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This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 15-21, 2019 *(Updated)

Is11 1 2On this fiftieth Lord's Day of 2019, December 15, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

We confess, therefore, that God did fulfill the promise, which he made to the fathers, by the mouth of his holy prophets, when he sent into the world, at the time appointed by him, his own, only-begotten and eternal Son, who took upon him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted, being conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the means of man, and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that he might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that he should take both upon him, to save both. Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anabaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of his mother) that Christ is become a partaker of the flesh and blood of the children; that he is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; made of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary, made of a woman, a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham, since he took on him the seed of Abraham, and became like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted, so that in truth he is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us. (Belgic Confession, Article 18, "Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ"

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). May the Lord make plain His will for him in this call. Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor) plans to become emeritus at the end of the year.

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC), N.Langerak (Crete PRC), and A.Stewart (Covenant PRC, N.Ireland). The congregation was votoing today after the second service. Rev. R. Barnhill is bringing the Word there again today. *UPDATE: Rev. H. Bleyenberg has received the call to Immanuel PRC.

  • The Council of the newly organized Unity PRC has formed a trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and R. Van Overloop.  The congregation plans to call this Wednesday, December 18. *UPDATE: Rev. R. Van Overloop has received this call.

  • Last Sunday (Dec.8) Rev. J. Mahtani preached his farewell sermon at Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He has accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore and plans to be installed in that position on Sunday morning, December 29. The Mahtanis are hoping to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year but are awaiting approval from the Singapore government. May the Lord be pleased to grant this soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose. (*see the update under CERC news below).

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote on Jan.5 for a new pastor from the Council's trio:  Revs. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA).

  • Rev. T. Miersma is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton while Rev. J. Marcus takes a leave of absence following his restoration to the ministry there in the last week.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

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PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its regular class schedule in the first semester and exams will be held this week. It is a busy time for faculty, students, and staff. Continue to pray for the seminary in your daily prayers.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been sent to the printer and the pdf and ePub editions are now available online. Watch for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer, and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • 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 - 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."

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SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • 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 Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "MOM [a government agency] has advised us to write a separate appeal directly to CMPB, which we have submitted on this past Friday. It may take up to two weeks for CMPB to response to our appeal. May we continue to trust in God to provide for our need for a shepherd in CERC, for our God whose name is Jehovah; He is the most high and reigned over all the earth. We urge you to keep this matter in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently 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:
    • Denominational News:

~ The PRCP Classis finished its work last November 30. "Among other things, Classis decided to add two new standing committees so that there are now four. Elders Bien and Alex were both appointed to Committee 3 (Finances, Emeritus, Seminary Student Aid). Elder Bien was also appointed to Committee 2 (Missions and Contact with Other Churches). Elder Alex was also elected as the new treasurer of the PRCP. Classis adopted a budget for the operations of the PRCP for 2020 and increased the classical assessment to P150 per family per month."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. 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.

ReformedBookOutlet
Don't forget to include the Reformed Book Outlet in your gift-giving ideas this month! They have a special sale going on in December according to Hudsonville PRC's bulletin:

The Reformed Book Outlet is having their annual December sale. We have books, Bibles and Bible covers all 25%
off MSRP. This is a great time to add a few good reads to your religious library or help someone to build theirs!
Check us out on Facebook and Instagram to see highlights of some of the books we carry.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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!

  • 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.

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!
    • Currently, Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message being "Abigail Pleads with David" based on 1 Samuel 25:28-31. 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 seen our recent flyer passed out last month in the PRC? If you haven't, you may find a copy attached to this news post.
~ 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.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

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Dorr library 2
Do you want to be part of a Reformed Bible study in Dorr, MI? (*see note below)

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 this reminder: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, December 19, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 9:16. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching the gospel in the LRF today.
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - 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:

The Council will be sending Rev. and Mary Haak and Deane and Donna Wassink for a three week visit to the PRCV of India during this first part of the new-year. (Haaks, Sundays of Jan 19, 26, and Feb. 2., Wassinks, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9)  Their work includes meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc. The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to also go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we learn about this upcoming involvement of Rev. A. Lanning: "The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28."

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.
Last modified on 21 December 2019

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