The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, July 11, the twenty-eighth Lord's Day of this year 2021.
Today, as members of Christ's body and bride, the church, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. Through the work of our Lord's Spirit may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:
How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? ...But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. ~ Psalm 13:1,2,5,6
- If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- Today Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) accepted the call from Crete PRC (IL). We rejoice with this congregation in God's provision even as we feel Doon's upcoming loss of her pastor. May the Lord provide for all involved in this transition.
- In June the PRC Synod extended a call to Rev. C.Griess (pastor of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) to serve as professor in the PRC Seminary, replacing Prof. B. Gritters in the area of Practical Theology and NT Studies. Today he announced his acceptance of that call. We thank the Lord for His leading, and pray for Rev. Griess, his wife, and family and for First PRC as they will face this change of labor and life in the months ahead.
- From Hudsonville PRC's bulletin today: The Council has formed a new trio of Rev. R. Kleyn [Covenant of Grace PRC], Rev. E. Guichelaar [Randolph PRC], and Rev. R. Barnhill [Peace PRC]. A congregational meeting will be held on July 18 after evening service to vote.
- From Providence PRC bulletin today as they prepare for the coming of their long-awaited new pastor: ...when the McGeowns come, hopefully in early August, we are tentatively planning on a welcoming party at church the day after they arrive.With excitement in our hearts and gratitude to God, we wait on God's will.
- From Georgetown PRC's bulletin today - a special farewell: After the service this morning we will gather in the Fellowship Hall to express our farewells to Josiah, Hui Qi, Abigail, Caleb, and Jacob Tan. Cake and Coffee will be served with a brief program (words from the Council and prayers for the Tans). The Tans will be returning to Singapore on July 13. Josiah hopes to take up the ministry of the Word in the ERCS. We join to remember the Tans before God’s Throne of Grace as they take up their life and work in the ERCS. See I Samuel 20:42
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. D.Lee in Crete PRC (IL); Prof. D.Kuiper and Prof. B.Huizinga in First PRC-Holland; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. A.Spriensma in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Prof. R.Cammenga in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J.Maatman in Providence PRC. What a privilege and blessing of our church federation it is to be able to help one another in this need!
May we also remember to pray for all the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot receive 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...
- Trinity PRC is celebrating her 20th anniversary this week? This is what is reported in her bulletin today: Trinity’s 20th Anniversary Singspiration is THIS Friday, July 16 at 7:30pm. Come join us for a time of singing and fellowship out of thankfulness to God for His past 20 years of blessings to Trinity PRC.
With summer in season, it is also time for annual church picnics and campouts?
Here's a note concerning First PRC's (Edmonton, AB) upcoming picnic: The annual church picnic is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 7th, at 12:00 PM, (alternate date is August 21st) at Sir Wilfred Laurier Park. Lunch will be served at 12:30 PM. Hamburgers/hot dogs, sides and drinks will be provided.
And from Byron Center PRC comes a note about her church campout: This week (7/12-7/17) some of the members will be camping at Dutch Treat Campground (Zeeland). Those of the Congregation who are not camping are invited to join the campers on Thursday. We will have a morning coffee at 10, Pizza Dinner Potluckat 6:30 with bean bag tournament for the adults after dinner along with campfire.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- PRC Synod 2021: The delegates and advisors met from June 9-17. For the daily reports on synod's work and decisions, visit this page. The printed PRC Acts of Synod 2021 and Yearbook is being worked on and should be available sometime this summer.
- Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry
- Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary is now in her summer break. Continue to pray for the seminary in all her needs. The faculty keeps busy with preparation for the next term as well as with other activities, and many of the students return to their summer jobs. Sem. M.Wee (entering his senior year) has started his internship at Faith PRC (Jenison, MI).
- The seminary, including the library and bookstore, are open daily during the summer months, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5). The staff is present to assist with any needs you may have.
- In June the PRC Synod extended a call to Rev. C.Griess (pastor of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) to serve as professor in the PRC Seminary, replacing Prof. B. Gritters in the area of Practical Theology and NT Studies. Today he announced his acceptance of that call. We thank the Lord for His leading and pray for Rev. Griess, his wife, and family as they will face this change of labor and life in the months ahead.
- Need for students! Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry
- Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference: What is preaching? What does it mean to preach the gospel? How does one preach the commands of Scripture? What is application in preaching? Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel." The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29. More details will follow.
- Senior student Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore) was examined at the PRC Synod (June 8-10) and approved as a candidate for the ministry in his home church, Covenant ERC in Singapore, as well as in the PRC. We rejoice with the brother and his wife in God's goodness and pray that he will soon find a place to serve in Christ's church. He and his family plan to leave the U.S. for Singapore this Tuesday, July 13.
- Sem. Matt Koerner (entering his junior year) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. As of May 30 he has begun preaching in various PRCs, including out west this summer.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- From Georgetown PRC's bulletin today re her work in Vellore, India: India Update: The translation into Tamil of Rev. Bruinsma’s Studies in Biblical doctrine continues. This translation, along with the translation of the 3 Forms of Unity, provide great help to Pastor Raj in his teaching men for church offices. Pastor Raj continues to each Sabbath via the internet due to covid restrictions on gathers in India. The health department has come to the GFH for covid tests on all living on Eden campus. The GFH continues to receive good reviews from the Gov’t for their care of the children. Pray for the Lord’s blessing on our fellow saints of the PRCV.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today:
Session will be looking at how to conduct the Lord’s Supper in the midst of the current limitation due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the calling of our own minister and his ordination, the Lord willing. Let us pray for God’s grace and mercy and His guidance in these matters of the church. May his will be done for CERC.
Candidate Josiah Tan and his family will be returning to Singapore on 15th Jul 2021. His entire family has to serve the SHN [quarantine] before they can physically meet up with any of us. ...Let us remember them in our prayers as they find a place to serve in the church and be reunited with the congregation again.
- From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today:
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena.
- The May and June 2021 issues of the "Covenant Reformed News" were recently published. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship: Last Sunday the final services were held for the saints there, led by Rev. A. Stewart. Rev. M.McGeown is makeing final preparations to come to the U.S. the beginning of August, D.V.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The last Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today, D.V. FYI, live streaming of our worship services will be available on Berean PRC Facebook page. ...The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecijawill join us in our worship services thru live streaming at Facebook live, D. V.
- Provident PRC bulletin: We warmly welcome everyone to Provident PRC today.We also welcome Rev. Smit and his family as Rev. Smit preaches for us today. May the Lord comfort and bless us spiritually by means of the proclamation of His Gospel as applied by His Spirit. The live streaming of our services is available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page.
- The last Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!
- As the month of July has begun, the radio speaker has changed to Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI), whose series on the book of Nehemiah is will be featured for the rest of the summer. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 2:1-10 and titled "So I Prayed and Said."
- 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. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Are you a Beacon Lights subscriber and reader? Designed for PRC young people, the magazine is also profitable for children and adults. Visit the BL website for more information, and to read past issues. And, don't forget about their summer writing contest!
- 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.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- 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.
- The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). The RBO is running their annual Summer Reading Challenge for both kids and adults, from June 22-August 21. Stop by the store to pick up a sheet to fill out and return for a prize! Just a reminder that our hours are now Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-1.
This Week's Thoughts for Contemplation
When hyper-Calvinism has developed somewhat, there is a failure, even a refusal, to preach the admonitions and exhortations of the scriptures to the saints on the ground that good gospel preachers should not tell God’s people what to do. At the very least, the admonitions and exhortations are not proclaimed with the sharpness, urgency, boldness, and freedom that obtain in the scriptures. From this stage, it is but a little way to the disorder and license of open antinomianism: “Let us sin that grace may abound.”
How such a notion can be mistaken for orthodoxy is a mystery. How it can be mistaken for Reformed orthodoxy is a still greater mystery. The scriptures abound with exhortations and warnings to God’s people. Calvin, theologian of holiness that he was, is full of them. The Canons of Dordt expressly warn the Reformed pastor not to interpret sovereign grace as rendering admonitions and discipline unnecessary.
Excerpt from Prof. D.Engelsma's book Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel found on the RFPA blog this past week. The book is 50% off the entire month of July.