PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for October 25, 2020

Luther grace meritThe following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, October 25, 2020, the forty-third Lord's Day of this year.
  • Last Sunday (Oct.18) Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC.

  • Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) announced his decline of the call from Wingham PRC this morning. May the Lord provide for all the needs of this congregation as she awaits another undershepherd to labor among her.

  • The Consistory of Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor. It consists of Revs. J. Smidstra (First PRC, Holland), A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC).

  • Providence PRC, in her bulletin today, reported on this update from Rev. M. McGeown (her pastor-elect in Limerick): Because of the Level 5 lockdown​ in the Republic of Ireland Rev McGeown's immigration appointmentscheduled for 6 November has been cancelled. The US Consulate advised the McGeowns that they would beoffering no routine appointments during the lockdown. The next available appointment is 8 March 2021 and theMcGeowns do not qualify for an expedited appointment. Please remember the McGeowns and the remainingsaints of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in your prayers, and let us wait on the Lord to bring Rev. and Larisa McGeown to us in His own good time.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. VanOverloop in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Prof. B.Huizinga in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. R.Dykstra and Rev. C. Haak in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. C.Spronk in Providence PRC. What a blessing that our PRC federation gives such help to these churches! May we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).
     
  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that:
    • These churches are holding Reformation Day lectures this year: Crete PRC, Edgerton PRC, and Pittsburgh PRC? Below are the details:
      • The Crete PRC Evangelism Committee is hosting the annual Reformation Day Lecture on October 30, at 7:00 p.m. Professor Huizinga will speak on “Of God, Through God, To God: Our Covenant Doctrine as Protestant Reformed Churches”. We look forward to seeing you there.

      • The Evangelism Committee of Edgerton PRC invites you to come to the fall lecture on Friday, October 30, at 7:30 PM. The lecture will be held at Bethel CRC with Professor Kuiper speaking on the topic “How Rightly to See Christ in Scripture.”
      • Pittsburgh PRC: Reserve next week Friday, November 6 at 7 PM for our annual Reformation Day lecture. Rev. Bruinsma will speak on "A Reformed Perspective of John Wesley."
    •  the Doon PRC young people are hosting their annual Reformation Day Singspiration next Sunday night, Nov.1, at 7:45 (local time)? Wonderful opportunity to praise God for the gospel of sovereign grace!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • 2020 edition of the Church Order: The 2020 edition of the ring-bound Church Order book is now available and may be ordered through the PRC Seminary (616-531-1490). As per synodical decision, these books are updated every five years to incorporate new synodical decisions affecting them. In addition to the Church Order, this book also contains such things as the Constitutions of all synodical committees, the Rules of Synodical Procedure, the Explanation of the Rules for Protests/Appeals/Overtures and the denomination's Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. All these are of most practical use to the office bearers. But, all of our families would do well to cultivate a knowledge of and interest in Protestant Reformed church polity. If you already have the six-ring green binder, you need only order the new inserts ($4.00). The inserts with the binder with the 2020 edition is $10.00. Payment can be made to the PRCA after you receive your materials.

Sem sign Fall 2018 2

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed nine weeks of its first semester. This week Thursday and Friday  (Oct.29,30) are the annual "reading recess." Remember in prayer the professors, students, and staff as they labor in the task of training men for the ministry of the Word. And remember to petition the Lord of the harvest to send us more men who heed the call to serve as His ambassadors.
  • Two of the professors will be giving Reformation Day lectures this week, both on Friday evening, Oct.30: Prof. B. Huizinga in Crete PRC and Prof. D. Kuiper in Edgerton PRC.
  • The second round of practice preaching is scheduled for Nov.16 and 23. Pray for the students as they prepare for this vital part of their training.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For several years, the seminary faculty have permitted auditors to audit some classes. The presence and input of the auditors has been appreciated. With regret, because of COVID restrictions, the faculty is not inviting any auditors this semester. This decision will be reviewed at the end of the semester with a view to Interim 2021 and the second semester.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

ephesians 4 3 2

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: Oct 31 is just round the corner. Its Reformation day! Although in this year, we are not going to celebrate the Reformation, due to the pandemic of Covid19, it will not be amiss to revisit the Reformation’sRecovery of worship. Such a recovery was developed by John Calvin. He developed the great principle of Reformed liturgy - the regulative principle of worship. This means that we worship God in no otherwise than what He has commanded us in His Word. Thus, God, not man determines how He shall be worshipped. Man does not have the liberty to add any element into the worship of God, including those which God has not expressly forbidden in His Word. It must be clearly and explicitly taught in Scripture.
    • And concerning her missionary and his work in Kolkata, India, a recent CERC bulletin had this note: Continue to remember our brothers and sisters in CERC Kolkata Fellowship. We have heard from Pastor Emmanuel that they are presently negotiating to rent a place, close to previous place, for worship. This place is much bigger than previous one. Pray that the Lord will help them to secure this place. Do continue to remember our Missionary Pastor in your prayer as he cares for the saints in Kolkata.
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is the August 2020 one, #61). Read that issue here.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints assembled in Ballymena.
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown reports that Ireland is once again under lockdown and online services only will be held for the near future. For the latest update on his process to immigrate to the U.S., see the note above relating to Providence PRC.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - September 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through October 31), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies. Pray for them and the saints there as they continue to live and labor under these tight restrictions yet.
    • PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
    • The PRCP Classis is scheduled to meet  this week Saturday, October 31, at the Provident PRC Marikina City at 9:00 in the morning. Lord willing.
    • The last PRCP newsletter was published this summer - don't forget to read the August 2020 report!

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

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program for the next four months (Oct.-Jan 2021). Today he continues a series on 1 Corinthians with a message titled "Declaring the Testimony of God," based on 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
  • 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 Commitee 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.).
  • Special notices for October: 

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI).  The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

luther posting theses
Looking for things to read in this month of remembering the great Reformation of the sixteenth century? Check out this section of articles on the website, all devoted to the Reformers and God's work through them in His church.

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

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online! As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Are you seeking to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

“But God…” These two words in and of themselves contain the whole gospel! They tell us what God has done in what was otherwise a hopeless and helpless situation. The word “but” looks back at the situation described in verses 1-3. What a deplorable, desperate, and heinous condition. “But God…” This is the intervention that makes all the difference. We are now united to Christ and enjoy a wonderful, powerful Christian life. Ours is not the hope that the world will get better; it will not! It is not the case that with more education people will progress in their lives. Nor can a change come because we are willing to change. “But God” is the subject for the whole sentence that began in verse 1, “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins.” What a wonderful and beautiful contrast is set forth before us by divine intervention!

“But God” is the subject of the sentence and the predicate is found in verse 5 and 6: “hath quickened us…hath raised us up…and made us to sit in heavenly places.” Apart from God’s intervention, we were hopeless and helpless; “dead in trespasses and sins.” God by His Spirit quickened us in regeneration. God raised us up with Christ. This means that when God raised His Son from the dead, we were in Christ and were raised with Him to new life! Why? As we once were in Adam as our head and representative, God gave His Son to be our new head and representative. What is Christ’s is ours! As Christ ascended into heaven, so His church is also spiritually in heaven. That is where our citizenship is. This will be fully realized at our death. Our souls go up to heaven to rule with Christ. When Christ comes against, they bodily we will ascend up into the new heavens and new earth.

From Rev. A. Spriensma's meditation on Ephesians 2 this past week,"The Great Divine Intervention."

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The Great Divine Intervention (Meditation on Eph.2:4-6)

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma. 

The Great Divine Intervention

Meditation on Ephesians 2: 4-6

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love where-with he loved us, even we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

“But God…” These two words in and of themselves contain the whole gospel! They tell us what God has done in what was otherwise a hopeless and helpless situation. The word “but” looks back at the situation described in verses 1-3. What a deplorable, desperate, and heinous condition. “But God…” This is the intervention that makes all the difference. We are now united to Christ and enjoy a wonderful, powerful Christian life. Ours is not the hope that the world will get better; it will not! It is not the case that with more education people will progress in their lives. Nor can a change come because we are willing to change. “But God” is the subject for the whole sentence that began in verse 1, “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins.” What a wonderful and beautiful contrast is set forth before us by divine intervention!

The Author of this great work is God. There are so many wrong ideas about God. God is seen as a benevolent but nevertheless basically weak being who would like to help, but cannot unless we are willing. God, then, is limited by evil and controlled by circumstances. Others see God as powerful but rather distant and austere; He could help but does not care. Over against these false notions, God is sovereign. He is in control of His creation and also in the work of salvation. He has determined all things and has determined the destiny of all the angels as well of all humanity. God is holy, not indifferent to issues of right and wrong, justice or injustice, righteousness or sin. He is opposed to sin and will punish it with death. That is why our sinfulness is so frightful! It is terrible to fall into the hands of an angry God.

“But God” is the subject of the sentence and the predicate is found in verse 5 and 6: “hath quickened us…hath raised us up…and made us to sit in heavenly places.” Apart from God’s intervention, we were hopeless and helpless; “dead in trespasses and sins.” God by His Spirit quickened us in regeneration. God raised us up with Christ. This means that when God raised His Son from the dead, we were in Christ and were raised with Him to new life! Why? As we once were in Adam as our head and representative, God gave His Son to be our new head and representative. What is Christ’s is ours! As Christ ascended into heaven, so His church is also spiritually in heaven. That is where our citizenship is. This will be fully realized at our death. Our souls go up to heaven to rule with Christ. When Christ comes against, they bodily we will ascend up into the new heavens and new earth.

Why would God intervene like this for wretched sinners like you and me? What motivates God to do so? We are told in our text (vs.4) that it is God’s love. The first aspect of that love is His mercy. Mercy is God’s love to those who are in misery. We were in misery because we were dead in sin. God took pity on us and stooped to help us (like the good Samaritan who took pity on the man who was beaten and lying on the side of the road). Notice that God is rich in mercy. That means that He is so filled with mercy like an overflowing river, plenteous (Ps. 103:8). He is able, capable of pitying us although we were rebels and would have nothing of Him. He changes our state from being dead to being made alive in Christ.

God intervenes for us in “his great love where-with he loved us.” As God is rich in mercy, so is He also great in His love. He loved us so much from eternity. He loved us without limit. He loved us with His whole being. He loved us even though we were dead in trespasses. He loved us from everlasting. He loved us eternally. In His eternal counsel He loved us while He saw that we were sinners. Obviously, as is mentioned parenthetically, in His grace. I will not say much about that now, but wait until we get to verses 7-9.

God has quickened, raised us up to life, and makes us to sit in heavenly places all in Christ. How great is God’s love! It was manifested in the giving of His own Son to the death on the cross, so that we could have new life. It is in Christ alone that we have hope, help, and life eternal. We who were children of wrath, children of disobedience are made children of God, servants of the most-high God! How humbling this truth is. How thankful we must be. We look to and depend upon him for all things. We were dead but, praise God, He has made us alive in Christ Jesus! May we say with the songwriter, “Two wonders I confess: the wonder of His wondrous love, and my unworthiness.”

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” (John Newton)

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for October 18, 2020

Psa 104 24The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, October 18, 2020, the forty-second Lord's Day of this year.
  • Today it was announced that Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC. May the Lord continue to care for this flock and supply all their needs while they wait for the Great Shepherd to give them another undershepherd.

  • Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) is considering the call to Wingham PRC (received Sept.28). He plans to answer by next Sunday, October 25.

  • The Consistory of Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor. It consists of Revs. J. Smidstra (First PRC, Holland), A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC).

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J. Smidstra in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. W. Langerak in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. R.Dykstra and Rev. G.Eriks  in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. D.Noorman in Providence PRC. What a blessing that our PRC federation gives such help to these churches! May we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).

  • Let us not forget to pray for the needs of Rev. J. Marcus, who awaits a call to the churches; of Rev. M. McGeown, who awaits permission to enter the States to be installed in Providence PRC; and of Covenant ERC, our sister church in Singapore, as she awaits both pulpit supply from the PRC and a call for minister-on-loan through Grandville PRC - both on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
     
  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that:
    • Missionary-pastor D.Holstege marked 10 years in the ministry this past week? This from Doon PRC's bulletin today: This past week marked 10 years of our missionary, Rev. Holstege, serving in the gospel ministry. He was ordained into the ministry on October 14, 2010, as pastor of the Holland PRC congregation in Zeeland, MI, and was installed as our missionary to the Philippines on July 1, 2016. We give thanks to Jehovah for His covenant faithfulness and grace in the life and ministry of Rev. Holstege, and pray that He would give to Rev. Holstege many more years of faithful service in the churches, if it be His will. To that, we add our hearty Amen!
    • Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) continues to work with pastor Titus with regard to the work in Myanmar and is hoping for a delegation to go in the early part of 2021? This from her bulletin today: Each month there is a video conference with Rev. Titus by the men on the Myanmar committee. Plans for the trip in January, as well as alternate plans, are being discussed. International travel is still restricted. The committee is working on long-term planning and intends to work closely with Rev. Titus in finalizing goals. Let's not forget to pray for this labor also!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • 2020 edition of the Church Order: The 2020 edition of the ring-bound Church Order book is now available and may be ordered through the PRC Seminary (616-531-1490). As per synodical decision, these books are updated every five years to incorporate new synodical decisions affecting them. In addition to the Church Order, this book also contains such things as the Constitutions of all synodical committees, the Rules of Synodical Procedure, the Explanation of the Rules for Protests/Appeals/Overtures and the denomination's Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. All these are of most practical use to the office bearers. But, all of our families would do well to cultivate a knowledge of and interest in Protestant Reformed church polity. If you already have the six-ring green binder, you need only order the new inserts ($4.00). The inserts with the binder with the 2020 edition is $10.00. Payment can be made to the PRCA after you receive your materials.

Sem rear Oct 2020
A view of the back of seminary this past week - beautiful fall colors abound!

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed eight weeks of its first semester - just past the half way point of the semester. Remember in prayer the professors, students, and staff as they labor for the task of training men for the ministry of the Word. And remember to petition the Lord of the harvest to send us more men who heed to call to serve as His ambassadors.
  • The first round of practice preaching was completed this past week. The next round is scheduled for Nov.16 and 23. Pray for the students as they prepare for this vital part of their training.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For several years, the seminary faculty have permitted auditors to audit some classes. The presence and input of the auditors has been appreciated. With regret, because of COVID restrictions, the faculty is not inviting any auditors this semester. This decision will be reviewed at the end of the semester with a view to Interim 2021 and the second semester.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: For the past few Sunday morning services, we are thankful to God for providing Prof. Dykstra to lead us in the worship services and preached the Word of God through online live-streaming. We are also thankful for the technical support from our Audio Teams and Seminarian Marcus Wee in USA to make this online service possible. We can continue to receive the preaching of the word of God this and subsequent Lord’s days.
    • And concerning her missionary and his work in Kolkata, India, the CERC's bulletin today has this note: Continue to remember our brothers and sisters in CERC Kolkata Fellowship. We have heard from Pastor Emmanuel that they are presently negotiating to rent a place, close to previous place, for worship. This place is much bigger than previous one. Pray that the Lord will help them to secure this place. Do continue to remember our Missionary Pastor in your prayer as he cares for the saints in Kolkata.
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is the August 2020 one, #61). Read that issue here.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints assembled in Ballymena.
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to preach the gospel in Limerick, Ireland until he can enter the U.S. and be installed as Providence PRC's pastor. Last week he published a new newsletter with important information about what is happening to the group as well as to his immigration process. For that news, visit this webpage. And in this week's bulletin he included this important note: On Wednesday 21 October “Level 5” restrictions will be imposed on the entire country of Ireland: no indoor/outdoor gatherings will be permitted, only essential retail shops will be open, non-essential travel further than 5km from your home will not be permitted; and, of course, no in-person worship services are permitted. These measures will continue until 1 December, DV. Pastor has an immigration appointment scheduled for Friday 6 November in the US Consulate in Dublin. At this stage we expect that the appointment will still go ahead despite the "Level 5" restrictions because the appointment is, we hope, considered "essential." However, we do not know that with any certainty. We commit our way unto the Lord, in whose hand are the hearts of kings. We ask you to bring this matter before the Lord in prayer.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - September 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through October 31), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies. Pray for them and the saints there as they continue to live and labor under these tight restrictions yet.
    • PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
    • The PRCP Classis is scheduled to convince on October 31, 2020 at the Provident PRC Marikina City at 9:00 in the morning. Lord willing.
    • The latest PRCP newsletter was published this summer - don't forget to read the August 2020 report!

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

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) will be delivering the messages on the program for the next four months. Today he begins a series on 1 Corinthians with a message titled "Perfectly Joined Together," based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
  • 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 Commitee 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.).
  • Special notices for October: 

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI).  The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

MLuther Reformation 1
Looking for things to read in this month of remembering the great Reformation of the sixteenth century? Check out this section of articles on the website, all devoted to the Reformers and God's work through them in His church.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online! As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Are you desirous to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

We have in these three verses what the Ephesian Christians were and what all Christians were by nature: totally depraved. This is important to know and realize. How can we have a true conception and appreciation of the greatness of God’s power in salvation? The answer is that we measure it by the depth of sin from which we have been saved. The greatness of salvation is seen and understood only on the backdrop of the depth of sin and death that we were in by nature. We have here an example of how to tell the story with the greatest effect.

Your little boy runs in and says, “Our team won the game, even though key members were sick. It was a close game; the other team was ahead the whole game, etc. etc.” Or your little boy comes in and tells you of the disadvantages, difficulties, hardships, and only then when he had painted the bleak, bleak picture, he finally announces the startling fact, “But our team won!”

The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, instructs the Ephesian believers in the wonder and power of God in their salvation by painting the dread dark picture, “and you being dead by your trespasses and sins.” This spoke of the whole congregation in Ephesus. Each and every one of them had been dead. But not only they, but we also: all Christians who read this letter. This was all the churches in Asia Minor and is the church today!

...I cannot end this meditation on this hopeless condition. Paul goes from the past tense in these verses to the present tense. We were dead, once walked in sin, and were by nature children of wrath. “But God…hath quickened us together with Christ” (verses 4 and 5). This is the gospel! This truth of our depravity must humble us and make us extremely thankful that God did not leave us in our sins.

From one of Rev. A. Spriensma's meditations on Ephesians 1 this past week, "Our Dark Past: What We Were."

Read more...

Crete PRC Reformation Lecture: "Of, Through, To God" - Friday, October 30, 2020

CretePRC

The Crete PRC Evangelism Committee (Crete, IL) is hosting the annual Reformation Day Lecture on October 30, at 7:00 p.m.

Prof. Brian Huizinga (PRC Seminary) will speak on:

“Of God, Through God, To God: Our Covenant Doctrine as Protestant Reformed Churches."

You are cordially invited to attend this important lecture and evening of celebrating the Reformation.

We look forward to seeing you there.

CretePRC Ref lecture 2020

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Our Dark Past - What We Were (Meditation on Eph.2:1-3)

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

Our Dark Past - What We Were

Meditation on Ephesians 2:1-3

 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

There really is no subject or predicate in these verses. The words, “hath he quickened” are supplied. The subject of this sentence is finally in verse 4, and the predicate in verse 5. We have in these three verses what the Ephesian Christians were and what all Christians were by nature: totally depraved. This is important to know and realize. How can we have a true conception and appreciation of the greatness of God’s power in salvation? The answer is that we measure it by the depth of sin from which we have been saved. The greatness of salvation is seen and understood only on the backdrop of the depth of sin and death that we were in by nature. We have here an example of how to tell the story with the greatest effect.

Your little boy runs in and says, “Our team won the game, even though key members were sick. It was a close game; the other team was ahead the whole game, etc. etc.” Or your little boy comes in and tells you of the disadvantages, difficulties, hardships, and only then when he had painted the bleak, bleak picture, he finally announces the startling fact, “But our team won!”

The Apostle Paul , by the Holy Spirit, instructs the Ephesian believers in the wonder and power of God in their salvation by painting the dread dark picture, “and you being dead by your trespasses and sins.” This spoke of the whole congregation in Ephesus. Each and every one of them had been dead. But not only they, but we also: all Christians who read this letter. This was all the churches in Asia Minor and is the church today!

We were “dead in trespasses and sins”. The word “trespasses” emphasizes that one has stepped over the boundaries of God’s law. The other term emphasizes that we have “missed the mark.” It is not that we almost made it, but we have missed it. There is not a lot of difference in the two terms, but both terms emphasize our actual sins. We were dead, as is evident from our trespasses and sins. Here we have the very heart, awfulness, and hopelessness of our state and condition, apart from the grace of God. Each and every one of us performed sinful acts, not in ignorance but willingly, knowingly, defiantly, and in rebellion against God.

Dead in sin does not mean that we were inactive. Sinful man is very active. It means that we were not only separated from God but also stand in opposition against God. Sin bears more sin. It is endless. This was true of Abel as well as Cain. It was true of each of us. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I am carnal, sold under sin. I find in my flesh no good thing. Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (Rom. 7:14-24)? Our death was revealed in that we walked and lived in these sins. This puts away any self-righteousness, pretended goodness and virtue, hypocrisy, and Phariseeism! Do you know this of yourself? This is not very flattering, is it?

The standard of our life and walk is found in the course of this evil world and the prince of this world. In other words, we were no different from all others who are sold under sin. It is so easy to speak of the fallen human race, but you and I are part of that human race by nature. Apart from the grace of God, we too would have developed in sin and rebellion. The ruler of this world is Satan, an opponent to God and a liar who always lies. Satan is a ruler or leader of a host of demons who live in the air. These demons all seek the same thing, namely, the downfall of the church. Satan and demons work in the sons of disobedience. It is not the case that man is basically good. Mankind is sinful, opposed to God. We had our walk among them. We lived like them. What a horrible walk! It is a death walk! Do you see yourself there? By nature, we are children of wrath. God’s wrath is expressed in punishment: death!

You ask how this is possibly true of Christians. The answer is that, by nature, Adam’s fall and disobedience were imputed to us. We were children of wrath. By our actual sins we give evidence of this. What an awful picture! We were “even as others” (vs.3), dead in trespasses and sins.

I cannot end this meditation on this hopeless condition. Paul goes from the past tense in these verses to the present tense. We were dead, once walked in sin, and were by nature children of wrath. “But God…hath quickened us together with Christ” (verses 4 and 5). This is the gospel! This truth of our depravity must humble us and make us extremely thankful that God did not leave us in our sins. In my next meditation, I plan to speak more about this phrase, “But God…”

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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for October 11, 2020

matt 18 11The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, October 11, 2020, the forty-first Lord's Day of this year.
  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) is considering the call to Hudsonville PRC (received Sept.20). He plans to answer on or before Oct.18. May the Lord guide him into the certain knowledge of His will concerning this new call.

  • Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) is considering the call to Wingham PRC (received Sept.28). May the Lord show him His way with regard to this call.

  • Last Sunday Rev. R. Kleyn announced his decline of the call from Kalamazoo PRC. We continue to pray for this vacant congregation, that God may soon send them a pastor to go in and out among them again.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. C. Spronk  in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. J.Holstege in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. R.Dykstra and Rev. N.Decker in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J.Mahtani in Providence PRC. What a blessing that our PRC federation gives such help to these churches! May we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, who cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).

  • Let us not forget to pray for the needs of Rev. J. Marcus, who awaits a call to the churches; of Rev. M. McGeown, who awaits permission to enter the States to be installed in Providence PRC; and of Covenant ERC, our sister church in Singapore, as she awaits both pulpit supply from the PRC and a call for minister-on-loan through Grandville PRC - both on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
     
  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found.

  • Did you know that:
    • The Canadian PRCs will celebrate their Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, October 12? The congregations of First PRC in Edmonton (AB), Immanuel PRC in Lacombe (AB), and Wingham PRC (ON) will gather for worship in the morning and then enjoy family and church family get-togethers much as we do in the U.S.
    • Some PRCs have been able (allowed) to open up their church buildings to other church functions and fellowship on Sundays and during the week, from basements to classrooms - for catechism classes, Bible studies, nurseries, and more. May the Lord continue to provide for all the churches, no matter our allowances and privileges - or lack thereof.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • The 2020 PRC Acts of Synod is now available and has been distributed to the congregations. If you have not yet received yours, seek out your congregation's clerk, the stated clerk (Rev. R. Van Overloop), or contact the seminary.
  • 2020 edition of the Church Order: The 2020 edition of the ring-bound Church Order book is now available and may be ordered through the PRC Seminary (616-531-1490). As per synodical decision, these books are updated every five years to incorporate new synodical decisions affecting them. In addition to the Church Order, this book also contains such things as the Constitutions of all synodical committees, the Rules of Synodical Procedure, the Explanation of the Rules for Protests/Appeals/Overtures and the denomination's Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. All these are of most practical use to the office bearers. But, all of our families would do well to cultivate a knowledge of and interest in Protestant Reformed church polity. If you already have the six-ring green binder, you need only order the new inserts ($4.00). The inserts with the binder with the 2020 edition is $10.00. Payment can be made to the PRCA after you receive your materials.

Sem sign Fall 2018 2

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed seven weeks of its first semester - nearly half way through the semester already. Remember in prayer the professors, students, and staff as they labor in the task of training men for the ministry of the Word. And remember to petition the Lord of the harvest to send us more men who heed to call to serve as His ambassadors.
  • The first round of practice preaching continues tomorrow (Monday Oct.12), with Sem. M. Koerner delivering his first 'PP' sermon. Pray for all these students as they prepare for this vital part of their training.
  • For several years, the seminary faculty have permitted auditors to audit some classes. The presence and input of the auditors has been appreciated. With regret, because of COVID restrictions, the faculty is not inviting any auditors this semester. This decision will be reviewed at the end of the semester with a view to Interim 2021 and the second semester.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

LimerickRF 2020
Read about what's happening with the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in Rev. M.McGeown's latest newsltter from Ireland (see note below under CPRC News)

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: This is the second week we are having a maximum number of 100 worshippers at each worship service. Let us be very thankful to God for this provision despite the various restrictions placed on us. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together to worship His great and glorious name. ...The PRCA, through its Contact Committee, has graciously proposed to provide every Sunday morning pulpit supply to CERC via online means from USA. The online worship services, conducted by Professor Dykstra, require as many as three audio team members and even Seminarian Marcus Wee in USA to facilitate the proceedings as opposed to only one audio team member needed for ‘Reading Sermon services’ conducted by our Elders. Session will be meeting to deliberate and decide if we have the necessary resources and means to continue the online Sunday morning worship services conducted in USA. Do pray for us.
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is the August 2020 one, #61). Read that issue here.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart brought the Word there today.
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to preach the gospel in Limerick, Ireland until he can enter the U.S. and be installed as Providence PRC's pastor. This week he published a new newsletter with important information about what is happening to the group as well as to his immigration process. For that news, visit this webpage.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - September 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through October 31), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies.
    • PRCP Seminary News: Last week, our seminary instructors and students took a one-week break. The second quarter of the school year begins this Tuesday, October 13.
    • The PRCP Classis is scheduled to convince on October 31, 2020 at the Provident PRC Marikina City at 9:00 in the morning. Lord willing.
    • The latest PRCP newsletter was recently published - don't forget to read the August 2020 report!
  • Are we continuing to pray for our dear brothers and sisters throughout the world as they also face trials and tribulations? Let us show the communion of saints also in this way.

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

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) has begun delivering the messages on the program for the next four months. Today's message is titled "The Blessings of Fearing Jehovah" and is based on Psalm 25:12,13.
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
  • 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 Commitee 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.).
  • Special notices for October: 

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI).  The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

reformation men
Looking for things to read in this Reformation remembrance month? Check out this section of articles on the website, all devoted to the Reformers and God's work through them in His church.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online! As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Are you desirous to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

God raised Jesus from the dead. What power on earth could possibly accomplish this miracle? Obviously, there is none. Only a heavenly power could and did raise Jesus on the third day. God thus vindicated Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah and declared that Christ’s atonement for sin was accepted. As God raised Jesus from the dead, so also by His Spirit He raises us from the dead with a birth from above. As Jesus Christ was victorious over Satan, sin, and death, all those who are united to Christ by faith can live triumphantly through that power!

What a sinful world we live in which tempts us to join in its wicked ways and persecuting those who refuse. How are we victorious over that great enemy? The answer is, we can only gain the victory through the power of God that transforms us “by the renewing of our minds” (Rom. 12:2). It is what makes us “new creatures” (II Cor. 5:17).

Our second great adversary is our own flesh, that sinful nature that you and I must fight against day and night. What an enemy it is! So often we are not active as we should be in reading God’s Word, praying, or performing good works. Our sinful nature also locks us into sinful patterns of behavior. How can we triumph over these strong forces? It is only by the power of God displayed in the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Our third enemy is the devil and his host of fallen angels. No wonder Peter writes, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil ,as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he might devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith…” (I Pet. 5:8). Because of this, we need to be enlightened with respect to the power of God working in us. Nothing else can enable us to stand against the wiles of the devil.

From one of Rev. A. Spriensma's meditations on Ephesians 1 this past week, "Knowing God's Power in the Exaltation of Christ."

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