Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

News from the PRC and Sister Churches for the Week of November 25, 2018 *(Updated)

Ps 147 5 6On this forty-seventh Lord's Day of 2018, November 25, we provide the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • The Council of Grandville PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a man to serve as the next minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore. The trio consists of Rev. Garret Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph PRC, WI), and Rev. Steven Key (Loveland PRC, CO). The congregational meeting is scheduled for TODAY after the evening service. *UPDATE: Rev.S. Key has received this call through the Grandville congregation.

  • On Nov.18 Rev. Joshua Engelsma (Doon, IA) DECLINED the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB).

  • The Council of Immanuel PRC announces a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Rev. Bill Langerak (Southeast, MI), Rev. James Lanning (Hull, IA), and Rev. Martin VanderWal (Wingham, ON). The congregational meeting to vote on this matter will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, D.V.
  • On Nov.18 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope, Redlands, CA) DECLINED the call from the congregation of Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI).

  • Rev. Ron Hanko (emeritus) is ministering the Word in Immanuel PRC during the month of November. Her Consistory also gave this important note in the bulletin last week:
    "The consistory decided to change the time of the afternoon worship service to start an hour later at 4:30 p.m. The ground for the decision is to give the minister adequate time for rest between services. The change will start this Sunday the 18th of November. The time of the morning service remains unchanged. The consistory will revisit this time change once our vacancy has ended."

 DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

 2018 sem addition archives 1a

PRC Seminary News:

  • Work began this past week on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. For more updates, visit this blog post.

  • Seminary is now entering its fourteenth week of classes in this first semester. Continue to pray for the professors, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of training men for the gospel ministry.

  • The internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman began July 1. Sem. Kortus is interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and the Council there. Sem. Maatman is interning at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

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  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy implementing plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  Don’t forget that the conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  Sign up and submit your essay by January 15 at the conference website Dordt400.org

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*See the note below on an important decision our sister churches in the Philippines made regarding minister training.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • The PRC now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. The Classis of the PRC in the Philippines recently made a significant decision relating to Theological training for future ministers of the Word. This is the note that was sent out:

“For your information, the Classis of the PRCP decided on October 31, 2018, that theological instruction of prospective students for the ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the PRCP should begin in August 2019, the Lord willing.  To this goal, Classis approved the recommendation of its Committee 1 that the 3 PRCA missionaries (Rev. Holstege, Rev. Kleyn, and Rev. Smit) be appointed to serve as an initial faculty to assist Committee 1 with the necessary preparations and arrangements for the start of a Protestant Reformed theological training. Currently, much planning and preparation are underway regarding curriculum, instructors, location, and finances.  Many of these plans will need to be approved by the Classis in February and June 2019 so that there will be more announcements as August 2019 approaches. Committee 1 and the missionaries covet your fervent prayers to our heavenly Father that He may bless us with the grace and wisdom necessary as we work towards the start of instruction to prospective students next August, subject to His will.”  

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items (From her bulletin today):
    • "This Lord’s day Grandville PRC congregation with be meeting to vote to extend a call for MOL to Singapore. Let us continue to pray that the Lord will provide us a Minister to minister to His saints in Covenant. In the meantime, Session will be sending a request to our sister church PRCA to request for pulpit supplies for the next few months after January 2019. Again, we are thankful to God for all the helps we received from our sister church the past many months."

    • Her latest newsletter (OCTOBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (September 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors too.

His Mercy Endureth RFPA 2018
*Looking for gift ideas this time of the year? How about this new RFPA title?
"God’s mercy endures forever. And the same mercy he displayed in the creation of the world and to his people Israel, he also reveals to his children in Jesus Christ. The words of this psalm and illustrator Kathleen DeJong’s beautiful acrylics and line drawings will inspire covenant children and their parents to thank God each day for his unending mercies."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • *Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on worship in the PRC? Visit this page for more information.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.
  • Have you visited the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI recently? If you or a friend are interested in spiritually edifying music, as well as in Bibles (and Bible study materials!)  and other Reformed literature, do so, or visit their website.

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  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on radio or on the Internet)! Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (pastor of Pittsburgh PRC) gives a message based on Psalm 51:10-12 - "Prayer for Restored Joy." (which you may listen to at this link)

  • The RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the PRC.

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

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ESPECIALLY FOR PRC YP and YA:

  • Advance notice! The Loveland Young Adults Retreat is scheduled to occur March 18-21 at the YMCA. The speakers will be Rev. S. Key and Rev. R. VanOverloop. The theme is "Ambassadors for Christ", based on the text II Corinthians 5:20. More details to come.

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and discover why you ought to be.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (September 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

ProvidentCC Oct 2018
Provident Christian Church (Marikina, the Philippines), which just recently became a thoroughly Reformed congregation
(*cf. note below and the most recent Philippines newsletter)

MISSION NEWS:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.

  • From Georgetown PRC concerning her work in India: The Bruinooges came home this past Monday (Nov.19), while Rev. C. Haak and his wife Mary return home Tuesday of this week (Nov.27). Her bulletin this week has this note:

"Pastor and Mary Haak return home from India this Tuesday. We pray for traveling mercies. This past week was spent teaching in the Sola Grate program on Eschatology (30 plus in attendance), leading Bible studies, visits with members of the PRCV, and a Sunday Retreat planned with the English church on Miracles and Infant Baptism. Thanksgiving Day was spent with Pastor Raj and Kasthuri in Pondicherry. The PRCV and Children of the GFH are prospering under God’s Covenant faithfulness and grace."

  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • The NOVEMBER 2018 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.
    • From her bulletin of Nov.18 we learn of this significant opportunity coming up this Tuesday: "Rev. McGeown has been invited to speak for the Christian Union (CU) of University College Cork (UCC) on the subject of “Old Testament Prophecies of Christ” on Tuesday 27 November at 7 PM. Please pray for this witness."

  • *The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (October 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC:
      •  Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. After the first service, he will finish Lesson 6 and begin Lesson 7 in the Essentials class. The second service will be “Preparatory.” We will be exhorted to prepare for the Lord’s Supper. 

      • December 28, 2018 is the commemoration of the 400th year anniversary of the Synod of Dordt and the conference will be hosted by the Provident Christian Church(Reformed) at 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Rev. D. Holstege wil speak on Dordt and the Doctrine of Grace, Rev. V. Ibe on Dordt and Preaching of the Gospel and Rev. R. Smit on Dordt and its concern for faithful Sabbath keeping. Moderator is Rev. D. Kleyn. RFPA books on sells. Registration is P50. Please invite someone with you.

    • Maranatha PRC:
      • Today, our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead us in both services and after the second service he will teach the Belgic Confession Article 17.

      • Rev. L. Trinidad will teach the children the Catechism.
      • Next week: Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services. He will join the scheduled Church Visitation Committee in PRC Bulacan right after the Second Service.

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

  • Do not forget Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar (June 2018), visit this page.
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Philippines Mission Newsletter - October 2018

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
OCTOBER 2018 NEWSLETTER

~ Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. R. Smit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) ~

Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our sister churches, greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

A New Reformed Church!

On the fifth of August, after our two worship services, I announced to Provident Christian Church, “You are now officially a Reformed church.” And their response? They clapped their hands, joyously and spontaneously, in thanksgiving to God! “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved” (Ps. 47:1-4).

Before we had lunch together that Sunday, in the fellowship hall downstairs, I briefly explained the following two passages of Holy Writ and applied them to the happy occasion: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (II Thess. 2:15).

The ground of the announcement that Sunday was the official adoption of the Three Forms of Unity by the Steering Committee on July 29. From 2012 into 2018, we missionaries taught them the Reformed symbols: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt. We also taught them the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches. One of us planted, another watered, but God gave the increase (I Cor. 3:6). Then, on July 29, the Steering Committee adopted the Three Forms of Unity and the Church Order, together with the Psalter and the Forms in the back of the Psalter.

When I explained to the Steering Committee the implication of adopting the Three Forms of Unity, namely, that they are now officially Reformed, their faces beamed, and they exchanged hearty hand-shakes. We praise our gracious covenant God for guiding PCC to become a Reformed church of Jesus Christ.

ProvidentCC Oct 2018

More Reformed Believers!

Throughout the months of August and September, the men of the Steering Committee and I visited those who expressed, in writing, a desire to join the now Reformed, Provident Christian Church. We asked them the three questions in the Form for Public Confession of Faith. I explained the questions as follows:
1. Do you believe the doctrines of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God; do you believe the doctrines of the Apostolic Creed; do you believe the doctrines of the Three Forms of Unity, as taught by us missionaries here in this church?
2. Is it your deep desire, by the grace of God, to hold firmly to this doctrine, to reject all false doctrines, and to strive to keep the commandments of God in a new and godly life?
3. Are you willing to submit to the government of Christ through the office bearers of this church and to the discipline of the elders, if you should become delinquent?

As of now, there are about twenty-five, previously baptized, adult believers at PCC who “have made a confession of the Reformed religion, besides being reputed to be of a godly walk” (Church Order, Article 61). Besides these, there are about fifteen children and young people who will confess their faith, Lord willing, in time to come. We thank our heavenly Father for His work of grace in the lives of these believers.

More Reformed Office Bearers!

Having compiled a list of confessing members, we proceeded to nominate new office bearers at our monthly Steering Committee meeting on September 23. We missionaries advised the members of the Steering Committee, for the sake of a smooth transition, to nominate themselves as the elders and deacons of the congregation.

Brothers Bien Montoya and Alex Dela Rosa were nominated to be elders. Brothers Mitch Suarez and Jun Armas were nominated to be deacons. Those four names appeared in the bulletin on the Sundays of September 30 and October 7 for the silent approbation of the congregation. There were no objections.

ProvCC officebearers 2018

The council of PCC, from the left: Bro. Alex Dela Rosa, Bro. Bien Montoya, [Rev. D. Holstege], Bro. Mitch Suarez, and Bro. Jun Armas.

On October 14, I had the privilege of leading the first Reformed installation service of Provident Christian Church. All four men answered “yes” to the three questions in the Form for Installation of Elders and Deacons. All four men then signed the Formula of Subscription in front of church, for all to see. I preached a sermon on Acts 6:1-6 entitled “The First Deacons.” After the service, the whole congregation was invited to stay for lunch and we enjoyed a great time of fellowship.

Recently at PCC, I decided to preach through the book of Titus. What Paul exhorted Titus to do in the churches of Crete struck me as very similar to our task at PCC: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). Things have now been set in order at PCC. Elders and deacons have been ordained. Lord willing, we will begin administering the sacraments at PCC, for the first time since becoming a Reformed church, this November.

The next step for them is to request membership in the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP), which we plan to do at the February meeting of Classis, DV.

A Visiting Pastor and His Family

From October 15-19, Rev. Joe Holstege, his wife Lisa, and their son Jacob visited us here in the Philippines. He had been preaching for the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, a sister church of the PRCA (and soon, Lord willing, also of the PRCP). They decided to hop over the sea to visit us. During their five days here, they were able to experience some Philippine culture and to meet some Filipino believers. On the Wednesday night that they were here, they were able to visit with Rev. Vernon Ibe and his family, to see the new church building of the Berean PRC, and to give a speech at PCC on personal evangelism. I was told that my brother is mas gwapo than me. I will let you figure out what that means and judge whether or not it is true ☺

Minister group Oct 2018

Pray that Christ will continue to build His church at PCC, and throughout the Philippines, and that He will strengthen these newly Reformed believers to hold fast the traditions they have been taught.

In Christ,
Rev. Dan Holstege

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First PRC, Edmonton AB to Host Special Public Lecture THIS Friday Night, Nov.23

Edmon lecture pornography 2018

From First PRC-Edmonton comes this special invitation for THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, NOV.23:

The Evangelism Committee invites you to a public lecture entitled “Fighting for Sexual Purity: The Battle Against Pornography” this Friday, November 23, at 7:30 PM (Mountain time). Discussed will be the pervasiveness of this sin in the world and church, the dreadful and destructive consequences of this sin, how we may guard against it, and the hope for those presently caught in its grip.

All in the area are welcome and encouraged to attend!

A live-stream of the lecture will also be available online at our church website at www.edmontonprc.org.

Pornography Lecture battle 2

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