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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for November 29, 2020 (Updated)

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The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, November 29, 2020, the forty-eighth Lord's Day of this year.

Philippians 4 7

  • At her congregational meeting this past Wednesday (Nov.25), Wingham PRC extended a call to Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC). We pray for the Lord's clear guidance as he considers this call.

  • The Council of Kalamazoo PRC has announced a new trio: Revs. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines), Rev. D.Kleyn (PRC missionary to the Philippines), and J.Laning (Hull, IA). A special congregational meeting is scheduled for today. UPDATE: Rev. D. Holstege has received this call.

  • Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He plans to answer by Dec.20. We pray that the Lord will show him plainly what His will is.

  • Rev. C.Spronk (Faith PRC) is considering the call from Hudsonville PRC (received Nov.12).  May the Lord be his guide as he weighs this new call.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. W.Langerak in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Smidstra in Hudsonville PRC; Kalamazoo PRC has paused public worship services for another week due to increased cases of COVID-19; Prof. R. Dykstra and Rev. C.Haak in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need. And may we also remember to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).
  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that (You will notice a minister focus this week):
    • Rev. A. Brummel celebrates 25 years in the ministry this month? Here's a special note Calvary PRC had today about her pastor: This month marks the 25th year of Pastor Brummel's ministry. We thank God for the grace and strength that He has given Pastor in all his labors, and we pray for continued strength for many years to come. Now, do you know where he was first ordained and installed and wher else he has served?
    • Rev. M. VanderWal had to have his appendix removed yesterday? First PRC, Edmonton carried the news: "Rev. VanderWal, at the time of writing, was to have his appendix removed on Saturday and be home today.  We pray for a speedy recovery for him.  III John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Indeed, we do pray for that!
    • Rev. A. denHartog has been experiencing some medical issues, which call for our prayers for him, his wife, and his family. Southwest PRC has this note in her bulletin last week: Last Sunday [Nov.15] Rev. denHartog was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital as he was experiencing more regular and severe medical issues related to his logic and memory. He is undergoing several tests and may be there for 7 days or longer [SW's bulletin today notes he is still hospitalized.]. Continue to remember him and us in your prayers.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • From the PRC Contact Committee:
    • Our sister church in Singapore, the CERC, recently contacted our Contact Committee for pulpit supply and pastoral help in light of their lengthy vacancy. In response to this request, the Theological School Committee has approved releasing Prof. Dykstra from his seminary duties next semester so that he can supply our sister church with pastoral help in their time of need. The Singapore officials have approved the Employment Pass needed by Prof. Dykstra to labor in the CERC during the pandemic. Plans are for the Dykstra’s to leave as soon as the seminary’s first semester ends in early December. Once in Singapore, they will be quarantined for two weeks before they can worship with the congregation and begin working. Prof. Dykstra’s seminary classes will be covered by the other professors. The Dykstra's plans are to return to the States sometime in May. May the Lord use Prof. Dykstra’s labors for the encouraging, strengthening, and preservation of our sister church in Singapore.

    • Some of our sister churches in the Philippines and some of their membership were recently, in the Lord’s providence, impacted with significant property damage from a typhoon. Many of our members have asked about helping the saints in the Philippines. The diaconate of the Doon PRC is in close contact with the churches in the Philippines, and will continue to be in correspondence. They have been informed that the church most affected, Provident PRCP, currently has adequate money in their benevolent fund so that no additional help is needed at this time. We thank you for your care and concern for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines and will update you if this situation changes. Please remember them in your prayers.  We also would like to take this opportunity to remind all of us that any financial help given to the saints or churches in the Philippines should go through the Doon PRC diaconate.
  • Home missionary A. Spriensma is preaching in Georgetown PRC today. Rev. J. Marcus is leading both services at Trinity PRC.

1st snow Nov 2020 back
First dusting of snow at seminary this past week (looking out back from the library).

Special PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Seminary has now completed thirteen weeks of its first semester. That means only two weeks of classes remain before exam week. Continue to remember the seminary in prayer as we enter the 'home stretch' of the semester.
  • The second round of practice preaching has now been completed (Nov.16 and 23) and we are in the. The students are busy working on their special research papers as we approach the end of the term.
  • Notice of Licensure: The faculty has licensed student Marcus Wee to speak a word of edification in our churches.  Brother Wee is a member of our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore.  We rejoice at this milestone in the brother’s preparation for the ministry of the gospel.  Any scheduling of him to lead worship services will be through the seminary faculty.  This also provides us with an opportunity to impress upon our churches and sister churches the great need that we have for students for the ministry.  Let us pray the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers in His vineyard, Matthew 9:37-38.  For the faculty, Prof. Ron Cammenga, Rector.
  • Sem. Marcus Wee has begun to speak a word of edification in the churches. Last week he led the evening service at Southeast-GR PRC; tonight he will lead Georgetown PRC's evening service.
  • The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

PRCP Classis June 2018 1
PRC-Philippines Classis Meeting in Provident PRC (2018 photo) - see note below as she plans to meet tomorrow, Nov.30

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSIONS NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore: 
    • From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: As we look forward to the coming of the Prof Dykstra and Mrs Dykstra, again we are thankful that dependent pass of Mrs Dykstra has been approved. We can now proceed to make arrangements such as entry requirements into Singapore due the travel restriction presently and their needs while serving the “Stay Home Notice” at a Government designated facility upon arrival. Let us commit them to God as the Dykstras prepare to leave Grand Rapids in the middle of December.
    • The October 2020 issue of "Reformed News Asia" was recently published (#62). Read that issue here.
    • A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine (for young people) is also out - read the October 2020 at this link.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena, but now once again via live-streaming. The CPRC bulletin last week contained this special note: The civil government is bringing in a 2-week lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19, beginning this Friday. During this time, our worship services will be live-streamed, and our Bible studies and catechism classes will be cancelled. May the Lord give us patience and peace in these trying circumstances.
    • Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to bring the gospel to the saints in Limerick, which is once again under lockdown; online services only will be held for the near future.
    • Rev. Stewart has produced a new newsletter on life and labors in CPRC. You may find that November issue here.
    • Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - October 2020!
  • PRC in the Philippines:
    • We continue to pray for the saints in Provident PRC after they were hit with a powerful typhoon recently, leaving personal properties and the church with muddy messes.
    • With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through November 30), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies. Pray for them and the saints there as they continue to live and labor under these tight restrictions.
    • Berean PRC, however, is able to meet with in-person services. This from her bulletin today: For your information, our corporate public worship resumed already since last Sunday. Under the MGCQ guidelines by the IATF, churches can gather at least 50% of its total capacity. Also, 15 years old and below and sixty-five (65) years old and up, are not yet allowed to participate under IATF rules. Please see attached guidelines for more info.
    • PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
    • The PRCP Classis will convene again tomorrow Nov. 30, 2020 at 9A.M. at PRC in Muzon, SFDMC, Bulacan, the Lord willing.

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Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

WBruinsma 2

  • Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). Today he returns to his series on 1 Corinthians, speaking on "Take Heed How One Builds" - based on 1 Cor.3:10-15.
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Have you listened lately?
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Commitee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Special notices for November: 

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning last month (Oct.) we have added a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI).  The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.

    The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning last month (Oct.) we have added a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:

PRCConfCO
Do you have your own copy of the PRC book containing the Ecumenical creeds of the Christian church, our own Reformed confessions (Three Forms of Unity), our Liturgical Forms, and our Church Order? It also includes indices for these documents. This finely bound hardcover is available from the PRC Seminary for $9. Just call or email!

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • Be sure to check out the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI and online! As a reminder, their hours of business are currently Tuesday 10-1, Wednesday 1-5, and Saturday 10-1, or send your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

This Week's Thought for Contemplation:

The members of the Corinthian congregation were very carnal in their conception of the church.  This is why they were enmeshed in party strife.  They were not looking at their church and congregation through spiritual eyes.  This is an easy thing to do when we begin searching for and comparing the various ministers the Lord gives to denominations of churches.  But those men whom we call to minister to our needs as the preacher of the gospel must be viewed through highly spiritual eyes.  When this is done, then we will begin to understand why Paul uses the figure of a field to describe the church of Jesus Christ.  He does that in the passage before us. 

        In verse 9 Paul refers to the church as God's husbandry.  Notice:  “For we are laborers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry.”  God’s Word teaches us here that the church must be viewed not simply as an empty, barren grassland.  But it must be seen as a tilled field, a field which is prepared, worked, and harvested.  Perhaps many of us who have tuned in today are farmers.  It may not be hard to understand, then, how much a farmer cherishes and therefore nurtures his field.  It is his field, after all!  He owns it.  He breaks up the hardened ground, preparing it, fertilizing it, making it rich and good.  He lifts the soil of that field to his nose, smelling it with joy, reveling in its richness and worth.  He carefully sows the seed, he nurtures the plants as they grow, and he takes special pride in the fruit it brings forth in the harvest.  All the while, that farmer thinks about that field and watches it day and night. 

        That is the figure we have before us as we with spiritual eyes view the church of Jesus Christ.  The church of Christ in this world is God's husbandry.  Each congregation established under Christ as its head is a local manifestation of that church of Christ.  When a church is organized and established upon the principles of God’s Word, it is God’s husbandry, His field.  God loves that church.  He cherishes it as a farmer does his field.  It is God’s field, after all.  God owns it.  The church is made up of members who are bought with a price.  They are bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  Every seed that God plants in that field of His church is equally cherished by Him.  He is careful to fertilize and nurture that field so that each seed will grow and flourish.  God gives each of us the name and the place we have in His vineyard, and He sees to it that our spiritual life is nourished by His Word and Spirit in order that we may grow up into Him.  God also sees to it that we all bring forth fruit in our lives, all unto the praise and glory of His name.  All unto the gathering of the harvest of His church at the end of time. 

        God does all of this through His Son Jesus Christ.  It is through the blood of our Savior that we are purchased from the barren wasteland of the wilderness of this world.  It is through the work of our Savior that we are prepared and made rich and fertile.  He sends forth His Spirit into our hearts, and that Spirit applies to us the benefits of the cross and resurrection of our Savior.  As a result of this work of our Savior therefore, we grow up as sturdy plants.  And it is through the sanctifying work of Christ as well that we bring forth good works, fruits unto eternal life.  We are Christ's and Christ is God's.  Therefore, we are God's. 

From Rev. W. Bruinsma's Nov.15, 2020 radio sermon on 1 Cor.3:6-9,The Church: God's Husbandry

Last modified on 30 November 2020

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