The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, May 23, the twenty-first Lord's Day of this year 2021.
Today as we gather for worship, we celebrate the gift of our Lord's Holy Spirit to His church (Acts 2). Through that gift we receive all the blessings of salvation in Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, the ministry of the Word, and the power to hear and believe the gospel as well as to live according to it. May we rejoice in the Spirit and through His power bring praise and glory to our great God.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ John 14:25-27
- If you are visiting 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 received the call to Hudsonville PRC.
- Prof. R. Dykstra is considering the call to Byron Center PRC (MI). He plans to answer by June 6.
Kalamazoo PRC has formed a new trio consisting of Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace), Rev. M DeBoer (Edgerton), and Rev. D. Lee. A special congregational meeting is planned for Sunday, May 30, Lord willing, following the evening service.
- The Consistory of Wingham PRC announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), S. Regnerus (Lynden PRC, WA), and M. De Boer (Edgerton PRC, MN). UPDATE: By virtual ballot last week the congregation voted to call Rev. R. Barnhill.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. J. Holstege in Byron Center PRC; Rev. A. Brummel in Crete PRC (IL); Rev. K.Koole and Prof. R.Cammenga in First PRC-Holland; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. D.Holstege in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Mahtani in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. C.Haak in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need.
May we also continue 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, meaning that the church's in-person worship and other meetings are suspended for the time being. May the Lord encourage their hearts during these difficult times and soon open the way for them to gather in person again.
- 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...
Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville MI, host of this year's PRC Synod
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- Pulpit supply for Covenant ERC, Singapore: The Smidstras have finished their quarantine in Singapore (May 20) and pastor will be leading the services in person starting today.
- PRC Synod 2021: Pre-Synodical Service will be held on Monday evening, June 7, at 7:00 P.M. in Georgetown PRC. Rev. R. VanOverloop will preach the sermon. Synod will begin its 2021 meetings on June 8, at 8 A.M. in Georgetown PRC. Seminary graduation will take place, D.V., on Thursday, June 10 in Georgetown PRC, at 7:30 P.M. Prof. D. Kuiper will give the address.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary has concluded her second semester and has entered 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 seminary will be open daily during the spring and summer, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5).
- Senior student Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore) plans to be examined at the PRC Synod beginning on June 8 in Georgetown PRC. Seminary graduation will take place, D.V., on Thursday, June 10 in Georgetown PRC, at 7:30 P.M. Prof. D. Kuiper will give the address.
- 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.
- With joy the faculty announces that it has licensed student Matthew Koerner (sophomore) to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training.
- Work has begun on the Spring 2021 issue of the PRTS Journal is available. 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.
The latest issue of Salt Shaker is out! *See note below
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: We are very thankful to God that Rev Smidstra could bring us God’s Word last Sunday. God is indeed good to us in providing our pulpit supplies through Rev Smidstra. Do pray for his ministry in our midst. We are thankful that the Lord has given the Smidstras grace and perseverance to serve their extended Stay Home Notice and they are now residing in the Bishan Park Condominium. The Lord willing, Rev and Mrs Smidstra will be in our midst until 23 August 2021.
- CERC has also returned to increased covid restrictions due to an increase in cases in the country. The congregation is divided into 4 groups (50 persons are allowed) that will rotate for in-person services. All other church meetings are suspended or will be held online. Let us remember them in prayer during this time.
- 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. Rev. M. McGeown was to preach there today. The CPRC bulletin today contained this good news on Rev. McGeown's immigration meeting: Rev. McGeown has received notification of an appointment for the US I-130 immigrant visa on 24 June in Dublin. This is about a month earlier than the scheduled non-immigrant visa appointment of 27 July.
- The April issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" was recently published - be sure to make it part of your reading!
- 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. From last week's bulletin we find this good news: The government has relaxed restrictions so that we are now permitted to gather again for public worship. We are thankful to our heavenly Father for this development. “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Ps. 122:1).
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The latest Philippine Newsletter may be found here.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe is vacationing for two weeks. In his absence Revs. D.Kleyn and R.Smit will lead the services. 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 Ecija will join us in our worship services via live streaming at Facebook live, Lord willing.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R. Kleyn will preach for us today, the Lord willing. The live streaming of our services will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page.
- It is with sadness to learn that the PRC Bulacan withdrew their membership from the PRCP on last Sunday, May 16, 2021. Let us pray for them. And let us pray that God will continue to preserve our denomination togrow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- PRCP Seminary News: The seminary completed its classes for this current school year and the students have taken their exams.
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!
- 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 3:7-12 and titled "The Pressures of Jesus' Ministry."
- 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. Have you listened lately?
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Does it matter how we worship God? Read this resource to find out why it does.
- 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.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
No, Jesus is not with them anymore. He comforted their hearts while He was among them.
But another comforter had come: the Holy Ghost.
And He had come as the fulfillment of prophecy. Christ had promised them in John 14:16: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever."
Comforter! That name is significant. In the original Greek it means one who is called alongside in order to defend: an advocate, a lawyer for the defense.
And it tells us in what sense the Holy Spirit is the comforter of God's people.
Christ is still our comforter, but He is in heaven. And there He is our advocate with the Father. He has entered in the heavenly tabernacle, behind the veil, and there He applies His great work of redemption.
And He does so on the basis of the cross, His substitutional work of salvation for all those that are the given of the Father.
But the Holy Ghost represents the cause of God and of Christ with us. Christ had said that He would not leave us comfortless, and hence, He had sent the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so that He could plead the cause of God before the court of our conscience.
Already in the Old Testament He had done so in the objective sense of the word. The entire Old Testament Scriptures is the product of the Holy Spirit. It is the revelation of the cause of God in Christ. And in the New Testament we find the completed image of Christ through the apostles' testimony.
But the Holy Spirit also does this subjectively in our hearts.
By nature we never embrace this cause of God in Christ: we are enemies of it.
But when the Holy Spirit comes with this testimony we needs must submit to it: it is irresistible. And we are regenerated by it; we are recipients of new eyes, ears, understanding, in short, we receive spiritual sense organs by which we are able to lay hold of the entire cause of God in Christ, and are wonderfully comforted.
Taken from a meditation on John 14:16 by Rev. Gerrit Vos