News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 12-18, 2020

1 Samuel 2 2Today, January 12, is the second Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

And just because they know that [they would walk away from God's fellowship of themselves], and because they find it so horrifying should they lose touch with their God, they don’t say, ‘O my Lord, I love you so much and am so confident of my situation that I know you are capable of overlooking everything and that I will still dwell in your presence!’ No, they say just the opposite: ‘O my God and Father continue to uphold me. Let your watchmen stay alert so that I do not slip away. Don’t loosen the bands of your everlasting love, for things are good only in your presence. Only with you are things wonderful! Glorious! But my own heart would mislead me and my fleshly appetites would kill me. Like a sheep, I have so often wandered off and looked around instead of staying with you as your child. Show me your favor. In your grace, favor me by living in my heart.’ ~ Abraham Kuyper, Honey from the Rock

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This is the time of year for new officebearer installations (elders and deacons), and with that in mind we mention the special section for officebearers on the PRC website. Here you will find valuable resources - books, syllabi, articles, speeches, and sermons - all designed to help the ministers, elders, and deacons serve the Lord and His people. Be sure to visit this page and browse its aids.

  • On January 5 Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC.

  • In Kalamazoo PRC's bulletin today we find this follow up news: "The Consistory presents to the congregation a trio consisting of Revs. R. Barnhill, J. Engelsma, and C. Spronk. A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, January 26, following the evening service to vote from the trio."

  • On January 5 the congregation of Cornerstone PRC voted to call Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) to be her next pastor.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) is considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). He plans to answer this call by Jan.19. Rev. J. Engelsma is bringing the Word there today.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) is considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). He plans to answer by January 19.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. 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 wise purpose.

  • Rev. A. Brummel is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Lat us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and that flock there.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East meeting: Classis East held its regularly scheduled meeting this week Wednesday/Thursday at Zion PRC (Jenison, MI). The following is a brief summary of this meeting provided by the stated clerk (a fuller report will be provided later):

CLASSIS EAST met this past Wednesday and Thursday at Zion PRC. There were three appeals and two protests. One appeal had portions upheld and portions not sustained. One appeal was not sustained, and the third was declared illegally before Classis due to the manner of its submission. Both protests were judged legally before Classis, however not sustained.  The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2019. Rev. Haak and Rev. Koole were chosen to be church visitors in 2020. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2020 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Langerak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Rick Gritters, Nick Kleyn, Dave Kregel, Brendan Looyenga, and Sid Miedema. Classis advised two consistories 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 2020 with the approval of the classis. Pulpit supply was granted for Cornerstone PRC, Kalamazoo PRC, and Unity PRC. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be on May 13, 2020 at Byron Center PRC.

Classis West Notice: Classis West will be meeting March 4, 2020 at Peace Church, Dyer, Indiana, D.V.  Anyone having material to go before Classis is asked to ensure it reaches the stated clerk, Rev Joshua Engelsma, prior to Monday, Feb 3, 2020.  May our Lord and Saviour grant our delegates all the grace and wisdom needed to represent our congregation.

interim jan 2020 1
Prof. R. Dykstra teaching his Interim class at seminary this past week

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is currently holding its ten-day Interim (Jan.6-15). The second semester begins Tuesday Jan.21. The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.

  • The Interim class in the seminary this year is “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.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is back from the printer and was mailed the end of the year; 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. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • 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. Today he is leading the services in Doon (IA) PRC.

  • 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? 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."

CERC Reformation 2019 denHartog speech
Rev. A. denHartog speaking at the 2019 Reformation conference in Covenant ERC, Singapore

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC. From her bulletin today comes this update: "In view of the unknown status of the MOL, Rev Den Hartog and Sherry have kindly extended their stay in Singapore till end January so that CERC could have continual pulpit supply throughout January. Rev. Den Hartog and Sherry will be departing Singapore on 27 January, Monday...."
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, the session has made yet another appeal to the  Singapore goverment and today's bulletin adds this note: "The Lord has not terminated, but uphold, the process in seeking the approval of Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass application. Thank God for another opportunity to appeal to CMPB. We urge you to keep this matter of MOL in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted this past week and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, the following may be gleaned from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit led both services.

~ 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.

UncondCovt DJE Page 1
How important is the truth of unconditional salvation (covenant) today? Read this resource to find out!

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!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "Mary Foresees Christ's Death" based on John 12:1-8. 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:

~ 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 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.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

CHaak Nov 2018 sola gratia conf
Rev. C. Haak teaching at a Sola Gratia conference in 2018, Vellore, India (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. Today he is preaching in First PRC and Kalamazoo PRC. In BC-PRC's bulletin today is this note about an outreach work in West Michigan: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, January 16, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 10:1. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led services in Limerick today while Rev. McGeown is "down under." (see next note)
    • 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:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • Provident PRC news: [Today] "January 12, Elder Bien will accompany Rev. John Flores on the monthly delegation visit to the PRCP mission field in Albuera, 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.

India:

Rev. and Mary Haak leave this Tuesday afternoon for a three week stay in Vellore, India for a visit with the PRCV. They will be joined by Deane and Donna Wassink who leave on Jan. 26. Their work includes teaching classes at the SGA, 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 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.

  • We also 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.
    And Covenant ERC in Singapore adds this note in today's bulletin: The Kolkata Fellowship will be holding their 5th annual church camp on 24 – 26 January 2020. The Fellowship has chosen the theme of the camp as "Ye shall be My witness.", taken from Acts 1:8 and the camp speaker is Rev Andy Lanning. Though Session will not send a delegate to Kolkata, some brethren, Lord willing, will be attending the church camp on their own accord. We thank God for the opportunity for these brethren to meet the saints in Kolkata and to encourage them with fellowship in the gospel. Pray that our brethren will have a blessed and joyful experience of the body of Christ; a fellowship united in one faith and one Spirit of Jesus Christ. Pray also for journey mercy for all the foreign visitors to the camp. 

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 19 January 2020

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