On this final Lord's Day of February 2017, the following PRC news roundup can be given:
The new congregation (February 2017) of Zion PRC, Jenison, MI
- The Council of Zion PRC has formed a trio of Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI), Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown- Hudsonville, MI), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace- Spokane, WA.) The congregation plans to call on Tuesday, March 7.
- UPDATE: SW PRC's Council has formed a new trio from which the congregation will call a new pastor. The ministers are Rev. Steve Key (Loveland), Rev. William Langerak (SE), and Rev. Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone). The congregation will vote after the Prayer Day service on March 8.
- Classis West will meet this Wednesday, March 1, in Hope PRC Redlands, CA. On the Classical agenda are requests for emeritation from two pastors, in addition to subsidy requests and voting for synodical delegates and classical committees. We pray for safe travels for the delegates and for wisdom in their deliberations.
- Classis East - OFFICE BEARERS CONFERENCE: On May 9, at 7:00 pm, the Byron Center PRC Council invites all past and current office bearers to an officebearer's conference to hear a timely speech regarding an increasingly important issue in the world around us, but also behavior that has found its way into God's church. Professor David J. Engelsma has agreed to speak on "Pastoral Treatment of Spousal (wife) Abuse in the PRC". A time for Q & A and fellowship will follow the speech. All men desiring to serve in God's church are also welcome, regardless of having previously served. Please mark your calendars to keep this date open.
- Byron Center PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a home missionary. It is made up of Revs. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC), S.Key (Loveland PRC), and W. Langerak (SE PRC, Grand Rapids, MI). The congregation will call this evening after her service. UPDATE: Rev. W. Langerak received this call.
- The Classis of the PRC in the Philippines met this past Saturday, February 25, in Maranatha PRC. Reports from the PRCP bulletins indicate that the business was routine.
- From Provident Christian Church's bulletin we learn that new missionary-pastor D. Holstege is leading both services today. In addition, we read: "This Thursday evening Bible study class is scheduled for this week (March 2) at 7:30 pm. Rev. Holstege will continue the exposition of the Canons of Dordt beginning at Head I, Article 14."
- Did you know that the Holstege's also have their own blog on Philippine life and labors? Check it out for another perspective like that of the Kleyns.
- And from Maranatha PRC's bulletin we read this note: "Today Rev. D. Kleyn will lead our First and Second services. He will continue the lesson on Church Order." [For their afternoon Bible study]
- May God continue to bless the labors of our two missionaries in that part of the world. Are we remembering to pray for them?
On this third Lord's Day of February 2017, the following PRC congregational and mission news items may be provided.
- Zion PRC formed a trio of Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI), Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown- Hudsonville, MI), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace- Spokane, WA.) The congregation plans to call March 7.
- A program for Rev. Arie denHartog to recognize his emeritation from the ministry and thank him for his years of service to the Protestant Reformed Churches, will be held Friday, February 24, at 8 PM at Southwest PRC. You are invited to attend. The program will be live-streamed.
- Byron Center PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a home missionary. It is made up of Revs. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC), S.Key (Loveland PRC), and W. Langerak (SE PRC, Grand Rapids, MI). The congregation will call Sunday evening, February 26.
- From the Foreign Mission Committee: Rev. Allen and Crysta Brummel and Elder Alan De Boer returned home safely [Feb.14] from their visit to the Philippines' Mission. They write: “We are very thankful for our missionaries and their families and the pastors and saints of the PRCP. Please continue to remember them, their work, and families in your personal and congregational prayers and with email notes.” Below are some more pictures and notes from the Kleyn's blog. Visit the site to see more.
The Classis of the PRC in the Philippines is scheduled to meet this Saturday, February 25, in Maranatha PRC.
Group picture at Maranatha PRC, where Rev. D. Holstege and Rev. A. Brummel each preached once and the men met with the consistory.
Tuesday, February 7, was the meeting of 7M, held in Provident Christian Church. Rev. Kleyn lectured on the Church Order and they watched a video of Prof. Gritters lecturing on Poimenics (pastoral care).
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
16 February, 2017
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
Rev. 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.
Our 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.
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).
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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For this Lord's Day of February 12, 2017 the following news items from the PRC congregations and her mission fields may be noted:
- 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.
- 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.
Elder DeBoer extending Christian greetings from Doon PRCA
Meeting with the consistory of the PRC in Bulacan
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.
Rev. 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.
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
The Zion PRC congregation in the Heritage CS gym
The newly formed Council
From left-right: Scott Van Uffelem, Rodney Rau, Justin Koole (deacons); Gary Kaptein, Randy Dykstra, Howard Pastoor, Brian Decker (elders)