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Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - March 2018

Limerick Reformed Fellowship


Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally Co. Limerick, Ireland
http://www.limerickreformed.com/
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Yesterday the entire Irish nation was on shutdown from 4 P.M. onwards because of an unprecedented weather event—Storm Emma and the “Beast from the East” (I kid you not) promised nationwide whiteout blizzard conditions, so that all schools were closed, public transport shut down, flights in and out of Ireland were cancelled, people resorted to the “panic buying” of bread and milk, and the “National Emergency Coordination Group” urged everyone to stay inside. 4 P.M. came and went and this morning we have 2-3 inches of snow in Limerick. Other parts of the country are harder hit with much more snow. I am glad that I did not have to travel to Wales this week (I gave a speech there last week), while one of our members, Manuel Kuhs, was able to get back from his business trip early before he was stranded in Germany (Psalm 146:15-17!).

tech team 2018

“Tech Team” - Chester Mansona, Sam Watterson, and Manuel Kuhs holding Jonas

In my last newsletter, I mentioned that our “tech experts” are working on a way to install speakers in the cry room so that people can hear the sermons. Several at-tempts have been made with different equipment options, including radio transmitters, but so far we have been unsuccessful. Thomas Edison reportedly made 1,000 attempts before he invented the lightbulb. Hopefully, our crack team of tech support (pictured) will reach a breakthrough quicker than that!

We have two new regular visitors. The first arrived on 31 December. As we were standing outside waiting for the gate-keeper to open the hall (he was late!), a gentleman arrived asking for the “church on Thomas Street.” His name is Noel Kelly (aged 69) and he is legally blind. In the past, he attended Limerick Baptist Church, but he has decided to attend the LRF instead. He also lives a short distance from me in Corbally, so that I can give him a ride to the services every Sunday and to the Bible study every Tuesday. The sermon that I preached that Sunday morning was “Jehovah Turning Our Mourning into Dancing” (Ps. 30:11-12).

The second visitor arrived on January 14, invited by Colm Ring. She is a student from Greece studying toxicology at the University of Limerick. She arrived as an unbeliever, having never heard of Protestantism, and was amazed at the clear preaching and teaching of the LRF. The first sermon she heard was “Comprehending the Dimensions of Christ’s Love” (Eph. 3:17-19). She has also been enjoying the Heidelberg Catechism sermons on misery (I spent four Sundays on LD 3 this time, which is my fifth time through the Catechism): “Diagnosing Our Misery” (LD 2); “The Good Creation of Man” (LD 3); “The Fall of Man into Sin” (LD 3); “The Total Depravity of Man” (LD 3); and “Except We Are Regenerated” (LD 3). In the mornings I am preaching a short series on Romans 1:18ff. entitled, “The Operation of God’s Wrath in the World,” which deals with God’s wrath, man’s idolatry, and God’s giving man over to sin and debauchery. It is a fascinating, and sobering, subject.

She and Colm came to my house for lunch her first Sunday, where she asked me, “What is spiritual blindness?” and “Is predestination in the Bible or just something your church teaches?” (She had been reading some of the articles on our website). When I read to her from Ephesians 1, she remarked, “Wow, that’s very clear!” She is, however, very sad and frustrated—why is the Greek Orthodox Church so idolatrous and why are there no Reformed churches in Greece? (Alas, the same could be said of many European countries, where Reformed churches are very rare). She and Colm have begun to attend an Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class on Saturday afternoons. She is keen to learn and has many questions. She has also translated “Knowing the True God,” “What Is the Reformed Faith?” “The Sovereignty of God,” “Sovereign Election,” “Total Depravity,” “Justification by Faith Alone,” and “Our Only Comfort” into (modern) Greek.

Another recent highlight was the visit of Rev. Decker and Sid Miedema of the Contact Committee. Several members of the LRF—Sam and Jason Watterson, Manuel Kuhs, Chester Mansona, Colm Ring, and I—attended the CPRCNI annual “congregational dinner” in Ballymena (January 19). The church visitors were in Limerick from Thursday 25 to Monday 29 January, which is a longer time than usual. The saints in the LRF appreciated the extra days of fellowship with the American brethren. While they were here, Rev. Decker gave a very challenging lecture on “Living in a Digital Age” (Saturday 27 January) and preached twice on Sunday 28 January: “The Life and End of the Righteous” and “Boast Not Thyself of Tomorrow.” It was good to have Rev. Decker preach, for it meant I could get up early on Sunday morning and prepare several dishes for our congregational lunch! Everyone came to my house after the morning service where we enjoyed food, fellowship, and conversation together.

Many of you will have heard the radio interview on “Iron Sharpens Iron” with Chris Arnzen on Friday 5 January, where the topic of discussion was my book, Called to Watch for Christ’s Return. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the questions from callers; and I hope that it was a good witness to the Reformed Faith.

The next time I write a newsletter, D.V., I will be married! While I am in the U.S. for the wedding and honeymoon, Candidate Jonathan Langerak will be preaching for the LRF. Larisa and I look forward to married life together.

In Christian love,
Rev. Martyn McGeown

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Reformed News Asia - February 2018

Issue 47 - February 2018
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.
NEWPamphlet!
I AM BLACK, BUT BEAUTIFUL
By Rev. Doug Kuiper

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).

"Among the books of Holy Scripture is the book the Song of Solomon — a love poem between Solomon and his wife — a book that at times causes Christians to blush and to wonder, “What is the meaning of this book?” This book, if you are acquainted with it (and perhaps this week you can become acquainted with it), is part of the holy and authoritative Scriptures. In the words of Jesus Christ in John 5:39, “They are they which testify of me.” This book, the Song of Solomon, is written by the Holy Spirit to make plain to us and to make most lovely to us the relationship that exists between Christ, the husband, and us the church, His bride."

"The Song of Solomon,..., is a poem of Solomon’s love for the Shulamite woman. It is a representation through marriage of that beautiful and glorious union that God has made between us (the church, the believer) and Jesus Christ the Lord (the Bridegroom)."

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.
WALKING IN THE WAY OF LOVE
by Nathan J. Langerak

From the RFPA website:

Written by new author Nathan J. Langerak. Rev. Langerak is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He lives in Crete, Illinois, with his wife, Carrie, and six children. He has served as pastor of Crete Protestant Reformed Church since 2007.

________________________

"A love that disciplines impenitent sinners; a love that will not fellowship with the impenitent sinner; a love that will not endure false doctrine or those who teach it; a love that suffers the loss of all earthly things, including earthly friendships, goods, and standing for the sake of the truth; a love that says what the apostle Paul says at the end of his great book on love, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” is true love. It is God’s love and Christ’s love manifesting itself in the believer. These and many other hard things belong to the way of love as revealed by the Holy Spirit and in which 1 Corinthians calls the believer to walk."

 
Audio Recordings
Sermons on Justification by Faith Alone and not of works from the Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Day 23 & 24 by Rev Den Hartog:

The Gospel Of Justification By Faith Alone
Why Our Good Works Cannot Merit With God

 
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Good Friday Gospel Meeting

More details coming soon!
 
CERC Church Camp 2018

The highly anticipated 2018 Church Camp will be held from June 12-15, 2018 (Tue-Fri). Details as stated below. Registrations are now open! More details will be announced closer to the date.

Date: 12-15 June 2018 (Tue - Fri)
Venue: Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Meleka
Theme: Holiness: Not a Condition but a Necessity (1 Peter 1:16)
Speaker: Rev. A. den Hartog
 
Past Events...
 
CERC Church Retreat 2018
CERC began the year with an outing to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. There was an exhortation, followed by a slippery time on the wetland trails. Despite the rainy start to the year, there was a good time of fellowship!
Exhortation by Elder Leong
River trekking
 
Dave Noorman and Carisa Noorman
We welcomed Dave and Carisa Noorman to CERC for 3 Sundays: 31 December, 7 & 14 January for pulpit supply. We thank God for providing for CERC and for the fellowship we had with them.
Welcome to rainy Singapore!
 
Wedding of Jiachin and Millie
This January, Jiachin and Millie were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union.
Walking down the aisle
 
Rev. and Mrs den Hartog
Once again, we thank God for Rev. Arie den Hartog who had recently retired from the ministry in the PRCA but was willing to supply our pulpit from 28 January through the end of June 2018. To many, this is not the first time seeing them and we are glad to welcome them back.
Rev den Hartog and Sherry at Glowing Candles Bible study
 
CNY Visitation - 24 Feb
Two homes were opened this year for our annual church CNY visitation - Rev. den Hartog's and Melina's. The event was filled with food (spiritual and physical), fun, and fellowship!
At Melina's home
 
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 
 
 
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Pastor-elect D. Noorman Sustains Classical Exam; Ordination Set for March 7, 2018

DNoorman Feb2018 classis 1
Pastor-elect David Noorman prior to preaching his specimen sermon before Classis East.

At the meeting of Classis East on Wednesday, Feb.28, 2018, at Hudsonville PRC Pastor-elect David Noorman (who has accepted call to Southwest PRC in Wyoming, MI) successfully sustained his examination before the Classis.

The body unanimously approved the examination and advised Southwest PRC to proceed with his ordination and installation as a minister of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. That will take place, D.V. next Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in SW PRC.

We thank God for this further confirmation of Pastor-elect Noorman's call to the ministry and pray for the brother as he prepares to begin his ministry in SW PRC.
And we extend hearty congratulations to David and his wife Carisa!
D CNoorman Feb2018 classis 2
Pastor-elect D. Noorman and his wife Carisa.
Isaiah 52:7 - "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of February 25, 2018

 Matt5 6

On this eighth Lord's Day of 2018, February 25, we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Jan.28 Candidate David Noorman ACCEPTED the call from Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). From SW's bulletin we find these details concerning his classical examination and ordination/installation:
    • Pastor-elect Dave Noorman's classical exam is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, at Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church at 8:00 am. After opening devotions Mr. Noorman will preach his specimen sermon. His oral exam will commence once his sermon has been approved. The congregation is welcome to attend classis and witness this proceeding. The congregation is exhorted to remember Mr. Noorman in their prayers as he prepares for this examination.
    • The consistory calls the congregation to a special worship service on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:00 pm for the purpose of the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Dave Noorman as the next pastor at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. R. Cammenga will lead us in worship and conduct the installation. Refreshments will be served after the service.
  • The special delegation to the Philippines for the annual visit on behalf of Doon PRC and the FMC is completing their time and labors today and tomorrow. After worshiping with the saints in the churches there today, they will attend the PRCP meeting of Classis tomorrow before returning home Tuesday. May the Lord bless this visit and give safe return to Rev. C. Griess and Joel and Michelle Van Egdom.
  • And from First PRC in Edmonton, AB we have this special notice: "The dates for the 2018 Family Conference have been finalized! First PRC in Edmonton, AB plans to host the conference July 20-22, 2018 D.V. Hear from our speakers: Rev. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus on the topic of 'Seeking The Lord'. Mark your calendars and plan to attend what promises to be a spiritually encouraging time of growth and fellowship with saints from Canada and abroad, as well as an opportunity to see some of the beauty that God has created here in Canada. For more information or to register, please visit our website https://edmontonfamilyconf.wixsite.com/conference2018, or contact Scott Ferguson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "

Dec 2016 1

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • From the PRC Seminary comes this February news:
    • The seminary has now completed five weeks of the second semester. The first practice preaching sessions will be held on Monday, Feb.26 and Monday, March 5. Pray for the young men that they may prepare well for this important part of their training.
    • The upcoming internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman have been planned and confirmed and have been announced. Sem. Kortus will be interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council and Sem. Maatman will intern at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.
    • The seminary’s interim course this year is now completed. Prof. R. Cammenga taught his special course on “The Theology of John Calvin.”  If you would like to watch/listen to the videos of this course, they are posted on the Seminary's main page.
  • Classis East will reconvene its January meeting this Wednesday, Feb.28, 2018 at Hudsonville PRC at 8 AM. *Cf. note above about Pastor-elect D. Noorman's examination, which will take place first.
  • Classis West will have its next regular meeting in Loveland, CO on Wednesday, March 7.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be reported:
    • Rev. A. den Hartog and his wife Sherry are serving the CERC until at least June of this year. Read the "Pastor's Voice" part of her bulletin to learn more.
    • Her latest newsletter - Reformed News Asia - (December 2017) may be found on this page.
    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (January 2018). Check that out on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted recently (Feb. 2018). And don't forget her other publication - Covenant Reformed News! That latest issue (Feb. 2018) may be found here.
    • Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Hebron Hall in South Wales from Saturday, July 21, to Saturday, July 28. Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God." More information and booking forms are available at http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins (616-214-2779; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 good enough for god DLee Page 1

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Looking for pamphlets published by the PRC? Visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
  • 2018 YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONVENTION CHAPERONE & NURSE REGISTRATION is now open!  The convention, hosted by the five Midwest churches, is planned for August 13-17, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN.  To register, go to prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the chaperone or nurse tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • FUTURE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS: Information for the 2018 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 31.
  • What kind of reading material do you have laying around the house for your children to read? Do you feel like there is something missing? If you do not currently subscribe to Beacon Lights, you are missing out! This magazine is designed for Reformed youth, but adults read it with profit as well. What about the cost? Right now, the average cable bill in the U.S is over $100/month. If you took only one of those monthly payments, that would cover over six years of the $15/yr subscription price! Subscribe today at www.beaconlights.org to make sure you receive the March special issue which will focus on bullying.

  • Reformed Book Outlet: The February 2018 newsletter notes that you may find children's music CDs and that officebearers may find many resources for their work (cf. attached pdf.).

  • Psalm Choir - The latest CD, Volume 20, ‘Sweet Refreshment’ is now available. There are over 25 selections from the past two seasons.  Please visit the website www.psalmchoir.com to order.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) continues a series on the OT book of Ruth. His message is "The First Meeting of Boaz and Ruth" based on Ruth 2:1-17.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 PRCP Classis Feb 2017Meeting of the PRC-Philippines Classis a year ago - February 2017

 MISSION NEWS:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter is dated November 2017 and may be found on this PRC webpage. The annual Doon/FMC delegation to the Philippines is visiting the field from February 15-27. This year's delegation consists of are Rev. C. Griess and Joel Van Egdom, along with his wife Michelle. They are finishing their work today and plan to return to the States this Tuesday. May God grant a blessing to the labors performed and give the delegation a safe return.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's one!
  • The December 2017 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.
  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Provident CC: 
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. Next Sunday, Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for PCC. In Church Order today we will look at Articles 57ff.

      • The Children’s Catechism class will meet again next Sunday, March 4, Lord willing, during the Church Order class. Rev. Kleyn will teach Lesson 19 in OT History for Juniors.

      • The delegation from the PRCA will return to the U.S. on Tuesday, February 27, Lord willing. We thank them for their visit to PCC last Sunday and for the Word of God preached to us by Rev. Griess.

    • Maranatha PRC:

      • Our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead first service and after the second service Rev. Kleyn will continue teaching the class concerning the special offices of Elders and Deacons. Today’s topic: "The Work Of The Elders.”

      • We welcome Rev. Griess here today, and we especially welcome him to our pulpit as he preaches during the second worship service. He is visiting as part of the annual delegation of Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee of the PRCA. The other delegate, Deacon Joel Van Egdom and his wife Michelle, are worshiping today in the PRC in Bulacan.

      • The delegation plans to attend the PRCP Classis tomorrow, and then to return home on Tuesday, the Lord willing. We thank the Lord for their encouraging visit and pray they may return safely to their homes and families this week.

      • The Classis of the PRCP is scheduled to meet on Monday, February 26 at 9:00 a.m. here in Maranatha PRC. Everyone is welcome to attend and to observe the Classis meeting.

Let us remember and continue to lift up the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful in all their labors.
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PRC Weekly News for February 18, 2018 - Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church

Ps113 3

On this seventh Lord's Day of 2018, February 18, we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On February 11, Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) DECLINED the call to Calvary PRC.
  • On Jan.28 Candidate David Noorman ACCEPTED the call from Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). From SW's bulletin we find these details:
    • Pastor-elect Dave Noorman's classical exam is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, at Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church at 8:00 am. After opening devotions Mr. Noorman will preach his specimen sermon. His oral exam will commence once his sermon has been approved. The congregation is welcome to attend classis and witness this proceeding. The congregation is exhorted to remember Mr. Noorman in their prayers as he prepares for this examination.
    • The consistory calls the congregation to a special worship service on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:00 pm for the purpose of the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Dave Noorman as the next pastor at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. R. Cammenga will lead us in worship and conduct the installation. Refreshments will be served after the service.
  • From Doon PRC's bulletin we learn about the special delegation to the Philippines that left this past week for the annual visit on behalf of Doon PRC and the FMC: "The delegation of Rev. Griess and Joel & Michelle Van Egdom arrived safely in the Philippines this past week. The plan was for them to be in the Berean PRC for the first service on Sunday and in Provident Church for the second service." Let's remember to pray this week for this delegation and its work.
  • And from First PRC in Edmonton, AB we have this special notice: The dates for the 2018 Family Conference have been finalized! First PRC in Edmonton, AB plans to host the conference July 20-22, 2018 D.V. Hear from our speakers: Rev. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus on the topic of 'Seeking The Lord'. Mark your calendars and plan to attend what promises to be a spiritually encouraging time of growth and fellowship with saints from Canada and abroad, as well as an opportunity to see some of the beauty that God has created here in Canada. For more information or to register, please visit our website https://edmontonfamilyconf.wixsite.com/conference2018, or contact Scott Ferguson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • From the PRC Seminary comes this February news:
    • Second semester classes began for the seminary on January 23 (see the link above for that schedule). Remember in prayer the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in their daily work and studies.
    • The upcoming internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman have been planned and confirmed and are being announced today. Sem. Kortus will be interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council and Sem. Maatman will intern at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.
    • The seminary’s interim course this year is now completed. Prof. R. Cammenga taught his special course on “The Theology of John Calvin.”  If you would like to watch/listen to the videos of this course, they are posted on the Seminary's main page.
  • Classis East will reconvene its January meeting on Wednesday, Feb.28, 2018 at Hudsonville PRC at 8 AM.
  • Classis West will have its next regular meeting in Loveland, CO on Wednesday March 7.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be reported:
    • Rev. A. den Hartog and his wife Sherry are serving the CERC until at least June of this year. Read the "Pastor's Voice" part of her bulletin to learn more.
    • Her latest newsletter - Reformed News Asia - (December 2017) may be found on this page.
    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (January 2018). Check that out on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted recently (Feb. 2018). And don't forget her other publication - Covenant Reformed News! That latest issue (Feb. 2018) may be found here.
    • Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Hebron Hall in South Wales from Saturday, July 21, to Saturday, July 28. Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God." More information and booking forms are available at http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins (616-214-2779; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 Faith Practice SKey

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Looking for pamphlets published by the PRC? Visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
  • 2018 YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONVENTION CHAPERONE & NURSE REGISTRATION is now open!  The convention, hosted by the five Midwest churches, is planned for August 13-17, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN.  To register, go to prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the chaperone or nurse tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • FUTURE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS: Information for the 2018 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 31.
  • What kind of reading material do you have laying around the house for your children to read? Do you feel like there is something missing? If you do not currently subscribe to Beacon Lights, you are missing out! This magazine is designed for Reformed youth, but adults read it with profit as well. What about the cost? Right now, the average cable bill in the U.S is over $100/month. If you took only one of those monthly payments, that would cover over six years of the $15/yr subscription price! Subscribe today at www.beaconlights.org to make sure you receive the March special issue which will focus on bullying.

  • Reformed Book Outlet: The February 2018 newsletter notes that you may find children's music CDs and that officebearers may find many resources for their work (cf. attached pdf.).

  • Psalm Choir - The latest CD, Volume 20, ‘Sweet Refreshment’ is now available. There are over 25 selections from the past two seasons.  Please visit the website www.psalmchoir.com to order.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) continues a series on the OT book of Ruth. His message is "The Homecoming of Naomi," based on Ruth 1:19-22
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 3 missionaries families 2017
Our three PRC missionaries and their families in the Philippines shortly after the arrival of the Smits last December (2017).

 MISSION NEWS:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter is dated November 2017 and may be found on this PRC webpage. The annual Doon/FMC delegation to the Philippines is scheduled to visit the field from February 15-27. Going on this year's delegation are Rev. C. Griess and Joel Van Egdom, along with his wife Michelle.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And the Holstege's one too!
  • The December 2017 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.
  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Provident CC: 
      • This Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Cory Griess will preach in one of the services at PCC.

      • A delegation from the PRCA will visit the Philippines from February 16-27, Lord willing. The delegates are Rev. Cory Griess (pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids) and Mr. Joel VanEgdom (deacon from Doon PRC). Michelle VanEgdom also plans to come.

    • Maranatha PRC:

      • Our Pastor, Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services and after the second service he will teach us the Lesson # 46 of the Book of Revelation.

      • Next week Rev. D. Kleyn and Rev. C. Griess will lead the services respectively and Rev. Kleyn will continue the topic “The Role of the Officebearers.”

      • The Classis of the PRCP is scheduled to meet on Monday, February 26 at 9:00 a.m. here in Maranatha PRC. Everyone is welcome to attend and to observe the Classis meeting.

Let us remember and continue to lift up the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful in all their labors.
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Covenant Reformed News - February 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News

February 2018  •  Volume XVI, Issue 22



The Crowding Out of the Church

In general, twenty-first century Protestantism suffers from the terrible malaise of a gross ignorance of biblical and Reformed ecclesiology, faulty and false doctrines concerning the church, and a grievous under appreciation of Christ’s bride and body. Among the factors that produce and/or reinforce a low and erroneous view of the church is the misunderstanding of other spheres, institutions or parties, including work, oneself, the family and the state, which we shall consider in turn.
First, for some, the church is largely crowded out by work (the sphere of employment). Some are workaholics, labouring very long hours or often away on business trips, so the church gets short shrift in their lives. Some move home or attend university with little or no thought given to the presence or otherwise of a faithful congregation, manifesting the three marks of a true church, in the area (Belgic Confession 29). Some are given to “the love of money” which is the root of all sorts of evil (I Tim. 6:10), including slighting the church of which Christ is the head. Some professing believers break the fourth commandment by performing labour that is not a work of necessity or mercy, thereby incurring guilt before God, and depriving themselves of the means of grace and much-needed fellowship with other believers in the instituted church.
Second, there is the problem of unbiblical individualism (the sphere of self). Everything is all about me, my needs, and, hence, what the church can do for me. There is little or nothing about other saints and their needs, and what I can do for them. Little or no thought is given to the church or its head, the Lord Jesus Christ, just me!
Over against this, the Apostles’ Creed speaks of “the communion of the saints,” which is explained in the Heidelberg Catechism: “First, that all and every one who believes, being members of Christ, are, in common, partakers of Him and of all His riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members” (A. 55).
Typically, selfish people do not like being under authority (even where it is properly exercised) or having people over them (even if they are seeking to serve them in Jesus Christ) or being told what to do (even if this is done righteously and humbly) or being held accountable (even if it is to the Lord’s church and to Him).
This individualistic attitude has a hard time understanding, practising and living the biblical truth of the church. Such people struggle to submit to, enjoy and rejoice in scriptural ecclesiology. They kick against being part of a body and being under the Good Shepherd’s under-shepherds. In so doing, sadly, such people harm others and especially themselves.
Third, some have a wrong view of marriage and the home (the sphere of family). Consider a husband who is overbearing towards his wife and lords it over his household. Absolutely everything in the home has to come under his attention and suit him. Those who abuse their authority in their household will find it very difficult to submit and behave wisely in “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). If such a man is unemployed, with no boss to submit to or obey, his problem will be exacerbated because he is not used to being under anyone.
Likewise, there are wives for whom it is all about their husbands and children. The real issue is the home and the family. As long as they are okay, who cares about Christ’s body? The church is unnecessary or, at best, peripheral; never central.
For such husbands and wives (and their children), it is all about me and my family. The biblical place and significance of the church cannot be properly grasped and enjoyed.
However, the truth is that there should be no conflict: me versus the church or my family versus the church. The proper relationship is that of reciprocity. Believing husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children and individuals need and help the church. The church, in turn, needs and helps Christian husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children and individuals.
Fourth, there is the deification of the state (the sphere of civil government). In the twenty-first century, many states, especially in the West, are acting like God and are being regarded by many as if they were a sort of God. Professing Christians need to be careful lest their hearts and minds are secularized too!
The welfare state promises to give, through our taxes, cradle to grave security, if you can make it to the cradle without having been cruelly murdered in the womb. So who needs the God of providence and the church’s diaconate?
The politically-correct state seizes divine prerogatives by redefining person (in order to kill unborn babies), marriage (to promote homosexuality) and gender (to further transgenderism). All of this is contrary to God’s Word (Ps. 139:13-16; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 1:26-27), as proclaimed by the true churches of Jesus Christ.
The moralizing state redefines love as first tolerance, and then approval and even celebration of sin, especially sexual sin. It then redefines God as the soppy, immoral god of left-wing love. Who then needs the real God of love and the love of God in the cross of Jesus Christ, and the Ten Commandments as the summary of love for God and one’s neighbour, as proclaimed by Christ’s church?
The deification and absolutizing of the state is reflected in the well-nigh ubiquitous phrase: “the government,” as if the civil government is the only government that exists. What about God’s sovereign and all-encompassing government or the government of a business or family government or individual government or church government? The state’s unwarranted encroachment into the God-given spheres of the home, the church, work, etc., is bad enough but the Christian must not allow such usurpations to take over his own thinking!
Where this soul-deadening, secularizing, statist view steals the hearts and minds of professing Christians, they will have low views of the need of the church, the offices of the church, the authority of the church, the work of the church, etc. The leviathan, politically-correct state must not overshadow the believer’s vision of, and love for, God’s glorious church, the bride of Christ for whom He shed His atoning blood, and whom He sanctifies and cleanses by His Word (Eph. 5:25-27)! Rev. Angus Stewart
 

The Law of Christ (2)

We continue with our response to a reader’s question: “I would like to ask your view of the law of Christ (I Cor. 9:20-21). What exactly is the law of Christ and how does it, if at all, differ from the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament?”
God’s writing His law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33) is possible only because of our Lord’s amazing sacrifice on the cross. If I may put it that way, the deepest depth of Christ’s suffering was when He cried out in utter anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). It was an awful cry of abandonment: “why?” Yet, even then, His cry was, “My God, my God.” That is, even at that terrible moment, Christ was saying, “Even though I know nothing but pure wrath, I still love thee, O My God!” In other words, He kept the law of God, not only in the years of His ministry but even as He experienced hellish agonies. It was perfect obedience. He earned it for us. That is why the law is now written on our hearts. Christ did what we cannot do: keep God’s law. His motto was “I come to do thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:9).
Our Heidelberg Catechism speaks of a “must” regarding good works (Q. 86). The “must” arises out of our salvation. We are told that we must do good works because we are saved. We are told in the gospel that we can do good works as an incentive to do them. We are told in the Word that we will do good works. The “must,” the “can” and the “will” all come together in us by God’s work. The broken sinner is so happy to hear that he is justified by faith alone without his works that he, in thankfulness to God, does them through the power of divine grace.
Our good works are God’s working in us. Paul, in Philippians 2:12-13, urges us to work out our own salvation. The reason we are admonished to work out our salvation is because God has made it completely possible, for He, so the text tells us, not only makes us willing to do it but also He Himself works in us the very work He calls us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 is especially clear. Paul has said that salvation is God’s work entirely and never ours. We are saved by grace through faith—and neither grace nor faith are of ourselves but are gifts of God (8). Paul tells us how it is possible for us to do good works, even as those saved by grace through faith without works. We are God’s “workmanship” (10). The word means, God’s masterpiece, like the work of the greatest artist on a canvas. We are God’s workmanship because we show forth the skill and glory of the One who changed us from sinners to saints.
But what about our good works? Well, for one thing, He made us what we are so that we could do good works: “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (10). Even these good works are decreed for us—every one of them—in God’s eternal counsel: “good works, which God hath before ordained” (10). God determined them; Christ earned them, all of them, on His cross. They are part of our salvation. Our good works are God’s gift through Christ. Wonder of wonders, God determined that we should walk in them! It is all of God!
The complaint is made that this doctrine makes man a robot. How can a work be our work and God’s work? Cannot these deniers of sovereign grace see that God is almighty? He does marvellous things! The Canons of Dordt call this work of God as great a wonder as His creation of the universe, for it is “mysterious,” “ineffable,” beyond our understanding (III/IV:12). We, weak and insignificant creatures, cannot fully understand any of God’s works. Can we explain how a baby is formed in the womb of its mother? Comes to birth? Takes his or her place as an adult in God’s world?
Nevertheless, God has revealed a bit to us. Our good works are emphatically our good works. So much are they our good works that we are judged in accordance with our works and our good works by grace are even rewarded! How can this be?
When God begins the work of salvation in us at our new birth, He gives us the gift of faith. That faith, as Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, teaches us, is a living bond that unites us to the risen and exalted Christ so that His heavenly, resurrection life becomes ours. That faith our God brings to consciousness in us by the preaching of the gospel so that faith enables us to do two things. First, it makes us receive as truth everything God has revealed to us in His Word. Second, it causes us to put all our trust and hope for every speck of our salvation in Christ alone. It enables us to lay hold of Him, seek our salvation in Him alone and cling to Him in all our grief. Without Him, we have nothing; with Him, we have everything. It is in this way that we do good works because God works in us in Jesus Christ and by faith in Him.
Our Heidelberg Catechism begins with the one question without an answer to which I cannot live: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The answer, so simple, so plain, so child-like, so all-encompassing: “That I belong to Jesus. He bought me with His blood!” That is all—even for a child. I need no more than that.
The best illustration is to be found in the horticulturist’s work of grafting. If the branch of a Macintosh apple tree is cut off the tree, it would soon die, for its life comes from the tree. If it is grafted into a Gala apple tree, it will live, because it is grafted into a tree from which it gets its life. Though it be grafted into a Gala apple tree and draws its life from that tree, it will continue to bear Macintosh apples.
So we, grafted into Christ, do bring forth fruit. It is our fruit, no one else’s. Yet all the life in us that produces good works is Christ’s life. Salvation is in God alone, for He it is that must and will receive all the glory, both now and forever. Prof. Herman Hanko

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, 22 February
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Subject:
The Covenant of God
 
The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments (or covenants). Reformed theology is often called “covenant theology.” The Christian life, church, family and home are often called “covenantal.” God is the covenant God. Come to learn about the meaning and the importance of the covenant!

Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

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

British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference

21-29 July 2018

Hebron Hall
Conference Centre

South Wales

Theme:
The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God

Speakers:
Prof. David Engelsma
Rev. Andy Lanning

Check the conference website
for more details and booking forms
http://brfconference.weebly.com/
1834: Hendrick de Cock’s Return to the True Church

by Marvin Kamps
(512 pp., hardback)

The book recounts the reformation of the church in the Netherlands in 1834, when Hendrik de Cock testified against the false doctrines and unspiritual character of the state Reformed church. After having been unceremoniously suspended and deposed from office, he led his congregation to return to scriptural teaching and the biblical worship of God in Christ Jesus. This book narrates one man’s struggle against the perversions of Scripture by the vast majority of ordained pastors in the state Reformed church with its million or more spiritually sleeping members.  De Cock’s courageous testimony has inspired the witness of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world until this day. Read this stirring account and be galvanized to fight the good fight of the church militant!

£24.00 (inc. P&P)
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!

The Sacraments

6 classes on
Belgic Confession 33
on CD in a box set 

 Most people know what the two Christian sacraments are but how do we prove this? Why did Christ give us only two sacraments? What is the point of them? How do we benefit from them? How are Word and sacrament related? Listen and learn! 

(1) Introduction and Rome’s Sacramentology (Eph. 5:22-33)
(2) The Criteria for Determining the Sacraments (I Cor. 11:17-34)
(3) Exsurge Domine and the Rationale of Two Sacraments (I Cor. 10:1-22)
(4) Similarities and Differences Between the Word and the Sacraments (Gen. 17:1-14)
(5) The Component Parts of the Sacraments (Gen. 17:1-14)
(6) The Perspective and Purpose of the Sacraments (John 6:27-51)

£6/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!
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PRC Weekly News for February 11, 2018 - Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church *(Updated)

11 07 CalvinOn this sixth Lord's Day of 2018, February 11, we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Jan.28 Candidate David Noorman ACCEPTED the call from Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). From SW's bulletin today (Feb.11) we find these notes:
    • Pastor-elect Dave Noorman's classical exam is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, at Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church at 8:00 am. After opening devotions Mr. Noorman will preach his specimen sermon. His oral exam will commence once his sermon has been approved. The congregation is welcome to attend classis and witness this proceeding. The congregation is exhorted to remember Mr. Noorman in their prayers as he prepares for this examination.
    • The consistory calls the congregation to a special worship service on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:00 pm for the purpose of the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Dave Noorman as the next pastor at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. R. Cammenga will lead us in worship and conduct the installation. Refreshments will be served after the service.
  • Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is considering the call to Calvary PRC to serve as her next pastor (received Jan.21). *UPDATE: It was announced in Calvary PRC today that Rev. Huizinga had DECLINED this call.
  • Rev. C. Griess will be installed in First PRC, Grand Rapids this morning with former pastor Rev. J. Slopsema leading the service. Rev. Griess will preach his inaugural sermon this evening.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • From the PRC Seminary comes this February news:
    • Second semester classes began for the seminary on January 23 (see the link above for that schedule). Remember in prayer the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in their daily work and studies.
    • The upcoming internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman have been planned and confirmed and are being announced today. Sem. Kortus will be interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council and Sem. Maatman will intern at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.
    • The seminary’s interim course this year is now completed. Prof. R. Cammenga taught his special course on “The Theology of John Calvin.”  If you would like to watch/listen to the videos of this course, they are posted on the Seminary's main page.
  • Classis East will reconvene its January meeting on Wednesday, Feb.28, 2018 at Hudsonville PRC at 8 AM.
  • Classis West will have its next regular meeting in Loveland, CO on Wednesday March 7.

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SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be reported:
    • Rev. A. den Hartog and his wife Sherry are serving the CERC until at least June of this year. Read the "Pastor's Voice" part of her bulletin to learn more.
    • Her latest newsletter - Reformed News Asia - (December 2017) may be found on this page.
    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (January 2018). Check that out on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted this week (Feb. 2018). And don't forget her other publication - Covenant Reformed News! That latest issue (Feb. 2018) may be found here.
    • Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Hebron Hall in South Wales from Saturday, July 21, to Saturday, July 28. Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God." More information and booking forms are available at http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins (616-214-2779; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

PRYP Convention logo 2018

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 2018 YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONVENTION CHAPERONE & NURSE REGISTRATION is now open!  The convention, hosted by the five Midwest churches, is planned for August 13-17, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN.  To register, go to prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the chaperone or nurse tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • FUTURE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS: Information for the 2018 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 31.
  • Save the Date: The dates for the 2018 Family Conference have been finalized! First PRC in Edmonton, AB plans to host the conference July 20-22, 2018 D.V. Hear from our speakers: Rev. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus on the topic of 'Seeking The Lord'. Mark your calendars and plan to attend what promises to be a spiritually encouraging time of growth and fellowship with saints from Canada and abroad, as well as an opportunity to see some of the beauty that God has created here in Canada. For more information or to register, please visit our website https://edmontonfamilyconf.wixsite.com/conference2018, or contact Scott Ferguson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • What kind of reading material do you have laying around the house for your children to read? Do you feel like there is something missing? If you do not currently subscribe to Beacon Lights, you are missing out! This magazine is designed for Reformed youth, but adults read it with profit as well. What about the cost? Right now, the average cable bill in the U.S is over $100/month. If you took only one of those monthly payments, that would cover over six years of the $15/yr subscription price! Subscribe today at www.beaconlights.org to make sure you receive the March special issue which will focus on bullying.

  • Reformed Book Outlet: The February 2018 newsletter notes that you may find children's music CDs and that officebearers may find many resources for their work (cf. attached pdf.).

  • Psalm Choir - The latest CD, Volume 20, ‘Sweet Refreshment’ is now available. There are over 25 selections from the past two seasons.  Please visit the website www.psalmchoir.com to order.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) continues a series on the OT book of Ruth. His message is "The Conversion of Ruth" based on Ruth 1:7-18.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 GrtCommissionMap

 MISSION NEWS:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter is dated November 2017 and may be found on this PRC webpage. The annual Doon/FMC delegation to the Philippines is scheduled to visit the field from February 15-27. Going on this year's delegation are Rev. C. Griess and Joel Van Egdom. The visits are done each year as part of the oversight of the PRCA over the missionaries, and also so that the delegates can meet and get to know the churches and believers there.
  • The December 2017 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.
  • From Georgetown PRC we learn about the recent delegation to Vellore, India: "Pastor and Mary Haak and Bruce and Cherie Jabaay returned home safely on Monday evening [Feb.5] from their time with the saints of God in India. It was a blessed time of fellowship in the Gospel, growth in the in Truth and understanding of their needs and challenges."
  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Provident CC: 
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. After the first service, we will consider the Church Order, Articles 53ff. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Cory Griess will preach in one of the services at PCC.

      • The Youth Fellowship will meet today at 1:30. We will again sing from the Psalter. Today we will sing psalms which focus on the activity of worship.

      • A delegation from the PRCA will visit the Philippines from February 16-27, Lord willing. The delegates are Rev. Cory Griess (pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids) and Mr. Joel VanEgdom (deacon from Doon PRC). Michelle VanEgdom also plans to come.

    • Maranatha PRC:

      1) Our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead us in both services and after the second service he will teach us the topic “What The Special Offices Are.”

      2) Rev. L. Trinidad will teach the Children Catechism after the second service.

      3) The office-bearers with Rev. Kleyn will conduct the “Family Visitation” to the Chua family and Tabaday family in the afternoon.

  • Let us remember and continue to lift up the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful in all their labors.
    Sa

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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - February 2018

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

9 February, 2018

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Church Visitors

Rev. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC) and Elder Sid Miedema (Byron Center PRC) were this year’s church visitors in the CPRC (18-25 January) and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) (25-29 January). It was good to have both of these men back with us again!

CPRC supper 2018
Annual Congregational Dinner

Their first engagement was the CPRC annual congregational dinner (19 January). Besides members and friends of the church in Ballymena, Rev. McGeown, Colm Ring, Manuel Kuhs, Chester Mansona, and Sam and Jason Watterson of the LRF made the four-hour journey to join us (and that is only one way!). After a good meal, William Graham asked the questions for an excellent table quiz.

PRC church visitors 2018
Chester Mansona, Sid Miedema, Rev. Decker, Rev. McGeown

Rev. Decker preached at both of our Sunday services (21 January) and led a fine Bible study on Psalm 73 at the church on Tuesday morning. On the next night, his lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” was well attended and the on-line video has attracted a lot of interest ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=TorlK7c_CYw ).

Besides the official church visitation with the CPRC Council, our two American brethren had dinner with several families and visited with other saints. On the morning of their departure for Limerick, they even fitted in breakfast with a former member (Kristin Crossett) and a current member (Carolyn Prins) of the church that Rev. Decker pastors.

Teaching in the CPRC

“Ezekiel’s Prophecies Against Tyre” (Ezek. 26:1-28:19) was the subject of a recent 4-sermon series in the CPRC. God judged that wealthy island trading centre so that it was reduced to a rock upon which fishermen repaired and cleaned their nets. The prophet pictured the city as a great ship filled with international merchants and all their wares, but it was going to sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean. The king of Tyre thought that he was wiser than Daniel and even a god. His realm was another Eden for precious stones and gold, and he was like Adam or a cherub guarding the garden. Yet he was a fallen son of Adam and the image of Satan, and he would soon be cast from his garden of God and destroyed. The 4 sermons are on-line in audio (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/OTseries.htm) and video ( www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI ), and soon will be available in a box set of CDs or DVDs for just £6.

In our Tuesday morning Bible study, we have been considering the Feast of Tabernacles, the most joyful of the Old Testament feasts. We have looked at its institution in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and its celebration in Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, and I Kings. More material is to come, including 4 major Old Testament passages and John 7.

Since the middle of November, our Wednesday night doctrine class has been studying the subject of baptism in connection with Belgic Confession 34. Our treatment has included the baptismal formula, the administrators of baptism, the requirements for a valid baptism,
immersionism, the mode of baptism, the meaning of baptism, etc. ( www.cprf.co.uk/ audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm ). It is a rich subject that opens up a lot of Scriptures.

The fortnightly Ladies’ Bible Study, which meets on Friday mornings, is now discussing Rev. Smit’s book, The Fruit the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The fortnightly Saturday night Men’s Bible Study has begun Studies in Acts by Mark Hoeksema. These fine RFPA resources are already proving beneficial to our members. Almost all of the copies of Rev. Brian Huizinga’s “Keeping the Sword Drawn” brought over by the two church visitors have gone already ( www.cprf.co.uk/pamphlets/keeping sworddrawn.pdf ). Some of the saints in the CPRC are also using a yearly Bible reading programme that Mary prepared from two existing programmes.

Others

“God’s Saving Will in the New Testament” was the subject of a lecture I gave in South Wales on 25 January. There are two main Greek words that deal with willing, determining, desiring, wishing, etc., in the New Testament. What does a study of this concept in the New Testament reveal about the will of God’s decree and the will of His command? We had a blessed night of fellowship with the saints, including with Timothy Spence, a member of the CPRC who is at a university in South Wales. Also a good number of books and box sets were purchased. The video is on-line ( www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rPml_52T__0 ).

The last couple of months have seen 14 translations added to our website (www.cprf. co.uk/languages.htm): 6 Hungarian (by 2 young men who are coming to the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship Conference), 6 German (on Pentecostal issues by a brother who last did some translations for us in 2010), 1 Italian (by a Calvinistic Baptist in Sicily), and 1 Hindi (Prof. Engelsma’s pamphlet “Try the Spirits” by Sam Salve in India).

We added our second video with French subtitles, thanks to Timothée Rapak of Reims. This brings our foreign language videos to 28 ( www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2HmXGp8oXTSI2QS6_FJYjyJ ). The USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia often feature in the top 5 countries using the CPRC YouTube page. However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of all places, have broken into the top 5 in recent times!

We continue to get a lot of good feedback. “I love the steadfast, Calvinist, Reformed theology [of the CPRC] on the internet. Bless you!” (Florida, USA). “Just a note to say thank you for the great book, Knowing God and Man. I couldn’t lay it down once I started reading it. It is profound truth and an absolutely brilliant book. I will be using its contents for many references” (Northern Ireland). “I read the excellent article on the subject of Lefèvre [‘Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples: Pioneer of French Reform’]...I would love to quote it in an essay I’m writing to raise awareness of Lefèvre and his influence on the Reformation in France” (France). “Thank you for the books you kindly sent me. They will be very useful in the year ahead and also for the British Reformed Journals. The materials you send me are so appreciated in these days of Arminian churches” (England). “I have been a long-time reader of your website and have encouraged many to read your articles. One of the members of our church has recently translated some articles for you into Portuguese” (Australia).

Bookings for the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference in Hebron Hall, Cardiff (21-28 July) are coming on very well. Already we have heard from people in Germany, Wales, America, Northern Ireland, Brazil, England, Australia, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, etc., that they are coming. The theme of “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” will be developed by our two main speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning. The two-day trips include a fifteenth-century castle and Wales’ most popular heritage attraction, which is also one of Europe’s leading open-air museums. Much more information, including prices and the booking form, is on-line ( http://brfconference.weebly.com ). The North American booking secretary is Briana Prins (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Do join us!

Thank you for your support and prayers in Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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