The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 20, 2020, the fifty-first Lord's Day of this year.
- The PRC congregations will be holding Christmas Day services this week Friday morning, Dec.25. Visitors are welcome to join us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Visit this page for morning worship times. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10,11)
- Today Rev. A.Spriensma (PRC home missionary) accepted the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness in providing a pastor to serve them once again.
- Today Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call to Wingham PRC.
- Today Rev. D.Holstege (PRC missionary to the Philippines) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC. Let us remember these vacant congregations as they seek pastors to lead and feed them.
- Late this afternoon Rev. J. Kortering (emeritus, Grandville PRC) passed from this life of sin and suffering into glory with his Savior Christ Jesus. He was recently hospitalized, and then placed under hospice care at home this past week as he suffered from various infirmities and his condition weakened. We pray for grace, comfort, and peace for his wife Jeannette and their family as they grieve their earthly loss. Rev. Kortering served the congregations of Hull IA (twice), Hope PRC (Walker), Hope PRC (Redlands, CA), Loveland CO, Grandville MI, and as minister-on-loan to Singapore before becoming emeritus in 2002. We thank the Lord for the faithful service of this minister of the Word and for granting him now the everlasting reward of grace.
Funeral information: A walk-by visitation for Jean and their children is planned for Wednesday, December 23, 11:30-12:30 PM, at Grandville Protestant Reformed Church, 4320 40th Street, Grandville. Funeral services will follow at 1:00 PM, with live-stream available on Grandville PRC website. Private interment will be in Georgetown Cemetery.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Mahtani in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. G.Eriks in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Smidstra in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. A.Spriensma 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:
- there is a Christmas Singspiration in Edgerton PRC tonight? Here's the notice in their bulletin today: We will have a Christmas singspiration tonight led by the Young People's Society. A collection will be taken to help the young people attend the Young People's Convention. Afterwards, refreshments will be served in the basement.
- there is a special resource page just for officebearers on this website? Especially for the newly elected men and those serving for the first time, the materials available here may be invaluable to you. Check it out, and reference it often as needed!
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol arrived safely in Singapore this past week and are in quarantine for the first two weeks. But he will be preaching and teaching online for now as he assists our sister church there, Covenant ERC.
- Missionary-pastor D. Holstege, along with his wife and children, arrived safely this past week from the Philippines for their six-month missionary furlough in the U.S. (until June 30, 2021). According to Doon's bulletin last week (calling church), "During this time they plan to live in the Grand Rapids, MI area while Rev. Holstege spends the bulk of his time preparing for future seminary courses he will teach." May the Lord also grant them safe travels and a time of refreshment while here.
- Rev. J. Marcus continues to stay busy with preaching and teaching assignments as he awaits a call to one of our churches.
Special PRC Seminary Notices:
- Seminary has now completed its fifteen weeks of the first semester, with exams held this past week. Christmas/New years' break will be from Dec.19-Jan.3. Continue to remember the seminary's faculty, students, and staff in your prayers.
- Prof. R. Dykstra and his wife Carol arrived safely in Singapore this past week for an extended stay to serve our sister church there (into May 2021). The other professors will pick up his classes to assist him while he is gone.
- Prof. R. Cammenga will be teaching the special Interim course in January 2021 (4-13). It will once again be on the Life and Theology of John Calvin. Regretfully, the seminary will not be allowing auditors for this course this year.
- 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.
- 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.
Rev. M.McGeown set up for livestream service at home during the recent lockdown in Ireland.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From this week's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: December 25 is around the corner. It’s not too late to gather in members’ home of groups of five to witness that Jesus came to call the spiritually sick to repentance of sin (Mark. 2:17). Prof Dykstra will be preaching to us via online platform. ...During this season, in the midst of fear and paranoia, may we possess and experience real and genuine peace with the Prince of Peace. Let’s not forget to speak to others that He is the Prince of Peace.
- 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 after another recent lockdown. They are back to worshiping in person, for which they and we thank the Lord!
- Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to bring the gospel to the saints in Limerick.
- Rev.McGeown also penned a December 2020 newsletter for his fellow saints. You may find that here.
- 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" - December 2020!
- PRC in the Philippines:
- Berean PRC bulletin today: Rev. V.Ibe is leading the services, as they are allowed to meet in person. The saints in the Lord Jesus Christ in Gabaldon Nueva Ecija, will join us today in the hearing of the preaching of God’ s Word via live streaming at face book live.
- From Maranatha PRC bulletin today: The government put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) up to December 31, 2020. We are praying that the Lord will lead us to resume our public worship services on January 3, 2021. D. V. In the meantime, Rev. L. Trinidad ministers the word online to the congregation.
Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. Holstege and Sis. Leah and family arrived in Michigan this past Thursday for the start of their furlough. We thank the Lord for His safekeeping and pray He may bless them during the time of furlough. Rev. D.Kleyn is bringing the gospel there today.
- 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]
- Myanmar - Report from Hope PRC Myanmar Commitee:
The Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids) is honored once again to report to the denomination on the work of our Lord in Myanmar. This update is going to be mostly pictures of three items of special importance from the past six months.
First, the Hope Literary Society is a self-formed committee of the Hope PRCM congregation whose purpose is to print and distribute the translated material of Rev. Titus into Burmese and Lord willing other material in the future. The formation of this committee was inspired by the work of the RFPA. Rev. Titus has completed the full KJV translation of the New Testament,Psalms, and Proverbs. Rev. Titus has printed several copies for his congregation and various other men to serve as final editors before it will be sent to be printed in bookform. The intention is for the bound printing to be completed as soon as business lockdowns are lifted.
There were a few weeks this summer that the congregation could assemble together for worship. Two notable events occurred during that time. A marriage in the congregation between young man, Naw Taung & young lady, WineLay. This was the first marriage conducted by Rev. Titus since his affiliation with the PRCA and his first opportunity to use our marriage form that he translated into Burmese. Also, for the first time in the history of this small congregation, the Lord gave to it the gift of its first transition of officebearers. Soe Thine served as elder and Timothy served as deacon for the past 12 years. Taking their place, is the newly married Naw Taung as elder and Joseph as deacon. Both of these young men were raised by Rev. Titus’ sister-in-law from childhood in the orphanage consisting of several displaced children. These men grew up in the church and were trained by Rev. Titus in specific classes in the past year on being officebearers in the church of Jesus Christ. We give abundance of thanks to God for this evidence of growth in His church.
We along with saints in Myanmar covet your prayers and are grateful for all your demonstrations of support.
Sincerely as fellow heirs of the grace of Jesus Christ,
The Myanmar Committee (Hope PRC–Grand Rapids)
- Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) is delivering the messages on the program at present (Oct.2020 - Jan 2021). During December he will deliver some Advent messages as well as an end-of-the-year message. Today he speaks on"The Good Tidings of the Angel" - based on Luke 2:10,11.
- 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?
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:
Looking for some good devotional reading in the year to come? Or a gift to bless someone else? Check out this title at the RFPA website, as well as others!
- 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!
- 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:
A noise like the rumblings of thunder comes from the Holy City, Jerusalem.
More specifically, the noise comes from the temple.
For those who have ears to hear, it is the powerful voice of Jehovah, the Almighty God of all glory.
As the people, filled with amazement, hasten into God’s house, they discover that a woman is sitting there, thankful and rejoicing. She has just given birth to a man child.
But that is not the end of the vision. Before the wondering gaze of these witnesses another child is born, and another, even a large number, a whole nation, ultimately a multitude that is innumerable, like the sands on the seashore.
In holy awe the prophet cries out: “Who has ever heard such a thing? Who has ever seen such things?”
Jehovah is the God of the impossible, who performs wonder upon wonder!
A man child is born.
Zion is His mother.
Zion is the church of the old dispensation, the woman of Revelation 12. Actually, you may include in that all the women of the old dispensation who brought forth children in the hope of the coming of the promised Seed, culminating in Mary.
The vision takes us to the cattle stall in Bethlehem, where Mary brings forth her firstborn Son, wraps Him in swaddling clothes, and lays Him in a manger.
Taken from the Meditation "Zion Delivered of a Man Child," based on Isaiah 66:5-8 and penned by Rev. C. Hanko