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Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - February 2017

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

16 February, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,


Church Visitors

CC visitors CPRC 2017Rev. and Sue VanOverloop (Grace PRC) and Sid and Lisa Miedema (Byron Center PRC) stayed with us at the CPRC manse from Friday 12-Saturday 21 January. It is especially enjoyable when our annual church visitors come with their wives!

As well as preaching at both Lord’s Day services, Pastor VanOverloop led a Tuesday morning Bible study on “Paul’s Prayers for the Ephesians” and gave a Wednesday night lecture on “Content With Who I Am in Christ.” The Ballymena Guardian and the Belfast News Letter carried articles promoting this speech. The congregation and visitors appreciated Rev. VanOverloop’s ministry.

Building the wall in Nehemiah 3 was the theme of this year’s official church visitation with the CPRC Council (Monday, 16 January). What a great example to the church of all ages: In Nehemiah’s day, everyone joined in the work despite the opposition of the ungodly!

Our congregational dinner in the Ross Park Hotel was a good night of fellowship (Friday, 20 January). Our thanks to William Graham for his fine work as the after-dinner quizmaster. Besides our four church visitors, most of the congregation, and a good number of friends, our nephew Travis Hanko (Grace PRC) was also present at the dinner, having flown to Northern Ireland for a couple of days during a university course in the Netherlands.

Alicia Prins and Dana VanDyke (Trinity PRC) were in Northern Ireland in late December, staying with David and Kirstin Crossett. Our thanks to them and the church visitors for bringing over a good number of books for our church.

Rev. McGeown’s New Book

The CPRC Bookstore has been getting out a lot of RFPA literature of late, including Prof. Hanko’s excellent book, Corrupting the Word of God: The History of the Well-Meant Offer.

McGeown Called Watch 2016Our current bestseller is Rev. McGeown’s Called to Watch for Christ’s Return (www.cprf.co.uk/bookstore/ calledtowatch.html). Apart from our BRF Conference books, which we sell at a very low cost, no other book has sold so many copies in such a relatively short period.

Our biggest difficulty lies in keeping up a stock of them through couriers travelling from Grand Rapids to the CPRC or the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF). For the present, I am holding off sending articles on Called to Watch for Christ’s Return to the Ballymena press because we are running low.

Three weeks ago, I e-mailed a piece to newspapers in the Cookstown area of Northern Ireland, where Pastor McGeown was brought up and where most of his family live. The Mid-Ulster Mail put it on their website and linked to it from their Facebook account. They also published it in full and prominently in their weekly printed version, along with two photos of the author and his book (2 February). This garnered more sales than any such article we have had published in any (secular) newspaper before. Hopefully, some of the new people reading this superb book on Matthew 24-25 and the end times will develop a spiritual taste for the truth of the biblical and Reformed faith, and will want other materials from the CPRC Bookstore in the future.

Others

The ministry of the blessed Word continues in the CPRC in various forms. On Tuesday mornings, we have been tracing the Old Testament’s teaching on holy wars from the Pentateuch through the historical books, especially Joshua and Judges.

We recently concluded six Wednesday night classes on “The Government of and Offices in the Church” (Belgic Confession 30). We refuted Charismaticism, Episcopalianism, and Anabaptism by insisting on only and all the three permanent, ordinary, and biblical church offices: pastors, elders, and deacons. On this scriptural basis, we then considered church office-bearers in connection with the Spirit of Christ, good order, and broader assemblies (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgic confessionclass.htm). It was good to have with us in the class two visitors from the Republic of Ireland, one from Co. Wexford and one from Co. Limerick, Colm Ring of the LRF.

Last Sunday's services included the 31st sermon on “The Life of Jacob,” the longest series I have preached (www.cprf.co.uk/ audio/OTseries.htm). Stephen Murray has already produced two of the three box sets on Jacob (CD or DVD), covering sermons 1-12 entitled “Jacob’s Birth, Blessing, and Young Family” (Gen. 25-31) and sermons 13-22 on “Jacob’s Enemies: Laban, Esau, and the Canaanites” (Gen. 31-35).

Jacob sermons CPRC 2017

The last two months have been very quiet on the translation front, with just 10 added to our website: 5 Spanish, 2 Hungarian, 2 Indonesian, and 1 Portuguese (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm). However, we have also received our first ever subtitled video. Tibor Bognár, who was at the 2016 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference, added Hungarian subtitles to a YouTube video of my sermon on “The Sovereignty of God (I).” This video is atop our special Hungarian page, which contains some 185 translations (www.cprf.co.uk/ languages/hungarian.htm).

With 2017 being the 500th anniversary of the great Protestant Reformation, the CPRC is delighted that Prof. Engelsma has agreed to come to Northern Ireland to give some speeches in October and early November, and to preach on three Lord’s Days. We are holding a mini-conference on Saturday, 21 October, DV, the week before the PR Seminary conference in Grand Rapids. This also means that I am released to preach for the LRF on Sundays 29 October and 5 November, when Rev. McGeown is to be in the US to speak at Reformation conferences in Michigan and Colorado, respectively.

May the Lord be with all His believing children, the children of the Reformation,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Are You Receiving and Reading the "Standard Bearer"?

SB Feb1 2017 coverAre you are Standard Bearer subscriber and reader?

Perhaps you do not know anything about this distinctive Reformed magazine (cf. the cover image of the latest issue).

Here is a brief discription from the SB website:

The Standard Bearer is a semi-monthly, 24-page print magazine devoted to explaining and defending Reformed doctrine, promoting the Reformed life of the Church and believer, and combating old and new errors that threaten to disrupt the Reformed faith and life. For over 85 years, the Standard Bearer has boldly and unashamedly testified to the faith of the Protestant Reformation. This periodical was the first of the RFPA’s publications, first published in 1924, and today has more than 2,300 subscribers worldwide.

An annual subscription includes 21 issues of the Standard Bearer (only one issue for June, July, and August).

The Reformed Free Publishing Association, publishers of the SB, has a goal of 3,000 subscribers by 2018 and would like to see your name added to that list.

If you are not currently receiving the SB, contact them at the website link provided here. You may also receive a free sample copy at that page.

Below is the latest RFPA flyer promoting the SB. Why not sign up to start receiving this profitable Reformed and biblical periodical today?!

RFPA SB flyer Feb 2017

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PRC Congregational and Mission News - February 12, 2017

 Ps119 37For this Lord's Day of February 12, 2017 the following news items from the PRC congregations and her mission fields may be noted:

Congregational news:

  • Rev. A. Lanning (CERC-Singapore) announced today his decline of the call from First PRC, Holland MI to serve as her next pastor.
  • Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) announced today his decline of the call from SW PRC, Wyoming MI to serve as her next pastor.

May the Bridegroom of His church assure these manifestations of His bride of His presence with them and of His provision for them in His time and way.

Mission News:

  • Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC, Dyer, IN) announced today his decline of the call from Doon PRC to serve as third missionary to the Philippines.
  • Rev. Allen and Crysta Brummel and Elder Alan De Boer, who are representing the FMC and Doon consistory, are visiting the missionaries and churches in the Philippines as part of the annual delegation.  The Kleyns posted some pictures this week of the visit to that point (see below).  The visitors plan to return this Tuesday, February 14.  We pray for God's blessings on this visit and for traveling mercies for the delegation on their way home.

EDeBoer greetings Feb
Elder DeBoer extending Christian greetings from Doon PRCA

meeting Bulacan PRC Feb
Meeting with the consistory of the PRC in Bulacan

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Zion PRC Organization - February 8, 2017 (Updated)

Zion PRC Organiz Feb 2017 1

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at a special service held in her sanctuary, Faith PRC gave birth to a new daughter congregation - with the chosen name of ZION PRC.

The plans and preparations for this stretched back into 2016 (and beyond), when the Council of Faith PRC encouraged some of her members to form a new church, to help ease the space limitations due to her steady growth. Soon a number of families committed to doing this, and began holding worship services at Heritage Christian School in Hudsonville, MI. In a matter of months the Council-set goal of 40 families was reached to seek organization as a new PRC.

At the meeting of Classis East in January of this year, the delegates approved the request of these families and individuals from Faith and from a few other local PRCs to proceed with organization, Faith's Council being entrusted with the final steps and organization service. The date of February 8, 2017 was set and on that date the organization was carried out.

RevCSpronkRev. C. Spronk, pastor of Faith PRC, led the service, preaching the message "The Life of a Spirit-Filled Church" from Acts 4:31-32. Following the regular portion of the service, a special congregational meeting was held, in which Zion's male confessing members chose her officebearers from the nominations Faith's Council has approved. Chosen as elders were Gary Kaptein, Howard Pastoor (three-year terms), Randy Dykstra and Brian Decker (two-year terms); chosen as deacons were Justin Koole, Scott Van Uffelen (three-year terms) and Rodney Rau (two-year term).

Zion PRC is still temporarily meeting at Heritage Christian School (miusic room in the NE corner of the building), holding worship services at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Rev. J. Slopsema is leading the morning services and teaching the Heidelberg Catechism. The evening services are supplied by ministers from Classis east and from the PRC Seminary. The congregation cordialy invites you to join them in worship on Sundays and in fellowship at her weekly Bible studies.

HCS Huds 2016 1

We rejoice in God's gracious provision of a new congregation in our denomination, and pray that His richest blessing may rest upon her as she seeks to serve the Lord in her worship and fellowship, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and be a faithful witness in the community in which God has placed her.

"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2

"Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem." Psalm 51:18

Additional pictures:

The Zion PRC congregation in the Heritage CS gym

Zion 2017

The newly formed Council

ZionPRC Council 2017
From left-right: Scott Van Uffelem, Rodney Rau, Justin Koole (deacons); Gary Kaptein, Randy Dykstra, Howard Pastoor, Brian Decker (elders)

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Myanmar Report of Rev. Titus - December 2016

 Through the Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) comes this December 2016 report from Rev. Titus concerning his labors in Myanmar (Burma).

Titus pastor family

Dear brethren,

Greetings in our sovereign covenant Lord's name. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in this cold winter there.

Here also temperature went down up to 65 DF, so many people caught cold, and myself also got a very strong cold, coughing the whole night, could not sleep well, doctor gave me some injections as well as pills. Last Sunday my congregation had to bear with me my rough voice for too much coughing, but thankfully Lord's Day worship went well.

So, I need to be short this time of report, but very interesting improvement in our government's reforming the country, the Lord willing, next month I will report.

In His providence care we can still have Tuesday Bible class, and we still discussing "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine." We reached lesson 14. We had a great deal of discussions with our reformed truth and our country's so-called Christian view, which is sometimes very different.

I am still very busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation. I started editing the book of 2 Thessalonians and I preached every week from out of that editing. And I reached translating chapter 23 of the book of Deuteronomy. Evening services Heidelberg Catechism, now I reach LD 11.

And every week put out Sunday Digest. I am still translating "For They Truth's Sake" by Prof. Hanko, now I am still translating "Believers and Their Seed." And I reached "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Ehud Left-handed Judge." Catechism classes, younger one, we started Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma; this week we reach lesson 11. Older youth, I am teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, revised by Prof. Herman Hanko." We are now re-discussion on the points that the youth have to know more, so we kind of free-hand discussions, youth asked me from lessons that they like to know more about or things they did not very clear the first time.

I start translating a new book, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema, I am translating the chapter "The Creative Work in the Beginning."

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, continue to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. I and my family also pray always for all of you and your families and congregations. The Lord's blessings to you all.

Your brother,
Rev. Titus

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PRC & Sister-Church Congregational and Mission News - February 5, 2017

 

acts238lths

On this first Lord's Day of February 2017, we may note the following news items from the PRC congregations and her mission fields:

Congregational news:

  • Last Sunday (Jan.29) Rev. R. Van Overloop announced his decline of the call from Byron Center PRC to serve as home missionary.
  • Rev. A. Lanning (CERC-Singapore) is considering the call from First PRC, Holland MI to serve as her next pastor.
  • Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) is considering the call from SW PRC, Wyoming MI to serve as her next pastor.

Mission News:

JonMahtani

  • We remember in prayer Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC, Dyer, IN) as he continues to consider the call from Doon PRC to serve as third missionary to the Philippines.
  • Rev. Allen and Crysta Brummel and Elder Alan De Boer representing the FMC and Doon consistory had a good trip this past week to the Philippines for the annual delegation.  Rev. Brummel preached in the Berean PRC today and they met with the consistory of the PRC of Bulacan.  They plan to arrive home again on Tuesday, February 14.  We remember the delegation in our prayers.

The members of our sister church in Singapore, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year (2017 is the Year of the Rooster). Mrs. S. Lanning posted some pictures on the annual church visitation day they hold during this week-long celebration. Below is her opening description and two of her pictures. For more on this, visit her blog post.

To our brothers and sisters there we extend a hearty "Happy and blessed New Year!"

Chinese NY 2017 1
Singing Chinese songs

It is Chinese New Year once again, and today was the annual church Chinese New Year visitation.  Two homes were opened for members of the congregation to visit together.  We went to the home of Roy & Poh Choo, along with Dave & Linda Poortinga, who are visiting from Loveland, Colorado. We began with singing and an exhortation.

Chinese NY 2017 2
Singing Psalter numbers

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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for February 2017

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

revrkleynRev. Rodney, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA, begins his four-month service for the RWH program with a new series on the law of God.

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!

Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).

February 5, 2017 - How I Love Thy Law, Psalm 119:97

February 12, 2017 - No Other Gods, Exodus 20:2

February 19, 2017 - The True Worship of God, Exodus 20:4-6

February 26, 2017 - A Name to Be Reverenced, Exodus 20:7

February2017flyer RK Page 1

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Reformed News Asia - January 2017

 
Issue 37 - January 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!
Hating Your Own Life
By Rev Angus Stewart

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26 

Jesus instructs us to hate ourselves and even our family. What does this mean? It means to hate our sins and sinfulness! God's children hate themselves as those who are sinful and sin! A believer hates his own life because he loves Jesus Christ who has saved him from destruction and has given him the knowledge of God.

Three biblical examples are cited in this pamphlet. 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.
Called to Watch for Christ's Return
by Rev Martyn McGeown

From the RFPA website:

"Christ had two concerns. First, his disciples must know the signs of his coming, which are footsteps of his approach. But Christ is not satisfied with mere “sign-gazing,” which can lead to speculation and idle, foolish living. He did not give signs to satisfy our curiosities, but so that we will be ready for him when he returns. Therefore, Christ’s second concern was the readiness of his disciples, which is expressed in his urgent and repeated warnings to watch for his coming in light of the signs."
 
Audio Recordings
In connection with 2 significant events that happened in CERC in the past month, Rev Lanning preached the following sermons:

1) Installation of Rev Emmanuel Singh as CERC's missionary to Kolkta, India:
Gentiles Hearing And Believing

2) Confession of Faith, Adult Baptism and Infant Baptism of a family
The Blessed Covenant Family

Click to listen to the sermons!

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Church Camp 2017

Here's some early publicity for our annual church camp! In case you're making plans to attend, here are the details:

Dates: 12-15 June 2017
Location: Awana, Genting Highlands (Malaysia)
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning

For more information, please contact Boaz Leong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Straight off the website: "At Awana, comfort is rivalled only by the view. Indulge in five-star luxury while enjoying the breathtaking view of a majestic mountain range, and make full use of our 18-hole golf course, heated swimming pool, and other sports facilities."

http://www.rwgenting.com/hotel/awana-hotel/

 
Past Events...
 
Wedding of Cornelius and Jemima Joy
CERC started off the year with a very joyous event -  the marriage of Cornelius Boon and Jemima Joy Yeow! On 7 Jan 17, a simple wedding ceremony was held at First Evangelical Reformed Church, uniting the couple in holy matrimony.

We pray the Lord's blessings upon them as they begin their married life, desiring that their lives may be as described in their wedding text (Phil 4:6-7):

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 
Installation of Rev Emmanuel Singh
On 8 Jan, Rev Emmanuel Singh was installed as CERC's missionary pastor to Kolkata, India. We are thankful for Rev Emmanuel's acceptance of the call and his willingness to labour on the mission field. We pray that the Lord may gather His people through the faithful preaching of His Word.

Acts 15:7b "Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe."

Rev Emmanuel Singh (on a previous trip for his examination)
 
Confession of Faith, Adult Baptism and Infant Baptism!
On 22 Jan, CERC had more cause for rejoicing as we witnessed a family joining the church through COF, adult baptism AND infant baptism! This was the final group from the 2016 membership class - the Lehnert family. Curtis made COF, while his wife, Esther, and 2 children were baptised.

We thank the Lord for the growth of the church and the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these hearers of the Word. We pray for His continued blessings upon the 2017 membership class.

Confession of Faith of Curtis
Baptism of Esther
Baptism of Gabriella
Baptism of Roman
 
Visitors from USA!
You may have heard that we in CERC love having visitors - especially fellow saints from our sister churches. Imagine our delight then we we heard of the Lentings and Bodbyls coming to visit!

Mark, Bethanne and Nicole Lenting were here over the Christmas and New Year period, while Tom and Gretine Bodbyl arrived not too long after. Here are some snippets from their stay here.

[Lentings] Pulau Ubin! Looking fresh, but ready to collapse after 4 hours of cycling.
[Lentings] Christmas dinner! Minus the snow and cold (:
[Lentings] Sunday Farewell dinner!
[Bodbyls] Supper with some church members after Sunday worship
[Bodbyls] MORE food and fellowship with a couple of families from church
[Bodbyls] Sunday Farewell dinner!
What a wonderful time of fellowship. Do holler if you plan to visit; we'd love to have you!

Psalter #27, Stanza 2:

I love Thy saints, who fear Thy Name
And walk as in Thy sight;
They are the excellent of earth,
In them is my delight.

 
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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