On this third Lord's Day of 2019, January 20, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields may be noted.
- Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is considering the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB (received Jan.6).
- Trinity PRC's Council has announced a new trio: Rev. J. Engelsma, Rev. E. Guichelaar and Rev. W. Langerak. The congregational meeting is scheduled for tonight following the evening service. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Engelsma has received this call.
- Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph WI PRC) is considering the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore (received Dec.30). *UPDATE: Rev. Guichelaar has DECLINED this call.
- SPECIAL NOTICE: We have many new officebearers who begin to serve in this time of year, some for the first time. If you are looking for helpful materials, visit our "Resources for Officebearers" webpage. You will find profitable sermons, speeches, and articles for the office and work of elder and that of deacon. Those in West Michigan will also find that the Seminary bookstore carries a variety of titles that will benefit our officebearers. Call or visit us M-F, 8AM - 5PM.
- Special note from from Kalamazoo PRC: "SOUTH KOREA PRESENTATION: You are cordially invited to attend a "CONTACT IN SOUTH KOREA" program this Friday, January 25 at 7 PM at the Kalamazoo PRC, 4515 Green Acres Drive, Kalamazoo. This projected picture presentation will be given by Rev. W. Langerak. Refreshments will be served."
- MEXICO PRESENTATION: "The Contact Committee's Presentation on Mexico will be next Sunday, January 27 at 7:30 PM at Zion PRC. Rev. Griess will be giving the presentation highlighting their recent trip and contact with the Reformed churches in and around Mexico City. Refreshments will be served after the presentation. Join us at Zion PRC’s new location at 7551 12th Ave, Jenison, MI 49426."
- Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location for the congregation.
Classis East: The following is the official report of the recent meeting.
CLASSIS EAST met January 9, 2019 at Hope PRC [Walker, MI]. Rev. M. VanderWal by rotation chaired this meeting.
An appeal was ruled to be illegal because it violated Article 30 of the Church Order. A portion of a protest was ruled illegal; another portion of this protest was judged to be legal, but was not sustained.
The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2018. Rev. K.Koole and Rev. R.Van Overloop were chosen to be church visitors in 2019. Rev. N. Decker was elected to the Classical Committee. He replaces Rev. K. Koole, whose term was completed. Rev. C. Haak was elected delegate ad examina primus and Rev. J. Mahtani delegate ad examina secundus. Trinity PRC was granted pulpit supply for their evening services during their vacancy.
Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2019 were: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Griess, C. Haak, C. Spronk, and R. Van Overloop; elders Mike Bosveld (Hope PRC), Rick Gritters (Trinity PRC), Gary Lanning (Hudsonville PRC), Pete VanderSchaaf (Faith PRC), and Kevin Van Overloop (Faith PRC).
Classis advised a consistory to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline.
Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2019 with the approval of the Classis. The expenses for this meeting of Classis East were $1,482.88.
The next meeting of Classis East will be May 8, 2019 at Georgetown PRC, the Lord willing.
Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk, Classis East
Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classi convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory. ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk
PRC Seminary News:
- The new PRC seminary website is now live! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!
- Seminary completed its 2019 Interim course this past week (Jan.4-15). Prof. B. Gritters taught his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which was live-streamed through the seminary's Youtube channel. You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to listen in on the sessions at your convenience.
- The faculty and students attended a Reformed conference on the Synod of Dordt (400th anniversary) this past weekend at Westminster Seminary West (Escondido, CA). They are spending Saturday night and Sunday in fellowship and worship with the members of Hope PRC in Redlands, CA.
- The second semester is scheduled to begin this Tuesday, Jan.22, D.V. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for the 2nd semester may be found on this page. In that connection the faculty sends out this note about auditing classes:
"The Seminary again welcomes members to attend classes in the coming semester. Four different classes are open to the public. For Prof. R. Cammenga: Dogmatics Locus Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) and Old Testament History (Judges through the return from Captivity). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Medieval Church History and New Testament Isagogics (introduction). Class sessions are scheduled to begin on Tuesday January 22. A schedule of the classes (for the days and times) is available on the Seminary website. If you would like to attend, please call the seminary (531-1490) to register with our secretary, Sharon Kleyn."
- The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available. The digital versions (pdf, ePub, Mobi) may be found here. The print version was mailed out the week of Christmas 2018. If you would like a copy, you may stop by the seminary and pick one up If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary.
- The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.
- Work continues on the seminary addition project that will house the new PRC archives and two offices during the professor transition period in the next few years. For more updates, visit this blog post.
- The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy implementing plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates are being given:
Dordt 400: Did you know November 13
1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org
to view the weekly events Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019
Dordt 400 Writing contest: The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes! The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.
*Logo of one of our new "sisters" in the Philippines - Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela.
- *Since June of 2018 (confirmed at the PRC Synod), the PRC has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines. We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues.
- From the bulletins of the Berean PRC and Maranatha PRC today we find these notes:
- Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today. Rev. Ibe is visiting with the saints in Gabaldon today. Our pastor will lead them in their worship service.
- And Maranatha PRC contained this special note from the Kleyns (who are currently in the U.S.): "We are both doing well. We can tell, though, that our bodies are not used to the cold weather, as we haven’t really warmed up yet here. We’ve enjoyed seeing and spending time with our families. They are all doing well. This week I’ve also started my classes already toward a ThM degree. I have lectures every day from 1:30 to 5:30, and lots of reading and writing assignments too. So far I’ve been enjoying this. Lord willing I’ll be preaching once this coming Sunday in Southwest PRC...."
- And from Doon PRC's recent bulletins we learn this: "Synod 2018 approved Rev. & Sharon Kleyn taking an extended furlough in 2019. The purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family. Their plans are to leave the Philippines on January 1 and stay in the States until June 18." And, "Rev. and Sharon Kleyn left the Philippines this past week and arrived safely in Michigan. Lord willing, they plan to stay in the States until June 18."
- And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Jan.20):
- "We welcome Rev Spriensma & his wife Alva once again into our midst. They will be here for 4 Sundays through till Feb 10. We thank God for continuing to provide ministers to feed the sheep and lambs here in CERC with the preaching of His Word while we wait on Him to send us another under-shepherd. God willing, Rev Erik Guichelaar will answer the call extended to him to be our MOL this evening. By God's grace, we continue to pray, "not our will Lord, but Thine, be done." May we rest in His perfect will for us."
- Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.
- The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
- Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
- The PRC Contact Committee sent out this notice: "Rev. K Koole and Pete Vander Schaaf are representing our churches visiting the CPRC in N. Ireland conducting church visitation and also visiting their mission work in Limerick. They plan to return home this coming week, the Lord willing. We are grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate and experience our unity in the faith with the saints in N Ireland and Ireland."
- Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (December 2018).
- Read the latest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (November 2018) may be found here.
- 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.
*How can sinners be right with God? Are YOU good enough for God?
- Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.
- If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.
- *If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.
- You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession on audio! Visiit the links provided to hear the Catechism and the Confession read. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.
- Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)! Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (pastor of Pittsburgh PRC) brings the message "Ehud, Deliverer of the Covenant", from Judges 3:12-30 (which you may listen to at this link).
- The RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the PRC.
- A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
(Paul preaching on Mar's Hill)
PRC MISSION NEWS:
- Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. In Byron Center PRC's bulletin this week (and last) we find this note concerning our missionary's labors at present:
- "The Domestic Mission Committee and our Council have approved a request for Pastor Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the 4 Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma will be teaching catechism, leading Bible Societies, conducting a wedding, administering the sacrament of Baptism and working closely with Singapore's Evangelism committee. Remember Rev. Spriensma and Alva in their travels and work in Singapore."
- The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (October 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
- Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And don't miss out on the Smits once again too!
- From this Sunday's bulletin of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
- Rev. Smit will preach both times today.
- Rev. Holstege will preach for Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, Bulacan. May the Lord bless our evangelism work there.
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.
- 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.
- We also find this note in Hope PRC's bulletin of Jan.6:
"This week Thursday Rev. Overway and Richard Peterson of the Myanmar committee will depart for Myanmar. Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John Van Baren will accompany them. The men will return on Tuesday evening, January 22. Your Myanmar committee has a list of mandates, including conducting a seminar for forty men arriving from many churches all over Myanmar and giving encouragement to the saints on the other side of the world. Remember to put your cards, pictures, and letters of encouragement in the box located in the kitchen for the delegates to deliver personally. Please pray daily for this delegation of five and the saints in Myanmar."