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Reformation Day 2013: PRC Commemorations!

Luther95Theses-1This Thursday, October 31, 2013, marks the 496th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. As is their custom, the PRC commemorate this event in a variety of ways, usually with a program which includes a lecture. This year is no exception. The PR Seminary marked it last weekend with a major conference in connection with the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism. At least one other congregation (Bethel PRC, Roselle, IL) already held their Reformation Day event. And this week and next six PR congregations and one mission station will hold lectures with a Reformation theme. In addition, our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, held a two-day conference this past weekend and our other sister church in N.Ireland, Covenant PRC, Ballymena, will also sponsor one this Friday, Nov.1.

Below are the events planned by these churches as found on the PRC calendar. We hope that you will attend one of the events if possible to celebrate the great work of God in reforming His church according to the Word of God.

 

Reformation Day: October 31, 7:30 PM, at Covenant PRC, Spokane, WA. Rev. Ron Hanko (Lynden, WA PRC) will be here to speak on "Calvin's Doctrine of the Church."

 

Crete PRC Evangelism Committee invites you and your family to our Reformation Day lecture to be held on Reformation Day, October 31 at Crete P.R.Church at 7:00 P.M., D.V. Mr. Joshua Engelsma, fourth year student of our Protestant Reformed Seminary who is currently interning at Peace Protestant Reformed Church will speak on “Simon van Velzen: Watchman on the Walls of God’s Zion.” We invite you to join us as we celebrate Reformation Day.

 

The annual Fall Lecture will be held November 1, 2013 at Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) at 7:30 p.m.  All are encouraged to attend to hear Prof. Russell Dykstra speak on the topic of "The Reformation's Zeal for Christian Schools".  A collection will be taken for the Association for PR Education in Sioux Falls.

 

Immanuel PRC of Lacombe AB is again sponsoring a Reformation Day lecture.  "450 Years of Comfort: The Heidelberg Catechism", a Reformation Day Celebration. Thursday, October 31, at 7:30 p.m. Rev.T.Miersma will be speaking.

 

Reformation Lecture: The Lynden PRC Evangelism Committee is planning a lecture to be held in our church on Friday, November 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Rev. R. Kleyn will speak on the theme, "Martin Luther: Father of the Reformation".

 

The PR Fellowship in Pittsburgh, PA will be hosting a Reformation Day lecture both in Cranberry Township, PA on October 30 and in our Fellowship in Pittsburgh on November 1. Missionary-pastor W.Bruinsma will speak on the subject:  "Why the Reformation Was Necessary."  Both lectures will begin at 7 PM.  The lecture in Cranberry Township will be held in Four Points by Sheraton in the Cranberry Room.

 

The Consistory of Wingham PRC (On, Canada) is sponsoring a Reformation Day lecture on Friday evening, November 8, at 8:00 pm. Our speaker will be Mr. Adrian Stoutjesdyk, of the Trinitarian Bible Society. He will speak on the history of Bible translation, how many men sacrifice their lives to bring the Bible to peoples in their own languages, including our English. There will be a time for questions after the lecture and refreshments will be served.

 

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Doon PRC Calls Rev.W.Langerak; Faith Calls Rev.G.Eriks

LangerakOn Sunday October 27 the congregation of Doon (IA) PRC voted to extend a call to Rev.W.Langerak, currently pastor of SE PRC in Grand Rapids, MI, whiile the congregation of Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) voted to call Rev.G.Eriks, currently pastor of Hudsonville PRC. Rev.Eriks plans to answer his call by Nov.17.Garry Eriks

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Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Writing Contest Winners

The winners of the HC Writing Contest who were present Friday night.At the Friday night session of the PR Seminary's recent Heidelberg Catechism conference (October 17-19, 2013) the winners of the Writing Contest were announced, but only seven of the fifteen award winners could be present (see the picture). And while the others were acknowledged that night, it is also fitting that the entire group be recognized here, while also noting the categories in which they were awarded. We extend our hearty congratulations to all these winners, as well as expressing our appreciation to all those who entered the contest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Junior High (grades 6-8)

Brett Kalsbeek (Hope PRC, GR)
Jori Baas (SW PRC)
Allen Kalsbeek (Hope PRC, GR)

High School (grade 9-10)

Lorraine Smit (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA)
Kelsey Kuiper (Faith PRC)
Rachel Rutgers (Hope PRC, GR)

High School (grades 11-12)

Elizabeth Ensink (Trinity PRC)
Gwen Van Baren (Crete PRC)
Leah Marcus (First PRC, Edmonton)

Post-High/College

Dale Schipper (SW PRC)
Sara Doezema (Hope PRC, GR)
Stephen Mulder (First PRC, Edmonton)

Adult

Sarah Mowery (Loveland CO PRC)
Shirley Casemier (First PRC, Holland)
Rick Noorman (Faith PRC)

October Issue of "Covenant Reformed News"

CR News head

The latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" has been published and made available online! The October 2013 issue includes two articles:

The articles in the "CR News" are always edifying and challenging. You are encouraged to read it for your spiritual profit. You will also find attached here the pdf version of the full issue.

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Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Conference: Saturday's Closing Session

PA193712Saturday morning was the closing session of the HC Conference held at Hudsonville PRC. Once again there were two great speeches, with Rev.Angus Stewart of the Covenant PRC of Ballymena, N.Ireland going first and speaking on the irenic/polemical nature of the HC. Explaining these two terms, Rev.Stewart taught us that the catechism could be called a "war and peace" manual, since it teaches us both how to battle against the errors that oppose the Reformed faith (from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism to Anabaptism) as well as how to maintain true peace in the church - unity in the truth of the gospel. To listen to pastor Stewart's message, visit this page at Hudsonville PRC's Sermonaudio site.

 

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Prof.R.Dykstra closed out the conference by addressing us on the HC’s teaching on God’s covenant. Proving that the HC is firmly grounded in the biblical and Reformed doctrine of God's sovereign covenant, even though it is only mentioned specifically four times, Prof.Dykstra also showed us the nature of this covenant doctrine: not an agreement but a relationship of friendship; not conditional but unconditional; not general (for all) but particular (for the elect). In other words, the covenant doctrine found in the HC is that of sovereign grace! And he showed us how this was in harmony with what the chief writers of the HC, Ursinus and Olevianus, openly taught, both before and after the HC was written. To listen to Prof.Dykstra's speech, visit this page at Hudsonville PRC's Sermonaudio page.

Even though the numbers were a little less for this session, we still had a good crowd, and we learned afterward that over 200 people were also listening on the live-stream! All of the speeches were also video-taped and the videos will be made available in the near future.

If you wish to find all the conference speeches in audio in one place, visit this special Sermonaudio page.

Hudsonville PRC proved to be a most gracious host for the conference and all those involved in its planning and preparation are to be thanked for all their hard work in making this PR Seminary-sponsored conference a big success.

More pictures from the final day:

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Sem. Stephan Regnerus mans the Seminary tables.        Our German guests with their gifts of facsimile editions of the 1563 HC.

Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Conference: Friday Night's Session

Last evening (Friday) was another great night as the PR Seminary’s Heidelberg Catechism Conference entered its second day. We had another good crowd (600+) and another 200 “attendees” through the live-stream – wonderfully encouraging!

BGritters_small-448x222The speeches were again outstanding – instructive and inspirational!Prof.B.Gritters instructed us in the history and benefits of HC preaching, showing that HC catechism preaching in Reformed churches has a long and noble history (introduced only a few years after the HC itself was published). But in defense of HC preaching he also showed us that catechism preaching itself goes all the way back to the time of Ambrose in the 4th century! And the benefitsof HC preaching? Prof.Gritters provided eight precious blessings of good HC preaching. To find out what those are, listen to his speech, which may be found here at Hudsonville PRC’s Sermonaudio page.

haak_smallRev.C.Haak (Georgetown PRC. Hudsonville, MI) gave a powerful speech on the HC’s view of the Christian life as one of gratitude. With clear proofs from Scripture and the catechism he demonstrated that the HC captures the true meaning – even the heart – of the Christian life when it teaches that the whole of our conduct is to be motivated by thankfulness to God – all because of His sovereign grace to us in Jesus Christ. Pastor Haak gave us the quote of the night when he repeatedly defined this gratitude as “the echo of praise reverberating in the chambers of the heart which knows its redemption and renewal by grace”.  You may listen to Rev.Haak’s message too on Hudsonville’s Sermonaudio page.

The winners of the HC Writing Contest who were present Friday night.

 

The winners of the HC Writing Contest were also announced last evening. Scott Van Uffelen, one of the four judges (along with Sue Looyenga, Liz Griess, and Trisha Haak), described the process of judging the 80+ entries and the joy of reading the essays. The entries revealed not just good writing but minds and hearts in love with the gospel found in the HC. Without revealing all of them just yet (some of the out-of-staters and Canadian winners have to be contacted yet), we can give you this picture of the local winners who were in attendance last evening (Back row -l-r: Sirley Casemier, Kelsey Kuiper, Dale Schipper, Rick Noorman; Front row - l-r: Allen Kalsbeek, Brett Kalsbeek, Sara Doezema, Scott Van Uffelen).

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few additional pictures from the evening.

Friday's full fellowship room!

Friday’s full fellowship room!

Gary VDS (Credo Books) & Josh Engelsma going over books

Gary VDS (Credo Books) & Josh Engelsma going over books

Aaron Lim helps staff the Seminary display table

Aaron Lim helps staff the Seminary display table

Specials guests from Mason, MI display the HC in Burmese translated by Rev.Titus

Specials guests from Mason, MI display the HC in Burmese translated by Rev.Titus

Byron Center PRC Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

byroncentrePRCThis Sunday, October 20, Byron Center PRC celebrates her 30th anniversary as a congregation. We extend hearty congratulations to this sister in the Lord. May she continue to know the Lord's sovereign care and continue to be preserved in the truth of God's holy Word.

The following note is in her bulletin this Sunday:

"We thank God for the 30 years that he has given to us as a congregation. Undeserving as we are, God is faithful to his covenant. As we read in Lamentations 3:22, 23 'It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.'"

For your information, Byron Center PRC was organized (For the second time, as they had a previous existence as a congregation from 1925-1947) in 1983 with 24 families. Today they number 115 families. In addition to their current pastor, Rev.A.Spriensma, they have had three other pastors: Rev.B.Gritters (1984-1994), Doug Kuiper (1995-2001), Rev.R.Van Overloop (2004-2008).

Special notice: For the evening service on October 20, BC PRC welcomes Rev. Angus Stewart from the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland to their pulpit. About 15 minutes after the service he will give a slide presentation of the work there. Please take this opportunity to get to know more about our sister church and the work in the British Isles.

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