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This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 26 - February 1, 2020 *(Updated)

Psalms 25 5Today, January 26, is the fourth 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:

When we treat the keys of the kingdom of heaven, we must always beware of dreaming of any power in them apart from the preaching of the Gospel....Whatever privilege of binding and loosing Christ has bestowed on his Church is annexed to the word.  The whole power of the keys consists in this, that the grace of the Gospel is publicly and privately sealed on the minds of believers by means of those whom the Lord has appointed; and the only method in which this can be done is by preaching (3.4.14).  The promise made concerning binding and loosing refers to the ministry of the Word....For what is the sum total of the gospel except that we all, being slaves of sin and death, are released and freed through redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and that they who do not receive or acknowledge Christ as their liberator and redeemer are condemned and sentenced to eternal chains.”  ~ John Calvin, Institutes, 4.11.1

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Jan.19 Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) accepted the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). We thank the Lord for providing another pastor for our sister in Lacombe and pray for Rev. Bleyenberg and his wife as they bid farewell to Providence.  Rev. J. Laning is bringing the Word in Immanuel again today.

  • On Jan.19 Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) declined the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI).

  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (received Jan.5). He plans to answer the call on or before February 2, the Lord willing.

  • Kalamazoo PRC will vote today from the Consistory's new trio: Revs. R. Barnhill, J. Engelsma, and C. Spronk.
    *Rev. R. Barnhill has received this call.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. This past week they received more discouraging news. According to Grandville PRC's bulletin today, This past week the appeal made by the session of the CERCS regarding the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani was denied. The Council of Grandville and the Contact Committee are in the process of determining if there are any further options to pursue for Rev. Mahatani to labor in Singapore as a MOL. Please continue to keep the Mahtanis and the CERCS in your prayers at this unsettling time. In the meantime, the Mahtanis are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches.

  • Rev. M. DeBoer is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Let us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and his family, and that flock there. At the present time, Rev. Marcus continues on a leave of absence from his pastoral duties in Edmonton, but he is available to preach elsewhere in the Protestant Reformed Churches.  Consistories needing pulpit supply are encouraged to contact him. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

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.

MKoerner Jan 2020 1
Sem. Matt Koerner leading devotions this past week

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary began its second semester this past week (Jan.21). The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website. Commit to praying for the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of this next semester.

  • With seminary's second-semester classes beginning ​January 21, three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (Passion week through the missionary journeys of Paul) and Dogmatics (Eschatology, the doctrine of the last things). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Recent Church History (Synod of Dordt to today). If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490​.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been published 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 and beyond. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • 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."

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
Remember in prayer the work of the PRCP Seminary

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are completing four months of service in CERC today. They plan to return to the States tomorrow. Rev. and Pat Koole will be travelling there later this week. Rev. C. Haak will also make a stop in Singapore on his way back from India and assist Rev. Koole in the annual church visitation on Feb.4.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, Grandville PRC's bulletin contans this note today: "This past week the appeal made by the session of the CERCS regarding the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani was denied. The Council of Grandville and the Contact Committee are in the process of determining if there are any further options to pursue for Rev. Mahatani to labor in Singapore as a MOL. Please continue to keep the Mahtanis and the CERCS in your prayers at this unsettling time. In the meantime, the Mahtanis are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches.
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. Smit, our Missionary will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Belgic Confession Article 30 - “The government of and offices in the church..”

~ Provident PRC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for us today, and Rev. Holstege will teach and preach for the Bearers of Light Community Church. Deacon Mitch plans to accompany him."

~ "The PRCP Seminary informs the members of our churches with thanksgiving to the Lord that another semester of seminary training began on Tuesday, January 14.  If interested, visitors are allowed to visit certain seminary courses for learning and edification. For the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, Hermeneutics (Rev.  Holstege on Tuesdays at 7 a.m.), Dogmatics-Anthropology (Rev. Smit on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.), and Church History (Rev. Kleyn on Thursdays at 7 a.m.) will be open to visitors. Visitors are welcome to attend but must: be punctual,  reserve class time for student questions and discussion, and  notify the instructors a day or two in advance that they will be attending."

~ 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. One of their students is once again attending the PRC Seminary - Isaac Peters, who along with his wife Bek and four children, are attending Grace PRC while here for his three-year program.

the covenant of god dje

What is the place of children in God's covenant and plan of salvation? Read this resource for help in understanding the answer.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you perhaps 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.

  • Would you like to learn more about the PRC and her doctrines and practices? Are you 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 finishing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "God Opens Lydia's Heart" based on Acts 16:13-15. 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:

~ 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!

 GT PRC run fight lead 2019

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 Paulraj Jan 2020 1
Rev. C. Haak teaching the doctrine of Christ to the Soli Gratia class in 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 Georgetown PRC and Hope PRC.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown led the services today.
    • 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."
  • 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 to pray for 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:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. From today's bulletin we learn about the delegation currently there (Rev. & Mrs. C. Haak, Deane and Donna Wassink):

Dear Congregation, It is Friday am in India when I send this brief note. Deane and Donna arrived early this morning, 5 am India time. We have not seen them yet, plan to do so little later today so glad they are here. Thursday the Sola Gratia class went well. Paul had invited only 1-15 regular contacts, but the number rose to 35 by word of mouth. We dealt the subject of the union and distinction of our Saviors two natures. Heavy truth, but embraced and believed by them. And so important as Pentecostalism thrives when the truth of Jesus is not known. They encourage visions and appearances of Jesus rather than resting in the wonder that our Lord in His body is now at God’s right hand. We moved on from there to our Lord’s three fold office and that he is our only prophet who speaks through his word and calls the church to preach the word. I placed emphasis on the need for pastors to feed the church with the word through preaching. We had a great time with the doctors last night at their bible studies. Sorry no pictures. Studied the Millennium of Rev. 20. It was wonderful to see how they grow in faith. New members and babes as well. We are having a retreat with them this Saturday and Sunday. We are thankful to be here and see the grace of God working in unknown but marvelous ways. One becomes convinced that God as his church over the whole earth and knows and runs each one of us to Himself.  “Brethren, pray for us”. Rev Haak

(From a previous GT-PRC bulletin) 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 Rev. A. Lanning's involvement which concludes today: 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 a recent 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 27 January 2020

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