Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this second Sunday of the year of our Lord 2022, January 9. At the beginning of this new year, we praise the Lord for the hope we have in Him and the promise that He will be with us and will go before us. May our worship rise up to our faithful God as a sweet-smelling sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Savior.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. ~ Psalm 36:7-9
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.
- Rev. D. Holstege was installed as Wingham PRC's pastor this morning, with Prof. R. Dykstra leading the service. We join the saints there in praising God for the provision of another undershepherd to feed them with the Bread of life.
- The Council of Heritage PRC formed a trio from which to call a new pastor: Revs. Ryan Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC), and J. Marcus. The congregation voted to extend a call to Rev. R. Barnhill today after the morning service.
- The Council of Doon PRC announces a new trio: Revs. J. Holstege (Zion PRC), D. Kleyn (missionary to the Philippines), and M. Kortus (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA). The congregation will vote after the evening service on Jan.16.
- This is the time of year when the newly elected elders and deacons are installed into office in the PR churches. May we remember to thank the retiring men who have served and to pray for those entering office, some for the first time. May Jesus Christ, the only King of the church and the chief Shepherd of His sheep, use these officebearers for the proper care and guidance of His people. And we also remind our officebearers of the special resource section for them on this website.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. S. Key (1st week) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. M. DeBoer (1st week) in First PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. C. Griess and Rev. M. DeVries in Grace PRC; Sem. M. Koerner and Rev. G. Eriks in Hudsonville 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 whose in-person public worship may still be limited, 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...
- that Lacombe PRC is still meeting with rotating groups of members due to the covid restrictions in Alberta province? Let's not forget their needs during this ongoing limitation on her worship and full fellowship. And, we might add, such restrictions also apply to our brothers and sisters in Singapore, in the Philippines, in India, and in Myanmar. We pray for them as well.
- the webmaster recently (Jan.3) received this wonderful encouraging note from a new contact in the USA? It is worth sharing in its entirety here:
"I was brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ almost 40 years ago while I lived in Chicago. I became involved with a local Baptist church where I met the young woman I eventually married. This church was very dispensational in its preaching and I figured that must be the way it is. Until a friend introduced me to the Banner of Truth Trust and I began to read about the doctrines of grace. Over the years I became more convinced that Calvinism most accurately explained the truths revealed in God's Word.I retired from a long career working with computers and networks. We relocated to Anoka, MN. I have a fair amount of time to read and I have found the PRCA website to be most helpful as well as the Reformed Free Publishing Association. I have also started listening to the Reformed Witness Hour. I know there is a PRCA church in Edgerton but I am somewhat limited in mobility and have availed myself of a nearby Baptist church.Enough about me, I really wanted to thank you for the website and what a blessing it has been to me."
Providence PRC, host of the meeting of Classis East this week.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- PRC Contact Committee: Prof. B. Gritters and Mr. S. Miedema arrived safely in N.Ireland this past week. They are visiting our sister-church, Covenant PRC in Ballymena. May the Lord bless their labors for the mutual benefit of CPRC and the PRC.
- Classis East is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, Jan.12, at Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. May the King of the church give the delegates grace and wisdom in dealing with the matters before them.
- After a three-week visit to the States, Rev. D. Kleyn and Sharon returned to the Philippines this past week.
A view of the 2022 Interim course on Christian Education taught by Prof. R. Dykstra (including auditors)
PRC Seminary Notices:
- Currently the 2022 Interim course is being held (Jan.3 - Jan.11), with Prof. R. Dykstra teaching "The History and Principles of Christian Education." There are eight auditors also sitting in on the class. The class will end this Tuesday, Jan.11.
- Prof. R. Cammenga is recovering from his mid-December knee-replacement surgery and should be ready to return to teaching next week. We thank the Lord for a successful surgery and for healing mercies to this point.
- Senior Sem. M.Wee has completed his internship at Faith PRC under Rev. C. Spronk. He returns for this final semester next week.
- The seminary is open daily (8-5), including the library and bookstore, for our members and friends. 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.
- The Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printer and should be ready by the end of January. But the digital editions (pdf and ePub) are now available on the seminary's website. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital), contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- This past week the sister-church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee (Prof. R. Dykstra and elder D. Kregel) finished their labors and returned to the States.
- From today's bulletin: We give thanks to God for the annual church retreat we could have yesterday. May God bless us in our cell groups that we may continue to study the Word of God together, pray over the Word of God together and live out the Word of God together.
- A new issue of "Reformed News Asia" is available - December 2021 - #65. 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. Today Prof. B. Gritters preached both services. From last Sunday's bulletin: Prof. Gritters and Elder Sid Miedema are to be in N. Ireland from 5-14 January. Prof. Gritters will be giving a lecture entitled, “Being the Hand of God: Godly Parenting in an Ungodly World,” on Wednesday, 12 January at 7:30 PM.
- Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - December 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The Kleyns finished their visit in the States this past week and returned to the Philippines on Thursday (see note below under Provident PRC).
- A new Philippines Newsletter is available (visit the foreign missions page and see the download at the top of the right-hand column). Rev. R. Smit has penned a report on various aspects of the life and labors of our missionaries there, including this encouraging news about resuming work in SNO: "Our work in southern Negros Occidental [SNO] has been on hold because of travel restrictions. This situation is beginning to change with the government recently allowing fully vaccinated travelers to SNO. Of course, there is a list of rules that travellers must follow in order to visit, but at least the door is opening again for a resuming of our mission labors in SNO in 2022, D.V."
- Berean PRC bulletin: "Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live stream. The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services today via live streaming at our Facebook page."
- Provident PRC bulletin: "Rev. Smit will lead and preach in our worship services today. A live stream of our services will be provided at the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. Welcome home, Rev. D. Kleyn and Sis. Sharon. We’re so glad and thank our God for their safe return. They are now in quarantine for 14 days (first 5 to 6 days in a quarantine hotel then the remainder at their home, DV). Thus their quarantine at home will end on Friday, January 21, 2022."
- Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is based on Hebrews 11:22 and titled "Joseph's Command Concerning His Bones."
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
The third issue of Ignited by the Word will soon be mailed. The first two issues were mailed out complimentary. If you would still like to receive Ignited by the Word, please subscribe to the magazine!
- 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.
- 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.
- The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is open four days a week and features Reformed publications, good Christian music, and other practical items (cards, etc.) Come visit the store Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
“"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.'
Do you know what that means in negative terms? It means that Aser and Naphtali will no more throw their brother Joseph in that dark pit. They will no longer sit down to eat bread while Joseph cries his heart out. Read Gen. 37:25 and 42:21. Also, Isa. 11:13, "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim."
In the new kingdom, in that new world, all inhabitants, be they men or angels, shall love one another, trust one another, enjoy one another, for all shall be filled with God.
The text has something about that blessed new estate: God will dwell with them. You are very particular whom you invite into the intimate circle of your family. Not just anyone occupies a chair in the parlor, the sitting room, the front room.
So is God particular. He does not invite just anyone. He invites only His own whom He saw in the palms of His hands from all eternity. And their image in that palm was beautiful.
And God works with and in His people, until they are as beautiful as His Christ whose image is in the very center of that palm of God. We call that process, that operation: sanctification.
And that process begins on earth.
The beauty of the Godhead is given when you are born anew. It is brought to your consciousness in conversion.
He even gives us a place where we may practice how to behave in the House of God in heaven.
And that place is the church on the Sabbath.
It is a bad sign when they must drag you to church. Then you have not tasted that the Lord is gracious. Church is the most beautiful thing on earth. It is the anticipation of God's tabernacle in the New World.
~ Gerrit Vos' (Rev.) Meditation in the January 15, 1957 Standard Bearer