Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 7, Thursday - June 20, 2024

Trinity PRC front a

The 2024 PRC Synod will return to its work this morning at 8 a.m. in the fellowship area of Trinity PRC after its recess yesterday. It will begin deliberating on the advice of Committee IV, dealing with the third-party investigation into sexual abuse in the PRC and various protests. Synod also has some financial matters from Committee V to treat.

May the Lord again guide the delegates and advisors by His Spirit and grace. Be in prayer for the body today. 

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UPDATE: Synod finished its work this afternoon about 2 p.m. See the final report below.

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Final Report of the 2024 Synod of the PRCA 

 
Today synod treated a majority report and a minority report on six protests against a decision of Synod 2023 to hire Guidepost Solutions to investigate sexual abuse in the Protestant Reformed Churches of America. Both reports were read. After deliberation on the majority report, Synod decided to approve its recommendation to “sustain the protests and declare that Synod 2023 erred by authorizing a secular organization to assist Christ’s church in an ecclesiastical work (investigating sin) that belongs exclusively to the church” on three grounds: 
 
1. Synod 2023’s grounds for hiring a secular organization were flawed in two respects.
a. First, no ground used scriptural principles to demonstrate that consistories are permitted to use a secular organization to help them investigate cases of sin (Agenda pp. 488, 495, 504, 507). Such clear demonstration is necessary when taking action that is weighty, controversial, and unprecedented.
b. Second, no ground used church-political principles to demonstrate that consistories are permitted to use a secular organization to help them investigate cases of sin (Agenda pp. 487, 504). Particularly this is true of synod’s third ground. Such clear demonstration is necessary when taking action that is weighty, controversial, and unprecedented.
 
2. Synod’s decision to authorize a secular organization to assist Christ’s church in an ecclesiastical work conflicts with Reformed ecclesiology.
 
3. Synod 2023’s decision conflicts with the Bible’s teaching that the church, in carrying out her calling, must consciously depend on God for His help, may turn to others within the church for their help, but may not turn to a secular organization for help in investigating cases of sin. As was pointed out in the protests, “the church of Jesus Christ is spiritually distinct in character from that of a secular organization.”
 
Synod’s decision did NOT declare the decision of 2023 erred in seeking to combat the sin of the sexual abuse of minors by using a third party to assist the PRCA in discovering the extent of the sin within the PRCA. The decision also did NOT declare the decision of 2023 erred in judging that the PRCA needed assistance from an independent third-party to help PRCA examine itself for the purpose of identifying and seeking to overcome woeful weaknesses and failures in addressing the sin of abuse. While synod declared it erred in hiring a secular organization to do church work, the proper perspective is that the focus must be on the much more serious matters of combatting the heinous sin and crime of child sexual abuse and of acknowledging and seeking to overcome the devastating sin of the improper response to child sexual abuse by consistories. 
 
Synod also treated recommendations regarding the work of the Ad Hoc committee that Synod 2023 appointed to work with Guidepost. Synod thanked the committee for its labors and disbanded the committee. Synod appointed a new special committee to “To review the minutes and supplements of the Ad Hoc Committee; to evaluate Guidepost’s final assessment report as well as its methodology; to report to synod 2025.” Synod also mandated that the committee work with Guidepost to publish their assessment report as soon as possible (the report belongs to Guidepost and cannot be published without prior written permission). 
Perhaps the newly appointed committee or others in the denomination will draw up proposals for using an appropriate organization that belongs to the church organic to investigate the sin of sexual abuse in the PRCA, even though this was not mandated by synod.  
 
Synod adopted a recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee to “remind consistories that they represent Christ and answer to Him, for which reason they must continue in the work of rooting out the evil of sexual abuse from our churches by doing due diligence in the thorough investigation of each abuse case reported to them, by decisive implementation of church discipline for the genuine repentance of the perpetrator, by compassionate care for each victim, and by diligent protection of the members of the congregations.” 
 
Synod approved expenses for the meeting totaling $13,727.93. 
 
After synod adjourned, Rev. Bill Langerak, chairman of this year’s meeting, closed with prayer. 
 
For Synod 2024, 
Rev. C. Spronk, 2nd Clerk
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Let's not forget the people who worked behind the scenes at synod, and without which it would not function very well.
Trinity catering ladies
Thank you kitchen catering ladies and helpers! Great job preparing and serving snacks and lunches!
Peter H sound guy
Phil VB sound recording
The sound and technology men - Peter Hanemeyer and Phil Van Baren!
D Mingerink PRC stated clerk
PRC Stated clerk, Doug Mingerink, ready with resources for the delegates.
And photographer John Van Baren - thank you for all the great pictures!

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 6, Tuesday - June 18, 2024

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018

Synod Day Six Report

Today Committee 3 presented its advice for treating several appeals to Synod having to do with doctrinal issues.

The first recommendation of the committee advised synod not to sustain three appellants. Classis East ruled in February of 2024 that the Consistory of Grandville PRC “erred when they made a judgment that Rev. Ken Koole was guilty of the public sin of teaching false doctrine without proving this from Scripture or the Confessions.” The three appellants asked synod to overturn this decision of Classis East. On the basis of two grounds synod approved the advice of Committee 3 not to sustain the appellants and to uphold the decision of Classis East. Ground 2 succinctly states, “None of the appellants have proved that Grandville’s original decision of April 22, 2021 was carefully grounded in Scripture and the confessions.”

The second recommendation of Committee 3 advised synod to sustain an appeal of Grandville PRC’s Consistory against a decision of Classis East. Grandville contended that Classis East did not give a proper ruling on a statement quoted and explained by Rev. Koole, namely,“Scripture teaches that something must be done that we may be saved.” Synod decided to adopt the advice the committee and made the judgment that the statement “a)…is erroneouswhen referring to our good works, and b) Rev. Koole’s explanation and use of [the statement] was erroneous” on two grounds.

The third recommendation of Committee 3 advised synod to sustain an appeal of Grandville’s Consistory against a decision of Classis East regarding a second statement quoted and explained by Rev. Koole, namely, “We must accurately distinguish between a right to life and the possession of life. The former must be assigned to the obedience of Christ, that all the values of our holiness may be entirely excluded. But certainly, our works, or rather these, which the Spirit of Christ worketh in us, and by us, contribute something to the latter.” Synod also approved this recommendation making the judgment that “a) Statement #2 is erroneous, and b) Rev. Koole’s promotion of the statement was erroneous” on two grounds.

The fourth recommendation of Committee 3 advised synod not to sustain an appeal of Grandville’s consistory against the decision of Classis East regarding a third statement quoted and explained by Rev. Koole, namely, “Hence, I conclude, that sanctification and its effects, are by no means to be slighted, when we treat of assuring the soul as to its justification.” Synod approved the recommendation and made the judgment that “a) this statement, although not a clear statement of orthodoxy, is not erroneous, and b) Rev. Koole’s explanation and use of the statement were not in conflict with Scripture, the confessions, and Synod 2018” on the basis of two grounds.

The fifth and final recommendation of Committee 3 advised synod to sustain Grandville Consistory’s appeal against a decision of Classis East advising the consistory “to publicly retract its decision to charge Rev. Koole with the public sin of teaching false doctrine.” Synod adopted the recommendation to sustain Grandville Consistory, which means that the consistory does not have to retract publicly its decision. The two grounds were adopted by synod with a lengthy section of explanation that is not copied here for the sake of space but should be carefully read when the Acts of Synod 2024 are published. The important points to be noted include 1) it was proper for the consistory to require of Rev. Koole a public apology for publicly teacher error, 2) there is no evidence that Rev. Koole deliberately or purposely was seeking to teach contrary to the Scriptures and the Reformed Confessions, and 3) Grandville’s Consistory never sought to use Articles 79 and 80 of the Church order to charge Rev. Koole with deliberately and persistently teaching contrary to Scripture and the Reformed confessions.

overhead view synod

After concluding the advice of Committee 3 synod treated advice from Committee 2 that had been recommitted for reformulation. Synod adopted the recommendation of the committee to provide financial assistance to the Berean PRCP for a downpayment for a parsonage for the congregation.

Synod also adopted a recommendation from Committee 2 to provide each family in the PRCA with a total of three copies of the revised Psalter (earlier synod decided to provide each family with 1 copy and decided on 2 more copies today).

Professor Doug Kuiper read to synod a letter accepting its appointment for permanent tenure as Professor of Church History and New Testament in our seminary.

Synod ended the day by treating a number of recommendations from Committee 5. Some highlights:

1. Approved emeritation requests for retired ministers and their wives.
2. Approved of subsidy for 6 needy churches for 2025.
3. Adopted a budget for 2025. The total of budgeted expenses is $2,911,326. The synodical assessment per family in 2025 was set for $600, the same as in 2024. Note: the estimated number of families used for these assessments in 2025 was 2,100.
4. Appointed Faith PRC as the host of Synod 2025 to convene on Tuesday, June 10, 2025 at 8:00am. Faith looks forward to hosting synod for the examination of Seminarian Aaron VanDyke, a member of Faith!

Synod is in recess until 8:00 am on Thursday. Committee 4 will be working until then to prepare advice on the six protests of the decision of Synod 2023 to approve the hiring of a third-party organization to investigate sexual abuse within the PRCA.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but it must be said that Trinity PRC, the custodians and kitchen committee especially, has done an amazing job hosting the sessions of synod.

Please continue to pray for the delegates and the work of synod.

For Synod 2024,

Rev. C. Spronk, 2nd Clerk

And a lighter moment of synod. Rev. W. Langerak, president of Synod 2024, with a special cup.

WLangerak cup

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 5, Monday - June 17, 2024

Trinity PRC front a

On Monday, June 17, 2024, the PRC Synod returned for another session beginning at 8 a.m. They met for the morning, covering material from Committee II on the Foreign Mission Committee before turning to the material from Committee IV on the third-party investigation and the protests related to it. Some of the advice was recommitted to that committee, and at that point synod decided to recess until Tueasday morning to allow Committees III and IV time to bring advice.

Synod plans to resume work at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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Synod Day Five Report

Synod began its day by adopting various guidelines for giving financial assistance in foreign lands.

Synod took a noteworthy decision to declare Prof. Ronald Cammenga emeritus (retired) and expressed appreciation to Prof. Cammenga for his 45 years of faithful service as a minister of the Word and sacraments in our churches, 20 of these years as a professor in our seminary. We pray that God bless Prof. and Rhonda Cammenga as they continue in a different station to serve the kingdom of God.

Synod approved significant revisions to the catechism material for the Juniors (4th and 5th graders) curriculum.

Synod sent the material of the six protests regarding the hiring of third-party to investigate sexual abuse in the PRCA back to the committee of pre-advice to provide reformulated advice.

Synod approved of the work of a special committee that is working on an abuse manual that is intended to provide guidelines for the churches and encouraged the committee to continue its work.

Synod recessed in order to give committee III (appeals regarding doctrine) and Committee IV (protests regarding the third-party investigation) time to work.

Synod will begin its work on Tuesday, June 18, at 8:00am by treating the material of Committee III

For Synod 2024
Rev. C. Spronk, 2nd Clerk

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for June 16, 2024

Psalm 140 13Today, June 16, is the twenty-fourth Lord's Day of this year of our Lord 2024, and another rest stop on our pilgrim journey through this world. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news. It is our hope that these reports not only inform you but also give you opportunity to pray for the needs of these churches and mission fields throughout the world.

Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. ...I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. ...I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence. ~ Psalm 140:1,2,6-8, 12,13

If you are new to this website and the PRCA, we invite you to join us in worship today or on any of the Sunday's of this year at one of our local congregations near you; or you may listen online through one of the PRC's livestreams.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS 

  • Last Sunday Rev. Nate Decker (Grandville, PRC, MI) declined the call to Loveland PRC

  • Hope PRC-Redlands' Council has formed a new trio from which the congregation will call a new pastor: Revs. J. Engelsma (Crete PRC), G. Eriks (Unity PRC) and A. Brummel (Calvary PRC– Hull, Iowa). The congregational meeting will be held after the morning worship service on Sunday, June 23.

  • Lynden (WA) PRC's Consistory presents the following trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. R. Barnhill (Heritage PRC), Rev. A. Brummel (Calvary PRC), and Rev. D. Lee (Kalamazoo PRC). A congregational meeting is planned for Sunday, June 23, after the morning service to call one of these men.

  • Special note: Rev. H. Bleyenberg and Deb are in Singapore today and this week. He has been asked to speak at the CERC's annual church camp this week and is preaching both services today. The Bleyenbergs plan to return home, the Lord willing, on June 25.

  • Rev. J. Mahtani's installation in Pittsburgh PRC is scheduled for July 7. He and his family plan to move the end of this month after his farewell at Hope PRC on June 30.

Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs:  Prof. C. Griess and Rev. D. Holstege in Georgetown PRC; Sem. B. Feenstra led in Hope PRC-Redlands; Prof. B. Huizinga and Sem. A. Van Dyke in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. S. Key in Loveland PRC; Cand. A. Havemen in Lynden PRC; Rev. E. Guichelaar in Pittsburgh PRC; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. N. Decker in Zion PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations. And may we continue to pray for men to hear the call to serve as pastors and missionaries!

Special Congregational/Evangelism Notices:

  • Byron Center (MI) PRC: "The Community Bible Study meets this Thursday, June 20, at 7:30 PM at church to continue our study of the book of Philippians. Discussion will begin at chapter 2 verse 17. You would be welcome to bring friends or neighbors and join us!"
  • Edgerton (MN) PRC: "What does it mean to be Reformed? Is it important today? Why are there so many Reformed denominations and how did they start? Come to Edgerton Protestant Reformed Church on Friday, June 28 at 7 PM to hear Pastor Matt De Boer answer these questions and encourage us to keep going back to the Bible."

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018
Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI), host of this week's PRC Synod (see note below)

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • The Synod of the PRC met this past week at Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Daily reports may be found on these pages. Synod will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Continue to remember the delegates in your prayers as they deliberate important matters for the churches. 
     
  • Denominational Website Logo Design Contest: The denominational website is currently being redesigned to improve our evangelism efforts and to make it more user friendly for all who visit the website. As part of this effort, we would like to create a new PRCA.org logo and we would like to have a contest so that anyone within the denomination can try their hand at designing our new logo. You may send your designs to the website committee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before June 30, 2024. The winner will receive a gift.
  • PRC 100th Anniversary Celebration: All the members of the PRCA, our sister churches, and close contacts are encouraged to come together at Calvin University from June 2-6, 2025 (note the new dates) to participate in this commemorative week. Visit prca100.org for basic event information and to sign up for email updates.

sign july 2023

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The PR Theological Seminary has now completed its second semester and entered its summer break. Faculty, students, and staff will be busy with normal and special duties during these months, all in preparation for a new semester, which will begin, D.V., on August 26. Continue to pray for faculty, students, and staff as we labor during these next months.
  • Senior seminarian Arend Havemen successfully sustained his examination before the PRC Synod this past week and was declared a candidate for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and her sister churches. His graduation took place last Thursday, June 13, in Trinity PRC. We congratulate the brother and thank the Lord for his gifts and this gift to the churches of a new candidate.
  • With joy the faculty of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary announces that it has licensed second-student Bruce Feenstra to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. All scheduling of Mr. Feenstra must be done through the seminary, either by sending a request to the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Sem. Aaron Van Dyke (entering his senior year) will intern in our Wingham, Ontario congregation, under the supervision of Wingham’s Consistory and the mentoring of Rev. Daniel Holstege. He and his wife Sarah and two children plan to move the end of this month. The internship begins July 1 and extends through December 31.  Continue to pray for Mr. Van Dyke and his family during his internship.
  • Prof. B. Huizinga's first book has been published - Crowning His Gifts: Gracious Rewards in the Reformed Tradition (RFPA, 2024) - the fruit of his studies for the ThM degree through Calvin Theological Seminary. We thank the Lord for this work and pray that it will have wide readership. To order your copy, visit the publisher's website linked here or visit the seminary bookstore.
  • The Spring 2024 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available. The digital editions (pdf and epub) have been posted on the journal page (visit the link here). This latest issue features three main articles, one dealing with the history of common grace at the 1924 Synod in the Christian Reformed Church (which led to the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches), one involving another translation of H. Bouwman's work on the Reformed Church Order, and another chapter from Prof. D. Kuiper on the history of Classis West in the PRC. Plus, there is a good number of book reviews again, on a variety of subjects. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital) or wish to pick up a copy, contact Valerie Kleyn, the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
  • Advance Notice - Fall Seminary Conference: In 1924 the CRC Synod developed the Three Points of Common Grace. What are they? What led to their development? Why are they wrong? Is the early opposition to them by leaders of the PRCA relevant for us today, or is it merely a matter of past history? The seminary faculty would like to announce a fall conference observing the centennial of the development of the Three Points. This conference will be held the evenings of Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1, and the morning of Saturday, November 2, at Grace PRC. More details are coming.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website - and don't forget the blog!

sister church delegates Tang Ibea
Sister-church representatives at the PRC Synod this past week: Elder Tang (l) from the CERC in Singapore and Rev. V. Ibe (r) from the PRC in the Philippines

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • Pastors J. Tan and M. Wee are faithfully serving the CERC. This special note is found in the "pastoral note" for today: "We thank God for the safe arrival of the Rev. and Deb Bleyenberg to Singapore, on Wednesday morning. They plan to be here with us till 25 June. ...In addition to leading in worship for 2 Sundays and speaking at the church camp, Rev. Bleyenberg is planning to give an introductory presentation to his family and his church, Immanuel PRC, in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This will be held next Sunday 23 June, in between services. Do make plans to attend!"
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers is available - May 2024#72, the second of this year!  Once again you will find a variety of articles on timely subjects in this issue! Written especially for young people and young adults, SS is edifying for all adults!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully in the CPRC, Ballymena, N. Ireland - and beyond!
    • 2024 BRF Family Conference: Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2024 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Cloverley Hall Conference Centre in Shropshire, England, from Saturday, August 3, to Saturday, August 10. Our speakers, Prof. Brian Huizinga and Rev. Ron Hanko, will lecture on “Then Comes the End: The Reformed Doctrine of Eschatology.” For information and booking forms, see the website ( www.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.).
    • The April 2024 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" is now available! Read the articles by Rev. A. Stewart on "The Truth Is According to Godliness" (3) and Rev. R. Hanko's response to a question about David, Amasa, and Joab.
    • The CPRC YouTube channel may be found here.
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work in various places:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Elders Espiritu and Penaverde led us her worship services today. "Our pastor and Sis. Melody plans to return home [from USA] on Thursday [June 20, 2024], God willing." And, "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services today, via livestreamed on our official Facebook page."
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Officebearers led her worship services today. Let's remember this vacant congregation and her needs in our prayers.

REFORMED RESOURCES for EDUCATION, EDIFICATION, and EVANGELISM

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

W Bruinsma RWH

  • This month - June 2024 -  the RWH is broadcasting five gospel messages by Rev. W. Bruinsma, continuing his series on women in the Bible. Today's message is titled "Hannah's Prayer for a Son"based on 1 Samuel 1:9-18.
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

5points

What does true, biblical Calvinism teach? What are the doctrines of grace according to God's Word? Read this resource to find out!

  • RBO Aug 2023 2The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is now operating out of its new store in downtown Hudsonville (3472 Harvey St.). Visit the store and browse the variety of resources for your Reformed-Christian faith and walk, including many children's titles. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, and Saturday 10-1. 
    Special notice: "Celebrate with us! On Friday, June 21 at 7PM, the Reformed Book Outlet will be hosting an official launch party for the RFPA summer releases, Journey Through the Psalms by Mike Velthouse and Erinn Kuiper, and Songs of Our Pilgrimage by John Heys. All, especially readers age 9-13, are welcome to attend for ice cream, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and an author reading from Journey. All RFPA books (except the 2 new releases) will be 25% off for attendees. Hope to see you there!"
  • In need of sound biblical and Reformed catechism materials for children and young people? Check out the PRC's full curriculum of materials here. Call the PRC Seminary for help with any of these materials (616-531-1490).

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

 "God is Father of His people; this is the basic relationship in which He stands towards us. Although this is more fully revealed in the New Testament, it was made known already in the Old Testament. When God was about to redeem Israel from Egypt, He told Moses to say to Pharaoh: 'Thus saith Jehovah, Israel is my son, even my firstborn' (Ex. 4:22). Psalm 103 makes explicit comparison between our fatherly attitude towards our children and God's attitude towards His children: 'Like as a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him' (v. 13). The New Testament reveals this fully. Not only in the address of the Lord's Prayer, but also all the way through the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5 - 7, Jesus teaches us that God is our Father. Time and again, the New Testament compares the acts of the Heavenly Father and the acts of us earthly fathers. Luke's account of the Lord's Prayer does this regarding the answering of the petitions of children: 'If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?' (Luke 11:13). Hebrews 12:1-13 compares God's Fatherhood and ours as regards the discipline, or chastisement, of children: 'If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?' (v. 7).

God's Fatherhood is the original Parenthood; ours is derived from His. He is the original Father in His own Being in that the First Person of the Blessed Trinity begets the Second, as eternal Son. He is the original Father in His relationship, in Christ, to His people, whom He adopts as children and begets in His own image. Our parenthood, derived from His, is called to reflect His.

~ Taken from the pamphlet "As a Father Pitieth His Children: Reformed Child-Rearing" by Prof. D. Engelsma

Read more...

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 4, Friday - June 14, 2024

Trinity PRC front a

Day Four of the 2024 PRC Synod

After celebrating a wonderful seminary commencement last evening (see day 3's news post and report), the delegates to the 2024 PRC Synod will dig back into its regular work this Friday morning. The material of Committees I and II are being treated.

Yesterday, synod photographer John Van Baren took some 'official' pictures of the body and its committees (see below). Look for more updates later!

 Synod delegates advisors 1a

Committee I: Prof. Cammenga, Rev. Decker, Rev. Smit, Elder A. Miersma, Elder S. Kuiper

Comm 1a

Committee II: Elder D. Bruinsma, Rev. Mahtani, Prof. Gritters, Rev. Barnhill, Elder J. Lubbers

Comm 2a

Committee III: Prof. Huizinga, Prof. Griess, Elder J. Krosschell, Rev. D. Holstege, Elder R. Gritters, Rev. Engelsma

Comm3a

Committee IV: Prof. Kuiper, Rev. D. Kleyn, Elder B. Worries, Elder J. Hoekstra, Rev Spronk

Comm4a

Committee V: Elder R. Brands, Rev. W. Langerak, Rev. A. Brummel, Elder J. Van Baren

Comm5a 

Special sister-church delegates: Elder Tang, Covenant ERC-Singapore; Rev. V. Ibe, PRC-Philippines

sister church delegates Tang Ibea

Also present is Dr. J. Klautke from the BERG in Giessen, Germany

J Klautke BERG address

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Report of Day 4, June 14, 2024


Synod of the PRCA

Today synod treated reports from the Student Aid Committee, the Catechism Book Committee, the 100th Anniversary Committee (Mark June 2-6, 2025 on your calendars!), Synodical Deputies, the Contact Committee, the Foreign Mission Committee, and the Psalter Revision Committee. To read of all the details you will have to await the Acts of Synod. In this report we take note of three important decisions and two significant moments from today’s deliberations.

Important Decisions:

1. Members of the PRCA will especially be interested to know that synod voted in favor of the following motion: “That Synod adopt the revised Psalter, as proposed, for worship and general use in the churches of the PRCA, and encourage the churches to use it, but allow the freedom to choose one of three options: to use the revised Psalter exclusively, the existing Psalter exclusively, or a combination of both.” Synod also decided to supply one copy of the revised Psalter free to each household in the PRCA.

2. Synod decided to approve the recommendation of the Contact Committee to establish a Corresponding Relationship with the BERG (a congregation in Giessen, Germany). For more information about a corresponding relationship see: http://www.prca.org/resources/ committee-constitutions/contact-with-other-churches. We rejoice in the formal relationship that has been established in which we express oneness with, and love and support for, fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. May God richly bless the members of the BERG.
 
 3. Synod also decided to approve the recommendation of the Contact Committee to appoint Byron Center PRC to call a minister-on-loan to serve in the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP). The need for ministers is great within the PRCA and well as the PRCP. May God hear our prayer for more men for the ministry!

Significant Moments:

1. Elder Tang Yoon Chuan (see photo below), present at synod as an elder from the Covenant Evangelical Church in Singapore, addressed synod by reading letter a letter of greeting from the CERCS and by reading a letter from the congregation in honor of the memory of Prof. Herman Hanko, who was taken to glory earlier this year.
Elder Tang CERC address

2. Pastor Vernon Ibe (see photo below), present at synod on behalf of the PRCP, also read a letter of greetings expressing love and thanks for the Protestant Reformed Churches. 
VIbe address PRCP

It has been a joy for the delegates of synod to pray, worship, and fellowship with these two brothers during the past week. They are leaving for their homes and will not be at the meetings next week. We wish the brothers safe travels and pray fervently for God’s blessings upon them and the congregations that they represent. How precious is the unity of the universal church of Jesus Christ!
synod at work 2

Yes, you read that right, synod did not conclude its business today and will meet next week. 

Some committees will be working tonight and tomorrow. We will all take a day to rest and worship on the Sabbath Day. We will reconvene Monday morning at 8:00am.

For Synod 2024,

Rev. C. Spronk, Second Clerk

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 3, Thursday - June 13, 2024

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018

Day Three of the 2024 PRC Synod

The PRC Synod will begin its Thursday morning session at 8 a.m. in Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI). After opening devotions, the seminary professors and delegates will continue with the oral examination of Sem. Arend Haveman.

Arend H exam 1

The exam will begin with questions on Church Polity by Prof. B. Gritters (45 mins), followed by Church History by Prof. D. Kuiper (45 mins), OT History by Prof. B. Huizinga (45 mins), NT History by Prof. R. Cammenga (45 mins) and, finally, Practica by Rev. W. Langerak (20 mins). The livestream of this examination may be found here on Trinity PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

May the Lord grant grace to the brother for this final part of his examination. 

BGritters exam CP
Prof. B. Gritters examining Sem. A. Haveman in church polity.

DK exam CH
Prof. D. Kuiper examining Sem. A. Haveman in church history.

Prof BH exam OTH

Prof. B. Huizinga examining in OT History.

Prof RC NTH exam final time

Prof. R. Cammenga examining in NT History for the final time.

RevBL exam practica
Rev. W. Langerak examining Arend H. in Practica (practical matters relating to the ministry)

*UPDATE: Synod has unanimously approved all aspects of Arend Haveman's examination and declared him a candidate for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, eleigible for a call on or after July 13. We praise God for upholding the brother and enabling him to give a good testimony of his readiness for the work of a pastor. Now may the Lord soon provide a call and place of labor for him in the churches. Great is the goodness and faithfulness of our God! 

WLangerak announcement ArendH

Rev. W. Langerak (Arend's pastor) announcing the decision of Synod 2024 to approve his examination and declare hima candidate for the ministry in the PRC and her sister churches.

delegates congratulate AH

Synod's delegates, family, and friends congratulating Arend H.

The PR Theological Seminary commencement program for Arend will be held this evening in Trinity PRC beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prof. B. Huizinga will give the address on "The Minister's Fixed Heart." All are invited to attend in person or online through Trinity's livestream. Refreshments and fellowship will be enjoyed afterward.

Here are a few photos from the seminary commencement program (thanks to John Van Baren!):

Prof BH sem gradProf. B. Huizinga giving commencement address


Arend H diploma RC GECandidate A. Haveman receiving his diploma

crowd congrats sem gradSome of the crowd congratulating Cand. A. Haveman

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Report of Synod of the PRCA

Day 3, June 13, 2024

This morning synod concluded the examination of Seminarian Arend Haveman. He answered questions about Church Polity, Church History, Old Testament History, New Testament History, and on more personal matters in an exam section called Practica. At the conclusion of the exam synod met in closed session and unanimously approved the exam and declared brother Haveman a Candidate for the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the PRCA. He is eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2024. When he receives a call, he will have six weeks to consider it before answering. We thank God for gifting our churches with another man for the ministry of the word. 
 
Synod began the afternoon session by considering matters pertaining to the work of the Domestic Mission Committee (DMC). Synod expressed thanks to Rev. Jim Laning and his wife Margaret for their work in bringing the gospel to places in the USA and in Europe. Synod approved the work the DMC is doing to redesign the website (prca.org), to develop a concrete field for the labor’s of Rev. Laning, to expand the use of radio for spreading the word of God,
and to develop a mission manual for use in our churches.

Synod continued in session to consider the report of the Theological School Committee (TSC). Highlights include:
-ATTENTION PLEASE: I was asked by a member of the 100th anniversary committee to highlight this part of the report: “Archives: For 2023, about 30 boxes of archived materials were added from a variety of PRCA sources. With the PRCA’s 100th anniversary to be celebrated next year (2025) and a significant book to be published by a special committee, the archivist is looking for any sized donations of historical documents, pictures, memorabilia, and recordings to preserve and promote PRC history. This includes denominational, congregational, organizational, and family/personal materials.”
-Students enrolled for the 2023-2024 school year included fourth-year student Arend Haveman, third-year student Aaron VanDyke (scheduled to begin an internship in Wingham, Ontario on July 1), second-year student Bruce Feenstra, and first-year student Isaac VanBaren.
-Joe Ophoff was approved by synod for admission to the seminary for the fall semester of 2024.
-Prof. Doug Kuiper was granted tenure as Professor of Church History and New Testament Studies.
-Prof. Barry Gritters was approved for teaching another year at the seminary as his teaching duties continue to be transitioned to Professor Cory Griess.
-Prof. Ronald Cammenga completed his final year as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies after 20 years of faithful labors in our seminary. The transition from Professor Cammenga to Professor Huizinga is now complete.
-Synod expressed appreciation to Professors R. Cammenga, C. Griess, B. Gritters, B. Huizinga, and D. Kuiper, as well as to Mr. Charles Terpstra, Miss Valerie Kleyn, and Mrs. Bethany Engelsma, and the TSC for their faithful work on behalf of the churches in the seminary.

Synod also treated one part of the Contact Committee’s report, namely, a proposal to establish a Corresponding Relationship with the BERG. The BERG is well known to many members of the PRCA, but for those who do not know, it is a German congregation whose name translates in English to Confessing Protestant Reformed Congregation. In the PRCA a Corresponding Relationship is a formal relationship that is established by the PRCA with another church where there is significant disagreement that precludes the establishment of the closest formal relationship, a Sister Church relationship, but there is also widespread agreement that warrants establishing a formal/official relationship. The committee of pre-advice proposed postponing the establishment of the Corresponding Relationship between the PRCA and the BERG. This recommendation was voted down by synod. The committee of pre-advice will formulate a new recommendation for synod to treat either tomorrow or sometime next week.

Synod recessed for the day a little after 5:00pm so that the delegates could attend the graduation ceremony for Candidate Haveman at 7:30pm. Hopefully you were able to attend or tune into the graduation.

For Synod 2024,
Rev. C. Spronk, Second Clerk

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 2, Wednesday - June 12, 2024

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018

Day Two of the 2024 PRC Synod

The PRC Synod will begin its morning session at 8 a.m. in Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI). After opening devotions, the delegates will proceed with the oral examination of Sem. Arend Haveman.

The exam will begin with questions on Introduction to Reformed Dogmatics (20 minutes) and the six loci of Reformed Dogmatics by Prof. R. Cammenga (30 minutes each). The rest of the exam will resume Thursday morning. 

May the Lord uphold the brother during this important part of his goal to candidacy in the PRC.

AHaveman exam RC
Prof. R. Cammenga (for his final time) examining Sem. A. Haveman in dogmatics.

The livestream of this examination may be found here on Trinity PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. - Synod is now recessing until 1 p.m. Following lunch she will take up her business, considering advice from some of her committees. 

delegates singingProf Kuiper technician

Delegates standing to sing for devotions this morning; Prof. D. Kuiper, synodical technician (?!) laying it all out on the line

Day Two Report of Synod 2024

Synod spent this morning, June 12, 2024, listening to the oral examination of Seminarian Arend Haveman. Prof. Cammenga asked him questions for 20 minutes on Introduction to Dogmatics. He also asked him questions for 30 minutes each on the doctrine of God, of man, of Christ, of salvation, of the church, and of the end times.

After lunch synod met briefly to consider the legality of four appeals. The four appeals contend against decisions of Classis East made in January/February 2024 that originated out of statements quoted and explained in Standard Bearer articles. Classis ruled that one of the appeals was legally before classis in total. Some portions of the other appeals were declared legally before synod and other portions illegal.

Synod also declared six protests of the decision of Synod 2023 to use a third party organization named Guidepost Solutions to investigate sexual abuse in the PRCA to be legally before it.

Synod recessed after treating these legality issues to allow the committees to continue their work.

For Synod 2024,
Rev. C. Spronk, 2nd Clerk

Comm 2 at workComm 4 at work

Committees II (top) and III (bottom) at work this afternoon

PRC Synod 2024 - Day 1, Tuesday - June 11, 2024

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018

Last evening the presynodical service for the 2024 PRC Synod was held at Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI). Rev. G. Eriks led the service, having served as president of the 2023 PRC Synod. (See photos below) You may find his sermon posted here, "Walking in the Wisdom from Above."

Rev GEriks presynodicalcrowd Trinity PRC presynodical

Today the 2024 PRC Synod officially convenes and begins its sessions, appointing officers and approving committee assignments. Following that, synod will proceed with the examination of Seminarian Arend Haveman, who will deliver his specimen sermon before the body beginning around 10 a.m. (photo below).

AHaveman sermon

Synod will then turn to its work, allowing committees to begin preparing advice on the matters assigned to them. The five professors from the PR Theological Seminary also serve as advisors to the five committees appointed.

Pray for the delegates, the officers, and for Sem. Haveman, that they may have grace to do their tasks in faithfulness to the Lord and His Word.

Officers of the 2024 PRC Synod: President: Rev. W. Langerak; VP: Rev. R. Smit; 1st Clerk: Rev. J. Engelsma; 2nd Clerk: Rev. C. Spronk

delegates assentsynod at table 1
Above left - delegates arise to assent to the Formula of Subscription; right - synod at work 
The Committee assignments may be found below.
Comm Comm image
Agenda synod 2024 cover
Day One Report from the second clerk:
Last night Rev. Garry Eriks, president of synod 2023, led the pre-synodical service at Trinity PRC, bringing the word of God from James 3:13-18. This morning he led in opening devotions as synod convened at 8:00am in the fellowship hall of Trinity. He declared synod properly constituted after the credentials of the twenty delegates (ten each from Classis East and Classis West) were read and approved by synod. Also present today were five professors who serve as advisors at synod, and two representatives from sister churches, Rev. Vernon Ibe (from the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines) and Elder Tang Yoon Chuan (from Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore).
Elected as the officers of Synod 2024 were: President, Rev. Bill Langerak; Vice President, Rev.Richard Smit; First Clerk, Rev. Joshua Engelsma; Second Clerk Rev. Clay Spronk.
Chairman Langerak appointed a committee of committees to assign the delegates to fivecommittees of pre-advice (see attached document for the committee assignments).
Synod approved an examination schedule for the exam of Senior Seminarian Arend Haveman. Brother Haveman delivered a specimen sermon on Matt. 11:28-30. Synod adopted a recommendation to approve the brother’s sermon and to proceed to his oral examination. We are thankful for the brother’s ability to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray that God will equip him for the rest of the examination. The oral examination on dogmatics will take place tomorrow beginning a little after 8:00am.
Around 11:00am synod recessed for the day to allow the committee’s of pre-advice to begin theirwork.
For Synod 2024,
Rev. C. Spronk, Second Clerk

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for June 9, 2024

Psalm 139 14Today, June 9, is the twenty-third Lord's Day of this year of our Lord 2024, and another rest stop on our pilgrim journey through this world. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news. It is our hope that these reports not only inform you but also give you opportunity to pray for the needs of these churches and mission fields throughout the world.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. ...If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! ...Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ~ Psalm 139:15, 17, 18, 23, 24

If you are new to this website and the PRCA, we invite you to join us in worship today or on any of the Sunday's of this year at one of our local congregations near you; or you may listen online through one of the PRC's livestreams.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS 

  • Today Rev. Nate Decker (Grandville, PRC, MI) declined the call to Loveland PRC

  • Hope PRC-Redlands' Council has formed a new trio from which the congregation will call a new pastor: Revs. J. Engelsma (Crete PRC), G. Eriks (Unity PRC) and A. Brummel (Calvary PRC– Hull, Iowa). The congregational meeting will be held after the morning worship service on Sunday, June 23.

  • Lynden (WA) PRC's Consistory presents the following trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. R. Barnhill (Heritage PRC), Rev. A. Brummel (Calvary PRC), and Rev. D. Lee (Kalamazoo PRC). A congregational meeting is planned for Sunday, June 23, after the morning service to call one of these men.

  • Special note: Rev. Bleyenberg and Deb leave for Singapore this week. He has been asked to speak at the CERC's annual church camp. The Bleyenbergs plan to return home, the Lord willing, on June 25. Rev. Miersma will be preaching for us the next two Sundays (Immanuel PRC's bulletin today).

  • Rev. J. Mahtani's installation in Pittsburgh PRC is scheduled for July 7. He and his family plan to move the end of this month after his farewell at Hope PRC on June 30.

Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs:  Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. J. Slopsema in Georgetown PRC; Rev. J. Marcus (2nd week) led in Hope PRC-Redlands; Prof. B. Huizinga and Rev. W. Langerak in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. S. Key in Loveland PRC; Rev. T. Miersma (2nd week) led in Lynden PRC; Rev. J. Maatman in Pittsburgh PRC; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. C. Haak in Zion PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations. And may we continue to pray for men to hear the call to serve as pastors and missionaries!

Special Congregational/Evangelism Notices:

  • Hope PRC Ministry (Walker, MI) is excited to announce that it now has a new podcast channel called 'Daily Devotionals from the Psalms.' This new channel is in addition to the main channel, Hope PR Ministry, and it will solely feature the popular devotionals which were originally written by Rev. Heys. You may find this new channel by searching for 'Daily Devotionals from the Psalms' on all your favorite podcasting services. Please support this work by listening to this new channel and also the main channel, Hope PR Ministry.

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018
Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI), host of this week's PRC Synod (see note below)

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • The Synod of the PRC will convene on Tuesday, June 11 at 8 A.M. in the Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. The pre-synodical service will be held on Monday evening, June 10 at 7 P.M. Rev. G. Eriks, president of the 2023 Synod, will preach the sermon. Synodical delegates are requested to meet with the Consistory before the service. Please remember the delegates in your prayers as they deliberate important matters for our churches. 
    Tuesday at 8 AM, the synod will be organized, and the Seminarian Arend Haveman will give his sermon (usually about 10 AM). The rest of the day will be filled with the meetings of the five committees of pre-advice. The mornings of Wednesday and Thursday will be taken up with the oral examination of Seminarian Haveman by the professors. The seminarian’s sermon and examination are open to the public, as is most of the work of Synod.

  • Domestic Missions update: Rev. and Margaret Laning are on a second mission trip to visit contacts in Hungary at present. Let us keep them constantly in our prayers! “Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvelous works among all nations.” 1 Chronicles 16:24.
     
  • Denominational Website Logo Design Contest: The denominational website is currently being redesigned to improve our evangelism efforts and to make it more user friendly for all who visit the website. As part of this effort, we would like to create a new PRCA.org logo and we would like to have a contest so that anyone within the denomination can try their hand at designing our new logo. You may send your designs to the website committee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before June 30, 2024. The winner will receive a gift.
  • AD-HOC COMMITTEE of Synod 2023 reports it will deactivate the Guidepost hotline (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) effective April 5. The reasoning is that after this date Guidepost will be unable to investigate and report on information collected through the hotline in time to meet the deadline for the synodical report. Instead of using funds for the hotline, the committee has directed Guidepost to focus on compiling and distributing reports to consistories. The hotline may be reactivated in the future depending on the decisions of Synod 2024.
  • PRC 100th Anniversary Celebration: All the members of the PRCA, our sister churches, and close contacts are encouraged to come together at Calvin University from June 2-6, 2025 (note the new dates) to participate in this commemorative week. Visit prca100.org for basic event information and to sign up for email updates.

Front June 2024

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The PR Theological Seminary has now completed its second semester and entered its summer break. Faculty, students, and staff will be busy with normal and special duties during these months, all in preparation for a new semester, which will begin, D.V., on August 26. Continue to pray for faculty, students, and staff as we labor during these next months.
  • Senior seminarian Arend Havemen has been preparing for his written and oral examination (including a sermon) before the PRC Synod meeting at Trinity PRC this week, June 11-14. Seminary graduation is planned for Thursday evening, June 13, in Trinity PRC. Pray for him this week as he submits to this examination.
  • With joy the faculty of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary announces that it has licensed second-student Bruce Feenstra to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. All scheduling of Mr. Feenstra must be done through the seminary, either by sending a request to the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Prof. B. Huizinga's first book has been published - Crowning His Gifts: Gracious Rewards in the Reformed Tradition (RFPA, 2024) - the fruit of his studies for the ThM degree through Calvin Theological Seminary. We thank the Lord for this work and pray that it will have wide readership. To order your copy, visit the publisher's website linked here or visit the seminary bookstore.
  • The Spring 2024 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available. The digital editions (pdf and epub) have been posted on the journal page (visit the link here). This latest issue features three main articles, one dealing with the history of common grace at the1924 Synod in the Christian Reformed Church (which led to the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches), one involving another translation of H. Bouwman's work on the Reformed Church Order, and another chapter from Prof. D. Kuiper on the history of Classis West in the PRC. Plus, there is a good number of book reviews again, on a variety of subjects. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital) or wish to pick up a copy, contact Valerie Kleyn, the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
  • Advance Notice - Fall Seminary Conference: In 1924 the CRC Synod developed the Three Points of Common Grace. What are they? What led to their development? Why are they wrong? Is the early opposition to them by leaders of the PRCA relevant for us today, or is it merely a matter of past history? The seminary faculty would like to announce a fall conference observing the centennial of the development of the Three Points. This conference will be held the evenings of Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1, and the morning of Saturday, November 2, at Grace PRC. More details are coming.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website - and don't forget the blog!

greatcommission1

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • Pastors J. Tan and M. Wee are faithfully serving the CERC. Both pastors preached today. The CERC is preparing for her annual church camp next week.
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers is available - May 2024#72, the second of this year!  Once again you will find a variety of articles on timely subjects in this issue! Written especially for young people and young adults, SS is edifying for all adults!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully in the CPRC, Ballymena, N. Ireland - and beyond!
    • 2024 BRF Family Conference: Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2024 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Cloverley Hall Conference Centre in Shropshire, England, from Saturday, August 3, to Saturday, August 10. Our speakers, Prof. Brian Huizinga and Rev. Ron Hanko, will lecture on “Then Comes the End: The Reformed Doctrine of Eschatology.” For information and booking forms, see the website ( www.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.).
    • The April 2024 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" is now available! Read the articles by Rev. A. Stewart on "The Truth Is According to Godliness" (3) and Rev. R. Hanko's response to a question about David, Amasa, and Joab.
    • The CPRC YouTube channel may be found here.
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work in various places:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led her services today. And, "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services today.
    • Special note: "Our Pastor and Sis. Melody is scheduled to travel to the U.S. tomorrow early morning God willing. Rev. Ibe will attend the PRCA’s Synod this year as a visiting delegate/representative of the PRCP. The Lord willing, they will stay in the U.S. from June 10 – 19, 2024. May God’s traveling mercies be upon them throughout their trip to the U.S. and back to the Philippines."
    • Outreach news: "The visit and conference held on the Reformed Theology and the Church Order of Dort (1618-19) at Bata Community Christian Church and Canturay Reformed Church in Sipalay with the saints and pastors in these areas went very well, by the grace of God. Our Pastor and family’s flight back to Manila on Tuesday [June 4] [Ptr. Ibe was scheduled to give a Funeral message in the wake of Elder Armas’s mother at 7 PM that day] was canceled due to the “Phreatic eruption” of Mt. Kanlaon and the next available flight is on Monday [June 10]. Pastor Ibe and his family had no option but to ride a Bus to Cebu via RoRo [on Tuesday at 11:30 P.M.] and from Cebu booked a flight back to Manila on Wednesday at 2:30 P.M. Their flight to Manila from Cebu was delayed for about an hour and a half and thus finally made it home around 9:30 P.M. the same day. All of these experiences were in the hands of God to teach us patience and utter dependence upon Him for provision and care and safe travel home. The care and love shown and expressed by the saints and pastors in Bacolod were greatly appreciated and the help of our church to provide a “rescue flight” from Cebu to Manila was full of compassion and loving care. God be praised."
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Officebearers led her worship services today. Let's remember this vacant congregation and her needs in our prayers.

REFORMED RESOURCES for EDUCATION, EDIFICATION, and EVANGELISM

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

W Bruinsma RWH

  • This month - June 2024 -  the RWH is broadcasting five gospel messages by Rev. W. Bruinsma, continuing his series on women in the Bible. Today's message is titled "Ruth's Vow"based on Ruth 1:16,17.
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

New 100th SB design June 2024

Did you know that the Reformed magazine the Standard Bearer is in its 100th year of publication? The RFPA (publisher) just came out with a new design this month. Now would be a great time to subscribe and become a regular reader of the SB!

  • RBO Aug 2023 2The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is now operating out of its new store in downtown Hudsonville (3472 Harvey St.). Visit the store and browse the variety of resources for your Reformed-Christian faith and walk, including many children's titles. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, and Saturday 10-1. 
    Special notice: "Celebrate with us! On Friday, June 21 at 7PM, the Reformed Book Outlet will be hosting an official launch party for the RFPA summer releases, Journey Through the Psalms by Mike Velthouse and Erinn Kuiper, and Songs of Our Pilgrimage by John Heys. All, especially readers age 9-13, are welcome to attend for ice cream, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and an author reading from Journey. All RFPA books (except the 2 new releases) will be 25% off for attendees. Hope to see you there!"
  • In need of sound biblical and Reformed catechism materials for children and young people? Check out the PRC's full curriculum of materials here. Call the PRC Seminary for help with any of these materials (616-531-1490).

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

 "All of this is true, of course, because of the character of faith. Faith is a certain knowledge by which we hold for truth everything God tells us. Sarah had this knowledge. She knew God.

"Now, let us be clear, this knowledge was not mere head knowledge. It was not merely academic knowledge about God. Many, even in the church, think that knowing all the objective doctrines of the church and defending them is the same as the knowledge of faith. Neither is that to be belittled. Faith surely is objective knowledge of the truths of God’s Word. The more we know of God and of Jesus Christ the stronger is our faith. But faith is not mere intellectual knowledge by which we give some assent to what is true of God and Christ. The knowledge of faith is that which is rooted in the very spiritual center of a man or woman.

"It is a knowledge of the heart. It is an intimate knowledge by which we come to love God and fear Him. It is a knowledge by which we look to Him for all things and believe that He is capable of doing all things. When applied to the covenant and its promises, faith is that which clings to those promises of God and to His great love and fellowship as the mainstay of life. It is to long for the fulfillment of them, and it is the knowledge that God as God is able, and as Father is willing, to perform what He has promised us.

"Such knowledge produces in us one more such blessing: confidence in God. A believer clings to God and Jesus Christ (through whom God fulfills all things), with the great assurance of heart that God out of His great love will do what He says. For example: we believe that God will bring about our final salvation when Jesus Christ comes again. God will usher in the kingdom of heaven and we will dwell with Him there. We believe that. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. This is a promise God has given us. We know of it from God’s Word. Well, with confidence we trust that God will indeed work out all the affairs of this world to bring about that coming of Christ and heaven. Faith is such confidence—unwavering, patient, and sure. This is the faith that Sarah had. Through that faith she was able to conceive and bear a son. Why? Because she judged, she considered, God faithful who had promised."

~ Taken from the radio message"The Faith of Sarah" by Rev. W. Bruinsma

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for June 2, 2024

Psalm 138 2Today, June 2, is the twenty-second Lord's Day of this year of our Lord 2024, and another rest stop on our pilgrim journey through this world. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news. It is our hope that these reports not only inform you but also give you opportunity to pray for the needs of these churches and mission fields throughout the world.

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. ~ Psalm 138:1-5

If you are new to this website and the PRCA, we invite you to join us in worship today or on any of the Sunday's of this year at one of our local congregations near you; or you may listen online through one of the PRC's livestreams.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS 

  • Last Sunday Rev. M. DeBoer (Edgerton PRC-MN) declined calls from Georgetown PRC and Hope PRC-Redlands, CA.

  • Last Sunday Rev. J. Maatman (Southeast PRC) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC.

  • Rev. Nate Decker (Grandville, PRC, MI) is considering the call to Loveland PRC (received May 12). He plans to answer next Sunday, June 9.

  • Rev. J. Mahtani's installation in Pittsburgh PRC is scheduled for July 7. He and his family plan to move the end of this month after his farewell at Hope PRC on June 30.

Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs:  Prof. C. Griess and Rev. J. Smidstra in Georgetown PRC; Rev. J. Marcus (1st week) led in Hope PRC-Redlands; Prof. B. Huizinga and Rev. D. Lee in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. A. Brummel (2nd week) in Loveland PRC; Rev. T. Miersma (1st week) led in Lynden PRC; Rev. D. Noorman in Pittsburgh PRC; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. M. DeVries in Zion PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations. And may we continue to pray for men to hear the call to serve as pastors and missionaries!

Special Congregational/Evangelism Notices:

  • Byron Center (MI) PRC: "The Community Bible Study meets this Thursday, June 6, at 7:30 PM at church to continue our study of the book of Philippians. Discussion will begin at chapter 2 verse 14. You would be welcome to join us!" 

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • Domestic Missions update: Rev. and Margaret Laning are leaving on a second mission trip to visit contacts in Hungary this week. Let us keep them constantly in our prayers! “Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvelous works among all nations.” 1 Chronicles 16:24.

  • The 2024 PRC Synod will meet June 11-14 in Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI. The pre-synodical worship service will be held Monday night, June 10, in the church beginning at 7 p.m.

  • Synod 2023 mandated the Psalter Revision Review Committee "to familiarize the denomination with the final product that is to be presented to Synod 2024…” To that end, we have produced a pamphlet and given apresentation that details the history of this project and the principles that guided the revision, as well asshowing the results with both data and sample songs. You are encouraged to listen to the presentationat https://www.youtube.com/@2024Psalter. If you do not have a hard copy of the pamphlet, you should begetting one soon. You can also find a link to a pdf of the pamphlet beneath the video. (cf. image above for booklet cover)
     
  • Denominational Website Logo Design Contest: The denominational website is currently being redesigned to improve our evangelism efforts and to make it more user friendly for all who visit the website. As part of this effort, we would like to create a new PRCA.org logo and we would like to have a contest so that anyone within the denomination can try their hand at designing our new logo. You may send your designs to the website committee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before June 30, 2024. The winner will receive a gift.
  • AD-HOC COMMITTEE of Synod 2023 reports it will deactivate the Guidepost hotline (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) effective April 5. The reasoning is that after this date Guidepost will be unable to investigate and report on information collected through the hotline in time to meet the deadline for the synodical report. Instead of using funds for the hotline, the committee has directed Guidepost to focus on compiling and distributing reports to consistories. The hotline may be reactivated in the future depending on the decisions of Synod 2024.
  • PRC 100th Anniversary Celebration: All the members of the PRCA, our sister churches, and close contacts are encouraged to come together at Calvin University from June 2-6, 2025 (note the new dates) to participate in this commemorative week. Visit prca100.org for basic event information and to sign up for email updates.

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PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The PR Theological Seminary has now completed its second semester and entered its summer break. Faculty, students, and staff will be busy with normal and special duties during these months, all in preparation for a new semester, which will begin, D.V., on August 27. Continue to pray for faculty, students, and staff as we labor during these next months.
  • With joy the faculty of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary announces that it has licensed second-student Bruce Feenstra to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. All scheduling of Mr. Feenstra must be done through the seminary, either by sending a request to the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Senior seminarian Arend Havemen has begun preparing for his written and oral examination (including a sermon) before the PRC Synod meeting at Trinity PRC June 11-14. Seminary graduation is planned for Thursday evening, June 13, in Trinity PRC.
  • Prof. B. Huizinga's first book has been published - Crowning His Gifts: Gracious Rewards in the Reformed Tradition (RFPA, 2024) - the fruit of his studies for the ThM degree through Calvin Theological Seminary. We thank the Lord for this work and pray that it will have wide readership. To order your copy, visit the publisher's website linked here or visit the seminary bookstore.
  • The Spring 2024 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now out and has been mailed. The digital editions (pdf and epub) have been posted on the journal page (visit the link here). This latest issue features three main articles, one dealing with the history of common grace at the1924 Synod in the Christian Reformed Church (which led to the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches), one involving another translation of H. Bouwman's work on the Reformed Church Order, and another chapter from Prof. D. Kuiper on the history of Classis West in the PRC. Plus, there is a good number of book reviews again, on a variety of subjects. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital) or wish to pick up a copy, contact Valerie Kleyn, the seminary secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
  • Advance Notice - Fall Seminary Conference: In 1924 the CRC Synod developed the Three Points of Common Grace. What are they? What led to their development? Why are they wrong? Is the early opposition to them by leaders of the PRCA relevant for us today, or is it merely a matter of past history? The seminary faculty would like to announce a fall conference observing the centennial of the development of the Three Points. This conference will be held the evenings of Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1, and the morning of Saturday, November 2, at Grace PRC. More details are coming.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website - and don't forget the blog!

great commission map 3

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • Pastors J. Tan and M. Wee are faithfully serving the CERC. Today's "pastoral note" gives all of us a good reminder in the midst of life's busyness: "In all of our busyness, let us find time to commune with God, in our daily devotions and prayer. Let not the hustle and bustle of our activities take away from our quiet time and spiritual rest. Even as we make all sorts of plans and fill up our schedules, let us intentionally plan and schedule spiritual activities, to grow in grace and knowledge of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Not first of all piling on the external events (although these have their place), but being faithful in our spiritual disciplines, finding time not only to read God’s Word, but also to meditate on it, and to pray over it. And let us not neglect that chief of all spiritual activities, the worship of God. Let us not forsaking the assembling of ourselves for the worship of God, in a true church of Jesus Christ. Let us ensure that we have sufficient rest to prepare ourselves to worship God, each Lord’s Day."
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers is available - May 2024#72, the second of this year!  Once again you will find a variety of articles on timely subjects in this issue! Written especially for young people and young adults, SS is edifying for all adults!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully in the CPRC, Ballymena, N. Ireland - and beyond!
    • 2024 BRF Family Conference: Join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2024 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Cloverley Hall Conference Centre in Shropshire, England, from Saturday, August 3, to Saturday, August 10. Our speakers, Prof. Brian Huizinga and Rev. Ron Hanko, will lecture on “Then Comes the End: The Reformed Doctrine of Eschatology.” For information and booking forms, see the website ( www.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.).
    • The April 2024 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" is now available! Read the articles by Rev. A. Stewart on "The Truth Is According to Godliness" (3) and Rev. R. Hanko's response to a question about David, Amasa, and Joab.
    • The CPRC YouTube channel may be found here.
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work in various places:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Elders Penaverde and Espiritu led her services today. And, "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services today via Livestream at our Facebook account, the Lord willing. We pray for God’s blessings and spiritual sustenance upon them as they hear the Word of God."
    • Outreach news: Rev. Ibe [and family] are visiting the pastors and saints in Bacolod and SNO from May 29 – June 04, 2024. "Our pastor will lead both groups to a monthly lecture on Reformed Dogmatics [Soteriology] and the Church Order of Dort 1618-19 for the saints and pastors in SNO on Friday [May 31] at 9 AM at Canturay Reformed Church and on Saturday [June 1] for the saints and pastors in Bacolod City, to be held at Bata Christian Community Church at 9 AM. Our pastor [with the approval of the Consistory] is also scheduled to preach at Bata Christian Community Church on June 2 in their morning worship service at 9 AM., all the Lord willing. May God’s blessings rest upon the labors of our pastor in their midst on behalf of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines. Soli Deo Gloria. “And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south” [Psalm 107:3].
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Elder Mitch Suarez and Deacon Ruel dela Fuente led her worship services today. Let's remember this vacant congregation and her needs in our prayers.

REFORMED RESOURCES for EDUCATION, EDIFICATION, and EVANGELISM

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

W Bruinsma RWH

  • This month - June 2024 -  the RWH is broadcasting five gospel messages by Rev. W. Bruinsma, continuing his series on women in the Bible. Today's message is titled "Jael, Blessed Above Women" based on Judges 5:24-27.
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

New 100th SB design June 2024

Did you know that the Reformed magazine the Standard Bearer is in its 100th year of publication? The RFPA (publisher) just came out with a new design this month. Now would be a great time to subscribe and become a regular reader of the SB!

  • RBO Aug 2023 2The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is now operating out of its new store in downtown Hudsonville (3472 Harvey St.). Visit the store and browse the variety of resources for your Reformed-Christian faith and walk, including many children's titles. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, and Saturday 10-1. 
  • In need of sound biblical and Reformed catechism materials for children and young people? Check out the PRC's full curriculum of materials here. Call the PRC Seminary for help with any of these materials (616-531-1490).

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

 "“Throughout this land, in a day when the Sabbath is sold over to man, when men call Sunday ‘my day,’ and where men rush on Monday, bumper to bumper, to work, believing that it is all about the great American dream, it is all about checking your stock portfolio, it is all about considering yourself decent folks, being a good guy, and dreaming about Friday night and how drunk you can get — right there, in that land, Jesus Christ, out of the human dunghill, is building His church. The enemy rages. The fangs of the dragon are bared. A screech is heard from the bowels of hell: ‘That church again!’ Christ builds His church. Does Christ flinch before the devil? Oh, no. He speaks and judgments fall on them who tempt His wrath and scorn His love. Buildings will collapse. Economies will utterly fail. The best-laid plots of men in welfare and social security and health care are all going to be ruined. And man in his mightiest estate is going to be cast down. But the church will never go under. It shall never be overcome. ‘I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’” ~ Rev. C. Haak (quoted in Loveland PRC's bulletin today)

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