The PRC Seminary graduates are introduced by Prof. B. Gritters, rector of the seminary.
After a wonderful seminary commencement program Thursday night in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI), (see pics above)
the PRC Synod 2019 returned to its regular business at 8 am Friday morning.
Much of the work was based on the report of Committee 3 dealing with the protests concerning Psalter revision and Contact Committee work.
That included addresses from the three foreign men representing our sister churches:
Rev. John Flores from the PRC in the Philippines
Deacon Lee Meng Hsien from Covenant ERC, Singapore
and Rev. M. McGeown representing Covenant PRC, N. Ireland (he is her missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland)
*The summary report on today's decisions has now been attached to this news post. Included in that are these words:
Delegates from our sister churches were given an opportunity to address synod on behalf of their churches. Deacon Lee Meng Hsien spoke on behalf of the CERCS, Rev. McGeown spoke on behalf of Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland. and Rev. John Flores spoke on behalf of the PRC in the Philippines. These delegates spoke of the work that God was doing in their churches and expressed thanks to God for our sister church relationship. The chairman of synod responded by express to these delegates our thanks to God for them and for the fellowship that we have them.
Synod expressed to the PRCP and CERCS that the PRCA has no objections to their entering into a sister-church relationship with each other, and expressed to our sister churches our joy and our thankfulness to God for opening the way for this manifestation of the unity and catholicity of the church and our prayer for God’s richest blessings upon this relationship.
Synod plans to reconvene at 10 am Monday morning.
Prof. R. Dykstra examining the seminarians in church history (early church focus).
This morning synod returns to the oral examination of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman. The seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). These portions of the exam will also be live-streamed on First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.
Prof. B. Gritters examining the men in Reformed Church Polity (government) and OT history.
Prof. R. Cammenga examining in NT history.
Audience observing the examination in First PRC sanctuary
Following the exam, synod will make a decision to approve these men and declare them candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRCA.
*Update: That decision has now been made. Both M. Kortus and J. Maatman have been unanimously approved and declared to be candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRC, eligible for a call beginning July 13. We rejoice with these brothers and their wives and families, and thank God for the gift of two more eligible pastor-teachers for the churches.
Rev. G. Eriks, president of Synod 2019, informs the students and their wives and the audience of synod's decision.
Following the singing of the doxology and prayer, the students received the congratulations of the professors, delegates, family, and friends.
This afternoon synod will return to its regular work, considering the advice of its various committees.
Seminary graduation will take place this evening in First PRC, at 7:30 P.M. Prof. R. Dykstra will give the address from 1 Timothy 4:16, "Take Heed to Thyself and to the Doctrine." The choir of First PRC, Holland, MI will provide the special music. All are welcome to join us in celebrating the goodness of God in providing two graduates this year.
Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC, the host church) with opening devotions, Wednesday, June 12
Following synod's approval of the sermons of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman yesterday, synod is proceeding with their oral examination today. First is Prof. R. Cammenga, who is examining them in all branches of theology. The exam is being live-streamed through First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.
Prof. R. Cammenga examining Sems. Matt K. and Jacob M. in dogmatics
The two men completed their exam in dogmatics this afternoon, then synod reconvened to treat material from its committees that was ready. *The report of the actions taken is attached in pdf form.
One of the more significant decisions was this: "Synod called Rev. Brian Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to be the alternate. May the Lord guide Rev. Huizinga that he may know God’s will regarding this call. Let us remember him in our prayers."
On Thursday the seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). This portion of the exam will also be live-streamed.
Missionary-pastor D. Kleyn addressed synod on the ongoing work of the PRC's three missionaries in the Philippines (photo below).
The following are pictures taken today of the committees of synod - and one at work yesterday (more to come!).
Committee 1 - Prof. B. Gritters, Elders G. Lanning, H. Goosen, Rev. S. Key, Rev. G. Eriks
Committee 2 - Revs. C. Haak, J. Laning, Elders A. Meuer, K. Van Overloop, Prof. R. Cammenga
Committee 3 - Rev. R. Kleyn, Elder M. Bosveld, Rev. R. Van Overloop, Elder D. Terpstra, Prof. R. Dykstra
Committee 4 - Elder P. VanDer Schaaf, Prof. D. Kuiper, Rev. B. Huizinga, Elder B. Wories, Rev. C. Griess
Committee 5 - Revs. C. Spronk, A. Brummerl, Elders R. Gritters, B. Gritters
The special foreign delegates - Rev. J. Flores (PRC, the Philippines), Rev. M. McGeown (Covenant PRC, N. Ireland), Deacon Lee Meng Hsien (Covensnt ERC, Singapore)
Committee 1 at work
Committee 2 at work
Committee 3 at work
Committee 5 at work
And the group pictures taken today, one in front of First PRC, the other down below.
On Monday evening, June 10, 2019, having been called by her Council, the congregation of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI - the calling church of the PRC Synod 2019 - gathered in worship, together with the synodical delegates and fellow saints and friends of the PRC. The service was led by Rev. R. Van Overloop, the president of last year's synod. He preached from Revelation 3:14-21, speaking on the theme "The Church of Christ at Laodicea" (you may find and listen to the sermon at this link).
Synod will begin its sessions in the lower level of First PRC on Tuesday morning at 8:00 am. After being constituted, synod will elect officers and appoint committees for her work (cf. update below).
Sem. Matt Kortus delivering his sermon on Ps.139:23,24
Sem. Jacob Maatman delivering his sermon on Luke 19:10
The rest of the morning, beginning at 10 am, will involve the delivery of specimen sermons by the two senior seminarians to be examined by synod - Matthew Kortus and Jacob Maatman. The rest of their oral exam (in theology, etc.) will begin Wednesday morning. Visitors are welcome. *Synod approved the live-streaming of the exam. That may be viewed on First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.
Tuesday afternoon the committees will begin their work of preparing advice for synod.
Delegates to Synod 2019 are as follows:
Classis East: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Griess, C. Haak, C. Spronk, and R. Van Overloop. Elders M. Bosveld, R. Gritters, G. Lanning, P. VanDer Schaaf, K. Van Overloop
Classis West: Revs. A. Brummel, B. Huizinga, S. Key, R. Kleyn, J. Laning. Elders H. Goosen, B. Gritters, A. Meuer, D. Terpstra, B. Wories
From l-r: Rev. J. Laning, Rev. C. Spronk, Rev. G. Eriks, Rev. S. Key
Update: Synod voted the following men as its officers:
President: Rev. G. Eriks
Vice President: Rev. S. Key
First Clerk: Rev. C. Spronk
Second Clerk: Rev. J. Laning
And these minutes relating to the foreign delegates from the PRC's sister churches may be noted:
Synod receives letters from the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland,
informing synod that they have authorized Rev. Martyn McGeown to represent the CPRCNI and speak on
her behalf; from the Classis of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines,
informing synod that they have authorized Rev. John Flores to represent the PRCP and speak on her
behalf; from the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, informing
synod that they have authorized deacon Lee Meng Hsien to represent the CERCS and speak on her behalf.
It is moved to seat Rev. Martyn McGeown, Rev. John Flores, and deacon Lee Meng Hsien, giving
them advisory vote in all matters. Carried.
On behalf of synod the chairman welcomes the representatives from our sister churches.
The report of the Committee on Committees (dividing up the work of synod) was approved. *See attachment for that document.
The report on the day from the second clerk of synod also included these notes (that report is also attached):
Synod has the privilege of examining two seminarians this year. Today synod approved the specimen sermons of Seminarian Matt Kortus and Seminarian Jacob Maatman. After the approval of the students’ sermons synod adjourned for the day, so that the pre-advice committees could begin their work.
Synod is scheduled to reconvene tomorrow morning at 8:00. After morning devotions, synod will begin with the oral examination of the two students. Live-streaming of the examinations will be available.
And, of course, we want to acknowledge the all-important role of the tech-crew!
On this twenty-third Lord's Day of 2019, June 9, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.
- Today is Pentecost Sunday, when we remember and reflect on our ascended Lord's gift of the Holy Spirit to His church. Join us in worship of our exalted King and celebrate with us this powerful and precious Gift.
- On June 2 Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) declined the call from Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI - received May 19). The Council has published a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Revs. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA), D. Lee (Bethel, IL), and J. Mahtani (Cornerstone, IN). The congregation plans to vote next Sunday, June 16.
- Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services and preaching for Immanuel PRC's (Lacombe, AB) today. Rev. S. Regnerus will be serving a classical appoinment there the next two Sundays (June 16 and 23).
- From Pittsburgh PRC's bulletin today we see this special notice: "A hearty thanks to the Byron Center Young People's Society, your chaperones, and Pastor and Stephanie Lanning for traveling to Pittsburgh and spending so much of your time, money and effort working on our church building. An old church building as ours needs a lot of work and you provided that. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, care and willingness to share your gifts with us. You have distributed to the necessity of the saints in our church and it is much appreciated."
- From a recent bulletin of Limerick Reformed Fellowship: "Pastor [Rev. M. McGeown] and Larisa leave tomorrow (Monday 27 May) for the USA. They will visit Loveland, CO; Hull, IA; and Grand Rapids, MI (and Pastor will preach in Loveland, Hull, Doon, and Holland PR churches). Pastor will also attend the PRC Synod in Grand Rapids, MI, which begins on Tuesday 11 June. Pastor and Larisa plan to arrive back in Ireland on Friday 21 June. While they are in the USA, Rev. Justin Smidstra (Holland, MI) and Rev. Angus Stewart will supply the pulpit here."
- 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. Today, Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. D. Overway are preaching for her.
Senior Retreat: Registration for the Senior Retreat is open. The dates are Sept 17-20 at Gull Lake Ministries (MI). The theme is ‘God’s Care For Us.’ Forms are available at Zion PRC's website. Click on Senior Retreat.
First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI, location of this year's PRC Synod
PRC Synod 2019:
- The pre-synodical worship service will be held on Monday evening, June 10, at 7:00 P.M. in First PRC of Grand Rapids. Rev. R. Van Overloop (president of Synod 2018) will preach the sermon.
- Synod will begin its 2019 meetings on June 11, at 8 A.M. in the First PR Church of Grand Rapids.
- The two senior seminarians - Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman - will be examined by synod this week. They will peach their specimen sermons on Tuesday morning and then be examined in the other areas starting Tuesday morning, D.V. We pray for these men that the Lord may give them grace to give a good account of their readiness for the ministry of the Word.
- Seminary graduation will take place, D.V., on Thursday, June 13 in First Church, at 7:30 P.M. Prof. Dykstra will give the address.
PRC Seminary News:
- The seminary has now entered its spring/summer break. Besides preparing for the PRC Synod 2019, the faculty will be busy with various trips and speaking engagements. Our seniors (Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman) are busy prepping for their synodical exam in mid-June, while our Singaporean students (Josiah Tan and Marcus Wee) have returned home. There is still plenty of activity at the seminary as faculty and staff continue their end-of-semester work as well as preparing for the new semester in the Fall.
- The seminary is open daily during the summer (except for holidays) and staff is available to assist with any needs.
Professor Nominees: The Theological School Committee submitted to Synod 2019 an aggregate list of nominees to replace Prof. R. Cammenga as professor of Dogmatice and O.T. studies—Revs. B. Huizinga, J. Engelsma, C. Griess and R. Kleyn.
- The Spring issue of the PR Theological Journal is continuing and should be ready in the next few weeks. For back issues, visit the seminary journal page. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, contact the seminary's secretary.
- Seminary graduation will take place, the Lord willing, Thursday, June 13, in First PRC at 7:30 p.m. Prof. R. Dykstra will give the address.
- If you have not yet done so, visit 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! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.
- Work continues on the seminary addition project, both inside and out (new archives and offices). This past week more work was done on the old wall between the library and new addition. Plus, more HVAC work was completed inside and out. Visit the seminary news section for pics and more information.
*Location of Covenant ERC Church Camp - Date: 10-13 June 2019
Venue: Pulai Spring Resort, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Theme: Holiness: "Walking in the Spirit" - Gal 5:16
Speaker: Rev. A. den Hartog
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
- Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are currently serving the congregation on behalf of the PRC Contact Committee.
- *From this week's bulletin we find this note: "This week, we have two spiritual events that are happening at the same time but on different sides of the globe. In Singapore, we are having our annual Church Camp in Pulai Spring Resorts, Johor Bahru and in the US, our sister churches of PRCA will convene its PRC 2019 Synod meeting at First PRC Grand Rapids. ...Session have appointed Deacon Lee as delegate to attend the PRCA Synod meeting of 2019 and authorized him to express our official greetings to the Synod and to speak on our behalf, when given opportunity, in matters relating to our church and its relationship to the PRCA. We are very thankful to the Lord for the privilege that our sister-church relationship accords us in sending delegates to the broadest assemblies of our sister church, by which we may encourage each other to be faithful in the work of the gospel in our respective lands."
- Her latest newsletter (April 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
- The last issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers (April 2019) may be found on this page.
- Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC and Maranatha PRC:
- Berean PRC:
- Rev. V. Ibe, her pastor, leads in worship today.
The Classis of the PRCP will hold their regular meeting on June 12, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning, at the Berean PRC, Mayamot, Antipolo City. Let us pray for God's blessing on this important meeting.
- Maranatha PRC:
- "Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services.
- Let us pray for the progress of the plan for the Seminary that needs to be approved In June Classis. The tentative schedule to start the training is in August, 2019."
- *Rev. Daniel & Sharon Kleyn are currently on 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 Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
- From her bulletin this week: "We welcome Rev. Justin & Kelly Smidstra from First Holland PRC to our worship services today. Rev. & Mary Stewart are in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship."
- Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (May 2019).
- Read the newest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (May 2019) can be found here.
- Upcoming: S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on “The Burnt Offering” on Thursday, 6 June at 7:15 PM in Margam Community Centre.
- 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.
- Plans are being made for a Dordt400 conference involving EPC and PRC men this summer (July).
Looking for some reading materials for the summer? Graduation cards and gifts? Good music for the family car and home?
Visit the REFORMED BOOK OUTLET in Hudsonville, MI!
- If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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.
- 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.
- You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons read by Elijah Roberts. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.
- 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 his final message based on 1 Corinthians 13 - "The Greatest of These Is Love" - based on 1 Corinthians 13:13 (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!
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
- NEWS about the 2019 PRYP's Convention:
- Southwest & Providence PRCs are 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.
- Chaperone registration is now closed! Thank you for the overwhelming response to our request for chaperones. The chaperone committee will contact each applicant in the next few weeks. What a wonderful testament of your desire to spend time with our covenant young people!
- Young Peoples Convention Update: You can still register on line and have paperwork received by May 31 to avoid a late fee. Any paperwork received after May 31 please include a late fee of $25.00 with your payment. Registration should be done as soon as possible so committees can proceed with their work. Looking forward to seeing you all at the convention in August!
- Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates:
- The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (April 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
*Provident Christian Church, Marikina, the Philippines. An important decision concerning this congregation will be made at the PRCP Classis this week (see note below).
PRC MISSION NEWS:
- 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 that connection, BC-PRC's bulletin had this note in it today:
- In that connection, BC-PRC's bulletin had this note in it today: "Today Missionary Spriensma is filling the pulpit at Kalamazoo PRC. Next Sunday he will be preaching at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA and also giving a mission presentation."
- And that presentation in Calvary PRC next Sunday is noted in her bulletin today: "Calvary PRC, in connection with the Domestic Mission Committee of the PRCA, invites you to attend a special mission presentation by our home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma, in our sanctuary on Sunday, June 16, at 7:45 p.m. The title of his presentation is: “Our Home Missions: Reaching the Nones and the Dones.” Refreshments will follow the presentation."
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
- This special notice appeared in a recent bulletin: "Pastor and Larisa leave tomorrow (Monday 27 May) for the USA. They will visit Loveland, CO; Hull, IA; and Grand Rapids, MI (and Pastor will preach in Loveland, Hull, Doon, and Holland PR churches). Pastor will also attend the PRC Synod in Grand Rapids, MI, which begins on Tuesday 11 June. Pastor and Larisa plan to arrive back in Ireland on Friday 21 June. While they are in the USA, Rev. Justin Smidstra (Holland, MI) and Rev. Angus Stewart will supply the pulpit here."
- The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.
- The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted back in January 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
- For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!
- From this Sunday's bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning her pastor as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
- "The elders will lead the worship services today. In the first, they will use a video sermon by Rev. Ron VanOverloop (Grace PRCA). In the second, a sermon by Rev. Vernon Ibe (Berean PRCP). Rev. Holstege will preach for PRCB today since their pastor, Rev. John Flores, is in the States for the PRCA Synod.
This Wednesday (7:30-9:00), June 12, in the worship hall, there will be a video of the fourth of four speeches that were given by Prof. David Engelsma regarding the 400th anniversary of the Canons of Dordt. This fourth speech is entitled “The Other Decisions of the Synod of Dordt and Their Importance for the Reformed Churches Today.” Plan to attend this final speech in the series!
- *The Classis of the PRCP will meet, Lord willing, on June 12. Committee 2 will recommend that Classis approve PCC as the fourth congregation of the PRCP. Let us pray that God will bless the work of Classis.
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.
- Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
- And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.
- Brian Huizinga
- Immanuel PRC
- Trinity PRC
- Reformed literature
- young people activities
- Martyn McGeown
- Audred Spriensma
- missions and evangelism
- PRC Seminary
- sister church relations
- ministerial calls
- Reformed Book Outlet
- Myanmar missions
- PRC young adult retreats
- India mission work
- Emmanuel Singh
- Jonathan Mahtani
- Dennis Lee
- Rodney Kleyn