The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, November 21, the forty-seventh Lord's Day of this year 2021.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps.118:24). On this new Lord's Day we bring our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving unto our sovereign Creator and Redeemer, who is worthy of all honor and glory.
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. ~ Psalm 31:19-21
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.
- This Thursday, November 25, the PRC congregations in the U.S. will celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a special morning worship service (usually at 9:30 a.m., but check the website of the church near you). You are cordially invited to join one of these churches in this service of praise and thanks to our bounteous God of boundless grace and goodness.
- Last Sunday Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) declined the call to Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). COG has a new trio of Revs. J.Holstege (Zion PRC), J. Langerak (Heritage PRC), and D.Noorman (Southwest PRC); the congregation will vote next Sunday evening, Nov.28.
- The Council of Hudsonville PRC has formed a new trio of Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), Rev. D. Noorman (Southwest PRC), and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). The congregational meeting is scheduled for tonight after the service. *UPDATE: Rev. C. Spronk has received this call.
- The Council of Doon PRC has formed a new trio of Rev. M. Kortus (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA), Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC), and Rev. N. Decker (Grandville PRC). The congregational meeting is planned for Nov.29.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. H.Bleyenberg (1st week) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. T.Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton; Prof. B.Gritters and Sem. M.Koerner in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Prof. B.Gritters in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. W.Bruinsma in Wingham PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.
- 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...
- Lynden PRC had members who were affected by the recent floods in the NW part of her state (Washington)? This note is found in her bulletin today: Several church families were affected by the Nooksack River flooding this past week. We give thanks to our Father for His sovereign care so that no serious injury was incurred among members of our congregation. We lift up in prayer the needs of family and friends who did lose personal possessions, vehicles, and even homes to the flooding. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" Psalm 46:10-1
- The PRC Seminary had a special CPR class this past Friday after our "Friday bratfest" lunch? An AED was recently purchased for the building and Mitch Van Overloop and Ted Van Solkema gave a special demonstration in how to use the medical device, as well as instruction in other basic CPR procedures. It was profitable time for all of them!
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- Rev. J.Marcus is in Pittsburgh PRC today while Rev. Bruinsma is in Wingham.
- Rev. D. Holstege and his wife Leah are back in the Philippines for a few weeks to finish up their labors before returning to the States on Dec.1 and preparing to move to Wingham.
- In contrast to last year when no annual sister-church visits could be made due to the pandemic, visits are being planned to N.Ireland and Singapore for December and January (see, for example, Covenant ERC's bulletin today). May the Lord fulfill these plans and preparations. Details will be provided by the PRC Contact Committee.
- What about sister-church visitation for the churches in the Philippines? According to the Berean PRC (Manila) bulletin today, that is being taken care of this week: In accordance with Art. 44 of the Church Order, and the appointment of Revs. Kleyn and Smit by the Classis of PRCP as Church visitors for this year is scheduled to meet with the Council on Saturday (Nov. 27, 2021) at 9 A.M., D.V.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- This past week the seminary completed its twelfth week of the first semester. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they move toward the end of the semester. You will find the semester schedule and calendar posted on the seminary's website.
- This week Thursday and Friday the seminary will enjoy its Thanksgiving break. The seminary expresses its gratitude to the churches for all the support they give and the kind expressions of appreciation. The Lord is good, and reveals His goodness also through His people. "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits..." (Psalm 103:2).
- The seminary's special conference on preaching was held on Oct.28-29 at Trinity PRC. If you were unable to attend and would like to listen to the speeches, they are available here and here. The videos have also now been posted to the seminary YouTube channel.
- The Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal is being put together. If you missed the Spring issue, it is currently available in its digital forms on the seminary's website as well as in print. If you wish to pick up a copy, stop in at the seminary. If you want to be added to our mailing list, contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- The seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well. Feel free to call in advance for help with any questions.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- From Today's bulletin: CERC Church Article 44 mandates that we do not isolate ourselves as a congregation, but seek to be actively accountable to our sister churches. The family of our Lord Jesus Christ goes beyond our shores even to the other side of the globe. Positively, CERC Church order Article mandates that we seek experienced and competent ministers or elders to visit our church and to hold us accountable to our faithfulness to God’s word. ...By the gracious providence of God, our government has recently relaxed travel restrictions. And it seems very likely that we still can receive church visitations from the U.S. at the end of this year.
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- There's a new CPRC newsletter available this month! Visit this page to view it and read it (*cf. the newsletter column on the right side of the webpage).
- Be sure to check out the last edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - October 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led the services today. Rev. Holstege and Sis. Leah arrived safely in Manila on Thursday (Nov. 18, 2021). We thank the Lord for His traveling mercies provided for them. They will go back to the USA on Dec. 1, D.V. Rev. Holstege is scheduled to preach for us next Sunday (Nov. 28) in our first worship service. This would be his farewell sermon to us, the Lord willing. And this: In accordance with Art. 44 of the Church Order, and the appointment of Revs. Kleyn and Smit by the Classis of PRCP as Church visitors for this year is scheduled to meet with the Council on Saturday (Nov. 27, 2021) at 9AM, D.V.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. D.Kleyn led her worship services today. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach both times for us, and this will include his farewell sermon.
- Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is a special Thanksgiving Day one - "Satisfied with Marrow and Fatness" - based on Psalm 63:3-5.
- "The REFORMED WITNESS HOUR (RWH) COMMITTEE thanks you, PRC members, friends, and donors, for your prayers and financial support during 2021. As you plan for your year-end giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider helping with one of these current RWH costs: continued broadcasts on WYLL in the Chicago area and extended Internet outreach through our website (reformedwitnesshour.org), social media, and SermonAudio. Thank you for your continued support of this important PRC ministry."
- Did you read the November RWH newsletter? Visit the link to do so today and keep up with what is happening on the program and website!
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Another special price on a valuable book this month from the RFPA!
- Are you interested in learning 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). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
"...It is God’s purpose to bring glory to His name by means of the salvation of a church, elect in Jesus Christ. For that reason the church has always existed and has always been in the process of building. But often times in the process of this building of the church, it dwindled in numbers. This was evident already at the time of the Flood. The true church of Christ that existed in the world at that time was only eight souls. That is all—only eight people! When Elijah was prophet in Israel God had preserved unto Himself out of the hundreds of thousands in Israel only 7,000 who were faithful to Him. When these few captives returned from Babylon, the church consisted of only 50,000 people—so very few, especially compared to the millions of people in the world who lived in unbelief. But God always has His church. He preserves and gathers and builds that church throughout the ages.
And He does that today too. We have much to be thankful for—much to praise God for as the members of the church today. You know, friends, it is so easy for us to become discouraged in this way. The true church always seems so small. It is easy for us to take the attitude of Elijah—“I and I only am left who is faithful to the cause of Christ.” Christ asks the question too: Will there be faith left in the earth when I return?
Pagan religions have millions of members. The cults today have millions of members. The Christian false church today is also mammoth in size. The true church of Christ has always been small! This can be discouraging to those who seek to remain faithful to the cause of Jesus Christ in this world. At one time the church strove to be true and distinctive in its doctrine and holy in the life of her members. We do not see much of that anymore today. It can be so discouraging! But we must be reminded today of God’s enduring faithfulness to His church. He has always and will always preserve, and build, His church. In this time of the year that we give God thanks for our provision let us remember to give Him thanks for that too. Jerusalem is being built! Small? Oh yes! But the church is being built. We as believers have been given a place to worship. We have grown spiritually again this past year. And when God calls in the harvest at the end of time we will be numbered together with a throng so large it cannot be numbered!
But the main reason we praise God today is because of this truth: Jehovah doth build up Jerusalem! The Lord God builds up His church! We are not held in the hands of man. We are not built up by men. It is God who gives the increase—always! If we were to look only upon the feeble efforts of man to build the church, we would be doomed to disappointment. We would not be able to praise God much today. Men falter and fail. Even the strongest man is at his best weak and frail. God uses men, no doubt, but God does not depend on man to build up His church. If He did, as we said, His cause would fail! It would fail because of our enemies who are far too strong for us to resist! Just as they were when the captives returned from captivity."
~ Rev. W.Bruinsma in a Thanksgiving Day message on the Reformed Witness Hour, Nov.22, 2015