The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, October 18, 2020, the forty-second Lord's Day of this year.
- Today it was announced that Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) declined the call from Hudsonville PRC. May the Lord continue to care for this flock and supply all their needs while they wait for the Great Shepherd to give them another undershepherd.
- Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) is considering the call to Wingham PRC (received Sept.28). He plans to answer by next Sunday, October 25.
- The Consistory of Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor. It consists of Revs. J. Smidstra (First PRC, Holland), A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC).
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J. Smidstra in Cornerstone PRC; Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. W. Langerak in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. R.Dykstra and Rev. G.Eriks in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. D.Noorman in Providence PRC. What a blessing that our PRC federation gives such help to these churches! May we also bring to the throne of grace the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot have pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions).
- Let us not forget to pray for the needs of Rev. J. Marcus, who awaits a call to the churches; of Rev. M. McGeown, who awaits permission to enter the States to be installed in Providence PRC; and of Covenant ERC, our sister church in Singapore, as she awaits both pulpit supply from the PRC and a call for minister-on-loan through Grandville PRC - both on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Did you know that:
- Missionary-pastor D.Holstege marked 10 years in the ministry this past week? This from Doon PRC's bulletin today: This past week marked 10 years of our missionary, Rev. Holstege, serving in the gospel ministry. He was ordained into the ministry on October 14, 2010, as pastor of the Holland PRC congregation in Zeeland, MI, and was installed as our missionary to the Philippines on July 1, 2016. We give thanks to Jehovah for His covenant faithfulness and grace in the life and ministry of Rev. Holstege, and pray that He would give to Rev. Holstege many more years of faithful service in the churches, if it be His will. To that, we add our hearty Amen!
- Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) continues to work with pastor Titus with regard to the work in Myanmar and is hoping for a delegation to go in the early part of 2021? This from her bulletin today: Each month there is a video conference with Rev. Titus by the men on the Myanmar committee. Plans for the trip in January, as well as alternate plans, are being discussed. International travel is still restricted. The committee is working on long-term planning and intends to work closely with Rev. Titus in finalizing goals. Let's not forget to pray for this labor also!
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- 2020 edition of the Church Order: The 2020 edition of the ring-bound Church Order book is now available and may be ordered through the PRC Seminary (616-531-1490). As per synodical decision, these books are updated every five years to incorporate new synodical decisions affecting them. In addition to the Church Order, this book also contains such things as the Constitutions of all synodical committees, the Rules of Synodical Procedure, the Explanation of the Rules for Protests/Appeals/Overtures and the denomination's Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. All these are of most practical use to the office bearers. But, all of our families would do well to cultivate a knowledge of and interest in Protestant Reformed church polity. If you already have the six-ring green binder, you need only order the new inserts ($4.00). The inserts with the binder with the 2020 edition is $10.00. Payment can be made to the PRCA after you receive your materials.
A view of the back of seminary this past week - beautiful fall colors abound!
Special PRC Seminary Notices:
- Seminary has now completed eight weeks of its first semester - just past the half way point of the semester. Remember in prayer the professors, students, and staff as they labor for the task of training men for the ministry of the Word. And remember to petition the Lord of the harvest to send us more men who heed to call to serve as His ambassadors.
- The first round of practice preaching was completed this past week. The next round is scheduled for Nov.16 and 23. Pray for the students as they prepare for this vital part of their training.
- The Fall issue of the PRTS Journal is being planned and prepared. In the meantime the Spring issue may be found at the link provided, with plenty of good reading material in it.
- For several years, the seminary faculty have permitted auditors to audit some classes. The presence and input of the auditors has been appreciated. With regret, because of COVID restrictions, the faculty is not inviting any auditors this semester. This decision will be reviewed at the end of the semester with a view to Interim 2021 and the second semester.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore:
- From today's "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin: For the past few Sunday morning services, we are thankful to God for providing Prof. Dykstra to lead us in the worship services and preached the Word of God through online live-streaming. We are also thankful for the technical support from our Audio Teams and Seminarian Marcus Wee in USA to make this online service possible. We can continue to receive the preaching of the word of God this and subsequent Lord’s days.
- And concerning her missionary and his work in Kolkata, India, the CERC's bulletin today has this note: Continue to remember our brothers and sisters in CERC Kolkata Fellowship. We have heard from Pastor Emmanuel that they are presently negotiating to rent a place, close to previous place, for worship. This place is much bigger than previous one. Pray that the Lord will help them to secure this place. Do continue to remember our Missionary Pastor in your prayer as he cares for the saints in Kolkata.
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is the August 2020 one, #61). Read that issue here.
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word to the saints assembled in Ballymena.
- Missionary-pastor M. McGeown continues to preach the gospel in Limerick, Ireland until he can enter the U.S. and be installed as Providence PRC's pastor. Last week he published a new newsletter with important information about what is happening to the group as well as to his immigration process. For that news, visit this webpage. And in this week's bulletin he included this important note: On Wednesday 21 October “Level 5” restrictions will be imposed on the entire country of Ireland: no indoor/outdoor gatherings will be permitted, only essential retail shops will be open, non-essential travel further than 5km from your home will not be permitted; and, of course, no in-person worship services are permitted. These measures will continue until 1 December, DV. Pastor has an immigration appointment scheduled for Friday 6 November in the US Consulate in Dublin. At this stage we expect that the appointment will still go ahead despite the "Level 5" restrictions because the appointment is, we hope, considered "essential." However, we do not know that with any certainty. We commit our way unto the Lord, in whose hand are the hearts of kings. We ask you to bring this matter before the Lord in prayer.
- Be sure to read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" - September 2020!
- PRC in the Philippines:
- With strict government limitations on public gatherings still in place due to the pandemic (Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through October 31), the PRCP pastors and the PRC missionaries carry on with livestreaming of services as well as with online catechism classes and Bible studies. Pray for them and the saints there as they continue to live and labor under these tight restrictions yet.
- PRCP Seminary News: Let us continue to pray for our seminary instructors and students. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). [Provident PRC bulletin]
- The PRCP Classis is scheduled to convince on October 31, 2020 at the Provident PRC Marikina City at 9:00 in the morning. Lord willing.
- The latest PRCP newsletter was published this summer - don't forget to read the August 2020 report!
- Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) will be delivering the messages on the program for the next four months. Today he begins a series on 1 Corinthians with a message titled "Perfectly Joined Together," based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
- Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
Special notices for October:
The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast time on Wednesday evenings at 8PM on WFUR-FM 92.9/AM1570 (Grand Rapids, MI). The RWH will also continue to broadcast at our normal time slot on Sundays at 4PM. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends when you have the opportunity.
The Reformed Witness Hour is pleased to announce that beginning this month we are adding a new broadcast in the Kalamazoo area at 4PM each Sunday on WKPR-FM 105.1/AM1440. We encourage you to listen if you are able, and to promote the broadcast to family and friends.
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM:
Looking for things to read in this month of remembering the great Reformation of the sixteenth century? Check out this section of articles on the website, all devoted to the Reformers and God's work through them in His church.
- Are you desirous 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.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation:
We have in these three verses what the Ephesian Christians were and what all Christians were by nature: totally depraved. This is important to know and realize. How can we have a true conception and appreciation of the greatness of God’s power in salvation? The answer is that we measure it by the depth of sin from which we have been saved. The greatness of salvation is seen and understood only on the backdrop of the depth of sin and death that we were in by nature. We have here an example of how to tell the story with the greatest effect.
Your little boy runs in and says, “Our team won the game, even though key members were sick. It was a close game; the other team was ahead the whole game, etc. etc.” Or your little boy comes in and tells you of the disadvantages, difficulties, hardships, and only then when he had painted the bleak, bleak picture, he finally announces the startling fact, “But our team won!”
The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, instructs the Ephesian believers in the wonder and power of God in their salvation by painting the dread dark picture, “and you being dead by your trespasses and sins.” This spoke of the whole congregation in Ephesus. Each and every one of them had been dead. But not only they, but we also: all Christians who read this letter. This was all the churches in Asia Minor and is the church today!
...I cannot end this meditation on this hopeless condition. Paul goes from the past tense in these verses to the present tense. We were dead, once walked in sin, and were by nature children of wrath. “But God…hath quickened us together with Christ” (verses 4 and 5). This is the gospel! This truth of our depravity must humble us and make us extremely thankful that God did not leave us in our sins.
From one of Rev. A. Spriensma's meditations on Ephesians 1 this past week, "Our Dark Past: What We Were."