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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for July 18, 2021 *(Updated)

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, July 18, the twenty-ninth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psalms 14 7Today on this new Lord's Day, 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:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. ...Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. ~ Psalm 14:1-3,7

  • 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.

  • Last Sunday Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) accepted the call from Crete PRC (IL). From Doon's bulletin today we learn some subsequent details: Rev.& Courtney Engelsma and family plan to move the week of August 2. Rev.Engelsma plans to preach his farewell sermon in the evening service on August 1. Tentative plans are for him to be installed as the pastor of Crete PRC in the morning service on August 15.

  • Also last Sunday Rev. C.Griess (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) accepted the call to serve as professor in the PRC Seminary, replacing Prof. B. Gritters in the area of Practical Theology and NT Studies. According to First's bulletin today, Rev. Griess plans to give his farewell on August 8.

  • Hudsonville PRC's 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]. The congregational meeting is tonight. *UPDATE: Rev. R. Kleyn received this call.

  • From Kalamazoo PRC's bulletin today: The consistory presents to the congregation a trio of ministers consisting of Rev. Carl Haak, Georgetown PRC; Rev. Matt DeBoer, Edgerton, MN; and Rev. Dennis Lee, formerly of Bethel PRC, Roselle, IL. Lord willing, a special congregational meeting is planned for Sunday, August 1, following the evening service, to vote to extend a call to one of these men.

  • Still Totally Depraved? Come and hear a lecture by Prof. David Engelsma on this very timely topic. Friday, July 30 at 7:30 PM at Fair Haven Church, 2900 Baldwin St. Hudsonville, MI. Sponsored by Trinity PRC. Lecture will not be live streamed or recorded. Plan to attend.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. M.DeBoer  in Crete PRC (IL);  Prof. D.Kuiper and Prof. B.Gritters in First PRC-Holland; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. M.DeVries in Hudsonville PRC;  Sem. M.Koerner and Rev. C.Griess in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. D.Noorman 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.

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.

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PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary is 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.
  • Student news: Marcus Wee (entering his senior year) has begun his internship at Faith PRC (Jenison, MI). Graduate and Cand. Josiah Tan and his family returned to Singapore this past week, where his session just made a significant decision (see under Covenant ERC news below). Aaron Van Dyke (Faith PRC) has been granted admission to the seminary and will begin his first year this fall. 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.
  • 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. On July 11 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.
  • 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.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

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SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • From Georgetown PRC's bulletin today re her work in Vellore, India: India Update: The Vellore PRC had their first in person service in several months. They met in their regular meeting place - a room on the second floor of a building that they have rented for many years. Some came in person, others joined via live stream. They still plan to build their own church building but, obviously, this is on the back burner during this time of COVID. The GFH continues to get visits from local authorities for various reasons. Each time they come, they are impressed with the love and care shown to these children as well as the very careful record keeping. Kasthuri has trained some of the older children to help with accounting and record keeping.

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today:
      Session met this past Thursday and unanimously voted to nominate Candidate Josiah Tan as the candidate for the extension of the call to be the residential minister of CERC. We rejoice immensely and marvel at how God in His infinite goodness and mercy has provided and equipped our brother for the work of the ministry. Praise the Lord! Two weeks of approbation follows and 9 August will be the date set for the 2nd Extra Congregation Meeting for the congregation to vote to extend the call to Candidate Josiah Tan and to approve the minister’s remuneration package. Our brother will thereafter be given 6 weeks to respond to the call. If our brother takes up the call before Rev Smidstra leaves for USA, an ordination service could take place by 22 August, D.V. Please pray earnestly that the Lord’s will be done.

  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena.
    • Be sure to check out the latest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (June 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
    • Limerick Reformed Fellowship: On July 4 the final services were held for the saints there, led by Rev. A. Stewart. Rev. M.McGeown is making 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: The elders will lead our worship services today using video recordings of sermons from the PRCA. May God equip and strengthen them for this. Next Sunday Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach for us. The live streaming of our services will beavailable on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page.

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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!

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  • 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 being featured for the rest of the summer. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 2:11-20 and titled "Come, Let Us Build."
  • 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!
  • 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 Committee 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.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

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From the RFPA:  Job: God’s Sovereignty in Suffering by Rev. Ron Hanko is now available and book club agents have placed it in the book club members’ mailboxes. Also now available is the Church Order Commentary by Monsma and Van Dellen. If you would like to purchase either of these books or join the book club, please see your book club agent, (Jon Drnek), contact the RFPA at (616) 457-5970 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or order your copy at rfpa.org.

  • 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 Thought for Contemplation

Among the many wonderful virtues of the true, eternal, and living God is that He is exceeding.  We might be inclined to think of the word “exceeding” merely as some ordinary adverb or adjective.  But in Scripture, ‘exceeding’ is a perfection of God.  God exceeds in everything (except sin and unrighteousness, of course).  And although Scripture applies “exceeding” to many different things and activities, it also makes clear that ultimately only God is exceeding.  Whatever or whoever else Scripture may call exceeding is always exceeded by God Himself.  Whereas nothing can or does exceed Him. 
...Although God is exceeding in everything He is and everything He does, Scripture directs our attention to two particulars.  First, God exceeds in grace.  Scripture says the grace of God is exceedingly abundant with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  And we are directed to pray for this exceeding grace of God in us (II Cor. 9:14).  Secondly, God exceeds in might.  The apostle Paul prayed that the church might know the exceeding greatness of God’s power and know what makes this power so exceeding.  And what especially makes it so exceeding is not simply that it is inexhaustible, but that God uses His power for our benefit (Eph. 1:19), it is the only power by which we believe, and God uses it to show us His exceedingly great love and the riches of His kindness toward us through Jesus (Eph. 2:17; 3:19).

Excerpt from Rev. W. Langerak's word study article tited "Exceeding."

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for July 11, 2021

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.

Psalms 13 5Today, 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.

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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.

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SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • 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.


  • 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.

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

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  • 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!
  • 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.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

BL Poster Hope Page 1
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.

The Threat of Hyper-Calvinism

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.

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for July 4, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, July 4, the twenty-seventh Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psa 12 5Today, as members of Christ's body, we gather in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 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:

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. ...For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. ~ Psalm 12:1,5-7

  • 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.

  • Last Sunday Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC.

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) is considering the call from Crete PRC (IL - received June 13). He plans to answer by July 11.

  • 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. He plans to answer by July 11.
  • 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; Sem. M.Koerner and Cand. J.Tan in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. N.Decker in Kalamazoo PRC; Rev. J.Slopsema and Rev. B.Langerak 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...
    • First PRC of Holland is having a special congregational meeting this week Thursday (July 8) to consider a church expansion proposal from her Long Range Planning Committee? That is a good sign of growth in that congregation!
    • At least two of our West Michigan congregations choose and install their officebearers in the middle of the summer? Byron Center and Unity PRCs both installed new officebearers today. And, don't forget our sister in Singapore! (See note below) Are we remembering to pray for our elders and deacons along with our pastors and missionaries?

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.
  • 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.

sem front july 2020

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary is now in her spring/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. The staff is present to assist with any needs you may have. The seminary, including the library and bookstore, will be open daily during the summer months, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5).
  • 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. He plans to answer by July 11.
  • 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 plans to leave the U.S. on July 12.
  • The internship of Seminarian Marcus Wee (Covenant ERC, Singapore) started this past week and will run through the end of the year (July - December). He has been assigned to Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) with Rev. C. Spronk serving as his mentor. 
  • 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.
  • Work continues on the Spring 2021 issue of the PRTS Journal. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

ephesians 4 3 2

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: We can be thankful to our faithful Covenant God, who once again has provided newly-elected office-bearers, both Elders and Deacon to serve Him for another term. [to be installed July 25] Also, we ought not to forget those who have served Him for several terms in the office. We thank the Lord for you, Brothers. 
    • The April 2021 issue of Salt Shakers is the latest one available. Visit the link to read the edifying articles. Especially are young people are encouraged to do so!

  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints in Ballymena. Today he is leading the final services of the Reformed Fellowship in Limerick, Ireland, while Rev. M.McGeown brings the Word in CPRC.
    • 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 was Rev. McGeown’s last Sunday preaching for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. Rev. McGeown preached his first sermon in Limerick on 25 July 2010 on Romans 1:16 (“Not Ashamed of the Gospel”) and preached his final sermon in Limerick on the same text. Rev. and Larisa would like to thank the saints of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, including those who have already moved to Northern Ireland to join the CPRC in Ballymena, for their friendship, support, and fellowship in the Lord over many years. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:3-6).
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The latest Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led the services today. ...live streaming of our worship services will be available on Berean PRC Facebook page. Rev. Ibe and elder Penaverde are scheduled to visit the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecijaon Saturday (July 3-4, 2021).Rev. Ibe will lead them in their worship service and Bible study on the book of Ephesians 2:1-10, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: The elders will lead our worship services today using video sermons from the PRCA. May the Lord bless and strengthen them as they do so. ...The Lord willing, Rev. Kleyn will preach and teach today in the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, an outreach work of our congregation.Today he is up to Lord’s Day 17 of the Heidelberg Catechism, and also Articles 22-23 of Church Order.

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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!

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  • As the month of July begins, the speaker changes 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 1 and titled "When I heard, I Wept and Prayed."
  • 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!
  • 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.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

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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.

The Threat of Hyper-Calvinism

This Week's Thoughts for Contemplation

Another betrayal of the spirit of hyper-Calvinism is embarrassment and hesitation, that is, fear, over giving the call “Repent! Believe!” and over declaring the promise “Whosoever believes shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” This language is not suspect. It is not the language of Arminian free-willism. It is pure, sound, biblical language. It is as much a part of the Reformed heritage as is the statement of divine, double predestination. We must take care that we do not concede precious elements of the gospel to the Arminians. Because they have seized on certain elements of the scriptures, have wrenched them out of their proper setting, force them into the service of their false gospel, and thus wrest them to their own destruction, we may not abandon those elements. Rather, we must continue to honor them as part of God’s revelation and must continue to give them their necessary place in the proclamation of the word. There is no Arminian text in the scriptures nor one Arminian word. No more than we renounce love because the liberals abuse it do we downgrade the external call of the gospel and slight the promiscuous publication of the promise because heretics construct a message of salvation by the will of man from a perversion of them.

If the fruit of the preaching of the gospel is that men, pricked in their hearts, cry out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” or that a Philippian jailor says, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” it is not in place, it is not typically Reformed, to launch into a fierce polemic against free will or to give a nervous admonition against supposing that one can do anything toward his own salvation. The answer to such questions, the Reformed answer, is “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” and “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 2:38; 16:31).

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.

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Reformed Witness Hour News - June/July 2021

News from the
Reformed Witness Hour for June 2021
 

July Message Series



For July we will revisit a 2006 series on Nehemiah by Rev. Carl Haak. Rev. Haak is the pastor of Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI.
July 4
When I Heard, I Wept and Prayed
Nehemiah 1

July 11
So I prayed and Said...
Nehemiah 2:1-10

July 18
Come Let Us Build
Nehemiah 2:11-20

July 25
The People Had a Mind to Build
Nehemiah 3
 
Listen to the Current Message Here
 
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Click here for more details on how to support us
 
Message Download Statistics

In the first half of this year, we have had 6,926 message downloads reaching seventy-five countries and forty-eight states. The countries with the most downloads include the U.S. (5,113), United Kingdom (414), Cambodia (197), Philippines (197) and Australia (125).

We have seen great interest in our messages through podcasting. This year, thus far, 32% of our downloads have been through podcasts. Other platforms include Sermon Audio Radio (30%), the Sermon Audio website and the Reformed Witness Hour website (22%), and mobile apps including the Sermon Audio Mobile App (16%).
 
Most Popular Messages of 2021
 
 

Favorite Message


The most frequently downloaded message so far this year is The Praiseworthy Woman by Rev. R. Kleyn.
 

From the message: God gives us here a template or portrait of a believing woman. God made the woman in the beginning. And here you have God’s goal and God’s purpose for the woman. This is the kind of woman that God delights in. This is the kind of woman that God makes by the work of His Holy Spirit. And every woman who is a Christian should seek to emulate and follow the woman described here.

But this is also written for others. It is written for husbands and for children. They ought to thank God for the godly wives and mothers that He gives to them. This is written for believing parents who are raising daughters to be godly women. This is written for young people who are dating and who are looking for a future spouse.

In verse 10 we read: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” This implies, first, that believing young men need to look for a wife. And, second, that the kind of wife they should be looking for is going to be very rare and hard to find. Who can find one like this? Her price is far above rubies. She is rare! In Proverbs 19:14: “a prudent wife is from the Lord.” So this is something that must be done with all seriousness, with great care, and with much prayer.

What is it that makes the woman described in this chapter so special, so worthy of praise? 

Click here to listen to The Praiseworthy Woman
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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for June 27, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, June 27, the twenty-sixth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psalms 11 7Today, as members of Christ's body, we gather in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:

The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. ~ Psalm 11:4,5,7

  • 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 morning Prof. Russell Dykstra was installed as Byron Center PRC's new pastor. Prof. B. Gritters led the morning worship service and Prof. Dykstra preached his inaugural sermon this evening.

  • Today Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC.

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) is considering the call from Crete PRC (IL - received June 13). He plans to answer by July 11.

  • 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. He plans to answer by July 4.

  • Update from Providence PRC on Rev. M.McGeown's immigration status: One major hurdle in the immigration process was crossed on Thursday June 24: Rev McGeown had his immigration interview, which went well. The next step is the medical examination on July 13. Two or three weeks after that, Rev McGeown expects to get the visa, and thus permission to travel to the USA. Today he is preaching his farewell sermon in Limerick and will spend the month of July organizing many important matters. We thank the Lord for this progress in coming to the U.S. to serve Providence and pray for Rev. McGeown and the saints in Limerick as his work there ends.
  • The final worship services of Bethel PRC (Roselle, IL) were held today. May the Lord be with our fellow saints and her pastor, Rev. D. Lee (moving to West MI), as they transition to other places and congregations. Her final bulletin today contained this note: Today we worship together as an instituted church of Jesus Christ for one final Lord's Day. We rejoice in, are thankful to and glorify God for the privilege we have had in the past 32 years to give a public witness of the Reformed faith in the NW suburbs of Chicago in such a way. We also pray that God will have blessed all we have done in His service and unto the glory of His Name and the furtherance of His covenant and kingdom.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. D.Holstege  in Crete PRC (IL);  and Prof. D.Kuiper in First PRC-Holland; Rev. M.DeVries and Prof. B.Gritters in Hudsonville PRC;  Sem. M.Wee and Rev. K.Koole in Kalamazoo PRC; Sem. M.Koerner and Cand. J.Tan 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...
    • Cand. J.Tan is giving a talk on personal evangelism tonight in Providence PRC after their fellowship dinner? Here's the notice in her bulletin today: We have made plans to have Candidate Tan give a brief speech to our congregation after the Fellowship Dinner tonight on the subject of personal evangelism. Please plan on about a 20-minute presentation followed by questions and answers. Sem. Tan is also giving a talk on this subject for Young Calvinists this week Wednesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. in Hudsonville PRC.
    • The Western Young People's Retreat is being held this week Tuesday-Friday in Idaho? Here's the note in Covenant of Grace PRC today with some details: The week has come for our annual Young People’s Retreat at Camp Sanders in Tensed, ID. ...For parents and others who would like to join us for the speeches, these will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM. The theme verse is Psalm 119:101, and Rev. Matt DeBoer will speak on Tuesday evening on “Restraining my Feet from Evil,” and Rev. Kleyn will speak on Thursday evening on “Overcoming Sin and Temptation.”  

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.
  • 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.

sem sign sunrise Aug 2020

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary is now in her spring/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. The staff is present to assist with any needs you may have. The seminary, including the library and bookstore, will be open daily during the summer months, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5).
  • 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. He plans to answer by July 4.
  • Prof. R. Dykstra, who accepted the call to Byron Center (MI) PRC, was installed today by Prof. B. Gritters. We pray for him and his wife Carol as they enter the pastoral ministry once again. In the Fall Prof. Dykstra will also be finishing his final year of teaching at the PRC Seminary (two classes) as Prof. Kuiper prepares his final courses to replace him.
  • 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. His graduation ceremony was held on June 10 in Georgetown PRC. For more on this event, visit this link. 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 plans to leave the U.S. on July 12.
  • The internship of Seminarian Marcus Wee (Covenant ERC, Singapore) will take place this summer and fall (July - December) at Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) under Rev. C. Spronk. 
  • Sem. Matthew 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.
  • Work continues on the Spring 2021 issue of the PRTS Journal. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

Limerickmeetingplace
The meeting place of Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Ireland (see special note below)

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: On 26 June 2021, we concluded our church 34th Annual Congregation Meeting. We witnessed the goodness of God to Covenant in these 34 years. He alone is the one who has kept us through all the trials and struggles. We can only say together with the Psalmist,“Indeed the eye of the LORD is upon us”. It is with this assurance that the Lord grant us the grace and mercy to courageously tread on in these perilous times to come to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim 3:1).
    • The April 2021 issue of Salt Shakers is currently available! Visit the link to read the edifying articles. Especially are young people are encouraged to do so!

  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word in person to the saints in Ballymena.
    • This past week the May and June 2021 issues of the "Covenant Reformed News" were published. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
    • Limerick Reformed Fellowship: Today is Rev McGeown’s last Sunday preaching for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. Rev McGeown preached his first sermon in Limerick on 25 July 2010 on Romans 1:16 (“Not Ashamed of the Gospel”) and intends to preach his final sermon in Limerick on the same text. Rev and Larisa would like to thank the saints of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, including those who have already moved to Northern Ireland to join the CPRC in Ballymena, for their friendship, support, and fellowship in the Lord over many years. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:3-6).
  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The latest Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe led the services today. ...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 Ecija will join us in our worship services today via live streaming at Facebook live, the Lord willing. ...Our online study for Belgic Confession of Faith and the Church Order of Dort and Canons of Dordtis scheduled every Sunday at 7PM via Zoom video call, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. D.Kleyn led the services today. The live-streaming of our services will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. ...Today Rev. Kleyn is preaching and teaching in the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, where Pastor Ronil Domingo is the pastor, and which is a church extension work of our congregation.

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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!

RKleyn RWH

  • Rev. R.Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) is currently doing a series on the Gospel according to Mark. Today's message is based on Mark 3:31-35 and titled "Jesus' True Family."
  • 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?
  • 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.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

Saved by Grace RC RH

What does it mean to be saved? And how are sinner saved? By God's grace alone in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone! Read this resource to learn more about salvation by pure grace.

  • 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.

BethelPRCPic

This Week's Thoughts for Contemplation

“Thus the saying is true: When something is in common use, it is not appreciated but despised, however precious it may really be. Unfortunately such a saying is proved especially true in the case of our dear Word. Where men have it, they do not want it, but where they do not have it, there they would be sincerely glad to have it. Where men have the church in which God's Word is taught at their doorsteps, there they may go strolling along the market place during the sermon and sauntering about the moat. Where they have to go ten, twenty, or more miles for it, there, as we read in Psalm 42:4, they would gladly go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving.”-- Martin Luther (taken from NW Mission of the PRC bulletin, Sep 2, 1984)
“How often the Word of God exhorts us in various forms to commit our way unto the Lord, to cast our burdens upon Him, and not to be anxious about our earthly way! To commit our way unto the Lord means that we humbly follow whereHe leads, without asking questions.... trusting that He will bring it to pass. Forthe flesh this is impossible. If we could determine our own way through this world, we would always carefully avoid a way of adversity and gloom, of sorrow and sickness. Yet the Lord often leads His children in ways of darkness and distress. And then we need grace to commit our way to Him. And this is a daily exercise, for which we need grace constantly, to be received in the way of prayer. And how blessed it is to have this grace! For according as we do commit our way to God, we are free from anxiety, and rejoice in the Lord. And that joy nothing can take away from us. It is Abiding!” – Herman Hoeksema
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are myways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. – Isaiah 55:8-11

All found in Bethel PRC's final bulletin today - good thoughts for all of us.

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Covenant Reformed News - June 2021

Covenant Reformed News


June 2021 • Volume XVIII, Issue 14



The Church’s Catholicity: Perspectives and Scripture

Last time, we spoke of Christ’s church in terms of its geographical, anthropological and historical catholicity. This fits with the beautiful idea of the word “catholicity”: Christ’s church is “according to the whole.” God saves the elect world in our Lord Jesus and not merely people from special nations or particular races or some languages or certain centuries or specific economic classes. The Triune God redeems and gathers as living members of His church all kinds of people (anthropological catholicity) in space (geographical catholicity) and time (historical catholicity).

To these three aspects or perspectives of the church’s catholicity, Roman Catholicism would (erroneously) add another: the catholicity of numbers (one could refer to this as mathematical catholicity!). This especially arose as part of Rome’s polemics against the Reformation. The Roman church argued that it was the true catholic church of Christ because its membership was larger than that of the Protestant churches. It is worth pointing out that, since the sixteenth century, the numerical gap between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism has narrowed.

More significantly, greater numbers are no guarantee of truth. Just ask Noah and the other seven people in the ark! Even if an error is very popular, the Word of God forbids our compliance: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2). The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the 12 tribes, yet it was a false church. Belgic Confession 27 on “The Catholic Christian Church” observes that, out of the many hundreds of thousands in Israel, there were only 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal (I Kings 19:18; Rom. 11:4). The true church is always a remnant (e.g., Rom. 9:27; 11:5). The way to heaven is through a narrow gate and along a narrow way, with few ever finding it; whereas the gate and way to hell is wide, and many are headed there (Matt. 7:13-14).

In their polemics against Rome, some Protestants have included the catholicity of the faith under the catholicity of the church (one could call this theological catholicity!). The Athanasian Creed speaks repeatedly of the “catholic faith” (1, 3, 44) and the “catholic religion” (20). In answer to the question, “What is then necessary for a Christian to believe?” the Heidelberg Catechism answers, “All things promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted Christian faith briefly teach us” (Q. & A. 22), before going on to quote (A. 23) and expound the truth of the Apostles’ Creed (Lord’s Days 8-24).

It is, indeed, true that people and churches must embrace the biblical and catholic faith to be part of the catholic church. However, belief of the catholic faith is not part of the definition of the catholicity of the church, for the catholicity of the church expresses the fact that the elect, ransomed and regenerated church is “according to the whole” of mankind in space and time. It is more accurate and helpful to refer believing the true faith to the church’s attribute of apostolicity rather than catholicity.

It is beneficial here to present some evidence for the powerful witness in God’s Word to the catholicity of the church. There are two whole Old Testament narrative books which treat catholicity as a theme from beginning to end. One is named after a woman, Ruth (from the land of Moab); the other is named after a man, Jonah (whose preaching God used to convert many in pagan Nineveh). The Old Testament poetic or wisdom book with most to say regarding catholicity is the Psalms. Among the four Major Prophets, Isaiah especially comes to mind. He wrote so much about Christ and His work that he necessarily spoke often of God’s church being gathered out of the nations through His sacrifice and power. Among the Minor Prophets, it is Zechariah that contains most predictions of the calling of the Gentiles.

Of the five historical books at the beginning of the New Testament Scriptures, it is Acts that speaks most of the church’s catholicity. The resurrected Christ’s statement to His apostles in Acts 1:8 is programmatic: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (cf. Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Acts 2:9-11 lists people from many countries and cities who heard the apostles preach the gospel in their own languages. Some 3,000 of them were converted and baptized on the day of Pentecost (41). In Acts 10-11, we read of the conversion of Gentile Cornelius to the faith of Jesus Christ, without his having to be circumcised or become a Jew or keep the law of Moses. These crucial issues pertaining to the catholicity of the church were treated decisively by the Jerusalem council (Acts 15).

Paul’s missionary journeys illustrate the church’s geographical catholicity. In his first missionary journey, the apostle and Barnabas are sent by the Holy Spirit and the church of Antioch in Syria (Acts 13:1-4) to Cyprus and southern parts of (what is now) Turkey, where they preach the gospel and labour to establish congregations (Acts 13-14). Paul’s second and third missionary journeys include Greece, and so see him travel from the continent of Asia to Europe in the service of the Word of Christ. After his arrest in Jerusalem and over two-year imprisonment in Caesarea (cf. Acts 24:27), the apostle is conveyed by ship across the eastern Mediterranean to Rome, the capital of the Empire.

Thus, amongst the penmen of the inspired New Testament epistles, it is Paul (rather than Peter, James, Jude or John) who writes most about the church’s catholicity, particularly in connection with the inclusion of the Gentiles. In this regard, we would point especially to his letters to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians. Rev. A. Stewart

 

The Differences Between the Two Versions of the Decalogue

This month’s question is: “How do you explain the differences between the two versions of the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21?”

The main differences are five, here presented in order:

(1) The Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5 do not begin with the words, “And God spake all these words saying ...”

(2) The fourth commandment in Exodus starts with the words, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy,” but in Deuteronomy it begins, “Keep the sabbath day, to sanctify it”—not a major difference of wording.

(3) In Deuteronomy 5, there is a long addition to the fourth commandment: “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”

(4) In Deuteronomy, the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth commandments begin with the words “Neither shalt thou ...” instead of “Thou shalt not ...” as in Exodus.

(5) In the version of the Ten Commandments recorded in Deuteronomy, the words, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife ...” are switched around, so that the neighbour’s wife is mentioned first and his house second.

Besides these, there are only some very minor variations in wording. Difference (4), regarding the opening words of commandments 6-10, is relatively insignificant.

Difference (5) is of some importance in our polemic against Roman Catholicism. In defence of its practice of image worship, Rome combines the first two commandments (it sees no difference between idolatry and image worship). In order still to have ten commandments it takes “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house” as the ninth commandment and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife” as the beginning of the tenth commandment. The fact that these phrases are switched around in Deuteronomy shows that they belong to the same commandment and are not two separate commandments as Rome teaches. Nor are idolatry and image worship the same thing. In spite of what Rome says and does, image worship is wicked and forbidden by God.

Difference (1) is the result of the fact that in Exodus God Himself is reciting the Ten Commandments from the top of Sinai out of the smoke and fire upon the mount, one of the very few times that Jehovah spoke directly to His people. In Deuteronomy, God is not speaking directly but Moses is retelling the story of the giving of the law. The emphasis in Exodus is significant, though. That God spoke the words of the Ten Commandments and spoke them in the hearing of the people underlines their importance, and the fact that they are the unchangeable Word of God. Usually God spoke to Israel through Moses or others but in this case He Himself spoke. No wonder, then, that Jesus said of the law, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18).

Differences (2) and (3) concern the fourth commandment regarding the sabbath. They are the most important of all. The additions and changes in Deuteronomy’s version of the Ten Commandments reflect the fact that the nation of Israel was then at the borders of the land of Canaan and ready to enter the land in fulfilment of God’s promise. That land was for them the sabbath land, the land of rest (sabbath means “rest”), a picture of the rest which still remains for the people of God (Heb. 4:9), a land in which their whole life would be controlled and ordered by the weekly and yearly sabbaths.

In preparation for their entry into that land, God speaks through Moses more fully of the sabbath in Deuteronomy than He does in Exodus, a reminder to them of the important place that the sabbath would have in Israel’s life and, therefore, of the important place that He would have in their lives. It is no different for us. The sabbath, now celebrated on the “Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10), reminds us both of the rest that still remains for us in heaven and of the place that God has in our lives as the One in whom we find rest for our souls. Israel heard the fourth commandment repeated by Moses, and we too are on the borders of the land that God has promised us and will soon be entering it.

The difference in the opening words of the fourth commandment is not especially important. Sanctifying the sabbath and keeping it holy are the same thing, and we remember the sabbath by keeping it holy. If anything at all stands out in the different versions of this commandment, it is the word “keep” in Deuteronomy. That word means both that the Sabbath must be guarded and that it must be observed. Few, then or now, are interested in keeping the day as a special day or in behaving differently on the day. Of all the commandments, it is the least valued and many, sadly, do not even believe it is in force for New Testament Christians.

The addition to the fourth commandment in Deuteronomy is important. One might think that the words, “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day,” consign the commandment and its observance to the Old Testament, but the opposite is true.

The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was a foreshadowing of our deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan, and God is speaking to us as well as to them when He says, “therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” This is taught in Belgic Confession 34, which speaks of the saving power of baptism (not the sign but the reality): “Not that this is effected by the external water, but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God, who is our Red Sea, through which we must pass to escape the tyranny of Pharaoh, that is, the devil, and to enter into the spiritual land of Canaan.”

In Jesus Christ and by His atoning sacrifice, God has brought us out of the bondage of sin and we are on our way to the heavenly Sabbath land, the rest that still remains for the people of God. Both in thankfulness for what God has done in delivering us and in hope of that better rest, we keep the New Testament sabbath, the sabbath of the first day of the week on which our Saviour rose from the dead. Rev. Ron Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. • www.youtube.com/cprcni • www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for June 20, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, June 20, the twenty-fifth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psa 10 17Today as we gather for worship, we bring our praise and thanks to our triune God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:

The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress. ~ Psalm 10:16-18

  • 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.
  • Last Sunday Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) declined the call to Hudsonville PRC.

  • Last Sunday Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC, IA) received the call from Crete PRC (IL).

  • Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) continues to consider the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received May 30). He plans to answer June 27.
  • Next Sunday (June 27) Prof. Russell Dykstra will be installed as Byron Center PRC's new pastor. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the morning worship service and Prof. Dykstra will preach his inaugural sermon that evening.

  • Glorifying God in Our Unity! Join Southwest and Byron Center PRCs this week Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Southwest PRC for an evening of praise, thanksgiving, and encouragement in our confession of an holy catholic church. Come ready to sing, and to be encouraged by brief mediations on this truth given by Rev. William Langerak and Rev. David Noorman. Fellowship and refreshments will follow. Links to the live-stream can be found at southwestprc.org.

  • The final worship services of Bethel PRC (Roselle, IL) will be held next Sunday, June 27, D.V. May the Lord continue to be with the congregation and her pastor, Rev. Lee, as they prepare for the disbanding of this dear congregation.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. G.Eriks in Byron Center PRC; Rev. J.Engelsma in Crete PRC (IL); Prof. R.Dykstra and Prof. D.Kuiper in First PRC-Holland; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Mahtani in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Sem. M.Wee in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J.Holstege 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) and which is also under new lockdown orders. May the Lord encourage their hearts during these difficult times.

  • 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 is starting a church library to encourage reading and study? Here's the note in her bulletin today: The Evangelism committee is in the process of setting up a church library in the basement.The goal is to promote the reading of good Christian literature.If anyone in the congregation has books that they would like to donate to the library, please talk to an evangelism committee member!
    • The Reformed Book Outlet is having a summer reading challenge - for both children and adults? Here's the announcement just out: The Reformed Book Outlet 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.

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Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville MI, host of this year's PRC Synod

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • PRC Synod 2021: The delegates met in daily sessions from Tuesday to Thursday last week (June 15-17), finishing their work around 4 p.m. Thursday. For the daily reports on synod's work and decisions, visit this page.
  • As the time of his furlough draws to an end, it is still uncertain if Rev. D.Holstege and his family will be able to return to the Philippines. Today he is in Randolph, WI to preach.
  • 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.

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PRC Seminary Notices:

  • The seminary is now in her spring/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. The staff is present to assist with any needs you may have. The seminary, including the library and bookstore, will be open daily during the spring and summer, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5).
  • The professors served as committee advisors at the PRC Synod this month (June 8-17) at Georgetown PRC. This news concerning part of the synod's seminary business may also be reported here: 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. He plans to answer by July 4.
  • Prof. R. Dykstra has accepted the call to Byron Center (MI) PRC. He plans to be installed on June 27 by Prof. B. Gritters. We pray for Prof. Dykstra and his wife Carol as they prepare to transition to the pastoral ministry once again. In the Fall Prof. Dykstra will also be finishing his final year of teaching at the PRC Seminary (2 classes) as Prof. Kuiper prepares his final courses to replace him.
  • Senior student Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore) was examined at the PRC Synod (June 8-10) and was approved as a candidate for the ministry in his home church, Covenant ERC in Singapore as well as in the PRC. His graduation ceremony was held on June 10 in Georgetown PRC. For more on this event, visit this link. 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.
  • The internship of Seminarian Marcus Wee (Covenant ERC, Singapore) will take place this summer and fall (July - December) at Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) under Rev. C. Spronk. 
  • Sem. Matthew Koerner (entering his junior year) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches.  We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his ministerial training. As of May 30 he has begun preaching in various PRCs, including out west this summer.
  • Work continues on the Spring 2021 issue of the PRTS Journal. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

Berean PRC New worship place 2014
The meeting place of Berean PRC, Manila, the Philippines

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: Despite the loosening of some restrictions due to the pandemic, please note that the congregational singing is still not allowed during the worship service. However, we can still ‘sing’ joyfully, meaningfully and reverentially in our hearts when we worship in church. ...Last week, CK/CKS had their annual retreat from 17 to 19 June. It was done online. Rev Smidstra spoke on the theme: Faith in Times of Doubt. The theme was taken from James 1: 2 to 4.
    • Re the Kolkata, India mission work: Session met with Rev Emmanuel Singh online... two weeks ago. We are glad to bring the report to our congregation that our brethren in Kolkata are coping well in the midst of the pandemic and after the super Cyclone Yaash had caused substantial damages to the coastal areas. Do continue to uphold our brethren as they braced themselves for another cyclone, named Gulab which is expected to make landfall in Bengal on 26th June.
    • The April 2021 issue of Salt Shakers is now available! Visit the link to read the edifying articles. Especially are young people are encouraged to do so!

  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
    • Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word in person to the saints in Ballymena.
    • This past week the May and June 2021 issues of the "Covenant Reformed News" were published. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
    • Rev. M.McGeown continues to minister the Word in Limerick (now in person again!) until he is able to come to the U.S. to serve Providence PRC. To read his last update (newletter), visit this page. *Important update (from June 13 bulletin):

      Rev McGeown’s last Sunday preaching for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will be 27 June, while Rev Stewart will preach one more time for us on 4 July. After 4 July the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will officially cease meeting. This will give Rev McGeown time to visit friends and family in Northern Ireland, attend a medical examination on 13 July, and arrange an international move, before travelling to the USA in August. This assumes that the immigration interview (24 June) and the medical examination (July 13) go well and that the visa is issued in late July/early August.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).


  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The latest Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe led the services today. ...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 today via live streaming at face book live, the Lord willing. ...Our online study for Belgic Confession of Faith and the Church Order of Dort and Canons of Dordt is scheduled every Sunday at 7PM viazoom video call, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led the services today. The live-streaming of our services will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. ...Today Rev. Kleyn is preaching and teaching in the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, where Pastor Ronil Domingo is the pastor, and which is a church extension work of our congregation.

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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!

RKleyn RWH

  • Rev. R.Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) is currently doing a series on the Gospel according to Mark. Today's message, however, is a special Father's Day one titled "Nurturing Fathers," based on Eph.6:4.
  • 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?
  • 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.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

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Looking for reading ideas for the summer? How about graduation or wedding gifts? Consider the Reformed Book Outlet in Hudsonville, MI! And see note below about her summer reading challenge!

  • 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 Thought for Contemplation

Polygamy
A reader asks, “Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament?” There are those who use a supposed tolerance of polygamy (and divorce) in the Old Testament to undermine the New Testament’s clear teaching on marriage between one man and one woman for life. There are even cases where missionaries have allowed polygamy in societies where it already was practised, i.e., they permitted those who already had more than one wife when converted to continue to keep multiple wives.
One man says, “In the Scriptures, the ideal for marriage is one man married to one woman for life. Polygamy was tolerated but it almost always had less than desirable consequences. Divorce is abhorrent to God and allowed only in the most restricted circumstances. Thus those who have come to faith as polygamists should remain mar-ried and be accepted (with their wives and children) into the church. They should not be made leaders, however, and the ideal of monogamous marriage should be taught, so that future generations might follow the ‘better way.’”
To say that God allowed polygamy in the Old Testament is not really correct, and marriage between one man and one woman for life is not just a “better way.” “One man and one woman for life” is God’s law for marriage. That rule goes back to the creation of man and Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Jesus makes reference to this in Matthew 19:4-6, though in connection with divorce and remarriage: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
The New Testament clearly forbids polygamy. An elder or deacon is to be the “husband of one wife” (I Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6), and that as an example to the other members of the church (I Tim. 4:12). The New Testament always speaks of one husband and one wife (e.g., Mark 10:2-12; Rom. 7:2-3; I Cor. 7; Eph. 5:22-33; I Pet. 3:1-7).
Even more important is the relationship between Christ and His church, the great pattern for marriage (Eph. 5:32). In that eternal pattern, there is only one bridegroom and one bride. Christ is not a polygamist and neither may we be who believe in Him.

Rev. R. Hanko in the May 2021 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" answering a question about polygamy (also attached to this news page in pdf form)

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PRC Synod 2021 - Day 7 - Thursday June 17 *(Updated with Report)

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The delegates of the 2021 PRC Synod gathered again this morning in Georgetown PRC (Hudsonville, MI) for their seventh day of discussion and deliberation. We pray for them as they hope to complete their work today.

preparing to start work

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Preparing to start the work this morning.

The body returned to some recommitted advice from Committee 2 this morning. Commmittee 5 material was also to be dealt with.

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Synod stands to sing each morning for devotions.

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Pres RKleyn final remarks
Synod president, Rev. R. Kleyn, makes closing remarks Thursday afternoon as synod ends its work.

 And here is the final public report of the day's decisions, per the second clerk of synod:

Report of Day 7 - Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America
June 17, 2021
After opening devotions, Synod treated reformulated advice on a protest of an individual who objected to Synod 2020’s decision regarding a sermon (entitled “Dealing Rightly With Our Sins”) preached by a former minister in the denomination. The individual’s main contention is that Synod’s decision contradicts Scripture and the confessions and brings Synod 2020 into contradiction with decisions of Synods 2018 and 2019. Synod did not sustain the protest.

Synod then dealt with reformulated advice on a protest of a decision of Synod 2020 related to the release of that former minister from the ministry under Article 12 of the Church Order. The protestant contended that Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order ought to have been applied instead. Synod voted not to sustain the protest.

Synod treated reformulated advice on another protest that objected on procedural grounds to Classis East’s concurrence to depose a minister according to Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. Synod did not sustain the protest.

Synod approved the work of the synodical deputies from Classis West in their concurrence with the decision of Classis East to proceed with the deposition of that minister according to Articles 79 and 80 of the Church Order. Synod judged that Classis East’s grounds, on the basis of which the synodical deputies concurred, demonstrate that the minister was guilty of sin that warranted deposition. In addition, although synod granted some points made by those who protested, synod did not sustain the protests against the work of the synodical deputies.

Synod took a decision to express the churches’ deep gratitude to God for the work that Prof. R. Dykstra has performed on our behalf over the past 25 years in faithfully training our pastors in the seminary. Over half of our present pastors were formed, in part, by Prof. Dykstra’s instruction and example. May the Lord continue to bless the instruction Prof. Dykstra gives, and strengthen him for his work as pastor of Byron Center PRC.

Synod approved publishing and distributing an open letter to those who have recently left the PRCA, gave specific direction on how that distribution would take place, and approved the letter that would be sent. It did so believing that seeking reconciliation is the solemn duty of the church with those who have left because reconciliation is the very heart of the gospel (2 Cor. 5:18-21); because seeking reconciliation is expected of those who are members of the church, as Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”; and because seeking reconciliation is consistent with the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17:21, “That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Synod declared not legally before it two pieces of correspondence.

Synod approved the recommendations made by the Catechism Book Committee regarding memory work schedules for the Juniors Bible History classes.

Synod concurred with the decision of Bethel PRC to declare Rev. Dennis Lee temporarily emeritus since, by this coming July, through no fault of his own, he will have been left without a fixed charge due to the disbanding of the congregation. Synod also approved the financial support of Rev. Lee. May the Lord be pleased soon to open up a place of labor for Rev. Lee in our churches.

Synod approved the requests of four congregations for financial subsidy for 2022.

Synod adopted the overtures of two congregations to schedule a denominational commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the PRC for the summer of A.D. 2025, and appointed a steering committee to present concrete proposals for implementing these overtures.

Synod adopted the budget for 2022 of $2,534,463, which is adjusted to $1,415,729 because of surplus funds, collections, and monies from the “endowment” funds. Synod approved assessing each family $675 for 2022, a decrease of $75 from 2021.

Synod appointed Zion PRC as the host church of Synod 2022 to convene Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 8:00 AM. The Lord willing, Sem. Marcus Wee, a member of Zion, will be examined by that Synod.

Having completed all the matters on its agenda, Synod adjourned at about 4:00 PM. May the Lord bless the decisions of Synod and cause them to serve for the good of our churches.

A special word of appreciation to Georgetown PRC for the outstanding job they did in hosting the delegates for nearly two weeks. The comfortable accommodations, the good food, the warm hospitality, and the colorful posters made by the children were greatly appreciated!

In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma Second Clerk of Synod 2021
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