News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, June 7-13, 2020

Philippians 4 7Today, June 7, is the twenty-third Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

We rejoice with those PR congregations and fellow saints who have begun worshiping publicly again, though it still be with tight COVID-19 restrictions (smaller numbers, social distancing, masking, etc.). As more of our churches re-open for public worship and others wait for permission (especially our sister churches and the saints in India), we pray for grace to wait on the Lord and to be content in His way. And may we together - from church sanctuary and from home - through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit continue to worship our unchanging Father, whose grace is sufficient for all our needs.

Psalm 42:1,2,5 - As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

God reveals in His Word and sacraments His great love to us. By faith, we know that love. Faith is a sure knowledge of all that God reveals in His Word, and a hearty confidence, that not only for others, but for me also is by His grace forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and the hope of eternal life. There is certainty because it is Christ that brought me to the banqueting house. It is not I who with a fickle love chose Him. It is not I who by my own beauty allured Him. It is not by my works performed that drew His attention. No, He, by His grace and mercy, sought me and bought me and brought me to His house of wine. By faith, I experience this love and break forth in singing! There is no doubt or fear in the child of God regarding Christ’s love for us. It is certain!

~ Rev. A. Spriensma in "His Banner over Me Was Love," his latest special meditation

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  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, these PRCs are live-streaming services (whether full or partial). You are encouraged to worship with one of these congregations: Byron Center PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM (EST); Calvary PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM CDT;  Crete PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM CDT; Doon PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM; Faith PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM (EST); First PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); First PRC-Holland at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM; Georgetown PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Grace PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM EST; Hope PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Hope PRC-Redlands, CA at 10 AM and 5 PM (PST); Hudsonville PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST; Hull PRC at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM; Loveland PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM MST; Lynden PRC at 10:00 AM PST; Pittsburgh PRC at 9:30 and 5 PM EST; Southeast PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST; Southwest PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 (EST); Trinity PRC at 9:30 and 5:00 (EST); Zion PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM (EST).

  • Rev. J. Mahtani was installed this morning as the thirteenth pastor in the history of Hope PRC-GR (Walker). Rev. C. Haak led the service. Tonight Rev. Mahtani will preach his inaugural sermon.

  • Today Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) declined the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN).

  • Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received May 18).

  • Last Sunday Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) declined the call to First PRC of Edmonton, AB.

  • The Council of First PRC, Edmonton has formed a new trio: Revs. G. Eriks, N. Langerak, and J. Engelsma. The congregation plans to call June 14 from this trio.

  • The Council of Unity PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Haak and E. Guichelaar. A congregational meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2020, 7:30 PM, Lord willing.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC has formed a new trio for minister on loan to Singapore: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC). Due to continued restrictions in Singapore, the CERC has asked that the calling of a new minister on loan be put on hold for now.
  • Did you know... that
    • Hope PRC (Walker, MI) met in Covenant CHS gym today so that the whole congregation may worship and witness the installation and inaugural sermon of her new pastor, Rev. Jon Mahtani, and still maintain social distancing?
    • Zion PRC (Jenison, MI) returned to public worship for the first time today, while Doon PRC (IA) has expanded to two-thirds (from one half) the number of congregants who may attend each worship service?

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

TrinityPRC new sanctuary 2018
Trinity PRC, Hudsonville, MI, host of PRC Synod 2020

PRC Synod 2020:

  • The Board of Trustees and the Council of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church (the convening church for Synod 2020) have been forced to make restrictions on the meetings of the synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches which begins its meetings on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic and the consequent Executive Orders of Michigan’s governor make it necessary to limit the attendance at synod’s meetings to “those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary” (Executive Order 2020-77) to conduct the business of synod, i.e., the delegates, the advisors, the staff of Trinity PRC, the appellants and protestants, which number shall be no more than 35 persons. Those who attend must observe COVID-19 safety protocol. Attendance at the pre-synodical worship service on Monday, June 8, is limited to the delegates, the advisors, the Council members of Trinity PRC and their spouses, but it will be live-streamed. We accept this as the will of our heavenly Father for the meetings of this year’s synod, and ask that you remember the meetings of synod in your prayers.
  • Watch for daily reports on Synod's work at this page of the PRC website.

Sem front May 2020 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has completed its second semester and has entered its spring/summer break. Some of the plans the professors and students had for the summer have changed due to COVID-19 cancellations and postponements, but there are other activities that are hoped can still be carried out. Continue to pray for faculy, students, and staff as they continue their labors this spring and summer.

  • Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted in Michigan, the seminary is open daily for any needs our members and friends may have. Feel free to call or email the seminary if you wish to have your needs fulfilled in other ways.
  • The Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available - in digital (pdf and epub) form only at present. Our printer has informed us that it will be a few weeks before the print edition can be produced. There are good articles on nineteenth-century Southern Presbyterians, Calvin's view of the reward of grace, a plea for biblical languages, and two book review articles besides other book reviews. Check it out on the seminary's journal page!

  • Seminarian Josiah Tan and his family plan to return to the States this week. Plans are for him to begin his internship July 1 in First PRC under Rev. C. Griess.

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • We are now in the phase one of the post circuit breaker period and the authority has not lifted the restrictions on public worship and overseas travel. As these measures continue to affect our pulpit supply, our calling of MOL and coming together again physically to worship, pray that we have a quiet and peaceful heart to wait upon the Lord to bring to pass all these restrictions. Pray that God will sustain us in our waiting and that we put our trust in the Lord and His mercy, knowing that His will is always good for us.
    • Pray for journey mercies for brother Josiah and his family as they leave Singapore for US on Thursday, 11 Jun 20, this week. Brother Josiah will soon begin his internship under Rev. Cory Griess, in First PRC of Grand Rapids. Pray that God will use this internship to further develop his gifts and grant him a profitable experience so as to prepare him for the ministry of the Word.
    • The April 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #59 - was published and posted recently. You may find it on this page.

~ Berean PRC: Rev. D. Kleyn will lead us in our worship services today via live-streaming on our Facebook page. Our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us today in our worship services via Facebook live, the Lord willing.

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both Worship Services live-stream via Facebook . Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. D.V. Metro Manila is under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) [started June 1]. The guidelines are as follows: distancing with Face masks, 21 yrs. old below and 60 yrs. old above still under the 24-hour curfew, for other people the curfew hours from 10:00 PM - 5:00 AM. The permitted transportations are Cars, Pickup, SUV, AUV, Van, and Buses.

~ Provident PRC: Rev. Holstege will livestream for our morning family worship today (https://youtu.be/SnquWdDGMXE). The elders have sent a link to a worship service with a sermon by Rev. Rodney Kleyn for our afternoon family worship.

Next Sunday (June 14), Lord willing, we will have one regular worship service at 9:00 am for those who are able to attend according to the IATF guidelines for modified GCQ. The worship service will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend. Rev. Holstege will preach for us, DV.

The Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class will resume today at 1:30 on Zoom.... All the youth should prepare to join on their computer or other device at home. They will learn Lesson 12.

~ The PRCP Classis is scheduled to meet in our church building this Friday, June 12, but in compliance with the requirements of the GCQ.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

Faith Practice SKey
Do you desire to know more of what the PRC holds to doctrinally and practically? Read this valuable resource to learn more!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you interested in the PRC? Would you like to learn more about her? Are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Psalter 1912 2Psalter music available FREE: the entire collection of Psalm Choir videos and CDs is currently available free. With many PRC members and fellow saints worshiping at home due to the present pandemic, these are a valuable resource. You may find the playlists on YouTube here. And, all volumes of the Psalm Choir CDs may be found here. These too can be used for family or personal devotions, as well as for personal comfort and peace in seasons of fear and distress.
     
  • The Reformed Book Outlet is making plans to re-open soon - stay tuned for details! If you need to place an order or have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will not be answering the phone. Thank you.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Beginning this month, Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home misisonary) will deliver the messages, with a special focus on missions. Today's message is titled "The God-Sent Ones" based on John 17:18. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast, or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.

    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ The Reformed Witness Hour Committee wishes to remind everyone that you can receive their bi-monthly newsletter via email simply by signing up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL.  Each newsletter contains information about places around our globe where the RWH is downloaded; news about the RWH’s witness on the radio and via the internet, printed booklet, and CD and links to many popular and relevant RWH messages.

~ A Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 SS June 2020 cover
June 2020 issue of Salt Shaker magazine has just been released!

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • PRYP Convention News: With heavy hearts Georgetown PRC and the Federation Board have decided to postpone the 2020 Young People’s convention until next year. Due to the current conditions in our country, getting 500 -600 people together in one location does not seem wise at this time. The Fed Board would like to adhere to the guidelines put out by the government and we do not want to have the parents weigh the benefits of sending their child to the convention against the risk of exposing them to this virus. Georgetown PRC is planning to host the convention next year.

  • The newest issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the June 2020 issue here.
  • The Western Young People's Retreat - Update! Lynden and Spokane Young People's Retreat is still being tentatively planned for July 14-17, 2020, at Camp Sanders in Tensed, Idaho. The facility director thinks that the camp will be open and running by then. For registration information or other questions please contact Rev. Rodney Kleyn by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Colorado Retreat: Registration for the retreat is closed! For further updates, please visit our Facebook page Colorado Young Adults Retreat 2020. Pastors Key and Guichelaar will speak for us on II Timothy 1:7, as we learn to be more 'Brave and Bold in the Faith'.

Matthew 28 19 20

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.
    • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, his present travels and activities are quite limited. The ongoing Bible study in Dorr, MI led by our missionary is currently postponed also.
    • But, he has been writing short meditations for the PRC website. You may find those here.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services via live-streaming during the UK's lockdown. He recently accepted the call to Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Plans are being made for him to complete his labors in Limerick and move to Michigan as soon as it is possible, but it could be many months before that happens.
    • A new Limerick RF Newsletter was published last month (May). You may find that here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija (the saints join Berean PRC services via live-stream during this time of confinement).
  • PRC of Bulacan News: The Consistory reports that they have begun public services again in the PR Fellowship in Albuera. Rev. J. Flores plans to lead them by Zoom (morning service only).
  • Maranatha PRC News: 

    The missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occidental is temporarily cancelled due to the Enchancement Community Quaratine. Let us pray that the Lord will end this plague and let His work of preaching and teaching be continued.

  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

We remember in prayer the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines, especially in these difficult days of COVID-19  quarantine. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to carry on as best they can and be encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. The saints in that part of the world are experiencing severe restrictions too, besides a recent locust infestation and more.
  • Let us pray for our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. The body of Christ in that place is also deeply affected by the pandemic. Let's be in prayer for these fellow saints too. This update was in CERC's bulletin today: Likewise, do continue to pray for the saints in Kolkata as they are still in the midst of the lockdown imposed by the Indian government and as they recover from the aftermath of the cyclone three weeks ago. Pray that God will provide all the necessary means for our missionary pastor, Rev Singh, to care for His people in Kolkata.

Myanmar:

  • We also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. Our brothers and sisters here too need our prayers and encouragement as they suffer under coronavirus quarantines and economic hardships.
Read more...

His Banner Over Me Was Love

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

His Banner Over Me Was Love

Song of Solomon 2:4 - “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

 

Many of us have been cooped up in our homes, unable to socialize or worse, not able to enjoy the fellowship of the saints worshiping together in God’s house. Oh, how good it is now that we can once again go to church twice on Sundays.

This book is a song sung between King Solomon and the Shulamite. As they sing together of their great love for each other, they are a picture of the love between Jesus Christ and His church. It is an intimate love, longing for each other and delighting in one another. The bridegroom’s left hand is under her head, and with his right hand he caresses her. He whispers his love to his bride, and the bride expresses her love to him. We have a celebration of Christ’s love for His church and every individual believer personally. “His banner over me is love.”

Can we know this love, not only intellectually but also experientially? Do you know it? We can! He tells us of His love. That is what make worship so joyful. At the beginning of the worship service, He says to his bride, “Beloved.” The gospel is preached, and He tells us that though we are black, we are comely (Chap. 1:5). We are black or dark with sin. We are black with suffering persecution, as one forced to work long under the hot sun; compared to the dwellings of nomadic Arabians in the desert. Outwardly, the true church is not glorious but suffers in this world, especially from hypocrites; yet she has true, inward beauty. She is washed from her sins, delivered from the power of sin, clothed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus.

The relationship between Christ and His people is not merely one of faith or service, important as these are. Believers are loved by Christ , and they in turn, love their Lord. We know that love because the gospel reveals it. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:9,10). We know it through the preaching of the gospel. We know it when we celebrate the sacraments. Oh, how we love coming back again to worship in church!

“He brought me into the banqueting house.” How did he bring us? He chose us in eternity to be the bride of Christ. Christ Jesus suffered and died to purchase us as His bride. By His Spirit and by His Word He draws us to Himself in faith and love. The literal wording in Hebrew for “banqueting house” is “house of wine.” Wine is the symbol of joy, happiness, fullness, and exuberance. The wife of Solomon says, “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love” (Chap. 2:5). This expression means ‘love sick’—being full of and satisfied with His love. This must be the song of Christ’s bride, the church, and every individual believer within her.

God reveals in His Word and sacraments His great love to us. By faith, we know that love. Faith is a sure knowledge of all that God reveals in His Word, and a hearty confidence, that not only for others, but for me also is by His grace forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and the hope of eternal life. There is certainty because it is Christ that brought me to the banqueting house. It is not I who with a fickle love chose Him. It is not I who by my own beauty allured Him. It is not by my works performed that drew His attention. No, He, by His grace and mercy, sought me and bought me and brought me to His house of wine. By faith, I experience this love and break forth in singing! There is no doubt or fear in the child of God regarding Christ’s love for us. It is certain!

But we do not always walk on that high plain, do we? There are times that we wonder and even question His love. The Shulamite woke up in the night and did not find Solomon in bed with her. She stated “I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.” So also, the Church and individual believers at times question, “Where is my beloved?” It seems that He is gone from us, gone from the bed of intimacy. When we walk in the way of sin, we will not experience God’s favor or love. He will seem far from us, just as we do not feel the sun’s light and warmth when a cloud covers it.

David surely experienced this when he was walking in sin. By withdrawing from us, Christ causes us to seek Him, to seek Him diligently.

How delightful is knowledge of Christ’s love for His bride, the church: more lovely than the earthly love of a husband for his wife. We read in vs. 5 and 6, “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.” The result of knowing Christ’s love is comfort, satisfaction, joy, and peace. Completely satisfied, more so that any other comfort can bring. We go up to God’s house feasting, feasting on Christ Jesus in the word preached and the sacraments portrayed and enjoyed. May you and I be overwhelmed as we worship and live before Him.

Read The Song of Solomon. The expressions used in this wonderful book speak of physical love and describe the gestures and attitudes that are familiar to us in our human understanding of marital love. God has seen fit to represent His love for His people in the institution of marriage (Eph. 5:22-33). Yet the love of God in Christ Jesus transcends all earthly relationships. His love is eternal, infinite, and unchanging.

Experiencing Christ’s love for us, my we sing:

Thy love to me, O Christ, Thy love to me,

Not mine to Thee I plead, Not mine to Thee.

This is my comfort strong, this is my joyful song,

Thy love to me, thy love to me.

 

Thy record I believe, Thy word to me;

Thy love I now receive, full, changeless, free-

Love from the sinless Son, Love to the sinful one,

Thy love to me, Thy love to me.

 

 

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, May 31-June 6, 2020

John 14 16Today, May 31, is the twenty-second Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

Today is also Pentecost Sunday, the day we mark our ascended Lord's gift of the Holy Spirit (and all the riches of His grace) to us His church and people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. May we celebrate this event with the joy of the Spirit, magnifying our Savior for all the treasures of salvation He has obtained for us and bestowed on us through His Messenger.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. ~ John 14:16-18

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We rejoice with those PR congregations and fellow saints who have begun and may begin worshiping publicly again, though it be with tight restrictions yet (smaller numbers, social distancing, masking, etc.). More of our churches are beginning for the first time today (and in the weeks ahead), while in other parts (Indiana, Iowa, and Loveland, CO, and in Canada, for example) some are continuing with varying numbers of the congregation.

As many of our congregations and fellow believers (including our sister churches in the UK, the Philippines, and Singapore) continue to experience the temporary loss of this freedom, we pray for grace to wait on the Lord and to be content in His way until these restrictions are removed. And may we together - from church sanctuary and from home - through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit continue to worship our unchanging Father, whose grace is sufficient for all our needs.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Now what does all this have to do with Pentecost? Or perhaps we should put the question this way: what does Pentecost have to do with all of this? 

The answer is that it was on Pentecost day that all that we have described concerning the office of believers became reality through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the exalted Christ upon the church. This is pointed to specifically with respect to the office of prophet by the Apostle Peter, according to the passage in Acts 2 which we quoted at the beginning of this discussion. When the Spirit was poured out as the Spirit of the exalted Christ, the prophecy of Joel 2 was fulfilled. The effect was that all God's people became prophets—sons and daughters, old men and young men, servants and handmaidens. And the same was true with respect to the office of priest and king. 

This marked a tremendous change in the life of the church. It introduced something which was heretofore unheard of and never before experienced. We are accustomed to the fact that all Gods people have a three-fold office—perhaps too accustomed sometimes. For that reason, too, we probably do not always appreciate Pentecost as we should.

~ Homer C. Hoeksema in "The Office of Believer and Pentecost"

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  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, these PRCs are live-streaming services today (whether full or partial). You are encouraged to worship with one of these congregations: Byron Center PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM (EST); Calvary PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM CDT;  Crete PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM CDT; Doon PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM; Faith PRC at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM (EST); First PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); First PRC-Holland at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM; Georgetown PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Grace PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM EST; Hope PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Hope PRC-Redlands, CA at 10 AM and 5 PM (PST); Hudsonville PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST; Hull PRC at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM; Loveland PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM MST; Lynden PRC at 10:00 AM PST; Pittsburgh PRC at 9:30 and 5 PM EST; Southeast PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST; Southwest PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 (EST); Trinity PRC at 9:30 and 5:00 (EST); Zion PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM (EST).

  • Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN; (received May 17).

  • Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received May 18).

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) is considering the call to First PRC of Edmonton, AB (received May 3)..

  • On May 3 Rev. J. Mahtani accepted the call to Hope PRC-GR. Lord willing, he will be installed on Sunday June 7, with Rev. C. Haak leading the service.

  • The Council of Unity PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. G. Eriks, C. Haak and E. Guichelaar. A congregational meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2020, 7:30 PM, Lord willing.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC has formed a new trio for minister on loan to Singapore: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC). From the CERC in Singapore's bulletin we find this update: This past week, we have written to MOM to enquire about New Employment Pass (EP) application for foreigners during this COVID 19 Pandemic period. MOM replied that they will not issue any New EP during this time. Session has sent a note to Grandville PRC to request them to put on hold the extension of call for Minister on Loan (MOL) to Singapore. Let us continue to pray that the Lord, for the sake of His church, will bring to pass this Circuit Breaker period so that we can resume to request for a MOL to serve in Singapore.
  • Did you know... that
    • Edgerton (MN) PRC's Evangelism Committee "decided to broadcast the sermon series on the Lord's Prayer on KDWC 99.3 FM on Sundays at 2 PM. A new sermon will be played each week for the next several weeks. Do what you can to let others know about the opportunity to listen!"
    • the Reformed Witness Hour is available on your favorite podcast - Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes? Visit these sites and search for the RWH!

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Special note re PRC Synod 2020: The Board of Trustees and the Council of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church (the convening church for Synod 2020) have been forced to make restrictions on the meetings of the synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches which begins its meetings on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic and the consequent Executive Orders of Michigan’s governor make it necessary to limit the attendance at synod’s meetings to “those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary” (Executive Order 2020-77) to conduct the business of synod, i.e., the delegates, the advisors, the staff of Trinity PRC, the appellants and protestants, which number shall be no more than 35 persons. Those who attend must observe COVID-19 safety protocol. Attendance at the pre-synodical worship service on Monday, June 8, is limited to the delegates, the advisors, the Council members of Trinity PRC and their spouses, but it will be live-streamed. We accept this as the will of our heavenly Father for the meetings of this year’s synod, and ask that you remember the meetings of synod in your prayers.

Front May 2020 3PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has completed its second semester and has entered its spring/summer break. Some of the plans the professors and students had for the summer have changed due to COVID-19 cancellations and postponements, but there are other activities that are hoped can still be carried out. Continue to pray for faculy, students, and staff as they continue their labors this spring and summer.

  • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions (stay-at-home order now entended to June 12), seminary is open only for essential operations at this time. The staff can try to assist you with any needs, however. Call or email the seminary with your important needs.
  • The Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available - in digital (pdf and epub) form only at present. Our printer has informed us that it will be a few weeks before the print edition can be produced. There are good articles on nineteenth-century Southern Presbyterians, Calvin's view of the reward of grace, a plea for biblical languages, and two book review articles besides other book reviews. Check it out on the seminary's journal page!

ProvidentChristianChurch 2014
Provident PRC in Marikina, the Philippines

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • Bro Josiah Tan will bring his last message this morning. We are thankful to God for providing us, our brother to lead in worship and to speak a word of edification. Let us continue to pray for him and his family as he prepares to return to US to start his Internship and complete his seminary training. He will be leaving on 11 Jun 2020. This afternoon service, the elder will be reading a sermon based on this Psalm under the theme “This God is our God and our Guide”.
    • This past week, we have written to MOM to enquire about New Employment Pass (EP) application for foreigners during this COVID 19 Pandemic period. MOM replied that they will not issue any New EP during this time. Session has sent a note to Grandville PRC to request them to put on hold the extension of call for Minister on Loan (MOL) to Singapore. Let us continue to pray that the Lord, for the sake of His church, will bring to pass this Circuit Breaker period so that we can resume to request for a MOL to serve in Singapore.
    • The April 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #59 - was published and posted recently. You may find it on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • Rev. A. stewart continues to lead the services via live-stream.
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
    • Read the new May 2020 issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"!
    • Sadly, given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (in God's sovereign decree), the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference has been rescheduled to (basically) the same week next year. Thus the BRF Conference will not be taking place in 2020. Instead, it is rescheduled to 10-17 July, 2021. Same venue: Castlewellan Castle (http://castlewellancastle.org/). Same theme: Union With Christ. Same speakers: Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning (USA), with John Perkins (England) giving the special lecture. For more on the BRF, see https://www.britishreformed.org/

  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, the following may be gleaned from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live-streaming on our Facebook page. Our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us today in our worship services via Facebook live, the Lord willing.

~ PRC of Bulacan: The consistory began public services again today, with limited numbers of members present per government guidelines. We rejoice with these saints!

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. D.Kleyn will lead us in both Worship Services live-stream via Facebook . Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. D.V. Metro Manila will be under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1, 2020. The guidelines are as follows: distancing with Face masks, 21 yrs. old below and 60 yrs. old above still under the 24-hour curfew, for other people the curfew hours from 10:00 PM - 5:00 AM. The permitted transportations are Cars, Pickup, SUV, AUV, Van, and Buses.

~ Provident PRC: Rev. D. Holstege will livestream for our morning family worship today (https://youtu.be/IrzdVU5XIfM). The elders have sent a link to a worship service of Lynden PRC with a sermon by Rev. Rodney Kleyn for our afternoon family worship. ...The Council has decided to begin regular church worship services again starting on June 14, Lord willing, in compliance with the IATF guidelines for GCQ and with the following arrangement: There will be one church worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.

~ The Consistories of PRCP churches are consulting with one another to convene the scheduled Classis Meeting on June 12, 2020.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

good news afflicted
Do you desire some good gospel comfort in these troublous times? Read this resource for peace and hope in Jesus Christ.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you interested in PRC doctrines and practices? Would you like to learn more? Are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Psalter 1912 2Psalter music available FREE: the entire collection of Psalm Choir videos and CDs is currently available free. With many PRC members and fellow saints worshiping at home due to the present pandemic, these are a valuable resource. You may find the playlists on YouTube here. And, all volumes of the Psalm Choir CDs may be found here. These too can be used for family or personal devotions, as well as for personal comfort and peace in seasons of fear and distress.
     
  • The Reformed Book Outlet is temporarily closed for the safety of our volunteers. If you need to place an order or have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will not be answering the phone. Thank you.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Continuing this month, Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) has some special messages based on the end of Hebrews 10. Today's message is titled "The Necessity of Church Membership" based on Hebrews 10:25. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast, or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.

    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ The Reformed Witness Hour Committee wishes to remind everyone that you can receive their bi-monthly newsletter via email simply by signing up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL.  Each newsletter contains information about places around our globe where the RWH is downloaded; news about the RWH’s witness on the radio and via the internet, printed booklet, and CD and links to many popular and relevant RWH messages.

~ A Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 SaltShakersLogo

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • PRYP Convention News: With heavy hearts Georgetown PRC and the Federation Board have decided to postpone the 2020 Young People’s convention until next year. Due to the current conditions in our country, getting 500 -600 people together in one location does not seem wise at this time. The Fed Board would like to adhere to the guidelines put out by the government and we do not want to have the parents weigh the benefits of sending their child to the convention against the risk of exposing them to this virus. Georgetown PRC is planning to host the convention next year.
  • From the Beacon Lights staff: Due to our printer not being able to print the magazine right now because of COVID-19, we have decided to put the May issue of Beacon Lights on our website, free of charge, for anyone who wishes to read the month’s issue. Visit us at beaconlights.org to read the May issue.

  • A new issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the April 2020 issue here.
  • The Western Young People's Retreat - Update! Lynden and Spokane Young People's Retreat is still being tentatively planned for July 14-17, 2020, at Camp Sanders in Tensed, Idaho. The facility director thinks that the camp will be open and running by then. For registration information or other questions please contact Rev. Rodney Kleyn by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Colorado Retreat: Registration for the August 3–6 Colorado Young Adults’ Retreat has opened at www.lovelandprc.org/retreat. Registration will be open for one month, or until capacity is reached. Post-high young adults are welcome to join us August 3-6 for a young adults retreat in the Rocky Mountains. Pastors Key and Guichelaar will speak for us on II Timothy 1:7, as we learn to be more 'Brave and Bold in the Faith'.

Mark1615 1

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.
    • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, his present travels and activities are quite limited. The ongoing Bible study in Dorr, MI led by our missionary is currently postponed also.
    • But, he has been writing short meditations for the PRC website. You may find those here.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services via live-streaming during the UK's lockdown. He recently accepted the call to Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Plans are being made for him to complete his labors in Limerick and move to Michigan as soon as it is possible, but it could be many months before that happens.
    • A new Limerick RF Newsletter was published this month (May). You may find that here.

    • (From the PRC Contact Commitee) Our sister church, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland, reports that they have decided to close the mission station in Limerick, Ireland that they had been overseeing for the past ten years. ...We submit this disappointment to the good providence of God who is alone wise. Remember the saints in Limerick and Rev. McGeown in your prayers.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija (the saints join Berean PRC services via live-stream during this time of confinement).
  • PRC of Bulacan News: The Consistory reports that they have begun public services again in the PR Fellowship in Albuera. Rev. J. Flores plans to lead them by Zoom today (morning service only).
  • Maranatha PRC News: 

    The missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occidental is temporarily cancelled due to the Enchancement Community Quaratine (now extended through May 30). Let us pray that the Lord will end this plague and let His work of preaching and teaching be continued.

  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

We remember in prayer the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines, especially in these difficult days of COVID-19  quarantine. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to carry on as best they can and be encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. The saints in that part of the world are experiencing severe restrictions too, besides a recent locust infestation and more.
  • Let us pray for our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. The body of Christ in that place is also deeply affected by the pandemic. Let's be in prayer for these fellow saints too. This update was in CERC's bulletin today: Do continue to pray for our brethren in Kolkata as they assess the damage suffered due to the recent super cyclone. Pray for our missionary pastor, Rev Singh as he cares for the saints in Kolkata.

Myanmar:

  • We also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. Our brothers and sisters here too need our prayers and encouragement as they suffer under coronavirus quarantines.
Read more...

A Vision of God's Glorious Holiness

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

A Vision of God's Glorious Holiness

Meditation on Isaiah 6: 1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto the other another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

What a vision is given to the prophet Isaiah! A terrible thing has just occurred. The godly king, Uzziah, had died. What an unsettling blow to the people. Uzziah had kept the wheels of commerce spinning and the walls around the nation secure. Now that he has died, people are wondering whether the good times will continue, whether their nation would be secure. I know that many are asking those same questions at this time in our nation and in the world.

Isaiah is being called to address Judah who is walking in sin. Isaiah’s task will not be pleasant. He must bring a message of God’s judgment and a time of captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem will be destroyed. Israel will be redeemed by judgment! It is not a word that the people want to hear and his message will not be received well at all. Isaiah will endure much opposition and suffering. Isaiah must have the unshakeable conviction that he speaks the word of God according to the mandate of God Himself. The wicked will be revealed as they contradict the prophet and refuse to listen. But God’s true people need to hear this word to be assured of the comfort and hope of his prophecy.

To strengthen this servant of God, he is given a vision of God’s glory! In his vision, Isaiah sees the heavenly temple. God is sitting on a high and exalted throne and the Lord’s garments filled the temple so that there is no place left to stand. Pictured first is the sovereignty of God. In addition, Isaiah sees seraphim, angels of some sort standing above the temple. They are calling to one another, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is filled of his glory.” As Isaiah stands in the doorway, the posts of the door shake and tremble and the room is filled with smoke.

The meaning of the vision centers on God. He is the highly exalted Lord of heaven and earth. He is glorious in His appearance and holy in his nature as judge of heaven and earth. His throne is described in vs. 1 as “high and lifted up.” But that throne is not in a palace, but there in the temple! The idea is that God is present with his people in covenant fellowship. Where the Lord dwells in his royal majesty and glory, there is no room for any other than the exalted Lord. This is still true in your and my hearts. God and God alone!

The glory of God is in all of his virtues, but what is especially brought forth is the glory of His holiness. This is the virtue whereby God is eternal and unchangingly consecrated and dedicated to Himself alone. The word “holy” is repeated three times. It is the Hebrew way of expressing the greatness and superlative holiness of God. It also pictures all three of the persons of the Godhead being full of holiness. As king and judge, He demands that His creatures be consecrated to Him in all that they are and all that they do. With those who are consecrated to Him, He is full of favor, grace, and love. Against all the wicked, God manifests His holiness in wrath and as a consuming fire! That the whole earth may be filled with His glory means that no place shall be left for the wicked.

While this is a glorious vision, it is also frightening. We see that in Isaiah’s reaction, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah recognizes his own sin and unworthiness. He also must go and speak the word of God to a people of unclean lips. What a difficult calling! He must take a message of trouble, of judgment, of destruction and death, and of captivity to others. That message must be brought against Judah.

We also today, as a church, must bring that message to a world in trouble and sin. And in order to do so, we need, like Isaiah, to see God’s glory and holiness and our own sins and unworthiness so that we do not self-righteously exalt ourselves above others. This is true of every child of God.

How wonderful that in order for Isaiah to speak God’s word, the Lord sanctifies him. The live coal taken from off the altar of sacrifice represents the love of God whereby He is appeased by the blood that was shed. That coal was laid upon the unclean lips of Isaiah, and he is told that his iniquity is taken away, and his sin purged. Now Isaiah is fit to be the instrument to bring not his own word but the word of God. The blood of Jesus has been shed upon the cross, so that all those who are His have their sins removed, and by Christ’s Spirit we are sanctified to be instruments of His peace.

God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” May we answer with Isaiah, “Hear I am; send me.” This is a difficult task, because many today, as in Isaiah’s day, do not want to hear about their sin and God’s judgment upon the sinner. But it is also a glorious task, for pointing to ourselves, we declare that there is blood that was shed for the remission of sins. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8). The whole earth is filled with his glory!

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Though the darkness hide thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,

Only Thou art holy; there is none beside thee,

Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

 

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, May 24-30, 2020

Matthew 28 20Today, May 24, is the twenty-first Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.

We rejoice with those PR congregations and fellow saints who have begun and may begin worshiping publicly again, though it be with tight restrictions yet (smaller numbers, social distancing, masking, etc.). Some in Canada and in Michigan are beginning for the first time today (and in the weeks ahead), while in other parts (Indiana, Iowa, and Loveland, CO, for example) some are continuing with varying numbers of the congregation.

As many of our congregations and fellow believers (including our sister churches in the UK, the Philippines, and Singapore) continue to experience the temporary loss of this freedom, we pray for grace to wait on the Lord and to be content in His way until these restrictions are removed. And may we together - from church sanctuary and from home - through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit continue to worship our faithful Father, from whose love we can never be separated.

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  (Psalm 95:1-3)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

Our text is part of a song, sung by God’s people. It reflects upon the coming day of God’s deliverance of His people. It is sung in the midst of troubles that must yet be faced. The theme of the Book of Isaiah is that “Zion shall be redeemed by judgment” (Isa. 1:27). This means that the wicked will be punished, but also that God’s people will be chastised for their own good. How desolate she shall stand in this world. God’s people must be reminded of the deliverance that will be seen and experienced. We hold on to the promise of God that He will build a strong city with salvation as its walls. The gates of that city must be opened up for us that we may enter in and enjoy the security. If the gates are shut, the walls will not be helpful. It is through the Lord Jesus that we have access. The church as a righteous nation enters the city by Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. There we receive perfect safety and will dwell forever.

~ Rev. A. Spriensma, "Peace in the Storm" (one of the special meditations he is writing for the PRC website at present)

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, these PRCs are live-streaming services today (whether full or partial). You are encouraged to worship with one of these congregations: Byron Center PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM (EST); Calvary PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM CDT;  Crete PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM CDT; Doon PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM; Faith PRC at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM (EST); First PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); First PRC-Holland at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM; Georgetown PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Grace PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM EST; Hope PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); Hope PRC-Redlands, CA at 10 AM and 5 PM (PST); Hudsonville PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST; Hull PRC at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM; Loveland PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM MST; Lynden PRC at 10:00 AM PST; Pittsburgh PRC at 9:30 and 5 PM EST; Southeast PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST; Southwest PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 (EST); Trinity PRC at 9:30 and 5:00 (EST); Zion PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM (EST). There are also many audio sermons that you can access on this website for your further use.

  • On May 17 Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) voted to extend a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC). May the Lord grant him the plain knowledge of His will as he considers this new call.

  • On May 18 Rev. C. Haak received the call from Kalamazoo PRC.

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) is considering the call to First PRC of Edmonton, AB (received May 3). We pray for clear guidance from the Lord as he considers this call.

  • On May 3 Rev. J. Mahtani accepted the call to Hope PRC-GR. Lord willing, he will be installed on Sunday June 7, with Rev. C. Haak leading the service.

  • The Council of Unity PRC has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor. It consists of Revs. G. Eriks, C. Haak and E. Guichelaar. A congregational meeting is scheduled for June 17, 2020, 7:30 PM, Lord willing.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC has formed a new trio for minister on loan to Singapore: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC).
  • Rev. John Marcus and his family arrived safely in the Grand Rapids, MI area this past week. As he awaits a call within the PRC, may the Lord give him work to do and contentment in His way.
  • Did you know... that
    • Faith PRC is hosting another online Singspiration tonight at 7:30 p.m.? All are invited to join in and sing praises together to our God and King!
    • the "SB" is back in print? From the RFPA this week comes this good news: We are happy to report that restrictions on printing have been lifted and the three back issues of the Standard Bearer (April 15, May 1, and May 15) have been printed and mailed out this past week. The June issue should also arrive very close to its usual date. While you wait for the hard copies to arrive in the mail, you can still read the three back issues online for free (https://rfpa.org/pages/the-standard-bearer).
    • our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, is writing short meditations for the PRC website - just for these present times and circumstances? Two more were posted this past week (cf. above). Be sure to look them up and read them for your spiritual profit!

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Special note re PRC Synod 2020: The Board of Trustees and the Council of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church (the convening church for Synod 2020) have been forced to make restrictions on the meetings of the synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches which begins its meetings on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic and the consequent Executive Orders of Michigan’s governor make it necessary to limit the attendance at synod’s meetings to “those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary” (Executive Order 2020-77) to conduct the business of synod, i.e., the delegates, the advisors, the staff of Trinity PRC, the appellants and protestants, which number shall be no more than 35 persons. Those who attend must observe COVID-19 safety protocol. Attendance at the pre-synodical worship service on Monday, June 8, is limited to the delegates, the advisors, the Council members of Trinity PRC and their spouses, but it will be live-streamed. We accept this as the will of our heavenly Father for the meetings of this year’s synod, and ask that you remember the meetings of synod in your prayers.

Front May 2020 3PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has completed its second semester and has entered its spring/summer break. Some of the plans the professors and students had for the summer have changed due to COVID-19, but there are other activities that are hoped can be carried out Continue to pray for faculy, students, and staff as we continue our labors this spring and summer.

  • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions (stay-at-home order now entended to June 12), seminary is open only for essential operations at this time. The staff can try to assist you with any needs, however. Call or email the seminary with your important needs.
  • The Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal is now available - in digital (pdf and epub) form only at present. Our printer has informed us that it will be a few weeks before the print edition can be produced.
  • Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2020 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 30th.

CERC ProfRD 2020 1
Prof. R. Dykstra giving a meditation at a fellowship dinner earlier this year in Covenant ERC, Singapore (taken from her last newsletter).

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be noted from her bulletin today:
    • With the phase release of the Circuit Breaker, we will still need to do live streaming of our services until further notice. Pray for Brother Josiah and the elders as they bring the word of God to us every Lord’s Day.
    • Grandville PRC, the calling church for our Minister on Loan (MOL), has indicated that they are now able to call a congregation meeting as the lockdown in Michigan has been relaxed. However, in view of the various measures put up by the Singapore Government to fight the spread of COVID-19 virus, Grandville PRC is concerned how it would affect the calling of the MOL. Pray to this end that God will open doors for the MOL to come to Singapore.
    • The April 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia #59 - was published and posted last week. You may find it on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • Rev. A. stewart continues to lead the services via live-stream.
    • Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
    • Read the new May 2020 issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"!
    • Sadly, given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (in God's sovereign decree), the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference has been rescheduled to (basically) the same week next year. Thus the BRF Conference will not be taking place in 2020. Instead, it is rescheduled to 10-17 July, 2021. Same venue: Castlewellan Castle (http://castlewellancastle.org/). Same theme: Union With Christ. Same speakers: Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning (USA), with John Perkins (England) giving the special lecture. For more on the BRF, see https://www.britishreformed.org/

  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, the following may be gleaned from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live-streaming on our Facebook page. Our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us today in our worship services via Facebook live, the Lord willing.

~ PRC of Bulacan: The members of the congregation continue to worship at home. Rev. J. Flores is doing a short devotional each night via Zoom.

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. R.Smit  will lead us in both Worship Services live-stream via Facebook . Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. D.V. Metro Manila is now under the Modified Enhancement Community Quarantine (MECQ) up to May 31, 2020. Please STAY AT HOME. A number of public transportations are allowed in the City of Valenzuela with corresponding rulesand regulations.

~ Provident PRC: Rev. D. Kleyn will livestream for our family worship at home today in the morning and evening. Morning: https://youtu.be/ZCdE3wAPRi0. Evening: https://youtu.be/dVS5yRE2IJM. The Wednesday Bible study will meet at 8:00 pm. All are welcome to join on Zoom with meeting ID #949-958-1046. We will finish our study of Revelation 7 and proceed to chapter 8, Lord willing.

~The Classis’ meeting of the PRCP will be held on June 12, 2020, that is next month; however, the consistory of each churches is asked to cancel the meeting and will be rescheduled on the available dates either July or August of this year.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

good news afflicted
Do you desire some good gospel good news in these troublous times? Read this resource for peace and comfort in Jesus Christ.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Would you like to learn more about the PRC and her doctrines and practices? Are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Psalter 1912 2Psalter music available FREE: the entire collection of Psalm Choir videos and CDs is currently available free. With many PRC members and fellow saints worshiping at home due to the present pandemic, these are a valuable resource. You may find the playlists on YouTube here. And, all volumes of the Psalm Choir CDs may be found here. These too can be used for family or personal devotions, as well as for personal comfort and peace in seasons of fear and distress.
     
  • The Reformed Book Outlet is temporarily closed for the safety of our volunteers. If you need to place an order or have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will not be answering the phone. Thank you.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Continuing this month, Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) has some special messages based on the end of Hebrews 10. Today's message is titled "Why Go to Church?" based on Hebrews 10:25. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.

    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ The Reformed Witness Hour Committee wishes to remind everyone that you can receive their bi-monthly newsletter via email simply by signing up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL.  Each newsletter contains information about places around our globe where the RWH is downloaded; news about the RWH’s witness on the radio and via the internet, printed booklet, and CD and links to many popular and relevant RWH messages.

~ A Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • PRYP Convention News: With heavy hearts Georgetown PRC and the Federation Board have decided to postpone the 2020 Young People’s convention until next year. Due to the current conditions in our country, getting 500 -600 people together in one location does not seem wise at this time. The Fed Board would like to adhere to the guidelines put out by the government and we do not want to have the parents weigh the benefits of sending their child to the convention against the risk of exposing them to this virus. Georgetown PRC is planning to host the convention next year.
  • From the Beacon Lights staff: Due to our printer not being able to print the magazine right now because of COVID-19, we have decided to put the May issue of Beacon Lights on our website, free of charge, for anyone who wishes to read the month’s issue. Visit us at beaconlights.org to read the issue, which will be published on May 1!

  • The Western Young People's Retreat - Update! Lynden and Spokane Young People's Retreat is still being tentatively planned for July 14-17, 2020, at Camp Sanders in Tensed, Idaho. The facility director thinks that the camp will be open and running by then. For registration information or other questions please contact Rev. Rodney Kleyn by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Colorado Retreat: Registration for the August 3–6 Colorado Young Adults’ Retreat opens tomorrow at www.lovelandprc.org/retreat. Registration will be open for one month, or until capacity is reached. Post-high young adults are welcome to join us August 3-6 for a young adults retreat in the Rocky Mountains. Pastors Key and Guichelaar will speak for us on II Timothy 1:7, as we learn to be more 'Brave and Bold in the Faith'.

  • Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2020 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 30th. 

  • The latest issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available (from Singapore!). Find the March 2020 issue here.

PRF Leyte 2018
PR Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte, where services have begun again (see note below)

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.
    • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, his present travels and activities are quite limited. The ongoing Bible study in Dorr, MI led by our missionary is currently postponed also.
    • But, he has been writing short meditations for the PRC website. You may find those here.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown continues to lead the services via live-streaming during the UK's lockdown. He recently accepted the call to Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. Plans are being made for him to complete his labors in Limerick and move to Michigan as soon as it is possible, but it could be many months before that happens.
    • A new Limerick RF Newsletter was published this month (May). You may find that here.

    • (From the PRC Contact Commitee) Our sister church, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland, reports that they have decided to close the mission station in Limerick, Ireland that they had been overseeing for the past ten years. ...We submit this disappointment to the good providence of God who is alone wise. Remember the saints in Limerick and Rev. McGeown in your prayers.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija (the saints join Berean PRC services via live-stream during this time of confinement).
  • PRC of Bulacan News: The Consistory reports this week that they have begun public services again in the PR Fellowship in Albuera. Rev. J. Flores plans to lead them by Zoom today (morning service only).
  • Maranatha PRC News: 

    The missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occ is temporarily cancelled due to the Enchancement Community Quaratine (now extended through May 30). Let us pray that the Lord will end this plague and let His work of preaching and teaching be continued.

  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

We remember in prayer the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines, especially in these difficult days of COVID-19  quarantine. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to carry on as best they can and be encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. The saints in that part of the world are experiencing severe restrictions too.
  • Let us pray for our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. The body of Christ in that place is also deeply affected by the pandemic. Let's be in prayer for these fellow saints too. This update was in CERC's bulletin today:

We are thankful that God has preserved our brethren in CERCI in Kolkata through the Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan which landed in Kolkata this past Wednesday & Thursday. Rev Singh’s house has sustained some severe damages to the roof of a room and the outside walls of certain parts of the building. Rev Singh managed to contact all the saints and they are all well except one family where the roof of the house was blown away by the cyclone. They are now staying with their cousin near to where they live. Continue to pray for God’s provisions for the needs of our brethren amidst the COVID-19 virus pandemic situation.

Myanmar:

  • We also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. 
Read more...

Peace in the Storm (A Special Meditation)

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

Meditation on Isaiah 26:3,4

Peace in the Storm”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength.”

Our text is part of a song, sung by God’s people. It reflects upon the coming day of God’s deliverance of His people. It is sung in the midst of troubles that must yet be faced. The theme of the Book of Isaiah is that “Zion shall be redeemed by judgment” (Isa. 1:27). This means that the wicked will be punished, but also that God’s people will be chastised for their own good. How desolate she shall stand in this world. God’s people must be reminded of the deliverance that will be seen and experienced. We hold on to the promise of God that He will build a strong city with salvation as its walls. The gates of that city must be opened up for us that we may enter in and enjoy the security. If the gates are shut, the walls will not be helpful. It is through the Lord Jesus that we have access. The church as a righteous nation enters the city by Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. There we receive perfect safety and will dwell forever. The keeper of the city gives protection.

Perfect peace: literally in the Hebrew it is: “Peace, peace.” Isaiah, using repetition, conveys the thought of super abundant peace. God gives supernatural peace to those who trust Him (see also Phil. 4:6,7). This peace is a gift of God. It is the opposite of fear and doubt, anxiety, trouble, conflict, and warfare. It is not an earthly peace or a peace wrought by human hands or treaties. It is a spiritual peace, a peace with God and with other believers.

What a great conflict there was between us and God and between us and our fellow human beings because of sin. God is wrathful with those who contend against Him. Because of their idolatry, Judah is going to be brought down to Babylon. God hides Himself in His anger. But here is a beautiful promise. God will not always be angry. He gives double peace. What good news! There is more peace than all the world can promise or give you. Peace is through the cross of Jesus Christ and the righteousness He imputes to us. There is forgiveness for all our sins. The gospel points us to peace so that we can face all our troubles with confidence. Our peace is in the safety of being children of God, under His protection and care. May we then live in the consciousness of His gracious forgiveness! If God is for us, who can be against us? God reigns over all things and circumstances.

When our conscience accuses us, Satan is busy trying to cause us to doubt our salvation. We know that we are still inclined to all wickedness. But we read in I John 3:20, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” God sees us in Christ Jesus! We face death, and we know that death is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). But when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we have peace, for we know that Christ won the victory over sin and death. Jesus Christ takes His own home to glory.

There is no peace if we are willingly walking in the way of sin and disobedience! Our minds must be stayed or fixed on the LORD. The word “stayed” in our verse means to be propped up, leaned upon. In other words, we are not self-confident. We know our own weakness and sinfulness. We lean upon the Lord like a crippled man leans upon his cane. He cannot stand or walk with out it. We are unfaithful. God is Jehovah, the one who is unchangeably faithful to His covenant for Christ’s sake. He established his covenant, realizes it in Christ, and will perfect it. God sent his Son, removing the wall of depravity and sin. We read in Romans 5:1, “Therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We look, our eyes are fixed upon our God.

When Peter looked at Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. But the moment he took his eyes off Jesus to the storm-tossed waters, he sunk. Christ alone is our peace. May the Holy Spirit work on our minds by the Gospel. There we hear the voice of our Savior. Looking to Him, the fears, doubts, and anxieties of our minds are chased away, and instead there is a calm spirit, joyful peace. When the Lord chastises us His children, we do not doubt His love or power to save. Instead, we see it as His fatherly testing of us and working to purify us and strengthening our faith. Christ is our peace (Eph. 2:14).

So, trust in the LORD. Fix your eyes and mind and heart upon Him. He cares for you. In Him, we need not fear. In Him is all our hope. In Him is all our strength. Trust Him in every situation. The trials of life often bring doubt and anxiety to our minds, but we must cast these off. It is only when our mind and thoughts are propped up upon the Lord, thinking of Him, that we will experience peace regardless of circumstances. What anxieties trouble you? How can you lean upon the Lord?

Open up your Bible. Cling to His promises. Listen to His voice. I do not know which was more troubled: the disciple’s minds or the storm-tossed sea (Mark 4:37ff). They cried out, “Master, carest thou not that we perish? Jesus arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

“Trust ye in the LORD for ever.” Jesus is in your storm-tossed boat. Look to Him in faith and trust. May you hear Him say, “Peace, be still.”

When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; What ever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

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