News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 29, 2019 - January 4, 2020

Ps90 12On this final Lord's Day of 2019 (the fifty-second), December 29, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Time, like an everrolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Psalter #247, st.2,5.6 (based on Psalm 90)

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • As we end the year of our Lord 2019 and begin the year of our Lord 2020 in this week, we urge you to join us in worship of the Lord of time and history, the sovereign God of creation, providence, and salvation, to whom we owe our all. The PRC congregations will be holding Old Year's Day services this Tuesday evening, December 31 and New Year's Day services this Wednesday morning, January 1 (For the times, check the website of the church near you.).

  • This morning Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandvillle PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore; in the evening service he brought his inaugural message in that new calling. The Mahtanis are still awaiting the permission of the Singaporean government and hope to leave for Singapore as soon as that is granted (*see the update under CERC news below). In the meantime, they are residing in the West Michigan area. May the Lord be pleased to grant this approval soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose.

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). He plans to answer it by Jan.5.

  • Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor of Kalamazoo PRC) is retiring from the active ministry and will preach his farewell sermon next Sunday morning, January 5, D.V.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) is considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). According to Immanuel's bulletin today, he plans to answer this call by Jan.12. Today and for Old Year's and New Year's days this week, Prof. D. Kuiper is leading her services and bringing the Word.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) is considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). He plans to answer by January 21.

  • 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).

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

sem front Nov 2019 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its first semester and is now enjoying a two-week holiday break. The seminary is open daily from 8-5 and staff is available except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please call if you have any special needs or need assistance with anything.

  • The Interim class in the seminary this year will be “The Schism of 1953” taught by Prof. R. Dykstra. It will meet January 6-10 and 13-15 from 9:00-11:30 AM. Auditors are welcome. If you would like to attend, please call Sharon at the seminary (616-531-1490) between 7AM and 3PM before January 6.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is back from the printer and will be mailed this week; the pdf and ePub editions are available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area. 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."

CPRC News Header

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led the services today. From her bulletin comes this note: "Mary’s father in Michigan had a very bad stroke on Tuesday and gained his eternal rest last night. We leave for the US tomorrow for a week and return to Dublin the next Tuesday morning (7 January). Then we will be going to Limerick where we are to stay till after the Sunday evening service (12 January). We covet your prayers for us and pray that the Lord will watch over all of you while we are apart." And related to that:  "Rev. Koole will be arriving in N. Ireland on Friday, 3 January, and will be preaching for the CPRC on 5 and 12 January." Let us remember this special request in our prayers this week.
    • Covenant PRC's last church newsletter was received and posted (August 2019).
    • Read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"! Find the December 2019 issue here.
  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC until Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "We approach this New Year with heavy hearts as we seek His will on the MOL. We have heard by now of the rejection of our appeal for an Employment Pass to be granted to Rev. Mahtani this past week. Session will be meeting with CMPB’s officer-in-charge on 2 Jan 2020 to seek clarification and explain our case to the officer and submit a second appeal, if necessary. Please remember to keep Rev Mahtani and his family in your prayers. They have moved to Grand Rapids area and will be installed as MOL in Grandville PRC today. We know not what the futures lies ahead for the Mahtanis, but we know God knows best."
    • Her last newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - has been 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:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Provident PRC: "Rev. Holstege will preach both times today."

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. We will have a congregational meeting after the Second Service. D.V."

~ 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.

good news afflicted
Need a biblical perspective as you end the year and face a new one? Read this little booklet of meditations.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Looking for 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 this 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 the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, but today's message is a special end-of-year one - "God's Faithfulness", based on 1 Thessalonians 5:24. 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 end-of-the-year 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!

 young peoples convention header 2020

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA is currently holding their biennial youth camp 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 is the guest speaker, addressing the campers on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6).

PRF Leyte 2018
The PR Fellowship in Leyte, Albuera.

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 note about her special Bible study: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, January 2, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 9:24. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is currently "down under," speaking at the EPC Youth Camp (see note above - and below).
    • 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 December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Maranatha PRC bulletin: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • 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.

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 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 29 December 2019

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