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Philippines Mission Newsletter - January 2019

PROTESTANT REFORMED FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
JANUARY 2019 NEWSLETTER

3 missionaries Oct 2017

Rev. Daniel Kleyn, Rev. Richard J. Smit, Rev. Daniel Holstege

Dear Congregations of the PRCA,

With the Kleyns on furlough for a few months, the Holsteges have taken on mailbox duty. This involves a weekly trip into town through exciting traffic, and then finding a parking spot at the busy mall where the post office is located. Out of the very dusty room and seeming confusion of mailbags and boxes, somehow the clerks usually hand the Holsteges some mail. Recently, the Holsteges dropped off a bag of mail from The Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights for distribution in the area churches and mission contacts, and a bundle of personal mail from many families throughout the churches. Mr. and Mrs. Mark Van Voorthhuysen visited last month and also brought a significant amount of encouraging letters and family photos from our Hope congregation in Redlands.

The congregation of Peace PRC also collected and sent a package of letters to our missionary families. My wife and I and children have enjoyed reading through the mail and looking at all of the pictures of our fellow saints, some familiar and some new to us. We appreciate your thoughtfulness in this gesture, your expressions of encouragement in the many letters, and your continued prayers for our families here in Antipolo and the families and churches of the PRCP.

In return, here is some news from the last few months.

Family Life

My family had an enjoyable three-week break in December and into early January. This gave us time to visit with our oldest three children (John, Rebekah, and Jay) and Grandma Dykstra who visited from Hudsonville. We scheduled some outings together, including a historical tour of Corregidor Island in the mouth of Manila Bay. This is one of many WWII sites of historical interest that are scattered throughout the region. It’s one of our favorites.

Our children returned back to school for their second semester on January 8, and the semester is scheduled to end on May 31. Irene, our senior, will be graduating from Faith Academy this year.

We attend church at the Berean PRC, Marantha PRC, PRC in Bulacan (Muzon), and Provident Christian Church (Reformed) usually depending on where I am scheduled to provide pulpit supply. From January to June, our schedule has us in Maranatha PRC twice a month, in Berean PRC once a month, and Provident CC (Reformed) once a month. We are thankful for the communion of the saints with the PRCP brethren of like precious faith, and the opportunity to worship Jehovah with them from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day.

Our middle school boys, Seth and Carl, are looking forward to their “Outdoor Education” week at school. Their classes with chaperones, teachers, and support staff will be visiting the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island from Monday to Friday, February 11 to 14. The main part of this trip is to learn some history (Filipino and World War II), geography (hiking), biology (releasing baby turtles), campfire cooking, hammock camping, some skill training in jungle survival, as well as interact with some Filipino schools in that area. We expect the boys to return home thoroughly exhausted, but smiling.

The children are also planning for their March break which is scheduled for March 18-25. I plan to take some of the older ones with me when I travel to Sipalay, Negros Occidental, in March for the pastors’ classes in Sipalay. By coming along, the children learn firsthand what I and Rev. Kleyn are doing down south, and they also get to meet the pastors and elders there. On average over the last several years, attendance at the pastors’ classes continues at 12 men per month.

PRCP Theological School

On October 31, 2018, the Classis of the PRCP approved the recommendation of the PRCP-Theologial School Committee (Rev. Ibe, Elder Lito Trias, and Bro. Sonny Umali) that seminary instruction begin in August 2019 if potential students have finished their entrance requirements. If none are ready by August 2019, then it is expected that instruction will begin in August 2020. The missionaries were approved to function as a subcommittee that reports to Committee 1 of the PRCP Classis and assists the Committee 1 with advice and help in the planning and implementation of the program.

As regards planning, our professors and staff from our PRCA Theological School in Grandville, MI, have provided much encouragement, help, guidance, and even course material (i.e., syllabi, video lectures of interim and semester courses) that they have developed over the past 5 years in anticipation of its possible use here by our missionaries.

At the next meeting of the PRCP Classis on Feb. 25, the Classis will treat some recommendations concerning an official constitution for the School, a list of semester and interim courses for our seminary program, instructors for that coursework (the PRCA missionaries in the short-term), and a location for the school.

We can report that several prospective students are currently finishing their seminary entrance requirements. It is encouraging to know that there are several men who aspire to the ministry of the Word in the PRCP. Pray for us that this work of the PRCP-Theological School may prosper with the Lord’s indispensable blessing and guidance.

PRCP Tagalog Translations

Committee 2 of the PRCP (Missions, Contact with Other Churches, Translations) has been busy in the work of translation of the confessions, particularly the Heidelberg Catechism. After many months of labor, the Translations Committee has produced a proposed translation of the HC in Tagalog. Copies of the translation were distributed to the consistories of the PRCP in October so that the men have had several months to check the translation. This proposed draft has been submitted to the Classis for its consideration and approval at the February 25, 2019, meeting.

The Classis approved that once the HC translation is completed, that the Translations Committee move next to the translation work of the PRC Liturgical Forms (Baptism, Confession of Faith, Lord’s Supper, Ordination Forms, etc.). There are 13 forms in total that need to be translated yet. Once that work is completed, then the TC will return to the translation work of the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt. As you can see, the TC has a large amount of work ahead. Working on this committee are Revs. L. Trinidad and J. Flores, and Elder E. Mescallado with Revs. Holstege and Kleyn as advisors.

PRCP Missions

The Protestant Reformed Church in Bulacan continues to oversee the mission work in Albuera, Leyte. They continue to send monthly delegations to the Protestant Reformed Fellowship for preaching, instruction, various visits, and benevolence work. On occasion, Revs. Kleyn and Holstege have accompanied the delegations, which has been very beneficial for their understanding of this work.

The Classis of the PRCP decided at its meeting on October 31, 2018, that the consistory of Bulacan may ask for one of the pastors of the PRCP, pending approval of their consistory for such a release, to labor in Albuera for an extended period of about 3 months. In the absence of a full-time missionary, this is what the consistory would like to do in order to meet the needs of the PRFA. Of course, this situation is a concrete example of the need for more ordained ministers in the PRCP, and lends urgency to the work of the Theological School.

PRCP Contact with Other Churches

Commitee 2 has also been busy in official contact with the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore. Having completed the steps towards full fellowship with the PRCA as ecclesiastical sisters, the CC of the PRCP turned its attention to work with the CERCS on steps toward full sisterhood.

From December 14 to 18, a delegation from the CERCS visited with the PRCP. On Sunday, December 16, there was a public meeting in the afternoon at the Berean PRC’s church building in which representatives of both churches gave introductions of their respective histories. The next day on December 17, the CERCS delegation then met privately with the CC-PRCP. We are thankful for the visit of Elder Leong Fai Chong and Elder Lee Meng Hsien. We are thankful for the willingness of CERCS to extend the right hand of fellowship to the PRCP in this way and to work together towards the expression of full ecclesiastical fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Synod of Dordt Lectures

On December 28, we participated in a small, one-day conference in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dortrecht (1618-1619). Revs. Ibe, Holstege, and I gave speeches about the Synod in regards to Dordt’s convictions regarding preaching, grace, and proper Lord’s Day observance. I was informed that there were 97 people in attendance, representing 9 different congregations, besides the PRCP (3) and the PCC (Reformed) congregations. There were several new visitors at this conference which was encouraging to see. There were over 300 books sold, and many free pamphlets were distributed, including the Tagalog translation of Prof. H. Hoeksema’s pamphlet on John 3:16, “For God so Loved the World.” (Tagalog: “Gayon Na Lamang Ang Pag-Ibig Ng Diyos sa Sanlibutan.”)

The consistory and congregation of the Provident  hristian Church functioned as the very capable hosts for the conference, and we are grateful for their help, especially with the always important morning and afternoon meriendas and delicious lunch.

Provident Christian Church (Reformed)

Rev. Holstege continues to work in PCC full-time, and we can report that the work has developed to the point where the PCC is now in harmony with our Three forms of Unity and the Church Order as regards doctrine, worship, practices, and the offices of the church.

Recently, 2 elders and 2 deacons were installed into office according to the Form for Installation of Elders and Deacons, with Rev. Holstege leading the worship service As a result, the congreation is now, as an institute, confessionally and institutionally Reformed, upholding the three marks of a true church faithfully by the grace of God.

The significant consequence of this development in the PCC (Reformed) is that they can focus on the next step of their ecclesiastical journey: membership in the federation of the PRCP. The consistory has submitted a letter of request to the Classis of the PRCP for its
consideration at the February 25th Classis. The letter requests that the Classis work with the PCC (Reformed) to lead them into the membership of the PRCP. We may rejoice with the PCC (Reformed) for the Lord’s blessings on them to this point in their history.

Reformed Bookshelf and Philippine Book Fund

The outflow of RFPA books from the Bookshelf continues. The number of books purchased from October to December 2018 was about 500 books! My wife and daughters, who are filling in for Mrs. Kleyn, just ordered some more books from the RFPA, and also unpacked a recent shipment for the shelves at the Kleyns’ house. We are thankful to the Lord for the means of a sound witness for the truth in this substantial and effective way unto the ongoing interest.

February Delegation Visit

A delegation of Revs. J. Engelsma and N. Decker are scheduled to visit us in February on behalf of the Doon Council, FMC, and Contact Committee for a yearly oversight visit. They plan to arrive on Friday evening, February 15, and will be with us to Tuesday morning, February 26. One of the highlights of their mandate is a visit to the PR Fellowship mission of the PRCP in Albuera, Leyte (Feb. 18-20). Other items on their mandate include preaching in the areas churches while here and attending the meeting of the PRCP Classis on
February 25 . We look forward to their visit.

Kleyns On Furlough

Rev. and Mrs. Kleyn travelled to Grand Rapids on January 1, 2019, enjoying News Years’ Day in three different countries throughout their long day. One month has now passed in their furlough. We trust that the Lord will bless them in their fellowship with the PRCA and family and in Rev. Kleyn’s furlough work and studies. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and shine upon you in His almighty grace.

In His service,
Rev. Richard J Smit

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of February 10, 2019 *(Updated)

John 14 3On this sixth Lord's Day of 2019, February 10, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields may be noted.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) has been considering the call to Trinity PRC (received Jan.20). Today his DECLINE of that call was announced in Doon and Trinity PRCs.

  • The Council of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has announced a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. J. Laning (Hull PRC), M. McGeown (Limerick PRF), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC). The congregation will vote today after the afternoon service. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Laning has received this call.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister-on-loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville), and Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown). The congregation will call this evening after the service. *UPDATE: Rev. C. Haak has received this call.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classis convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory.  ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk

Contact Committee: "A joint delegation from the Foreign Mission Committee and Contact Committee will be traveling to the Philippines from February 14-26.  Rev. Engelsma is going as the representative of our council and the FMC, and Rev. Decker is going as the CC representative." (From Doon PRC's bulletin)

 ice storm feb 2019 1PRC Seminary News:

  • It was an icy week in West Michigan this past week (cf. photo) but unlike last week the seminary was able to keep its full schedule of classes during its third week of the semester. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for the 2nd semester may be found on this page.
  • Besides their regular studies, the students are preparing for the first round of practice preaching, which is scheduled for Feb.11 (Matt K. and Jacob M.) and March 4 (Josiah T.). Pray for them as they busy themselves in this work.

  • If you missed the live interview of Prof. R. Cammenga by Chris Arnzen on his radio program Iron Sharpens Iron this past Tuesday (re the book, Saved by Grace: A Study of the Five Points of Calvinism),  the podcast is now available. The audio file may be found here.

  • If you have not yet done so, check out the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

bricks new addit feb 2019 1

  • Due to moderating temperatures this week, work continued on the seminary addition project (new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years). The first portion of the roof (sealed with rubber coating) over the archives section was completed, and the laying of the exterior bricks began (cf. image above).

Dordt400LogoRightMargin2

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy preparing for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates have been given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.

Logo BEREAN 1
*Logo of the Berean PRC in the Philippines, one the PRCA's "sisters"

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • *Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, and Maranatha PRC:
    • Berean PRC: Concerning the special PRCA delegation coming this week:

      "The annual delegation from the PRCA, Revs. Engelsma, Decker, will arrive this Friday, D.V. Rev. Josh Engelsma will represent Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee (FMC). Rev. Nate Decker will represent the Contact Committee (CC).

      The delegation will accompany Rev. Holstege to Guiguinto Bulacan next Sunday the Lord willing. Rev. Josh Engelsma is scheduled to preach for us on the 24th of February in our 1st worship service, D.V.

      The delegation is also scheduled to visit the saints in Albuera, Leyte on February 18-20, D.V. They will be accompanied by Revs. Flores, Holstege and Elder Eric Mescallādo. We pray for God’s blessings and traveling mercies in their labors and travels."

    • Maranatha PRC: "Our Missionary, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in both services. He will teach the Belgic Confession Article 18: The Incarnation of Jesus Christ (Part 3). D.V. Rev. L. Trinidad will teach the children, the Catechism after the second Service."

    • The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on February 25, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning at Maranatha PRC, Valenzuela City.

    • Rev. Daniel & Sharon Kleyn are currently taking an extended furlough in the U.S. (until June 18). Per the decision of the PRC Synod of 2018, "the purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family."

    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Feb.10):
    • Grandville PRC will be calling today from the new trio for minister-on-loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville), and Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown). *UPDATE: Rev. C. Haak has received this call.

    • "This Sunday is the last Sunday Rev Spriensma will be bringing God’s word to us. We thank God for his faithful labours in our midst. Rev and Alva Spriensma will be leaving us on 12 Feb, Tuesday...."

    • And then a note concerning her next supply: "The Lord willing, Rev Stephan Regnerus will be arriving this Friday, 15 Feb at 8.15pm. We welcome him to our pulpit."

    • Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • *Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • This special note was found in Limerick's bulletin (Feb.10): "Rev. and Mary Stewart are in the USA to attend the funeral of Mary’s mother, Mrs Ruth Hanko, who died, aged 85, on Friday morning. In the absence of the Stewarts the elders of the CPRC will be leading the worship services in Ballymena today with DVD sermons. The Stewarts plan to arrive back in Ireland on Saturday morning, and will be in Limerick next Sunday, while the McGeowns will be in Ballymena, where Rev McGeown will lead the worship services for the CPRC. Let us remember to pray for the Stewart and Hanko families in their grief at this time."
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (December 2018).
    • Read the latest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (November 2018) may be found here.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

Faith Practice SKey
Are you interested in learning more about
the PRCA? Use this free booklet to get acquainted with our doctrines and practices.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • Would you like to read good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

 PRCP Youth camp April 2019 2
*Notice of the upcoming Youth Camp for the young people in the PRC, Philippines.

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • NEWS about the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • *The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

GrtCommissionMap

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. He and his wife are completing four Sundays' in Singapore serving our sister church there, Covenant ERC, and will return to the States this week.

United Kingdom:

ProvidentCC Oct 2018
*Worship service in Provident PRC, led by Missionary-pastor D. Holstege.

Philippine Missions:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted back in October 2018 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • *From this Sunday's bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Rev. Holstege will preach twice and teach the Essentials class today. Next Sunday, Rev. Smit will preach for PCC and Rev. Holstege for the Bearers of Light in Guiguinto, D.V.

    • The annual delegation from the PRCA will arrive this Friday, D.V. Rev. Josh Engelsma will represent Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee (FMC). Rev. Nate Decker will represent the Contact Committee (CC). They are scheduled to accompany Rev. Holstege to Guiguinto next Sunday. Rev. Engelsma is scheduled to preach for PCC in the second service on Feb. 24. May God grant them safety in their travels. 

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
  • The delegation to Myanmar (Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee, accompanied by Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren) recently returned after another profitable mission (Jan. 2019).
Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of February 3, 2019

2 corinthians 3 18On this fifth Lord's Day of 2019, February 3, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields may be noted.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Last Sunday, (Jan.27) Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) DECLINED the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB.

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) is considering the call to Trinity PRC (received Jan.20).

  • The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister-on-loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville),
    and Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown). The congregation will call next Sunday evening, Feb.10, D.V.

  • *SPECIAL NOTICE: We have many new officebearers who begin to serve in this time of year, some for the first time. If you are looking for helpful materials, visit our "Resources for Officebearers" webpage. You will find profitable sermons, speeches, and articles for the office and work of elder and that of deacon (Here is a summary webpage). Those in West Michigan will also find that the Seminary bookstore carries a variety of titles that will benefit our officebearers. Call or visit us M-F, 8AM - 5PM.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classis convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory.  ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk

Contact Committee: "A joint delegation from the Foreign Mission Committee and Contact Committee will be traveling to the Philippines from February 14-26.  Rev. Engelsma is going as the representative of our council and the FMC, and Rev. Decker is going as the CC representative." (From Doon PRC's bulletin)

 snowy front Jan 2019 1PRC Seminary News:

  • It was a cold and snowy week in West Michigan this past week (cf. photo above, taken on Jan.31) and that affected the seminary schedule. Due to treacherous conditions, classes were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday. But we were able to hold two days of regular classes (Tuesday and Friday) in our second week of this new semester. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for the 2nd semester may be found on this page. 
  • Special event involving one of the seminary professors this week: This week Tuesday, February 5, Prof. R. Cammenga will be interviewed by Chris Arnzen on his radio program Iron Sharpens Iron from 4:00-6:00 pm EST. The subject will be the book, Saved by Grace: A Study of the Five Points of Calvinism, that he co-authored with Rev. Ron Hanko.

    *UPDATE: The podcast of Tuesday’s interview with Prof. Cammenga is now available. The audio file may be found here.



  • If you have not yet done so, check out the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • Seminary recently completed its 2019 Interim course (Jan.4-15).  Prof. B. Gritters taught his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which was live-streamed through the seminary's Youtube channel. You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to listen in on the sessions at your convenience.

  • The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available. There are articles and book reviews of interest to all readers. The digital versions (pdf, ePub, Mobi) may be found here. If you would like a print copy, you may stop by the seminary and pick one up If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary.

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • Work continues on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. Due to recent cold and snowy weather, progress has been delayed, but preparations and plans continue to be made for the work that remains, including the library renovation project this summer. For more updates, visit this blog post.

Dordt400 display library 2019
*Display of Dordt400 items in the seminary library

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy preparing for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.

CPRC News Header
*Covenant PRC, Ballymena, N. Ireland, one the PRCA's "sisters"

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Since June of 2018 (confirmed at the PRC Synod), the PRCA now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines. From the bulletins of our "sisters" there, the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, and Maranatha PRC, we find these notes today.
    • Maranatha PRC: "Our Pastor, Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services. He will teach the Revelation, D.V. Next week our Missionary, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Belgic Confession."

    • The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on February 25, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning at Maranatha PRC, Valenzuela City.

    • Rev. Daniel & Sharon Kleyn are currently taking an extended furlough in the U.S. (until June 18). Per the decision of the PRC Synod of 2018, "the purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family."

    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • *Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Feb.3):
    •  "On last Sunday, the Council of Grandville PRC has formed a trio of Rev Joshua Engelsma (currently pastor of Doon PRC), Rev Gary Eriks (currently pastor of Hudsonville PRC) and Rev Carl Haak (currently pastor of Georgetown PRC). The congregation of Grandville PRC will vote on the 10 February to extend the call to one of these men to be the Minister-on-Loan to Singapore. Pray for these ministers that God will make His will plain to the man who receives the call. Let us wait patiently upon the Lord, trusting that the Lord knows our needs and will send us the man of His choosing in His perfect time.

    • "This week, we celebrate Chinese New Year, when the world will welcome the year of the pig. As the people of God, we do not follow all the superstitions and worldly celebrations associated with the particular year. But it is good for us to think of the Chinese New Year in a spiritual manner as it may give us opportunities to share with our families biblical accounts related to animals. To this end, we may look into the parable of the prodigal son to describe the work of Christ in seeking and saving the lost. We give thanks to God for the forgiveness of sins and the assurance that God is always ready to receive even His wayward children when they come to Him in sorrow of heart."

    • From Jan.27 bulletin: "We are also thankful to receive help for pulpit supplies till June 2019. After Rev. Spriensma, Rev Stephan Regnerus will be here for three Lord’s days, followed by Rev Heath Bleyenberg for four weeks. Pastor den Hartog will fill the pulpit from the first week of April till June 2019. We thank God for all His provision."

    • Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

Psalter 1912 2
Are you interested in singing from the Psalms? Visit this page for more
information on the Psalter used in the PRCA.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)! Today Rev. R. Kleyn (pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC) brings the message "The Priority of Love" based on 1 Cor.13:1-3 (which you may listen to at this link).

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

 SS genl pic
*Do you read the Salt Shakers YP magazine from the young people in the CERC, Singapore?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • NEWS about the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • *The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Dorr library
*See the note below on the Bible study here this week!

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. In a recent bulletin of Byron Center PRC we find this note concerning our missionary's labors at present:
    • "The Domestic Mission Committee and our Council have approved a request for Pastor Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the 4 Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma will be teaching catechism, leading Bible Societies, conducting a wedding, administering the sacrament of Baptism and working closely with Singapore's Evangelism committee. Remember Rev. Spriensma and Alva in their travels and work in Singapore."

    • *"The Dorr Bible study meets this Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 PM. We plan to start our discussion at John 4:26. Please bring friends and join us at the public library in Dorr." (from BC-PRC's bulletin this week)

United Kingdom:

7M Catechetics class 2015 1
One of the 7M classes held monthly in Manila. Here the men are watching a vide of one of the seminary courses.

Philippine Missions:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted back in October 2018 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. D. Holstege will preach both times today and next Sunday, DV. At 10:15, we will continue Lesson 9 in the Essentials class, “The Providence of God.”
    • The Council will continue family visitation this week with the theme “Living Together in the Body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:25-27).

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
  • The delegation to Myanmar (Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee, accompanied by Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren) recently returned after another profitable misison.
Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for February 2019

RWH logo 1

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for February 2019 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

RKleyn RWHRev. Rodney Kleyn, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC PRC (Spokane, WA), begins his four months of service to the program with messages on the theme of love based on I Corinthians 13. (cf. schedule of messages below).

February 3 - The Priority of Love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

February 10 - Love Is Patient, 1 Corinthians 13:4

February 17 - Love Is Kind, 1 Corinthians 13:4

February 24 - Love Does Not Envy, 1 Corinthians 13:4

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 77th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Check out our new website, launched in May of last year!

*We also have a new station in southern California on which we are broadcasting! Here are the details and website: Saturday’s 9:30p – PST on KPRZ 1210 AM & 106.1 FM.  San Diego’s # 1 Christian Teaching Talk station - www.kprz.com

Spread the word and listen in if you are in that area!

RWH Facebook image

Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of January 27, 2019

Ps27 4On this fourth Lord's Day of 2019, January 27, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields may be noted.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is considering the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB (received Jan.6).

  • From the Council's new trio, Trinity PRC extended a call to Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) on Jan.20.

  • On Jan.20 Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph WI PRC) declined the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore.

  • MEXICO PRESENTATION: "The Contact Committee's Presentation on Mexico will be TONIGHT, January 27 at 7:30 PM at Zion PRC. Rev. C. Griess will be giving the presentation highlighting their recent trip and contact with the Reformed churches in and around Mexico City. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.  Join us at Zion PRC’s new location at 7551 12th Ave, Jenison, MI 49426."

  • SPECIAL NOTICE: We have many new officebearers who begin to serve in this time of year, some for the first time. If you are looking for helpful materials, visit our "Resources for Officebearers" webpage. You will find profitable sermons, speeches, and articles for the office and work of elder and that of deacon (Here is a summary webpage). Those in West Michigan will also find that the Seminary bookstore carries a variety of titles that will benefit our officebearers. Call or visit us M-F, 8AM - 5PM.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classis convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory.  ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk

Contact Committee: The delegation of Rev. K. Koole and Mr. P. Vander Schaaf (along with their wives), sent for the annual visit to the Covenant PRC in N. Ireland for church visitation and to visit their mission work in Limerick, returned home this past week.

 Dec 2016 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The second semester began this past week (Tuesday, Jan.22) and a good beginning was made. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for the 2nd semester may be found on this page. In that connection the faculty sends out this note about auditing classes this semester:

"The Seminary again welcomes members to attend classes in the coming semester.  Four different classes are open to the public.  For Prof. R. Cammenga: Dogmatics Locus Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and Old Testament History (Judges through the return from Captivity).  For Prof. R. Dykstra: Medieval Church History and New Testament Isagogics (introduction).  Class sessions are scheduled to begin on Tuesday January 22.  A schedule of the classes (for the days and times) is available on the Seminary website. If you would like to attend, please call the seminary (531-1490) to register with our secretary, Sharon Kleyn."

  • If you have not yet done so, check out the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • Seminary recently completed its 2019 Interim course (Jan.4-15).  Prof. B. Gritters taught his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which was live-streamed through the seminary's Youtube channel. You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to listen in on the sessions at your convenience.

  • The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available. The digital versions (pdf, ePub, Mobi) may be found here. The print version was mailed out the end of last year. If you would like a copy, you may stop by the seminary and pick one up If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • Work continues on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. Due to recent cold and snowy weather, progress has been delayed, but preparations and plans continue to be made for the work that remains, including the library renovation project this summer. For more updates, visit this blog post.

Dordt400LogoRightMargin2

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy preparing for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.

CERSSunday LadiesBS
*Ladies Bible study in Covenant ERC, Singapore, one the "sisters" of the PRC

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Since June of 2018 (confirmed at the PRC Synod), the PRCA now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines. From the bulletins of our "sisters" there, the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, and Maranatha PRC, we find these notes today:
    • Berean PRC: Our pastor [Rev. V. Ibe]  is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community Church in Tondo, Manila at 3P.M. and ‘will lead them in their study of the Church Order Arts. 71-73, the Lord willing.

    • Bulacan PRC: Rev. Flores is preaching at the First Christian Reformed Church in Quezon City today and teaching the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class. An elder is leading a reading service this morning and Rev. Ibe leading the second service.

    • Maranatha PRC: "Our Missionary, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in both services. He will teach the Belgic Confession Art. 18: The Incarnacion of Jesus Christ (Part 2)."

    • Rev. Daniel & Sharon Kleyn are currently taking an extended furlough in the U.S. (until June 18). Per the decision of the PRC Synod of 2018, "the purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family."

    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • *Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Jan.27):
    •  "By now you have heard that Rev Guichelaar has declined the call to serve as MOL to Singapore. Some of us have expressed some disappointment on this episode in calling a MOL to serve in Covenant. We encourage the congregation to continue to be patient in waiting upon the Lord. The Lord in His goodness has provided Covenant in all these years of all her needs, especially in the preaching and teaching of His word, we can be assured that He will in His good timing provide us this need and others also. We ask you therefore to earnestly call upon Lord when we come together in worship, when we gather in meetings and bible study, when we come together in family worship and in your quiet moments to implore the grace of the Lord to provide us an under shepherd."
    • "We are also thankful to receive help for pulpit supplies till June 2019. After Rev. Spriensma, Rev Stephan Regnerus will be here for three Lord’s days, followed by Rev Heath Bleyenberg for four weeks. Pastor den Hartog will fill the pulpit from the first week of April till June 2019. We thank God for all His provision."

    • Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

PRCConfCO
Are you interested in studying the Reformed creeds and the Church Order of the PRC? 
Visit this page for more information.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)! Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (pastor of Pittsburgh PRC) brings the message "Learning Contentment", from Phil.4:11 (which you may listen to at this link).

  • The RWH also has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the PRC.

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Note re the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Limerickmeetingplace
*Meeting place of Limerick Reformed Fellowship in Ireland.

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. In a recent bulletin of Byron Center PRC we find this note concerning our missionary's labors at present:
    • "The Domestic Mission Committee and our Council have approved a request for Pastor Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the 4 Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma will be teaching catechism, leading Bible Societies, conducting a wedding, administering the sacrament of Baptism and working closely with Singapore's Evangelism committee. Remember Rev. Spriensma and Alva in their travels and work in Singapore."

United Kingdom:

Philippine Missions:

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (October 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletin of the Berean PRC and Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Berean PRC: "Beginning on February 03, 2019 regular worship services will be conducted with the saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija as requested and with the approval of the Consistory. ...For now, our worship services are aired live via phone patch in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. May God’s blessings rest upon their hearts as they hear His Word today!"

    • Provident CC: Rev. Holstege will preach both times today and next Sunday, Lord willing. After the first service, we will have the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class, Lesson 9, “The Providence of God.”

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
  • The delegation to Myanmar (Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee, accompanied by Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren) returned home safely this past week.
Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of January 20, 2019 *(Updated)

Job 38 22 treasures of the snow

On this third Lord's Day of 2019, January 20, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields may be noted.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is considering the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB (received Jan.6).

  • Trinity PRC's Council has announced a new trio:  Rev. J. Engelsma, Rev. E. Guichelaar and Rev. W. Langerak. The congregational meeting is scheduled for tonight following the evening service. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Engelsma has received this call.

  • Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph WI PRC) is considering the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore (received Dec.30). *UPDATE: Rev. Guichelaar has DECLINED this call.

  • SPECIAL NOTICE: We have many new officebearers who begin to serve in this time of year, some for the first time. If you are looking for helpful materials, visit our "Resources for Officebearers" webpage. You will find profitable sermons, speeches, and articles for the office and work of elder and that of deacon. Those in West Michigan will also find that the Seminary bookstore carries a variety of titles that will benefit our officebearers. Call or visit us M-F, 8AM - 5PM.
     
  • Special note from from Kalamazoo PRC: "SOUTH KOREA PRESENTATION: You are cordially invited to attend a "CONTACT IN SOUTH KOREA" program this Friday, January 25 at 7 PM at the Kalamazoo PRC, 4515 Green Acres Drive, Kalamazoo.  This projected picture presentation will be given by Rev. W. Langerak. Refreshments will be served."

  • MEXICO PRESENTATION: "The Contact Committee's Presentation on Mexico will be next Sunday, January 27 at 7:30 PM at Zion PRC. Rev. Griess will be giving the presentation highlighting their recent trip and contact with the Reformed churches in and around Mexico City. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.  Join us at Zion PRC’s new location at 7551 12th Ave, Jenison, MI 49426."
  • Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location for the congregation.

  • Also from SE PRC, this special note concerning her 75th anniversary: "Southeast PR Church will be publishing a book Archives and Anecdotes: 75 years at Southeast Protestant Reformed Church, which celebrates this anniversary with details from the church records and memories from past and current members. Of particular interest will be the history of the 1953 split and the related 1960 split. This approximate 250-page book will be available early in March. The cost will be $5 (plus shipping). To make ordering easy, orders can be placed through the RFPA (616-457-5970 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and picked up at the RFPA."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East: The following is the official report of the recent meeting.

CLASSIS EAST met January 9, 2019 at Hope PRC [Walker, MI]. Rev. M. VanderWal by rotation chaired this meeting.

An appeal was ruled to be illegal because it violated Article 30 of the Church Order. A portion of a protest was ruled illegal; another portion of this protest was judged to be legal, but was not sustained. 

The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2018. Rev. K.Koole and Rev. R.Van Overloop were chosen to be church visitors in 2019. Rev. N. Decker was elected to the Classical Committee. He replaces Rev. K. Koole, whose term was completed. Rev. C. Haak was elected delegate ad examina primus and Rev. J. Mahtani delegate ad examina secundus. Trinity PRC was granted pulpit supply for their evening services during their vacancy. 

 Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2019 were: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Griess, C. Haak, C. Spronk, and R. Van Overloop; elders Mike Bosveld (Hope PRC), Rick Gritters (Trinity PRC), Gary Lanning (Hudsonville PRC), Pete VanderSchaaf (Faith PRC), and Kevin Van Overloop (Faith PRC). 

 Classis advised a consistory to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline. 

 Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2019 with the approval of the Classis.  The expenses for this meeting of Classis East were $1,482.88.

The next meeting of Classis East will be May 8, 2019 at Georgetown PRC, the Lord willing.

 Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk, Classis East

Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classi convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory.  ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk

 Sem sign winter 2016

PRC Seminary News:

  • The new PRC seminary website is now live! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • Seminary completed its 2019 Interim course this past week (Jan.4-15).  Prof. B. Gritters taught his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which was live-streamed through the seminary's Youtube channel. You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to listen in on the sessions at your convenience.
  • The faculty and students attended a Reformed conference on the Synod of Dordt (400th anniversary) this past weekend at Westminster Seminary West (Escondido, CA). They are spending Saturday night and Sunday in fellowship and worship with the members of Hope PRC in Redlands, CA.

  • The second semester is scheduled to begin this Tuesday, Jan.22, D.V. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for the 2nd semester may be found on this page. In that connection the faculty sends out this note about auditing classes:

"The Seminary again welcomes members to attend classes in the coming semester.  Four different classes are open to the public.  For Prof. R. Cammenga: Dogmatics Locus Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and Old Testament History (Judges through the return from Captivity).  For Prof. R. Dykstra: Medieval Church History and New Testament Isagogics (introduction).  Class sessions are scheduled to begin on Tuesday January 22.  A schedule of the classes (for the days and times) is available on the Seminary website. If you would like to attend, please call the seminary (531-1490) to register with our secretary, Sharon Kleyn."

  • The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available. The digital versions (pdf, ePub, Mobi) may be found here. The print version was mailed out the week of Christmas 2018. If you would like a copy, you may stop by the seminary and pick one up If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • Work continues on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. For more updates, visit this blog post.

Dordt400LogoRightMargin2

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy implementing plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.

Maranatha PRC logo
*Logo of one of our new "sisters" in the Philippines - Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • *Since June of 2018 (confirmed at the PRC Synod), the PRC has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines. We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. 
    • From the bulletins of the Berean PRC and Maranatha PRC today we find these notes:
      • Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today. Rev. Ibe is visiting with the saints in Gabaldon today. Our pastor will lead them in their worship service.
      • And Maranatha PRC contained this special note from the Kleyns (who are currently in the U.S.): "We are both doing well. We can tell, though, that our bodies are not used to the cold weather, as we haven’t really warmed up yet here. We’ve enjoyed seeing and spending time with our families. They are all doing well. This week I’ve also started my classes already toward a ThM degree. I have lectures every day from 1:30 to 5:30, and lots of reading and writing assignments too. So far I’ve been enjoying this. Lord willing I’ll be preaching once this coming Sunday in Southwest PRC...."
    • And from Doon PRC's recent bulletins we learn this: "Synod 2018 approved Rev. & Sharon Kleyn taking an extended furlough in 2019.  The purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family.  Their plans are to leave the Philippines on January 1 and stay in the States until June 18." And, "Rev. and Sharon Kleyn left the Philippines this past week and arrived safely in Michigan. Lord willing, they plan to stay in the States until June 18."

    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Jan.20):
    • "We welcome Rev Spriensma & his wife Alva once again into our midst. They will be here for 4 Sundays through till Feb 10. We thank God for continuing to provide ministers to feed the sheep and lambs here in CERC with the preaching of His Word while we wait on Him to send us another under-shepherd. God willing, Rev Erik Guichelaar will answer the call extended to him to be our MOL this evening. By God's grace, we continue to pray, "not our will Lord, but Thine, be done." May we rest in His perfect will for us."
    • Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.
    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • The PRC Contact Committee sent out this notice: "Rev. K Koole and Pete Vander Schaaf are representing our churches visiting the CPRC in N. Ireland conducting church visitation and also visiting their mission work in Limerick. They plan to return home this coming week, the Lord willing. We are grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate and experience our unity in the faith with the saints in N Ireland and Ireland."
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (December 2018).
    • Read the latest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (November 2018) may be found here.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

good enough for god DLee Page 1
*How can sinners be right with God? Are YOU good enough for God?

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.

  • *If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)! Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (pastor of Pittsburgh PRC) brings the message "Ehud, Deliverer of the Covenant", from Judges 3:12-30 (which you may listen to at this link).

  • The RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the PRC.

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Note re the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!
  • Loveland Young Adults Retreat: Due to lack of interest, the committee has decided to cancel this year’s retreat. We hope to host another one in coming years and hope to see you there!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Paul on Mars Hill
(Paul preaching on Mar's Hill)

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. In Byron Center PRC's bulletin this week (and last) we find this note concerning our missionary's labors at present:
    • "The Domestic Mission Committee and our Council have approved a request for Pastor Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the 4 Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma will be teaching catechism, leading Bible Societies, conducting a wedding, administering the sacrament of Baptism and working closely with Singapore's Evangelism committee. Remember Rev. Spriensma and Alva in their travels and work in Singapore."

United Kingdom:

Philippine Missions:

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (October 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletin of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Rev. Smit will preach both times today.
    • Rev. Holstege will preach for Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, Bulacan. May the Lord bless our evangelism work there.

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

Myanmar map 2

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
  • We also find this note in Hope PRC's bulletin of Jan.6:

"This week Thursday Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee will depart for Myanmar. Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren will accompany them. The men will return on Tuesday evening, January 22. Your Myanmar committee has a list of mandates, including conducting a seminar for forty men arriving from many churches all over Myanmar and giving encouragement to the saints on the other side of the world. Remember to put your cards, pictures, and letters of encouragement in the box located in the kitchen for the delegates to deliver personally. Please pray daily for this delegation of five and the saints in Myanmar."

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