News

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of January 13, 2019


Psalms 23 3On this second Lord's Day of 2019, January 13, we provide the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches and mission fields.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On January 6, Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) received the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB.

  • On January 6, Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville) declined the call from Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI).

  • In today's bulletin, Trinity PRC's Council has this announcement: "At its Thursday meeting, the Council formed the following trio from which to call our next pastor:  Rev. J. Engelsma, Rev. E. Guichelaar and Rev. W. Langerak.  A congregational meeting is scheduled for January 20 following the evening service."

  • On December 30 Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph WI PRC) to serve as minister-on-loan to the Covenant ERC in Singapore.

  • Special note from from Kalamazoo PRC: "On Friday, January 25, at 7:00p.m. we will have a picture presentation by Rev. Bill Langerak here in our church on his 2017 visit to South Korea as a member of our Contact Committee delegation. Make plans to attend!"

  • Contact Committee's Presentation on Mexico will be 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. Join us at Zion PRC’s new location at 7551 12th Ave, Jenison, MI.
  • 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.

  • Also from SE PRC, this special note concerning her 75th anniversary: "Southeast PR Church will be publishing a book Archives and Anecdotes: 75 years at Southeast Protestant Reformed Church, which celebrates this anniversary with details from the church records and memories from past and current members. Of particular interest will be the history of the 1953 split and the related 1960 split. This approximate 250-page book will be available early in March. The cost will be $5 (plus shipping). To make ordering easy, orders can be placed through the RFPA (616-457-5970 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and picked up at the RFPA."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East: Classis East met in regular session Wednesday, Jan.9, at Hope PRC, Walker, MI. The following is an unofficial summary of the decisions taken:

An appeal was ruled to be illegal because it violated Article 30 of the Church Order. A portion of a protest was ruled illegal, but another portion of this protest was judged to be legal, but it was not sustained. The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2018. Rev. Koole and Rev. Van Overloop were chosen to be church visitors in 2019. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2019 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Haak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Mike Bosveld, Rick Gritters, Gary Lanning, Pete VanderSchaaf, and Kevin Van Overloop. 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.

Classis West: Clasiss 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

 Interim 2019 2a
The 2019 Interim course on HC Preaching taught by Prof. B. Gritters *(see special note below)

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 is currently holding its 2019 Interim course (Jan.4-15).  Prof. B. Gritters is teaching his "Heidelberg Catechism Preaching" class, which comes with this special notice:

"Seminary Interim Course on Heidelberg Catechism Preaching." Members of the PRCA are invited to Prof. B. Gritters' interim class at seminary, from January 4 - 15. The class meets for 8 mornings, from 9-11:30. Among other things, included will be instruction on why catechism preaching is required by the Church Order, proper and improper methods of preaching the catechism, and discussion on ways to preach the Heidelberg Catechism well. Area ministers have been invited. Others are welcome to attend. If you are interested, please call the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490. The class is being live-streamed [on the seminary's Youtube channel] for those not able to attend in person."

*You may also find the saved videos from the class at that YouTube link, if you wish to benefit from the class at your convenience.

  • The faculty and students will be attending a Reformed conference on the Synod of Dordt (400th anniversary) this weekend at Westminster Seminary West (Escondido, CA). They will spend Saturday night and Sunday in fellowship and worship with the members of Hope PRC in Redlands, CA.

  • The second semester is scheduled to begin on 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 internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman came to an official end on Dec.31. Sem. Kortus interned at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker (now pastor at Grandville PRC) and the Council there. Sem. Maatman interned at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. These two seniors are now taking their final Interim course and will soon begin their final semester. May God continue to bless their studies and prepare them for the gospel ministry in the PRC.

  • The Fall 2018 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available. The digital versions (pdf, ePub, Mobi) may be found here. The print version was mailed out the week of Christmas. 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.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga and his wife Rhonda are finishing their stay and labors today in Singapore for our sister church, Covenant ERC, on behalf of the PRC Contact Committee.

  • 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.

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

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

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*For the latest from our new "sister" in the Philippines, read on below!

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • *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 bulletin of the Berean PRC today we find these notes:
      • Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today. Our pastor is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community church today at 3P.M. and ‘will lead them in their study of the Church Order regarding Censure (Arts. 71-81).
      • Food for the soul: Proverbs 29:1- Ang madalas na sawayin ngunit ang ulo ay matigas, ay biglang mababali, at wala nang lunas.”  ‘He that being often reproved hardenenth his neck’ (KJV). Do you know what language this is?

      • Revs. Joshua Engelsma and Nathan Decker will visit the Philippines next month. They will also visit PRFA from February 18 through 20 together with our pastor.

    • From the bulletin of Maranatha PRC we find these notes today: " Today: our Missionary, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in both services. After the Second Service, He will continue the lessons on the Belgic Confession at this time, he will teach us the Article 18, part I on Mary. While Rev. Trinidad will teach the children the Catechism after the Second Service. It is our “Thanksgiving Day” and “Potluck.” Rev. R. Smit will give the message, “O Give Thanks Unto Jehovah.”

    • 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.6):
    • "This week we will be bidding fond farewell to Prof. Ron and Mrs Rhonda Cammenga. We are thankful to God for bringing them to minister in our midst. May God continue to bless Prof Cammenga in the important work of preparing men for the work of the ministry."

    • "In the same week, we will be welcoming Rev. Audred and Alva Spriensma again. They will be arriving in Singapore, D.V. 17 January... They will be providing pulpit supply for the next 4 Sundays. May God grant them blessings and joy as they serve in our midst."

    • 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:
    • Grandville PRC's bulletin last week carried this important news item: "Wednesday, January 9, Lord willing, Rev. & Pat Koole and Peter & Dorothy Vander Schaaf will travel to Ballymena, N.Ireland and Limerick, Ireland on behalf of our churches to conduct church visitation. May God grant them safety and by this labor, prosper the gospel and saints in our sister church and mission field on the island."

    • 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.

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*Will you resolve to become a Standard Bearer subscriber in 2019?

SPECIAL NOTICES:

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

  • If you are in 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.

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  • 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 "You Cannot Serve Jehovah", from Joshua 24:19-22 (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!

 2019 YP Conv logo

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC YP and YA:

  • *Note re the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for our retreat will be opening in February! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to our Facebook Page - Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Reverend Regnerus. Our retreat theme is An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World. Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!
  • Loveland Young Adults Retreat: Due to lack of interest, the committee has decided to cancel this year’s retreat. We hope to host another one in coming years and hope to see you there!

  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

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

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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. In Byron Center PRC's bulletin this week (and last) we find these notes concerning our missionary's labors:
    • "Rev. Spriensma will also be preaching at the New Hope Reformed Fellowship Church in Dorr at noon today and will be filling the pulpit at Hope PRC this evening."
    • "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."

United Kingdom:

Philippine Missions:

  • 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:

    • Provident CC:
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. After the first worship service, he will continue to teach Lesson 8 on “Creation” in the Essentials class.

      • Next Sunday, Rev. Holstege will preach at Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, Bulacan, Lord willing. Rev. Smit is scheduled to preach for PCC.

      • You can listen to the speeches from the Synod of Dordt conference on the website of our missionaries: https://prcaphilippinesaudio.wordpress.com.

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.

Myanmar map 2

Myanmar:

  • Do not forget 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."

Last modified on 15 January 2019

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