service to call a pastor from that trio."
Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J. Laning in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. B. Huizinga and Rev. G. Eriks in Georgetown PRC; Rev. A. Brummel (1st week) in Hosanna PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. R. Cammenga and Prof. D. Kuiper in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. R. Smit (2nd week) in Loveland PRC; Elder led in Lynden PRC; Rev. S. Key (2nd week) in Randolph PRC; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. J. Smidstra in Zion 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. And may we continue to pray for men to hear the call to serve as pastors and missionaries!
Special Upcoming Congregational Activities: The Deacons at Hudsonville PRC are planning a conference for this coming Saturday morning, September 16 at 8:30 AM. Rev. J. Mahtani will begin with a short speech followed by breakout sessions. The topic of the conference is “Ministry of Mercy in Christ’s Church”. Potential, current, and former deacons are welcome! Please register for this event at bit.ly/Deacon2023.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS
Trinity PRC, host of this week's meeting of Classis East.
Classis East: Classis East will meet for its next regular session this Wednesday, September 13, 8 a.m. at Trinity PRC. A small part of the agenda has been posted on this page, under the Classis East section. Look for the Sept.13 download item (registered users only).
Classis West: Classis West will hold its next regular meeting in Crete PRC (IL) on Wednesday, September 27.
Crete Protestant Reformed Church will be hosting an officebearers' conference on Tuesday afternoon, September 26. The theme of the conference is “Abuse in Our Churches and the Proper Response.” The first speech will be given at 1:00 by Prof. C. Griess on the topic of “The Consistory’s Response to Sexual Abuse.” The second speech will be given at 2:30 by Prof. R. Dykstra on the topic “Repentance and Reconciliation of the Abuser.” Visitors are welcome to attend the speeches.
PRC 100th Anniversary: With gratitude to our faithful God, the PRCA look forward to our 100th anniversary. The celebration is planned for June 23-27, 2025, at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI. The various committees of the 100th anniversary steering commitee are busy preparing for this historic event, including a special commemorative book. Watch for further notices and updates!
Prof. B. Huizinga speaking at the PRC Seminary Convocation this past Wednesday (see note below)
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The PR Theological Seminary will enter its third week of the first semester of the 2023-24 term tomorrow. The schedule and calendar have been posted here. The faculty, students and staff covet your prayers as we enter this new school year.
- Prof. R. Cammenga will lead the chapel on Wednesday this week, while Isaac Van Baren will lead the daily devotions.
- Seminary Convocation was held this past week Wednesday (Sept.6). A full auditorium at Hope PRC (GR) participated in good singing, heard a powerful speech by Prof. B. Huizinga on "The Protestant Reformed Minister Today," as well as beautiful music from the PR Student Orchestra. *UPDATE: The video of the convocation program is now available on the PRTS' YouTube channel.
- Senior Sem. Arend Haveman is doing his internship this summer and fall (July-December) in Pittsburgh PRC under Rev. W. Bruinsma. He is busy with all aspects of the ministry.The junior student this year is Aaron Van Dyke (Faith PRC); the sophomore is Bruce Feenstra (Hope-Redlands, CA; attending Hope PRC-Walker, MI); and the freshmen are Joseph Ophoff (Loveland PRC) and Isaac Van Baren (Hope PRC-Walker, MI). Sem. Ophoff is enrolled in the new special seminary entrance program (SSEP), which initially involves finishing some pre-seminary requirements and beginning some seminary-level courses.
- During the school sessions the seminary is open daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (holidays excepted), 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 - and don't forget the blog!
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Pastors J. Tan and M. Wee are faithfully serving the CERC. "We thank God for this sacrament of baptism [two infant baptisms administered in the morning], the sign that we belong to God’s covenant and family. We thank God for His unconditional covenant of grace, a covenant that is established entirely by God, not dependent on man, such that even helpless infants (children of believers) are made members of His covenant, not because they have chosen God or made a decision for Christ, but because God has chosen us from eternity. Ephesians 1:4: 'According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love'." (Part of today's "pastoral voice" note in her bulletin) And a special note concerning next Sunday: "CERC 36th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – 17th SEPTEMBER 2023 (SUNDAY): A one-hour celebration to commemorate this year’s anniversary will be held at 11.30 a.m. A variety of song items will be presented by our BS groups, children and youths."
- The last issue of Salt Shakers was Issue 69 is on the theme "GST: The Christian's Response." Especially for young people, the magazine contains a variety of articles and is edifying for ALL readers! Visit the link provided here to read and learn.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully in the CPRC.
- The August 2023 issue of Covenant Reformed News has been published as of this past week. Visit the link to read the articles on being clothed with Christ (part 3) and on why baptize all infants of believers by Rev. R. Hanko.
- The CPRC YouTube channel may be found here.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work in various places:
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led worship services today. And, "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, NE. will join us in our worship services today via Livestream at our official Facebook account."
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. D. Kleyn led her worship services today. And, "Rev. D. Kleyn (missionary to the Philippines) accepted the call to Doon PRC as her new pastor. The Kleyns are scheduled to leave the Philippines on Monday (Sept. 18, 2023), D.V." The plan is for him to be installed as Doon's pastor on Oct.15.
- Report of the Classis meeting of August 28: "The Classis of the PRCP met this past Monday here in Provident PRC. As part of its work, the Classis treated and approved our Council’s request for pulpit supply for Provident from the PRCP, the PRCA, and the CERC in Singapore. Classis also approved and forwarded to the Contact Committee of the PRCA our Council’s request for a minister on loan from the PRCA. Some other significant work of Classis included receiving updates concerning the work that C1 of our Classis is now involved with in Southern Negros Occidental, receiving reports from the stated clerk and the treasurer, receiving a report from the PRCA missionaries, and electing members for the standing committees (C1 and C2) of the Classis. The next Classis meeting is scheduled for Monday February 26, 2024, the Lord willing."
REFORMED RESOURCES for EDUCATION, EDIFICATION, and EVANGELISM
- This month (September 2023) the RWH continues the series on the return of Jesus Christ by Rev. W. Bruinsma. Today's message is titled "The Man of Sin Revealed" based on 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. For the August RWH Newsletter, visit this page.
From the RFPA:
- 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 now operating in its new store in downtown Hudsonville! The new location is at 3472 Harvey St. in Hudsonville. Visit the store and browse the variety of resources for your Reformed-Christian faith and walk, including many children's titles. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, and Saturday 10-1.
- Special RBO Notice! The Reformed Book Outlet is having a back to school sale! Bibles, Bible covers, and most books will all be 25% off, and we have plenty of Psalters in stock as well. Come visit us in store August 22 - September 16 or use code BACKTOSCHOOL on our website at checkout for 25% off the participating items.
- 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.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
The Importance of Catechism Instruction in and by the Church
"The same thing may be said of the origin of catechisation which is said of the whole economy or service of the church, that it was instituted by God himself, and has always been practiced in the church. For, since from the very beginning of the world God has been the God, not only of those of adult age, but also of those of young and tender years, according to the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying, " I will be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee; " ( Gen. 17 . 7.) he has also ordained that both classes should be instructed in the doctrine of salvation according to their capacity; the adults by the public voice of the ministry, and the children by being catechised in the family and school. As it respects the institution designed for the instruction of adults, the case is clear and admits of no doubt.
"...In the New Testament we are, told that Christ laid his hands upon little children and blessed them, and commanded that they should be brought unto him. Hence he says, in Mark 10 . 14, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." That the catechisation of children was diligently attended to in the times of the apostles, is evident from the example of Timothy, of whom it is said that he knew the holy Scriptures from infancy; and from what is said in the epistle to the Hebrews, where mention is made of some of the principal heads included in the catechism of the apostles, such as repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptism, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection from the dead, and of eternal judgment which the apostle terms milk for babes. These and similar points of doctrine were required from the Catechumens of adult age at the time of their baptism, and of children at the time of their confirmation by the laying on of hands. Hence, the apostle calls them the doctrine of baptism and laying on of hands." (Zacharius Ursinus, one of the author's of the Heidelberg Catechism, in "What Is Catechism?"
"We thank our covenant God Who gives us the blessing of starting another year of catechism. This instruction is the official work of the church and is really simplified preaching for the youth of the congregation. This separates catechism from Sunday school or the good Christian school or instruction in the home. God uses all biblical instruction, but catechism is a means of grace to our covenant youth. It goes without saying then that faithful attendance and diligent efforts are crucially important for their spiritual wellbeing. May God be pleased to use this instruction to
build up our youth in the truth and strengthen their faith in Jesus." (Byron Center PRC's bulletin today)