Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this ninteenth Sunday of our Lord's year 2022, May 15.
Because our Lord is risen from the dead on the third day, as He promised, today, on this first day of the week, we gather in worship as members of our living Savior's church. With gratitude and gladness we bring our praise to our triune God for fully accomplishing our salvation through His Son. We cordially invite you to join us in worship on this day and on any Sunday.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. ~ Psalm 53:1-3,6
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.
- This past Wednesday, Hudsonville PRC extended a call to Rev. J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland).
- Today Rev. J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland) declined the call to Doon PRC.
- *UPDATE: Last Sunday Rev. S. Regnerus (Lynden, WA) declined the call to First PRC-Edmonton.
- Grace PRC's Council has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. N. Decker (Grandville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and W. Langerak (Trinity PRC). The congregation will call next Sunday, May 22.
- Rev. J. Marcus plans to be installed as Peace PRC's new pastor on Sunday morning, June 12, with Rev. J. Engelsma leading the service.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. K. Koole (2nd Sunday) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. S. Regnerus (1st Sunday) in First PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. D. Noorman in Grace PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. C. Haak in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. M. DeVries in Peace PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations.
- Special PRC Evangelism/missions notices:
- The Council of Zion PRC (Jenison, MI) has formed its first trio for the calling of a home missionary: Revs. A. Brummel (Calvary), J. Smidstra (First-Holland), and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC).
- Byron Center (MI) PRC: The community Bible study resumes discussion of John 16:9 and following this week Thursday. Please join us May 19, in the church narthex at 7:30 PM. They are also making a special effort to invite their friends and neighbors to the Ascension Day service on May 26. This week Wednesday they are meeting to distribute flyers in the community. They have also sponsored a special annoucemement on the Reformed Witness Hour program in the Grand Rapids, MI area for today and next Sunday.
- First PRC-Grand Rapids, MI: "Join us for a Mexico Outreach Update/Singspiration on Sunday, June 12 at 7:30 PM here at First PRC GR. Plans are being finalized for trips to two different areas in Mexico this summer. Come and learn more about this work. Also, hear an update on the book translation work that we are involved with. A collection will be taken to help cover the costs of this outreach. A light lunch will be served following that evening service."
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS
- Classis East met this past Wednesday, May 11. Here is a brief summary of the meeting. The full report may be found on this page.
Classis East convened last Wednesday at 8 AM in Zeeland, MI. First PRC of Holland hosted the meeting at Redeemer Christian School. Rev. Lee presided as chairman. The council of Georgetown PRC approved Rev. Carl Haak’s request for emeritation and brought the request to Classis for its approval. Classis approved the request and expressed deep appreciation and thanks to God for Rev. Haak’s 43 years as a faithful minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Rev. Haak’s emeritation will begin on September 1, 2022. Classis advised two consistories to proceed in their work of Christian discipline; advising one consistory to announce the name of an impenitent confessing member; advising the other consistory to proceed with the erasure of an impenitent baptized member. A pulpit supply schedule was adopted for Grace and Hudsonville PRC’s. Classis received a report from its special committee, appointed in January, to study how to handle sexual abuse cases. The expenses of Classis totaled $1,162. The delegates appreciated the hospitality of First PRC of Holland, especially the women on the catering committee. The next meeting of Classis East will convene at 8:00 AM on September 14, 2022 at Byron Center PRC.
Group photo from the seminary picnic Saturday night, May 14 - the last one for the Dykstras, Wees, and Peters.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary completed its second semester this past Friday, with final exams held last week. Continue to pray for the faculty, students, and staff as we enter the summer months with other labors and activities planned.
- Saturday evening, the seminary family celebrated the end of the semester with its annual spring picnic, this time at the Huizingas' home. It was also a "farewell" of sorts for Prof. Russell and Carol Dykstra, Marcus and Tze Yan Wee, and Isaac and Bek Peters (see photo above). Sem. Wee has completed his four-year program and will be examined at the PRC Synod in June before returning to the CERC in Singapore. Sem. Peters has completed a special three-year program and will be returning to the EPC in Australia. A graduation program for these men is planned for June 16 at Zion PRC.
- Prof. B. Huizinga submitted his ThM thesis (on the idea of the reward of grace in Calvin's theology) last month and will sit for its defense this coming Tuesday, May 17. May the Lord bless this final step in his three-year process of obtaining this degree. In addition, he also planning to take on two more courses in OT Studies this Fall from Prof. Cammenga and will be preparing for these this summer. Prof. R. Dykstra has officially ended his teaching at the seminary as of this semester and Prof. D. Kuiper will be taking over the rest of his classes in this coming year. Prof. C. Griess continues working toward his advanced degree and is taking some summer courses as well.
- With joy the faculty announces that it has licensed student Arend Haveman to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. All scheduling of Mr. Haveman must be done through the seminary, either by sending a request to the seminary secretary, Miss Sharon Kleyn, or the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga.
- The spring 2022 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printers. This issue will feature the speeches from the seminary's fall 2021 conference on preaching, plus numerous book reviews. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital) or wish to pick up a copy, contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- The seminary is open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., including the library and bookstore. PRC members and friends are welcome to visit and make use of these resources.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Pastor J. Tan is faithfully serving the CERC each week as her pastor. Their bulletin this week included this note concerning their seminary student: "Last week was the conclusion for the semester in the PRCA’s Seminary, classes and exams. We give thanks to God for upholding our dear brother Seminarian Wee all these four years of intense schooling. He now can put all his focus on preparing for the synodical examinations. Please keep our dear brother, wife and children in prayers. Please also keep the faculty and the students of the seminary in prayers for faithfulness."
- The CERC is also planning her next church camp on June 10 and 11, which includes speeches by pastor Tan , an interactive workshop, and activities.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- A March newsletter has been released by the CPRC. Visit this page to read it and catch up on all the exciting news out of Ballymena!
- Sign up for the 2022 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland from Saturday, July 9, to Saturday, July 16. The speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Prof. Brian Huizinga will lecture on "Union With Christ." For information see the website (http://brfconference.weebly.com).
- The April 2022 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" was published at the end of the month. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- A new Philippines mission newsletter has just been published in April. Read the news from the Far East here.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led the worship services today. "A live stream of our worship services will be available at the official Berean PRC Facebook page. FYI, starting June 05, 2022, we will no longer have live streaming of our worship services." In addition: "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services via livestream today, the Lord willing."
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. D. Kleyn preached and lead her worship services today.
- The PRCP Seminary: "Seminary Classes are finished for this current school year and the final exams will take place from May 19- 25, the Lord willing. Let us remember our student, Bro. Ace Flores, in our prayers."
- This month Rev. R. Kleyn (First PRC-Grand Rapids, MI) continues speaking for the RWH. The focus will be a series on the life of Joseph. Today's message is based on Genesis 42:26-43 and titled "When It Seems That Everything Is Against You."
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Does confession of the Reformed faith hinder or even render unnecessary the work of evangelism? Read this resource to receive an answer in harmony with the gospel of sovereign grace and the calling to bring that gospel to sinners.
- 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 (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is temporarily closed while it moves into a new building that is being renovated. See the following note for details.
- Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- The PR Sunday School Association also publishes complete OT and NT Bible Story Lessons for young children and older children. Visit this page to learn more.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
"Fifth, repentance is not faith and faith is not repentance. Faith is knowledge, confidence, trust, and assurance. Repentance is a change of mind. Nevertheless, faith and repentance are inseparably connected. Since we believe in Christ for salvation from sin, we necessarily repent of our sins at the same time. We cannot look to Christ in faith for salvation from sin while we hold to our sins. If we have true faith, we change our mind concerning our sins. Thus repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin: by faith we look to Christ and by repentance we look away from sin. Thus Paul summarizes his preaching in Ephesus in Acts 20:21: “Testifying both to the Jews and the Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
"John Calvin writes, “Repentance not only constantly follows faith, but is also born of faith… Can true repentance stand apart from faith? Not at all. But even though they cannot be separated, they ought to be distinguished” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, ed. John T. McNeill, 3.3.1 and 3.3.5 (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1960), vol. 1, 593, 597).
"The Canons of Dordt do not separate repentance and faith, although they also distinguish them: “And that men may be brought to believe, God mercifully sends the messengers of these most joyful tidings to whom he will and at what time he pleaseth by whose ministry men are called to repentance and faith” (Canons 1:3). Men are not called only to faith without repentance or only to repentance without faith; they are called to both repentance and faith or to faith and repentance. “Moreover the promise of the gospel is that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published” (Canons 2:5). Unbelievers are called to repent and believe or to believe and repent. Those two spiritual activities can and should be distinguished, but not separated; quite simply, if a person refuses to repent of his sins, he shows that he has no faith. Indeed, if a believer walks impenitently in gross public sin for a time he “interrupt[s] the exercise of faith” (Canons 5:5)."
~ Rev. M. McGeown in a recent blog post, "Preaching Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins (3): Classifying Repentance (Pt.2)"