This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, October 6-12, 2019 *(Updated)

Jer3 15 pastorsOn this fortieth Lord's Day of 2019, October 6, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “(On hearing the preaching) “...It shouldn't merely bounce off our eardrum or glide smoothly through our soul's networks. But it should directly, immediately, intensely, and totally penetrate our whole being. It should grip us in our entirety as spiritual beings. Its message should touch every spot in our soul. It should make us quiver in our total being. Not externally like the Quakers' experience, as though our lips and hands should tremble. But internally, so that our hearts quiver in our chests. It should also mean that our spirits tremble 'because the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword that cuts to the cleaving of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is the judge of all thoughts.” ~ Abraham Kuyper

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This morning pastor-elect M. Kortus was ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as the new pastor of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA). We rejoice in God's gracious gift of another minister of the Word in the PRC. May the Lord continue to prepare and equip this brother for his labors as a servant of Jesus Christ and His church.

  • On September 22 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane). He plans to answer by Oct.13. We remember him in prayer as he weighs this call. Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC again today. The next two Sundays are "open" weeks for her supply.

  • The congregation of Grandville PRC was to vote this evening from the Council's new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). *Rev. J. Mathani has received this call.

  • Special Lecture, Bethel PRC: Bethel PRC is holding its annual Reformation Day Lecture at its premises in Roselle, IL on Friday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. Professor R. Dykstra will be speaking on the subject: "Peace In Troubled Times". All are welcome.

  • From the bulletin of the new daughter church of Byron Center PRC comes this significant notice: "At a council meeting this past week, our mother church set the date for Unity PRC organizational service for Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm at BC PRC. After our organization, there will also be a congregational meeting at which elders and deacons for Unity PRC will be elected, the Lord willing."
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"

  • Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West: Classis West met from Sept.25-27 at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene in early November to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, are currently visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC.  They will be gone from September 30 (tomorrow) to October 14.

Sem front Oct 2018

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its seventh week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. Some of the students and most of the professors also teach catechism and lead Bible studies in the West Michigan area. The first practice preaching session will be held Monday Oct.6, as Sems. Tan and Wee will deliver their first sermons of the new term. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors.
  • The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). The second shioment of new furniturte for the library arrived last week and more preparations were done on the special fire protection system in the arcives room. The other custom library desks will be finished soon, along iwth the work area for the archives roowi
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife returned to the CERC to take up the work again while they are vacant.
    • The congregation of Grandville PRC was to vote Sunday evening from the Council's new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC).
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: "Rev. Smit will lead us in our worship services today. Rev. Ibe will lead the worship service with the saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today. We pray for God’s continued blessings as they hear and receive the proclamation of His Word!"
    • Maranatha PRC:

      Let us pray for Rev. D. Kleyn in his missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occ.

      The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on October 31, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning. D. V.

    • Provident CC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach in the first service today and Rev. Holstege in the second. Next week, Lord willing, Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for PPRC and Rev. Holstege will preach once for the PRC in Bulacan."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • 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 also.

rfpa 04
Looking for Bible study resources or a good book to read this Fall? Visit the RFPA Bookstore in Jenison, MI or shop online at her website.

If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting on Sept.26, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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 a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? 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 missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. Today he delivers the message “The Woman Eve” based on Genesis 2:23-24; 3:20 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 psalm 119 9
Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

greatcommission1

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • 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.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will speak in Margam Community Centre on Thursday, 10 October, at 7:15 PM on “The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt.” Remember this witness in your prayers.
    • A fresh mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

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.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for October 2019

RWH Logo 2019

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for October 2019 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

This month we welcome back to our broadcast Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (PA). He will be doing a special series on "Women in the Bible," beginning with Eve. Be sure to tune in for these important messages. The schedule for this month is laid out below and also attached in pdf form.

WBruinsma 2017

October 6 - The Woman Eve, Genesis 2:23-24; 3:20

October 13 - The Faith of Sarah, Hebrews 11:11-12

October 20 - Rebekah Marries Isaac, Genesis 24:55-67

October 27 - Shiphrah and Puah Fear God, Exodus 1:14-21

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 78th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Visit our website for the latest podcast and for other news and information!

And don't forget our Spanish programs on YouTube!

RWH Facebook image

Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.

*Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 29 - October 5, 2019

psalm62 1 2On this thirty-ninth Lord's Day of 2019, September 29, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the Holy Scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Timothy, p. 846).

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This past Friday (Sept.27) pastor-elect Jacob Maatman was ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as Southeast PRC's new pastorIn that conection, we find this note about his first service: "The inaugural service led by Pastor-elect Maatman is scheduled for Sunday evening, September 29. The program committee is planning a small welcome program to follow the service, with dinner served afterward in the hallway. Please plan to come and stay for this joyful event, as we welcome Pastor-elect Maatman, Rachel, and their children into our congregational life and fellowship."

  • This past week at the meeting of Classis West in Calvary PRC, Hull-IA, pastor-elect M. Kortus sustained his examination and the Consistory of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) was instructed to proceed to his ordination and installation. This will take place, Lord willing, on Sunday, Oct.6. We rejoice in God's gracious gift of another minister of the Word in the PRC. May the Lord continue to prepare and equip this brother for his labors as a servant of Jesus Christ and His church.

  • On September 22 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane). We remember him in prayer as he weighs this call.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: "Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Oct 6 following the evening service."

  • Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) again today.
  • Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is leading the worship services of the daughter group of Byron Center PRC today. They are currently meeting at Zion Christian School (Byron Center Ave & 76th St.).
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"
  • Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

MKortus CW diploma Sept25 19

*Pastor-elect Kortus (with his wife, Sarah) receiving his classical diploma and congratulations from Rev. R. Barnhill, president of Classis.

Classis West: Classis West met this past week at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene in early November to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, will be visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC.  They will be gone from September 30 (tomorrow) to October 14.

JHelms devotions 2019 2 2
Sem. Jeremy Helms leading the mid-day devotions at seminary a week ago.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its sixth week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. Some of the students and most of the professors also teach catechism and lead Bible studies in the West Michigan area. The first practice preaching session is only a week away, as Josiah T. and Marcus W. will deliver their first sermons of the new term. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary while also taking some classes at Puritan Refomred Seminary. Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, teaching the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). The new glass barrier was installed in the library this past week and the second shipment of library furniture is due on Monday. As part of regular building maintenance, new windows were also installed this past week in the professors' offices. In the archives room the special flooring and shelving was installed this past week (see the final look below). Please feel free to stop by and see the new look - the library is truly beautiful and the new archives storage is exciting!
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

archives shelving sept 2019 1
New storage shelving (Space-Saver) in the new PRC archives room at the seminary, now off the main floor library

CPRC News Header
*Learn about the latest issue of "Covenant Reformed News" (below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife returned to the CERC this past week. Concerning that, her bulletin today states: "Today we welcome Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry to worship with us once again. We thank God for bringing them back safely. Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry will be with us till the end of this November. We are grateful to them and thankful to God for their sacrificial love towards His people."
    • Also, her bulletin has this fitting note concerning the calling of a new minister on loan: "The Council of Grandville, PRC has formed a trio comprising Revs Garrett Eriks, Rodney Kleyn and Jonathan Mahtani on 19 Sep. Grandville PRC plans to hold a congregational meeting after the evening service on 6 Oct to vote for the MOL to Singapore. Let us continue to pray and wait patiently for the Lord's choosing of His servant to be sent to CERC."
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue the teaching of the Revelation.
    • Provident CC: "Rev. Holstege will preach both times for PPRC today and next Sunday, Lord willing." And this note too: "The Adults Society will meet today at 2:00 to continue studying the book of James. A big thanks to the society for organizing the recent evangelism conference! “Ye shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life…” (Phil. 2:15-16)."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • 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 also.

rfpa 04
Looking for Bible study resources or a good book to read this Fall? Visit the RFPA Bookstore in Jenison, MI.

If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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 a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville! From the RBO Fall newsletter: September 25% off Sale! 25% off most Bibles, books, and Bible covers! Stop in and check out the clearance table, where items are available for $2 and restocked with different books each month!

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? 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 missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For the rest of September the RWH is featuring some "classics" of Rev. C. Haak. Today's message is "The True Christian Life" based on 2 Timothy 4:7,8 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1
Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Reformed Free Church Negros Sept 2019 2
*Reformed Free Church in S. Negros where Rev. D. Kleyn recently led in worship and preached

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • 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 BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
    • Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit for the daughter group of BC-PRC today (meeting at Zion Christian School).
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • A fresh mission newsletter was published this week from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • *From the latest post of Mrs. Sharon Kleyn, we find this note about their recent trip to Sipalay (Sept.14-16):
    For many years now, the missionaries have been traveling to the city of Sipalay on the Island of Negros to hold classes with a number of pastors and elders in that area who are interested in the Reformed truth.  Now, with three missionaries present, they are hoping to expand this work by going on the weekends and speaking/preaching/teaching in the churches there in addition to continuing the classes for the pastors and elders. 
    This past Saturday, September 14, Rev. Kleyn and I flew into Bacolod City and drove the 3-4 hour trip south to Sipalay.  Along the way we stopped to check in with two of the pastors, Pastor Rosal and Pastor Donasco.  They assured us that they were planning on us on the following day (Sunday), and specific times and arrangements were made.
    Sunday morning we left Sipalay around 8:15 for the half hour trip back north to the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan where Pastor Rosal is the pastor.  This church has already been following the order of worship we are used to and has used the Psalter for many years.  They also are organized with elders and deacons.
    Rev. Kleyn first led the adult Sunday School class, speaking, at their request, on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
     After the Sunday School class, Pastor Rosal (standing on the right) made a few announcements, and then the worship service began.  Rev. Kleyn led the whole service and preached on Unconditional Election from Deuteronomy 7:6-8.  There was much appreciation expressed for the sermon.  Because they came out of Arminianism and still have many friends and family in the Arminian churches, the doctrines of grace are very relevant for the members.  They love to hear of them and discuss the related issues and Bible verses.

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

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.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - September 2019

Covenant Reformed News


September 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 17



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (1)

Many people earnestly seek victory and go to great lengths to avoid defeat. In sport, this involves intense training and careful planning. Modern warfare is carried out with high-powered plotting and expensive technology. Think of all the frantic effort and skilful marketing that goes into political elections!

The Christian too is vitally interested in victory or triumph, and pained and left desolate by loss. We seek victory over sin, the flesh, the world and the devil. Sadly, in our lives, we too often transgress, and experience the shame and misery of defeat.

Colossians 2:14-15 proclaims the great victory of our Saviour and the triumph of His cross. It describes Christ’s work as that of “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

In some places in Scripture, “principalities” and “powers” (15) are used of civil rulers (Rom. 13:1-3; Titus 3:1). Usually, they refer to ranks of angels, as in Ephesians 3:10, where “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” marvel at God’s “manifold wisdom.” Speaking of our Lord Jesus, Colossians 1:16 declares that “all things were created by him, and for him,” both “in heaven” and “in earth,” whether “visible” or “invisible” (to us currently), including the angels: “thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” Christ is “the head of all principality and power” (2:10) or, more simply, “angels” (18).

Colossians 2 speaks of a cosmic battle between Jesus Christ and the demonic powers (15), headed by Satan, at the cross (14). This cosmic battle is presented in terms taken from human warfare and military victory, especially Roman triumph.

Let us follow the progress of the battle in Colossians 2:15. First, and presupposed in this verse, is victory in the conflict itself. Our Saviour defeated the demonic hordes at the cross conclusively and decisively.

Second, there is the disarming of the conquered enemy. An earthly example of this is recorded in I Samuel 31, where the Philistines defeated the Israelites on Mount Gilboa, and proceeded to strip the slain and take their armour. At the cross, Christ “spoiled” (Col. 2:15) or disarmed Satan and his demons of their weapons.

Third, and this is an especially Roman feature, there is the triumphal procession. The leading survivor of the forces defeated by the Romans would be kept alive. He and his men would be transported to the imperial capital. Leading the victory parade through its thronged streets would be the Roman general in his war chariot. Behind him would come the leader of the conquered army and his wretched men in chains, with the Roman crowds cheering wildly.

Colossians 2:15 declares that our Redeemer “made a shew of [the fallen angels] openly, triumphing over them.” In other words, Jesus Christ so routed the demonic hosts at the cross that He made a public spectacle of them in His triumph! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (2)

I have, over the years, received many questions that deal with Bible texts supposedly teaching the well-meant and gracious offer of the gospel. As I said in my last article, the problem is often that people do not take into consideration nor understand that God deals with mankind “organically.” Since I wrote the first article, I received two letters dealing with matters that concern the truth of God’s organic dealings with man. I will address the Scripture verses that they cite as evidence of how important it is to know and understand the organic dealings of God with the world He has created.

(1) The first text contains words Jesus uttered concerning Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34; Matt. 23:37).

The relation here to the reality of organisms is the important relationship of the family. Parents, the God-appointed leaders of the family, are responsible for their children and for their conduct. What parents do and how they conduct themselves have implications for their children.

Bearing that in mind, one can easily understand that the text does not even begin to say that, though Christ wanted to gather the wicked Jews under His wings, they refused. Hence, so men argue, men thwart Jesus’ will. His desire is not realized because of the wickedness of the Jews.

But the text does not say that. The wicked Jewish leaders, especially “the Pharisees” (Luke 13:31), are not the ones whom Jesus desires to save but their “children.” This desire was not wholly realized in Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was not carried out because the wicked Jews not only rejected His ministry but they refused to permit their children to be gathered by Christ. They opposed Jesus with such bitter hatred that they also did all that they could to stop their children from following Christ.

Yet there is another “organism” referred to here. It is the organism of the Jewish nation as a whole, called, as it often is in Scripture, “Jerusalem.” The entire nation named after its capital city. Jerusalem was the centre of the nation politically and spiritually, for there was the throne of David and the temple in which God dwelt with His people. The Jewish nation as a whole is called “Jerusalem” (as America is sometimes referred to as Washington DC or the UK as London). The nation as a whole had wickedly rejected Christ. That is why the nation was destroyed in AD 70, when Jerusalem was demolished by the Roman armies under Titus.

Parents, for example, who will not worship in a sound church on the Lord’s day commit a grave sin. But if they refuse to allow their children to go to church (perhaps with a grandmother or grandfather) their sin is multiplied. The same is true of churches and nations, such as America or those in Europe, that forsake the gospel. The church or nation as a whole is forsaken by God and terrible judgments await it.

Yet in them now are people of God, as there were in the nation of Israel, and these people are saved. They are a part of the organism but they are elect. The organism of the fig tree of Israel (which Jesus cursed), though dead, still had some living branches.

Those are “thy children” referred to in Luke 13:34. Jesus desired to save them, though the nation was doomed to destruction. Moreover, He not only wanted to save them; He did save them. After Pentecost, thousands of Jerusalem’s children were saved (Acts 2:41; 4:4). Before the destruction of Israel, God took His people out of the nation, as He took Lot and his daughters out of the homosexual Sodom and Gomorrah before He rained fire and brimstone on them (Gen. 19:1-26)—as God will do also when the elect are taken out of wicked Europe and N. America.

There is not even a hint in the text that can support so God-degrading a heresy as the bizarre notion of the well-meant offer of the gospel, a weak and ineffectual desire of the Almighty and unchangeable Jehovah to save those whom He has eternally reprobated!

For more, see “Quotes on Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.”

(2) Another text is Matthew 11:21: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

First of all, Chorazin and Bethsaida were two cities in Israel, which here represent the entire nation, even though there were elect in both cities and in the nation. The cities are organisms as cities, and the cities in the nation represent the entire nation. The nation and its cities had rejected Christ: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).

Second, the same is true of Tyre and Sidon. As the two chief cities in Phoenicia, they represented the entire nation. (Whether there were elect in those cities or not, we do not know, although in Israel’s history occasional references are made to believers there, such as the widow with whom Elijah stayed in I Kings 17:8-24 and the lady whose daughter Jesus healed in Matthew 15:21-28. Isaiah 23 pronounces God’s judgments on Tyre but it also contains a promise of salvation in verse 18.) But, as nations, the Phoenicians had not had the gospel and so could not reject it.

Third, the sin of Israel was, therefore, far greater than the sin of Tyre and Sidon. This is Jesus’ point. Never to have had the gospel and to live in sin is not nearly as dreadful a sin as having had Christ in one’s land, seeing Him, beholding His miracles and hearing His preaching, yet rejecting Him. Yet not only would the Jews not believe in the Messiah but they killed Him for who He was. That is Europe and America today! And this was true and is true always.

(3) John 3:16, the favourite text of the Arminians, also speaks of the whole creation as the “world.” God created the entire creation as an organism: the heavens and their heavenly bodies, the earth and all its contents, and the human race in Adam. As man is finding out more and more, the whole creation is intimately related so that no part of it exists independently from any other part. Further, man was created as the head of the creation and what he does in relation to God affects the whole. When Adam fell, the curse of God came on all the creation.

That creation God loves. His love is revealed in making His own Son the new head of the creation, which head redeems it by delivering it from the curse. That is the organism of John 3:16. Well, as that final organism is formed by God, the dead and useless parts of it are pruned away. That is, the devils (for even the heavenly creation and its inhabitants will belong to the new creation with Christ at its head) and reprobate humans will be pruned away and destroyed forever. But the organism will be saved and the elect people in it will be saved as believers who belong to Christ, the head of all.

For more on John 3:16, ask us for the free pamphlet, “God So Loved the World (John 3:16),” by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema or read it on-line.

(4) One more text was sent to me, the answer to which is dependent on the sovereign God’s organic dealings with men. What about the destruction of forty-two youths by two she bears in response to Elisha’s cursing them for mocking him as God’s prophet (II Kings 2:23-24)? This occurred in Bethel, the location of the major shrine for one of the two golden calves (I Kings 12:26-13:32). It seemed to my correspondent (and others) that no prophet would ever do that.

The answer to this question is that the family is created by God as an organic unity. This is why the second commandment of the Decalogue says that God visits “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Ex. 20:5).

For example, a man leaves a faithful church and takes his children with him to a false or departing church. Then his children eventually quit going to church at all, and are lost in unbelief and worldliness. The head of a home cannot live unrepentant in sin without it having consequences for his whole family. A drunkard’s sins destroy his family. It is like the root of a tree being killed with the whole tree dying.

Israel had forsaken the worship of God and turned to idols. The Lord is showing Israel that their terrible sin will result in the spiritual death of their children. This happened as well. Although in Elijah’s day there were still 7,000 who did not bow knee to Baal, in Hezekiah’s day the few remaining worshippers of God in the Northern Kingdom were called out of the nation and the nation, with its children, was destroyed. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday,
10 October, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

Subject:
The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt

So far we have traced God’s covenant in six speeches from Adam to Jacob. In our seventh lecture, we continue that development with Joseph, who was instrumental in bringing Jacob’s descendants into Egypt, whence centuries later they would be delivered. Come to hear about God’s grace and faithfulness with respect to this fascinating subject. 


Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

Book Table (including DVDs, CDs & free pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word.

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

Venue: 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St. 
Ballymena BT43 5DR

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


Rome’s Sacrifice of the Mass

11 classes on Belgic Confession 35
(Vol. XXX) on CD in
an attractive box set 


Eye-opening doctrine classes explaining the false doctrine of the mass, especially as taught at Rome’s Council of Trent (1545-1563), as opposed to God’s grace in Christ and His cross alone!

(1) Introducing the Mass
(Heb. 9:13-10:4)
(2) The “Sacrifice” of the Mass
(Heb. 7:11-28)
(3) The “Beneficiaries” of the Mass
(I Pet. 1:17-25)
(4) The Offering and Offerers of the Mass (Heb. 9:11-14)
(5) “Christ Alone” Versus the Mass (John 19:19-30)
(6) Christ’s “Once and for All” Sacrifice (Heb. 9:24-10:4)
(7) The Mass and the 5 Solas
(Eph. 2:1-10)
(8) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (1) (Heb. 7:11-28)
(9) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (2) (Mal. 1)
(10) Trent’s Second Chapter
on the Mass (Heb. 1)
(11) Trent’s Remaining Chapters
on the Mass (Ps. 26:6-12)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line
or order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - September 2019

Limerickmeetingplace

Limerick Reformed Fellowship

Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally Co. Limerick, Ireland
http://www.limerickreformed.com/
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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Life on the mission field brings disappointments as well as joys. One young man (“Catholic seeking alternative”), whom I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, has returned to Roman Catholicism more convinced than ever that the Roman Church is the one true church. If you recall, he emailed me on August 17, 2018, and I met with him shortly thereafter. He seemed to be enthusiastic about the Reformed faith for a while, but, sadly, his enthusiasm did not last. On July 30 he messaged me that he needed “a break from the church.” When I questioned him (we corresponded electronically—young people seem to prefer that, although I requested a face-to-face meeting), he explained that he needed time to study in order to determine which is the “true church.” I asked him how he planned to do that, to which he responded that he was reading the Church Fathers. After a few days, during which time he still declined to meet with me, he declared, “Pastor, I have decided to return to the Catholic Church,” whereupon he texted a few of the members of the LRF to inform them.

My young friend, whose name I will not mention (those of you who have visited in the last year will undoubtedly have met him), claims that since the “table of contents” of the Bible is a “manmade tradition” and since the Church of Rome (supposedly) determined which books belong in the Bible, that church, built upon Peter, must have the truth. He also claims that the early Church Fathers taught the “real presence” of Christ in the sacrament, which we Reformed supposedly reject. Of course, no one could possibly master the Church Fathers in a few weeks, so he has taken a few quotes out of context to justify his actions. For one thing, we Reformed do believe in the “real pres-ence,” but we reject a real, physical, material presence of Christ’s body and blood. The Belgic Confession even speaks of “the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ” (Art. 35). Unfortunately, due to illness, family problems, and other issues, my friend missed most of my sermons on the sacraments (LD 26-30).

Sadly, my attempts to reason with my friend from the Scriptures have fallen on deaf ears. On September 8, supposedly the birthday of the Virgin Mary, my friend posted a video on Facebook with the comment, “Beautiful Mass and homily today.” The video was two hours long, but he provided the timestamp for the “homily,” which I watched: it was 9 minutes long; it was in honour (supposedly) of the “Blessed Virgin”; and it contained the line that sufferings are sent “to permit us to make reparations for our past sins.” That someone can be present for approximately fifty Reformed sermons and then return to the emptiness and superstition of Rome is unfathomable to me! (Of course, it happened before: in 2013 a longstanding member who had listened to years of Reformed sermons returned to the Roman Church; this young man was a lot less educated in the Reformed faith, although he had been given plenty of material to read).

In response to this young man’s departure I have been preaching texts related to the authority of Scripture, tradition, and the church: II Thessalonians 2:15; Matthew 18:16; Luke 10:16; John 21:15-19; and I Timothy 3:15. I am also considering a speech on the Canon of Scripture to answer the Roman canard that she (the Roman Church) determined the Canon and, therefore, she has supreme authority over the meaning of Scripture.

Another disappointment concerned a family from Brazil. The wife of the family emailed me in February to inform me of their plans to move from Portugal to Ireland, where the husband had a job offer to work in Limerick. They were excited, they said, to find a Reformed church because they had belonged to a Presbyterian Church in Brazil and were dissatisfied with the Baptist Church that they attended in Portugal. (Europeans are often disappointed: good churches or fellowships are few and far between). The LRF were excited to welcome them, a married couple with a twelve year old son—think of the possibilities for a small group such as ours—but they only attended our services for two weeks. On their second Sunday, they began asking questions about the Lord’s Supper: when do we have it and could they partake? On discovering that we do not have the Lord’s Supper on the mission field and that we would, if we had it, practice close communion, they informed me—again by email—that they would be looking for another church. The last that I heard they were attending a Baptist Church in Limerick. This is a very unpresbyterian reaction: in Presbyterian/Reformed churches the preaching of the gospel—not the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper—is the chief means of grace. If one has the former, then one should patiently wait upon the Lord by supporting a Reformed Fellowship until God is pleased to grant the latter. Instead, such people abandon solid, biblical, Re-formed preaching for weaker evangelical preaching so that they can have the Supper in a church that usually practices open communion to the detriment of their spiritual life and that of their children.

Despite those two setbacks the core group remains unified and enthusiastic about the Reformed Faith. I recently finished a series of twenty-six sermons (December 9, 2018 through August 25, 2019) on John 14-16, which is a very profound and fascinating portion of God’s Word. I also began my sixth time through the Heidelberg Catechism on September 1. Our Bible study continued through the summer (and when I was at Synod in June, Rev. Smidstra kindly led it for me): we have been studying Peter’s two epistles, and are about halfway through II Peter 2. Catechism for the children also recommenced in September, which is always enjoyable. I teach Sebastian, Penelope, and Jason (New Testament History for Beginners) on Wednesdays; and my nieces, Anna, Lily, and Hope, via Google hangout (New Testament History for Beginners, New Testament History for Juniors, and Old Testament History for Seniors) on Thursdays. In addition, I teach an Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class on Saturdays, and we usually, weather permitting, spend a few hours at our “witness table” on Saturday afternoons, displaying tracts, engaging passers-by in conversation, and offering literature. We compete with other groups: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Climate Change Activists, buskers, and public reciters of the rosary!

We have also enjoyed visitors: Rev. and Pat Koole and Peter and Dorothy VanDerSchaaf (January 2019); Rev. and Kelly Smidstra (June 2019); a group of young people (Andrew and Briana Prins [Trinity PRC], Faith Bleyenberg and Kara Lubbers [Byron Center PRC], Taylor Doezema [Faith PRC], Sara Langerak [Hope PRC], and Melissa VanBaren [First PRC] in June 2019); Rev. and Nancy Key (July 2019); and Timothy Spence (CPRC in August 2019).

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (II Cor. 4:1-2).

In Christian love,

Rev. Martyn and Larisa McGeown

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