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Covenant Reformed News - July 2017

Covenant Reformed News

July 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 15


Our Identity in Christ (4)

A significant part of human identity comes through our inclusion in a larger entity, our place amidst a group or groups of other people. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are part of the greatest society and institution in the history of the world! 

We are not merely members of some political party or sports club or social group. We belong to the body of Jesus Christ Himself! We are part of the one, holy, catholic (or universal) and apostolic church. As members of Christ’s body, we have been elected and gathered, we are being preserved and we will be glorified. As those who are in the church, ours is the only group or society which will pass into the new creation.

In the church is our family—for ever! In the church are our friends—for ever! Obviously, our family and friends are part of our identity.

It is our self-identification that we belong to the Triune God and, therefore, are in His church: “One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel” (Isa. 44:5). We make this declaration of our identity deliberately, unashamedly and gladly.

What is my identity in Jesus Christ as regards the future? It is not like those who know not Christ, who live in the despair, fear, worry, meaninglessness and ignorance of unbelief and hopelessness, without the Bible’s teaching on the last things.

We are strangers and pilgrims here in this world, for our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). We live by hope (cf. Rom. 8:24-25), for we are assured by the Holy Spirit of our election, redemption, salvation, preservation and glorification.

What about beyond this life? At death, we will be with Jesus Christ our Lord in the presence of God (Phil. 1:21-23). We will join the church triumphant and fellowship with the holy angels. We will be entirely sanctified as regards our spirits or souls.

This age will end with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the general resurrection. Our dead bodies are not merely fertilizer for trees; they will be transformed into glorified bodies like that of Christ Himself (Phil. 3:21).

The Judgment Day will be the public vindication of the Triune God in all His works. Thus it will also be the justification of His church in Jesus Christ before all men and angels, both good and evil. 

The new heavens and the new earth will be our eternal inheritance as the sons and daughters of the living God. We shall be given new names—perfect, wonderful identities in Christ for ever (Rev. 2:17; 3:12; 22:4)!     Rev. Stewart
 

The More-Loving-Than-God Argument (4)


With this News, I conclude my answers to a reader who wanted responses to questions put to him in support of the notion that God loves absolutely everybody. 

Question 5: “Do you believe God only really cares for a few individuals? If He does, then so should you ... or else you will not be like Him.”

I think this question, to be understood, requires an additional sentence: “If God loves only a few, to be like Him, we should also love only a few; but that would be contrary to God’s command to us to ‘love all men.’” We will assume that this is part of the question.

Though I have already answered this question, I will repeat what I said. God does not love merely “a few;” He loves the world for which Christ died and the world that believes in Christ (John 3:16)—“a great multitude, which no man could number” (Rev. 7:9).

Again, it is clear from Scripture that God loves His elect church and hates the reprobate wicked (e.g., Ps. 5:5). Further, we are to love our “neighbour;” nowhere does God command us to love all men absolutely. We are to love our neighbour for we do not know who are elect and who are not. We are to love our neighbour by preaching the gospel and witnessing to him, for God uses these means to save His elect and to punish those who reject the gospel, “whereunto also they were appointed” (I Pet. 2:8). If we know that our neighbours are truly elect, we still bring the Word of God to them to teach them, encourage them, comfort them, etc. They are one with us in the household of faith and we do all we can to assist them in their sometimes difficult path.

Question 6: “What if your son is a reprobate? If God desires and intends for him to end up in perdition, and you, being a Christian, who loves his neighbour, want him to be in heaven, are you making yourself more loving than God?”

This is a very strange question. Scripture is clear that God has eternally and sovereignly elected His church. He has also, to manifest His justice, sovereignly determined that some should perish because of their sin. We do not know who are elect and who are reprobate: God does (Rom. 9:1-24).

Hence, we are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves. We are to do this because God uses our witness, in connection with the preaching of the Word, to save His elect. We witness because we want the elect to be saved and we do not always know, especially outside our family and church, who are elect and who are not.

When we bring up our children, we witness to them (for they too are our neighbours) and do so in our faith in the God who has promised to save us and our children. We know too that the doctrine of sovereign predestination also cuts through family lines. That is, we know that God has not promised to save all our physical children. In the covenant lines, there are “Jacobs” but there are also “Esaus” (Rom. 9:10-13).

Covenant parents’ greatest pain is seeing their children forsake God’s ways and live in the world. As one father, who had a son killed in a car accident and a daughter who went astray, said to me, “Pastor, it was easier to go to the cemetery.”

But covenant parents pray every day, “Thy will be done.” God’s will is absolutely determinative for them. When they see their child go astray, they pray, with earnest cries, that he or she may repent. But if that is not the will of God, they bow before Him who does all things for His own glory and confess Him to be God alone. So David wept bitterly over Absalom his son, and Paul expressed his heart’s desire that all Israel be saved, when he knew that this was not God’s will (Rom. 9:1-5; 10:1-2).  Prof. Hanko
 

The Lambeth Articles (1595)

1. God from eternity has predestined some men to life, and reprobated some to death.
2. The moving or efficient cause of predestination to life is not the foreseeing of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of anything innate in the person of the predestined, but only the will of the good pleasure of God.
3. There is a determined and certain number of predestined, which cannot be increased or diminished.
4. Those not predestined to salvation are inevitably condemned on account of their sins.
5. A true, lively and justifying faith, and the sanctifying Spirit of God, is not lost nor does it pass away either totally or finally in the elect.
6. The truly faithful man—that is, one endowed with justifying faith—is sure by full assurance of faith of the remission of sins and his eternal salvation through Christ.
7. Saving grace is not granted, is not made common, is not ceded to all men, by which they might be saved, if they wish.
8. No one can come to Christ unless it be granted to him, and unless the Father draws him: and all men are not drawn by the Father to come to the Son.
9. It is not in the will or power of each and every man to be saved.

The Lambeth Articles were drawn up by Dr. William Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, with input from Dr. Richard Fletcher (Bishop of London), Dr. Richard Vaughan (Bishop-elect of Bangor) and Humphrey Tyndall (Dean of Ely).

The Articles were formally approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. John Whitgift), the Archbishop of York (Dr. Matthew Hutton) and other prelates convened at Lambeth Palace, London (20 November, 1595). The Archbishop of Canterbury, sent the Lambeth Articles to the University of Cambridge a few days later, not as new laws or decrees, but as an explanation of certain points already established by the laws of the land.

The Lambeth Articles were never officially added to the Church of England’s Thirty-Nine Articles (1563). They were, however, accepted by the Dublin Convocation of 1615 and engrafted on the Irish Articles (1615). In the Church of Ireland, the Lambeth Articles obtained for some time a semi-symbolical authority. It is stated that they were exhibited at the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) by the English deputies, as the judgment of the Church of England on Arminianism.

Sadly, today, most Anglican (and other) churches around the world have fallen into Arminian free-willism, and the faithful Lambeth Articles are either unknown or rejected.
 

What Is a Protestant? (1)

People refer to Protestant congregations, denominations, people, ideas, etc. In the British coronation oath, the monarch avers, “I am a faithful Protestant.” Given differing ideas regarding Protestantism and with 2017 being the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the question, “What is a Protestant?” is especially important.

This question will be answered historically (Where and when did the term Protestant originate? What does this tell us about its meaning?), theologically (What are the key doctrines of Protestantism?) and ethically (What are the crucial aspects of the morality and lives of Protestants?). Our answer will get to the heart of the identity of Protestantism, for we will not deal with secondary or peripheral issues but what Protestantism essentially is.

So what is the historical origin of the word Protestant? The term Protestant arose in what country? Germany (not Britain). In what city? Speyer in southwest Germany. In what century? The sixteenth century. In what year? 1529, twelve years after Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg.

To explain more fully, the Imperial Diet (or general assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire met in Speyer in 1529. The Roman Catholic majority decided that Martin Luther was rightfully under the imperial ban (i.e., he was reckoned legally dead, so that anyone was allowed to rob, injure or kill him without any judicial consequences); Luther’s writings and teachings were forbidden; the Reformation was not allowed to spread.

However, six princes and fourteen imperial cities protested against this decision: We must follow our consciences in submission to the Word of God! The preaching of the Holy Scriptures must not be bound!

These Protestants had the same spirit as Martin Luther, who declared in 1521 at Worms, another Imperial Diet, eight years before Speyer, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the Pope or in councils alone, since it is well-known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.” In this famous statement, you will notice that Luther refers three times to the Word of God or the Scriptures and twice to his conscience, for his conscience was bound to the Word.

The first Protestants in 1529 and Martin Luther had the same spirit as “Peter and the other apostles” in Acts 5:29, who testified, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” All these believers in Jesus Christ took a stand for God’s truth before hostile authorities, displaying spiritual courage at great personal risk.  Rev. Stewart
 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 28 September, 2017
 7:15 PM

Speaker: Rev. Angus Stewart
(pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, N. Ireland)

Subject:
Martin Luther and God’s Saving Righteousness
 
NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
www.limerickreformed.com
 

Celebrating
500 Years
of the Reformation

----
Reformation
Conference


Saturday, 21 October, 2017
11 AM -  “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God”
1 PM - “Justification in Paul
and in James”
(lunch served between the two lectures)

Friday, 27 October, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Martin Luther: Man of Conviction”

Friday, 3 November, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

Speaker
 Prof. David J. Engelsma 

emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Venue
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence St., Ballymena, N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services,
11 AM & 6 PM, on Lord’s Days 22 & 29 October and
5 November


Watch www.cprc.co.uk or contact us at (028) 25 891851 
for more details closer to the event 
Knowing God in the Last Days
Commentary on II Peter

Mark Hoeksema
(93 pp., hardback)

Knowing God in the Last Days is an explanation of the second general epistle of Peter to the early New Testament church. The primary theme of the letter is the knowledge of God, a concept that occurs many times and in various contexts throughout the book. The secondary theme of II Peter is the application of the knowledge of God to the last days in which we live. Especially in his third chapter, Peter reveals to the church the knowledge of God as it relates to the end times. Based on exegesis of the Greek text, this commentary gives clarity of explanation to God’s people regarding necessary and important aspects of today’s Christian life. 

£8.80 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

Philemon: An Object Lesson in Forgiveness

9 sermons by
Rev. Martyn McGeown
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set
 
This short New Testament book was written by Paul to Philemon 
regarding his runaway slave, Onesimus, who had recently been 
converted to Jesus Christ. It is, as the title of this 9-sermon series 
by Rev. McGeown puts it, an object lesson in forgiveness!
  
(1) Slavery and the Bible
(2) Greeting a Beloved Brother
(3) Paul’s Commendation of Philemon’s Love
(4) Paul’s Approach to Philemon
(5) Paul’s Heartfelt Plea for Onesimus
(6) Paul’s Consideration of Philemon’s Position
(7) God’s Good Purpose in Onesimus’ Departure
(8) Paul’s Satisfaction of
Onesimus’ Debt
(9) Paul’s Confident Conclusion

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

LIsten free on-line
or order from the
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

Reformed News Asia - August 2017 (#42)

Issue 42 - August 2017
Pamphlets
We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN MARRIAGE
By Rev Wilbur Bruinsma

"Conflict in marriage is inevitable.  It is so because in marriage two sinners are bound together by God.  None of us is free of sin.  And sin is what gives rise to conflict in marriage.  There are disagreements that arise between a husband and a wife.  In fact, it is a wonder that God, almost miraculously, takes two incompatible sinners and makes them one flesh, and then, by His grace, causes them to live together in that peace and that joy which is necessary for marriage."

In a two-part series aired over the Reformed Witness Hour radio broadcast, Rev Bruinsma talks about one of the main causes of conflict in marriage - pride - as well as practices that should be found in every marriage: giving, communication, reading the Word of God together and repentance.

Read to find out more!


Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.

 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Less Than The Least
by Cornelius Hanko

From the RFPA website:

"Son of Dutch immigrants to America, Rev. Hanko served six pastorates in five states, most notably in First Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1948–1964), along with Rev. Herman Hoeksema and Rev. Hubert De Wolf. Rev. Hanko poignantly describes the grief caused in the PRC by De Wolf’s heresy and schism (1953).

More than this, Less Than the Least follows Rev. Hanko from his childhood, school days, and seminary training, all the way to his retirement (1977) and beyond.

This delightful book comes complete with photos and appendices."

 
Audio Recordings
2 elders and 1 deacon were recently installed in CERC. Rev Lanning preached the following sermon to encourage them in the joy of an office-bearer:

The Officebearer's Joy
 

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Reformation Day Conference 2017

Come commemorate the 500th year of the Reformation with us this RDC! Details in the poster below.

 
Past Events...
 
Installation of Office Bearers
We thank the Lord for providing CERC with willing men who serve in the offices of Elder and Deacon. We pray for the Lord's blessings as these new office-bearers undertake their respective callings.
Chew Lap Meng installed into the office of Elder
Lim Seow Thong installed into the office of Elder
Lee Meng Hsien installed into the office of Deacon
A resolute "YES" to the questions in the form for ordination of elders and deacons
 
CK/CKS Outing
In our recent CKCKS outing, the youths visited Fort Siloso on Sentosa. This fort was built in the late 19th century to protect Singapore from sea invasions.
Posing with the big guns. Yes Sir!
View of mainland Singapore from Sentosa
Kuang giving us the exhortation.
 
Church Fellowship Outing
Singapore's National Day, 9th Aug, was a public holiday and we took the chance to go for a hike at the new Windsor Park. It was a simple, stroller-friendly hike which was a welcome opportunity for good Christian fellowship.
Kicking it off with singing and exhortation
Plenty of fellowship on the hike
Met some friends along the way
Into the forest! Welcome break from city life.
 
Prof and Mrs Dykstra
Prof and Mrs Dykstra were the latest visitors to the sunny island of Singapore! They dropped by for a week's visit enroute back to USA from Australia. On Sunday, a group stayed back after the second service to attend a Table Talk by Prof Dystra which was followed by a farewell dinner.
 
Marcus and Tze Yan's Wedding
This August, Marcus and Tze Yan were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union.

Click on the picture below to view the choir presentation at the wedding, "Day by Day".

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  •www.cerc.org.sg 
 

Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for September 2017

RWH logo 1

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for September 2017 on the RWH radio program.

haak smallRev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, completes his four-month service for the RWH program, as he speaks on some key doctrines of the Christian faith: true saving faith, creation, God's mysterious providence, and who Jesus Christ is.

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 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

September 3 - True Faith, II Timothy 1:12

September 10 - The Creation, Genesis 1:1

September 17 - The Secret Providence of God, Psalm 57:2

September 24 - Who is Jesus?, Matthew 1:21

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

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

RWH Facebook image

facebook.com/reformedwitness/

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PRC Weekly Congregational and Mission News - August 27, 2017 **(Updated)

 Psalms 119 103On this final Lord's Day of August 2017 (August 27) we note the following news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This morning Candidate Justin Smidstra ACCEPTED the call from First PRC of Holland MI  and therefore DECLINED the call from Southwest PRC. We thank the Lord for leading this candidate to the sure knowledge of God's will and for giving him a place to begin his ministry in the PRC.
  • This morning Candidate Matt DeBoer ACCEPTED the call from Edgerton PRC. We thank the Lord for leading him too and for giving him a place in the churches where he can begin his ministry.
  • On August 13 Candidate Joe Holstege accepted the call to Zion PRC. We praise God for His provision of a place for this candidate and a first pastor for this new congregation. Plans are being made for him to be examined at the September meeting of Classis East.
  • Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) on August 6. *UPDATE: Today Rev. Guichelaar declined this call. The Council formed a new trio consisting of Candidates Brian Feenstra, Jonathan Langerak, and Stephan Regnerus. The congregation will vote on Sept.3 following the afternoon service.
  • Rev. T. Miersma (Immanuel PRC, Lacombe) continues to make preparations for his emeritation at the beginning of September.
    • He and his wife moved into their new home near Edmonton this week. His farewell sermon and program are planned for the afternoon service today.
    • Loveland PRC included this appropriate note in its bulletin today: "Rev. Tom Miersma bids farewell today to the congregation in Lacombe, AB, and lays down the active pastoral labors for emeritation. We thank God for his many years of service, including years as our missionary in Alamosa and Spokane, and pray for God’s continued blessing upon him and his wife Jan as they settle into their new home in Edmonton."
  • Rev. Doug Kuiper (professor-elect at the PRC Seminary) preached his farewell in Edgerton PRC on August 13. He and his family moved to West Michigan that same week and are settling in. He is beginning to participate in the life of the seminary and will soon begin classes at Calvin Theological Seminary for his ThM degree. His installation as professor is set for Wednesday, Sept.20, in Faith PRC, 7 p.m.
  • From Byron Center PRC's Council:
    • Pastor Spriensma’s farewell sermon is scheduled for September 17 during the morning worship service. His installation as home missionary is scheduled for September 17 during the evening worship service.
    • From the Council's trio chosen for the congregation to vote for a new pastor (Revs. C. Griess, Calvary PRC, Hull; B. Huizinga, Hope PRC, Redlands, CA; and A. Lanning, CERC, Singapore) the congregation voted to call Rev. B. Huizinga on August 20.
  • And Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) included this note in her bulletin, which we ought not forget: "These candidates are still awaiting calls: Brian Feenstra, Jonathan Langerak, David Noorman and Stephan Regnerus. We continue to pray for them during this time of waiting and that God will confirm their call to the ministry with the objective call from a congregation."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

 

  • From the PRC Contact Committee comes notice of a special trip to South Korea this week by Rev. W. Langerak and Prof. R. Cammenga:
    • On August 31, Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. Wm. Langerak will leave, D.V., for S. Korea as representatives of our denomination's Committee for Contact with Other Churches, as authorized by Synod 2017.  They will be following up on contacts with individuals and with churches.  In addition they have been requested to speak at a REFO 500 conference, as well as in three different Reformed seminaries, several churches, and to various groups.  They plan to return on Monday, Sept. 11.  Pray for them and for the Lord's use of this trip to bring us into close contact with Reformed Christians in this country and in that part of the world.
  • iron sharpens iron logoProfessor David J. Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Arnzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” on Friday, September 1, from 4-6 PM EST.  The subject will be his recent book, The Gospel Truth of Justification.  You can go to the website  www.ironsharpensironradio.com and click on the live stream it box to tune in and listen from any device.  The program can also be listened to by phone at (563)999-9206, press #3 for Christian Radio when prompted. Now that the live interview is concluded, you may listen to the recorded version here, compliments of the host Chris Arntzen.
  • Psalter app DV 2017A new PRC Psalter app (Android) has been developed by Hope PRC member Jonathan Vermeer. You will find it in the Google Play store at this link. The app includes lyrics and tunes to all of our Psalter #s and links to the Psalms themselves. Plus, it has a special "night mode" setting for use in the dark (as, for example, for campfire singing).
  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. C. Haak is "Christian Education is Covenant Education", Isaiah 38:19.

MISSION NEWS:

  • On July 30 Rev. A. Spriensma ACCEPTED Byron Center PRC's call to serve as home missionary. We thank the Lord for providing us a home missionary once again and we pray for pastor Spriensma and Byron Center PRC as they transition to this new position. His installation as missionary is scheduled for Sept.17 during the evening service.
  • On August 20 Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) declined the call from Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines.
  • From the bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Rev. D. Holstege will preach for us both times today and next Sunday, Lord willing.

    • Thanks to our Father in heaven for bringing Matt and Sarah Kortus back to the U.S.A. last week. Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn plan to fly home to the Philippines tomorrow, Lord willing.

    • Rev. Kleyn will start teaching the Saturday morning catechism class again on September 9. So there will be no catechism this Saturday.

    • Rev. Clay Spronk declined the call to be a third missionary in the Philippines. May the Lord prepare and send another laborer for this field soon! For the harvest is great and the laborers are few.

    Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.

The Kleyns' recently posted pictures and descriptions of the summer mission internship of Seminarian Matt Kortus, which ends today. Below are a couple of samples. Find more at the link provided.

 MKortus catechism 2017

Teaching catechism in Provident CC, Marikina

Kortus BulacanPRC 2017
Dinner with the Consistory of the PRC in Bulacan.
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Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - August 2017

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
25 August, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

North American Trip

Our biennial holiday in North America (17 July—14 August) took us to the Northwest (where we tented and hiked in the mountains: Mt. Rainier, WA; Glacier, MT; and the Canadian Rockies) for three weeks and Grand Rapids (where we stayed with Mary's parents) for one week.

I preached eight sermons on four Sundays in six Protestant Reformed churches (Spokane, Edmonton, Lacombe, Lynden, Providence, and Hudsonville). After each of the four Sunday afternoon or evening services, I showed slides, mentioning the various factors the Lord used to bring the saints in the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church (CPRC) and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) into contact and membership with these bodies. Looming large were Reformed books, PR pamphlets, and the witness of current members, members who have since left, or even those who never became members themselves! Rev. Allen Brummel and I both spoke once at an evangelism conference in Lacombe (29 July).

We had a lovely time with family and friends, worshipping in various Protestant Reformed churches, and enjoying meals and hospitality with the saints. All are blessings in Jesus Christ through our sister-church relationship!

Our last call was at the RFPA building, where we picked up a banana box of books (containing especially Mark Hoeksema’s new commentary on II Peter), a briefcase of pamphlets and other literature to pack inside our other items of luggage to bring home. Rev. Martyn McGeown and Josh Harris from South Wales, who were over for the Young People's Convention, also brought back fine RFPA books.

A number of people have asked me if this was really a holiday. Yes, it was very relaxing and I cannot even say I was tired before we left for North America!

A lot of work awaited us on our return: scores of emails (though I had tried to keep up using borrowed computers on weekends while we were away), correspondence with new translators, four weeks’ post, fulfilling orders for books and audio-visual box sets, yard work (mowing lawns, trimming trees, a bonfire, etc.), website additions, etc. Now that we are mostly caught up, I can do the bimonthly letter!

The Bleyenbergs

Bleyenbergs Ballymena 2017 1Rev. Heath Bleyenberg was our main pulpit supply when we were away; the Bal-lymena Guardian carried an article about his coming with a photo (27 July). He and Deb were on our side of the Atlantic for three of the four Sundays of our absence.

Elder Brian Crossett led the services with DVD sermons on Sunday 1 in the CPRC. One Sunday 2, Rev. McGeown preached, with the Bleyenbergs in the LRF. On Sundays 3 and 4, Rev. Bleyenberg preached in Ballymena. His four recent sermons in the CPRC, plus his six sermons in Northern Ireland in 2011, are all in a handy YouTube playlist ( www.youtube. com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2EqoPrvrvwIMUPlJkPXb_Gf ).

The Bleyenbergs stayed with Rev. McGeown in Limerick for a few days and then in the CPRC manse. They visited in the homes of some of our members or went with them on day trips. Their last night in Northern Ireland was marked by a farewell tea at church (Sunday, 13 August).

Other News

Near the start of the summer, we held a barbecue at the manse (23 June). Though several were out of the country at the time, 75 CPRC members and friends were pre-sent. It was a fine night.

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 26 June. The finances are going very well. Since then, we have received a substantial amount of repaid taxes in the form of Gift Aid, plus the yearly sum for our church building’s solar panels. Our best-selling box set (42) for the last year was “Behold, I Come Quickly,” the 2016 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) speeches. Our best-selling books were (in order) Called to Watch for Christ’s Return (Rev. McGeown), Be Ye Holy (Profs. Engelsma and Hanko), and Christianizing the World (Prof. En-gelsma). The English Churchman published a lengthy, favourable review of the last title (21 & 28 July).

Earlier this week, Susan Hall and Janet Napier ran a Children’s Bible Club for the younger ones in the congregation (21-22 August).

Besides our older translators, such as Balint Vaserhelyi, who sent us 4 Hungarian pieces in the last two months, a few new helpers have joined us. Their recent translations are 6 Tagalog (by Jeremiah Baghuin Pascual in the Philippines); 3 (Church) Slavonic (ecumenical creeds by Paul in Russia); and 1 Bengali (the Heidelberg Catechism by Rev. Emmanuel Singh in Calcutta, India).

Mary has been working on a complete website overhaul to make the CPRC website more compatible with mobile phones (www.cprf.co.uk). Because of the size of our site, this is a massive undertaking. If you or anyone you know has some time, some computer skills, and is able to do some data entry accurately, we are looking for volunteers to help us. E-mail Mary, if you are interested (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

A number of people have asked us about the dates for next summer’s BRF Conference. The conference will be held 21-28 July, 2018, at Hebron Hall near Cardiff, South Wales (www.britishreformed.org). We hope to have booking forms out by the end of this year.
May the Lord strengthen and keep you all!

In Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Myanmar Report of Rev. Titus - August 2017

Myanmar map 2

Published under the auspices of Hope PRC in Walker, MI.

Dear brethren,


        Greetings in our faithful covenant Lord's name. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in summer time there. Here is raining season started and we had extraordinary rain this year, almost every day rain heavily and everywhere wet and mud and very dirty. Good thing is that the delegates not coming this time of the year; I believe they will run away for too dirty.

        With rain falling, our economy also falling very badly, as the weather is gloomy, the hearts of the people in this country also gloomy with hopelessness. Because, the new government neglected the economy very badly, it almost stop now; you can read this news in
Myanmar, Reuters.com. But our hope is in the Lord who faithfully leads us with His covenantal, Fatherly hands. I have to preach that message every week to my people. Deacon and elder are very busy to manage for our people, the same time they themselves struggle for their families. Regime change always have some severe effects for all the people. We hope that for His mercy, we will be better in near future.
       

        And religious extremists also quite active, so the new government is try everything it can to quench the crisis. We wish that for His providence care, our new government will know the best way to reconciliation all those differences is to make economy good, then
every body will forget all those extremists ideas. Now a days, we see on the road also very few foreigners, quite different atmosphere. Many so-called missionaries also leaving the country, because the new government increase visa fees, last time they pretended themselves businessmen and do mission work which is not very good, but now even those people very few, mostly they are from Korea, and American Evangelical - Baptist groups.

        We continue regularly our Thursday Bible class, Rev. Laning sometimes participated through Facetime; he took one hour and another hour we continue discussion on Reformed Essentials.        

        But, I am still busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation, I finished the book of Hebrews, and going to start the book of James and I preached every week from out of that editing. Evening services Hidelberg Catechism, now I reach LD 36.

        For Sunday Digest, now I started translating, the book of Joshua, reach chapter 10. I reached translating "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "David and Jonathan." I am translating, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema. I am translating the topic "God's Creation of the Living Creatures."

        Catechism classes, younger one, we started Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma. This week we reach lesson 35. Older youth, I am still teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction" by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, revised by Prof. Herman Hanko," Our re-discussion on the points that the youth have to know more still continue, so we kind of have free-hand discussions; the youth asked me from lessons that they like to know more about or things they did not find very clear the first time.

        Thank you very much for supporting my ministry till today; without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continues to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. In my congregational prayer as well as in
personal prayers always pray for you to overcome all the present crisis and move forward for His glory. The Lord's blessings to you all.

Your brother
Rev. Titus

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PRC Weekly Congregational and Mission News - August 20, 2017 *(Updated)

Psalms 34 8

On this third Lord's Day of August 2017 (August 20) we note the following news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On August 13 Candidate Joe Holstege accepted the call to Zion PRC. We praise God for His provision of a place for this candidate and a first pastor for this new congregation.
  • Candidate Justin Smidstra continues to consider the calls from Southwest PRC (Grandville, MI - received July 16) and from First PRC of Holland MI (received July 30).
  • Candidate Matt DeBoer continues to consider the call from Edgerton PRC, received on July 23.
  • Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) on August 6.
  • Rev. T. Miersma (Immanuel PRC, Lacombe) continues to make preparations for his emeritation in September. He and his wife moved into their new home this week. His farewell sermon and program are planned for the afternoon service next week Sunday, August 27.
  • Rev. Doug Kuiper (professor-elect at the PRC Seminary) preached his farewell in Edgerton PRC on August 13. He and his family moved to West Michigan this past week. Soon he will begin classes at Calvin Theological Seminary for his ThM degree. His installation as professor is set for Wednesday, Sept.20, in Faith PRC, 7 p.m.
  • From Byron Center PRC's Council: Pastor Spriensma’s farewell sermon is scheduled for September 17 during the morning worship service. His installation as home missionary is scheduled for September 17 during the evening worship service. The Council has put together a trio of pastors to vote from in order to extend a call to be our new pastor. The trio consists of Revs. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull), B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA), and A. Lanning (CERC, Singapore). The congregational meeting is set for August 20 after the evening worship service. *UPDATE: Rev. B. Huizinga has received this call.
  • And Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) included this note in her bulletin, which we ought not forget: "These candidates are still awaiting calls: Brian Feenstra, Jonathan Langerak, David Noorman and Stephan Regnerus. We continue to pray for them during this time of waiting and that God will confirm their call to the ministry with the objective call from a congregation."

MISSION NEWS:

  • On July 30 Rev. A. Spriensma ACCEPTED Byron Center PRC's call to serve as home missionary. We thank the Lord for providing us a home missionary once again and we pray for pastor Spriensma and Byron Center PRC as they transition to this new position. His installation as missionary is scheduled for Sept.17 during the evening service.
  • On July 24 Doon PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. C. Spronk to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. This morning it was announced in Doon PRC and in Faith PRC (his current congregation) that he had DECLINED this call.
  • From the bulletins of the Berean PRC in Manila and the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC) - A warm welcome to all our visitors today, including Rev. Vernon Ibe who will preach the Word of the Lord to us and lead us in worship. Rev. Holstege is preaching at the PRC of Bulacan today. Thus, there will be no Church Order class today. Rev. Holstege will preach, teach CO, and lead Youth Fellowship next Sunday, August 27.

    • Sem. Matt Kortus is leading the worship services at the Berean PRC today. Matt and Sarah will return to the U.S.A. tomorrow, August 21, Lord willing. We thank them for their good teaching, witness, and fellowship during these past 8 weeks. We thank the PRCA for sending them into our midst for a short time. And we pray that the Lord will bless them and keep them as they go home and continue their life and work in Michigan.

    • Today Rev. Kleyn will preach at Faith PRC in Michigan and give a presentation on our mission work in the Philippines. The Kleyns plan to return home on Tuesday, August 29.

    • (Berean PRC) - Our pastor [Rev. V. Ibe]  is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community church inTondo Manila today @ 3P.M. the Lord willing. He will also lead the saints there in their study of the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine on Lesson #13 @ 5:30P.M. Our pastor is scheduled to visit the saints in Sitio Karugang, Gabaldon NE on Friday (August 25, 2017). Rev. Ibe will lead the saints there in their study of the Essentials of Reformed doctrine on lesson #13.

    Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.

The Kleyns' recently posted pictures and descriptions of the summer mission internship of Seminarian Matt Kortus, which ends today. Below are a couple of samples. Find more at the link provided.

 MKortus catechism 2017

Teaching catechism in Provident CC, Marikina

Kortus BulacanPRC 2017
Dinner with the Consistory of the PRC in Bulacan.
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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - August 13, 2017

Psalms 121 5On this second Lord's Day of August 2017 (August13) we note the following news and information from PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This morning Candidate Joe Holstege accepted the call to Zion PRC. We praise God for His provision of a place for this candidate and a first pastor for this new congregation.
  • Candidate Justin Smidstra continues to consider the calls from Southwest PRC (Grandville, MI - received July 16) and from First PRC of Holland MI(received July 30).
  • Candidate Matt DeBoer continues to consider the call from Edgerton PRC, received on July 23.
  • Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) on August 6.
  • From Byron Center PRC's Council: Pastor Spriensma’s farewell sermon is scheduled for September 17 during the morning worship service. His installation as home missionary is scheduled for September 17 during the evening worship service. The Council has put together a trio of pastors to vote from in order to extend a call to be our new pastor. The trio consists of Revs. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull), B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA), and A. Lanning (CERC, Singapore). The congregational meeting is set for August 20 after the evening worship service.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • DgKuiper 2017The Synod of 2017 called Rev. D. Kuiper to serve in the PRC Seminary as professor of church history and NT studies, in replacement of Prof. R. Dykstra. On July 2 he announced his acceptance of this call. We give thanks to God for providing a man for this position, and pray for him and his family as well as Edgerton PRC as he makes this transition and prepares for his new post (cf. picture below).
    • Rev. Kuiper's farewell from Edgerton PRC is planned for today, August 13.
    • His installation as professor is planned for Wednesday, Sept.20, in Faith PRC, D.V.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS  - This bulletin information from Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N. Ireland pertains to her pastor's current furlough in the U.S., which concludes this week:

The Stewarts will be in N. America from 17 July to 14 August. The Lord’s Day schedule in the CPRC while Rev. Stewart is away is as follows:


13 August - Rev. Bleyenberg preaches, with tea after the evening service—Group A on the tea rota (Pastor preaches in Providence and Hudsonville in Michigan)
20 August - Rev. McGeown preaches (Pastor preaches in the LRF)

 

MISSION NEWS:

  • On July 30 Rev. A. Spriensma ACCEPTED Byron Center PRC's call to serve as home missionary. We thank the Lord for providing us a home missionary once again and we pray for pastor Spriensma and Byron Center PRC as they transition to this new position. His installation as missionary is scheduled for Sept.17 during the evening service.
  • On July 24 Doon PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. C. Spronk to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. He continues to consider this call.
  • From the bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Today, Sem. Matt Kortus will lead both of our worship services. Rev. Holstege will teach the Church Order at 10:15. The Kortus’s will be in the Berean PRC next Sunday. Then they will return to the U.S. on Monday, August 21, Lord willing. Matt will begin his third year of seminary this month. Let’s pray for him and the other students.
    • This Wednesday, August 16, Rev. Holstege will review Heads III/IV of the Canons of Dordt by looking at the Rejection of Errors. We will begin at 7:30 pm. You are all encouraged to join us.

    • Last week, Rev. Kleyn preached at Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan and gave a speech at the PRCA Young People’s Convention. Today he will preach at Crete PRC in Illinois and give them a presentation on our mission work. The Kleyns plan to return to the Philippines on Tuesday, August 29.

The Kleyns' recently posted pictures and descriptions of the summer mission internship of Seminarian Matt Kortus. Below are a couple of samples. Find more at the link provided.


7M July 2017
Participating in the 7M meeting

Provident MattK July 2017
Leading the worship service at Provident CC, Marikina

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