On this forty-seventh Lord's Day of 2019, November 24, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“The Manner of Offering Thanks to God”
1. Thanksgiving may be mental — as when we indulge admiring, adoring, and affectionate thoughts of God, or
meditate upon his graciousness with pleasure and delight.
2. Thanksgiving may be vocal. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth may be compelled to speak." In
private — in the family — in the house of God.
3. Thanksgiving must be with reverence. It is praise to the Great I Am — to God, who is a Spirit, pure, infinite.
Nehemiah 9:5; Psalm 91:1, 2; Psalm 95:1-3.
4. Thanksgiving must be with humility — as unworthy recipients, acknowledging the salvation of God. As prodigals,
returned outcasts, miserable sinners — confessing salvation to be all of grace.
5. Thanksgiving must be practical. This is called a "showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of
darkness into his marvelous light." Tell others what he has done for you. Go, spread his truth — advance his
cause. The people upon whom Christ wrought miracles did this. Paul, the persecutor, after his conversion did this.
6. Thanksgiving must be ardent. The greatness of the blessings, demands fervent thanks. Life from the dead —
translation from Satan's kingdom into the kingdom of God's dear Son — deliverance from perdition to the hope of
Heaven, etc. Psalm 71:8; Psalm 138:1, 2.
~ William Nicholson (1862)
- Today Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) declined the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). Today and next Sunday Rev. T. Miersma is bringing the Word in Immanuel PRC.
- On Nov.3, Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC) accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. Grandville has announced these details about the upcoming plans: "Rev. Mahtani plans to preach his farewell sermon at Cornerstone on December 8 and move to Grand Rapids on December 20. Rev. Mahtani will be installed as our minister-on-loan to Singapore on Sunday morning, December 29. Rev Mahtani will preach at the evening service. The Mahtanis hope to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year." May the Lord be with him and his family, as well as with Cornerstone PRC and Covenant ERC, as the Mahtanis transition to this new place of labor in the kingdom.
- The Council of Cornerstone PRC has formed a trio from which to call a new pastor, now that Rev. J. Mahtani has accepted the call to serve in our sister church in Singapore: Revs. J. Engelsma, G. Eriks, and R. Kleyn. The congregational meeting is planned for December 8.
- The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC has formed a trio for calling a new pastor (with a view to Rev. M. DeVries approaching emeritation): Rev. Ryan Barnhill, Rev. Heath Bleyenberg, Rev. Erik Guichelaar. A congregational meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2019 after the evening service D.V.
The newly organized Unity PRC has formed a trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and R. Van Overloop. The congregation plans to call on December 18.
Fall clean up is finally finished at the seminary after the snow melted this past week. Back to green grass!
PRC Seminary News:
- The seminary is now entering its thirteenth week of the first semester in the school year, and faculty, students, and staff remain busy with their various tasks. This past week the second round of practice preaching was held (Nov.18), with Sems. J. Tan and M. Wee delivering their second sermons of the semester. This week the seminary will take its two-day Thanksgiving break (Nov.28-29). Continue to include the seminary in your regular prayers.
- The faculty announces that Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. His first service is today at Southwest PRC (evening). We rejoice with the brother in this important milestone in his preparation for the ministry. Contact the rector, Prof. B. Gritters, for scheduling.
- The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is being put together and should be available in early December. Watch for articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer and plenty of profitable book reviews.
- Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.
- Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use, or perhaps some gifts for the holiday season? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new (including Reformation titles!) - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.
- Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. 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. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."
- For more seminary news and information, visit the PRC seminary website!
*The EPC of Australia, a church with whom the PRCA has a "corresponding" relationship.
- Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
- Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until mid-December.
- Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's acceptance of the call to serve them: "Please continue to keep Rev Mahtani and his family in prayer as they make the necessary preparation to relocate from the US to Singapore. There are many changes that the Mahtanis need to make, in order to adapt and adjust to the life in Singapore. But first and foremost, pray that the local authorities in Singapore will grant a favourable reply to Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass application."
- Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.
- Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until mid-December.
- 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. V. Ibe led the worship services today.
- Maranatha PRC: "Rev. R. Smit , our Missionary will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Belgic Confession Lesson 27. D.V."
- Provident CC: "Rev. Daniel Kleyn will preach both times for us today. Rev. Holstege will preach for Bearers of Light Community Church and Elder Bien will accompany him, D.V."
- Denominational News:
The PRCP Classis held their regular meeting on Wednesday October 31, 2019 at Provident CC: "The Classis regular meeting is in “Recess” and will continue on November 30, 2019 and still our venue is at Provident PRC, Marikina City."
A new mission newsletter was published and distributed this month. You may find that October 2019 update here.
And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.
- *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.
- This year the EPC has a new student attending the PRC seminary. Isaac Peters along with his wife Rebeka and four children are living in West Michigan and Isaac is in the first year of a three-year program.
- 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? What about ideas for the holiday season? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville! The bookstore has plenty of other good reading materials too, as well as music and cards.
- 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. Don't forget that these books and magazine make for great gifts!
- Did you know 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.
- Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
- From October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, but today he delivers a special Thanksgiving message "Thanks Be to God," based on 2 Corinthians 9:15 . Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:
Have you read our latest newsletter - October 2019? 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!
There's a new issue of Salt Shakers out! Have you started reading it yet?
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
- December 1: The PR Young People’s Thanksgiving mass meeting will be held in Trinity Protestant Reformed Church (Hudsonville, MI) at 2:00 p.m. with a speech given by Rev. W. Langerak. All young people are encouraged to attend for a time of fellowship and growth.
- December 15: The Young Calvinists will be host a Christmas singspiration in Trinity Protestant Reformed Church at 7:45 p.m. There will be food in the narthex afterwards. Come celebrate the birth of our Savior with us!
- Please make note of next year's Protestant Reformed Young People's Convention date and location to be hosted by Georgetown PRC. The convention will be held Aug 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL. Visit prcconvention.com for more information. Chaperone registration will open January 1, and conventioneer registration opens March 15.
*Missionary D. Holstege leading the Adult Sunday School at the Bearers of Light Community Church, where he was today (see note below).
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.
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
- Rev. M. McGeown is preaching the gospel in the LRF today.
- From the LRF bulletin: "The special lecture on "The Canon of Sacred Scripture" is now available on our website."
- The latest mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.
- *From Provident PRC's bulletin today we read this mission news item: "Rev. Holstege will preach for Bearers of Light Community Church and Elder Bien will accompany him, D.V."
- From the bulletin of Maranatha PRC comes this special notice: "...the Consistory of PRCB [Bulacan] has approved the withdrawal of Rev. Vernon Ibe as local missionary in PRFA [PR Fellowship, Albuera, Leyte] on September 29, 2019. Let us continue to pray that the Lord will provide a local missionary at PRFA, Leyte.
- The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
- 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.
- Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
- And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.
- Arie denHartog
- Erik Guichelaar
- Ryan Barnhill
- Jonathan Mahtani
- Richard Smit
- Daniel Holstege
- Immanuel PRC
- Reformed literature
- young people activities
- Martyn McGeown
- Audred Spriensma
- missions and evangelism
- PRC Seminary
- sister church relations
- ministerial calls
- Reformed Book Outlet
- Myanmar missions
- PRC young adult retreats
- India mission work
- Emmanuel Singh
- Angus Stewart
- Daniel Kleyn
- Joshua Engelsma
- Heath Bleyenberg
- Rodney Kleyn