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April 2014 Seminary Journal - More on the Heidelberg Catechism!

Cover 3 Page 1The April 2014 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal has just been published and sent out to those on our mailing list! This continues volume 47 (#2) and is once again a special issue, containing the other three speeches given at the October 2013 PR Seminary sponsored conference marking the 450th anniversary of the Heidleberg Catechism (1563-2013). For information on the previous issue and the first three speeches from this conference, visit this news item.

Inside this issue are the Journal-adapted speeches of Prof.B.Gritters, Rev.Carl Haak, and Prof.R.Dykstra. Related to these speeches, Seminary librarian, Charles Terpstra, provides a bibliography of recent books on the "HC" added to the Seminary library. And once again there are a goodly number of book reviews, including a significant review article by emeritus professor David Engelsma (see the cover image to the right for more on the contents).

The PRTJ is sent out free of charge to any who wish to receive it. We will gladly place you on our mailing list if you so desire. Contact the Seminary secretary, Judi Doezema (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are interested in receiving the Journal this way. We can also send it to you electronically if you wish to receive it in Kindle or ePub formats (Those versions are also now available for this issue - see the Seminary's Journal page linked below.). We also attach it in pdf form here for your convenience.

If you wish to view and read any past issues, they are all archived at the Journal page on the Seminary's website. There you will also find an index for searching these issues.

April Updates from Seminary Hill

SignThe PR Seminary has a few updates to pass along as we enter this month of April, where the Lord's sure signs of Spring appear once again in West Michigan. 

1. Our next Seminary Journal (April 2014) is back from the printer and was mailed out on Friday, April 25. This issue will have the other three speeches from the Heidelberg Catechism Conference of last Fall, plus some significant book reviews. Look for your copy in the mail in the weeks ahead. If you would like to be added to our mailing list (no charge, although we do accept gifts), contact the Seminary office. The digital copies of this issue will be made available on the Seminary Journal page in short order.

2. The Seminary is now on its final month of classes before final exams. "Pray for us", that the professors and students would have strength to complete our labors and grace to finish well.

3. The two upper-class students, Josh Engelsma (senior) and Ryan Barnhill (junior), besides their normal studies, have stayed busy teaching catechism, leading societies, (nearly finished now) and speaking a word of edification in the churches, which sometimes includes going out of town (Doon, IA, Randolph, WI, Chicago area).

4. The first-year students (9) have just finished preparing and delivering their first sermons as part of their Homiletics class. It was their testimony that making a sermon from start to finish (exegesis to full outline to delivery) was a significant learning experience for them.

5. Our professors also stay very busy with their classroom teaching as well as with leading Bible studies, preaching weekly in the churches, lecturing and serving on denominational committees.

DSCN3694

6. The Seminary recently received the annual visit from the 4th grade class of Mrs.Jane Woudenberg from our Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI). This is always a highlight for the Seminary, and once again their visit was appreciated and encouraging (cf. picture to the left).

7. The professors and students will be on Spring Break from April 7-11. Pray for them that they may experience a season of rest and refreshment before the final weeks of school.

8. The staff will be present normal hours during Spring Break, from 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., so if you have any needs feel free to call or stop by.

9. Finally, as a Seminary "family" we share in the loss of Mr.John M.Kalsbeek, a godly husband, father, and PR Christian school teacher, who with his wife Judy was also the long-time janitor of our facility.  We thank God for his humble service in our midst and express our sincere sympathies to his wife and family (ten children).

Report on March 5 Meeting of Classis West

HeritagePRCClassis West met this week Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, SD.

Rev. Allen Brummel, (Heritage PRC) as the previous president, provided opening devotions. By rotation, Rev.Cory Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA) presided as chairman.

The stated clerk of Classis West, Rev.Doug Kuiper has completed his public report for this meeting. It is attached here in pdf form. A few highlights are as follows:

Voting for various officers and functionaries is always part of the agenda of the spring meeting. Classis appointed Rev. C. Griess to a three year term on the classical committee, reappointed Rev. D.Kuiper and Rev. J. Marcus to three year terms as classical stated clerk and assistant stated clerk, and appointed Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, R. Kleyn, and D. Kuiper to be church visitors for the next year. Assisting these church visitors, if needed, will be Revs. J. Laning and J. Marcus.

Rev. S. Key was appointed to a three year term as primus synodical deputy, and Rev. N. Langerak to a three year terms as secundus synodical deputy. The work of the synodical deputies is to attend meetings of Classis East, when Classis East treats matters requiring synodical approval.

Delegated to synod were the following ministers: Revs. A. Brummel, S. Key, D. Kuiper, J. Laning, and C. Spronk. Alternate minister delegates are Revs. C. Griess, R. Kleyn, N. Langerak, D. Lee, and J.
Marcus. Elder delegates are Alvin Bylsma (Calvary), Jack Lenting (Crete), Jim Regnerus (Doon), and Don Terpstra (Peace), and Leon Uittenbogaard (Calvary). Their alternates are elders Jim Andringa (Hull), Lou Regnerus (Randolph), Dewey VanDerNoord (Crete), Steve VanDrunen (Crete), and Bob Vermeer (Peace).

May the Lord of the church richly bless all the proceedings for the good of the churches.

February Updates from Seminary Hill

Having entered the month of February, we can give you a few new updates from snowy Seminary hill.

1. Prof.B.Gritters (professor of missions as well as of practical theology and NT studies) and his wife, along with elder D.Wassink and his wife, arrived home safely from their mission trip to India on behalf of Georgetown PRC. You will remember that Prof.Gritters is on a partial sabbatical this year. During the second semester he is teaching two courses - Homiletics/Liturgics and NT Exegesis, - while continuing his special work in the area of church polity.

ProfBGritters teaching-Jan2014-1

2. In connection with that sabbatical the Seminary also welcomes Rev.K.Koole, pastor of Grandville PRC. Rev.Koole is teaching OT Isagogics (introduction) this semester for Prof.B.Gritters.

RevkKoole-OT Isagogics

3. Also welcomed back the beginning of this new year is senior Seminarian Josh Engelsma. Josh and his wife Courtney and their three children spent last summer and his 1st semester doing his internship in Peace PRC in Lansing, IL. He testifies to it having been a wonderful experience in preparation for the ministry of the Word. As he finishes his final classes this semester, he anticipates his examination before the PRC Synod in June to be held in his home church of Hope PRC, Walker, MI.

4. Following the special study period in January (and a special educational day-trip to Chicago), the PRC Seminary is now a couple of weeks into its second semester schedule (see also the Seminary calendar at the bottom of its homepage). The professors and students have quickly settled into their daily routine of classes and assignments. The two students licensed to speak in the churches also have practice preaching this semester: Josh Engelsma and Ryan Barnhill. But the first year students are also busy preparing their first sermons this semester (to be delivered in class only).

5. We also have a goodly number of auditors (class visitors) this semester, with people from the Grand Rapids area and even from Kalamazoo taking in Prof.R.Cammenga's NT Hisotry and Dogmatics classes, and Prof.R.Dykstra's Church history, History of Dogma, and Reformed Symbols (confessions) classes. It is a delight to have this interest in the Seminary and a joy to have their fellowship.

Let's remember the Seminary in our daily prayers, for the calling is high, the work is great, and the Lord alone has grace to meet the needs of all of us.

P.S. This important note can also now be included here:

Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2014 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 31st.

January Updates from Seminary Hill

PC243796The PR Seminary is currently on a special schedule due to the postponement of the Interim, which would have met from Jan.6-15, 2014. The faculty has designated this a special time of study preparation for the second semester, with students being given some of their special assignments early so they can begin work on sermons, papers and readings. Continue to pray for the faculty and students as prepare for the start of the second semester, set for next Tuesday, Jan.21.

 

Prof.B.Gritters along with his wife Lori and elder Deane Wassink and his wife Donna are finishing up their work in the region of Vellore, India this week. Yesterday Prof. Gritters preached in both the English and Tamil congregations. This week Prof. Gritters will be teaching Classes for Sola Gratia Study on the Covenant and leading Bible Studies. The delegation will visit the Grace Foster Home, Village Outreach Churches, and seek to grow in knowledge and fellowship with the RCCV. Remember this delegation in prayer as they carry out this work, say their goodbyes and return home on Friday, D.V.

English Bible study - DrRonalds-Jan2014

 

Junior Ryan Barnhill has just learned from the faculty that he will be taking his internship the second half of this year (July 1- December 31, 2014) in Edgerton (MN) PRC under her pastor, Rev. Douglas Kuiper. Edgerton's Council has approved this proposal and over the next few months will be making preparations with her pastor for the coming of Ryan, his wife Miranda, and daughter Mya. Besides involvement in all the aspects of the life of the Edgerton congregation, the internship will afford Ryan the opportunity to be a part of the work of the Foreign Mission Committee and the Reformed Witness Committee. Ryan and Miranda are excited about the opportunity to spend the six-month internship in one of the congregations of Classis West.

DSC 0846

And, finally, don't forget the special invitation that has been extended to visitors to attend selected second semester classes! Visit the link for details and contact information. Hope to see you there!

Report of Classis East Meeting Held Jan.8, 2014

southeastClassis East met on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, in Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids.  The following is the Stated Clerk's public report of this meeting. It is also attached here in pdf form (see below). May the King of His Church bless these decisions for the good of the churches.

Report of Classis East

January 8, 2014

Southeast Protestant Reformed Church

 

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Southeast PRC.  The churches, with the exception of Wingham, were represented by two delegates.  The Wingham delegation was unable to attend because of the weather.

 

Classis did the usual January duty of elections.  The following were elected to serve as delegates to Synod 2014:  Ministers: Primi:  G. Eriks, C. Haak, K. Koole,

W. Langerak, R. VanOverloop; Secundi: N. Decker, A denHartog, M. DeVries,

J. Slopsema, A. Spriensma.  Elders: Primi: J. Decker, N. Kleyn, H. Langerak,

G. VanBaren, P. VanDerSchaaf; Secundi: D. DeMeester, R. Drnek, R. Faber,

M. Ophoff, D. Rau. 

 

In other voting, Rev. R. VanOverloop and Rev. D. Holstege were elected as delegates ad examina to three-year terms as primus and secundus delegates respectively. Revs. K. Koole and A. Spriensma were elected as church visitors with Revs. Haak and VanOverloop as alternates.  Rev. H. Bleyenberg was elected to serve a three-year term on the Classical Committee.  The Stated Clerk and Assistant Stated Clerk were appointed to another three-year term.

 

Classis heard an appeal from a brother about the change of date of the Prayer Day Service by a consistory.  Classis referred this matter back to the committee of pre-advice with the instruction to do further research on and to establish relevancy for the past rulings of broader assemblies on this issue.

 

In other business, classis heard the report of the church visitors.  The visitors reported that the consistories were doing diligent work and that there was peace and unity among the churches.  Classis granted classical appointments to Faith PRC.  The 2015 subsidy requests from Wingham PRC and Kalamazoo PRC were approved and will be forwarded to Synod 2014 for approval there.

 

Classis received a request from Rev. James Slopsema for his emeritation effective July 1, 2014.  First PRC concurred with this request.  Classis expressed its heartfelt thanks for Rev. Slopsema who has served as a capable and dedicated undersheperd in our churches for 39 years, 27 of which have been in Classis East.   

 

The expenses of classis amounted to $147.49.  Classis will meet next on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Trinity PRC.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jon J. Huisken

Stated Clerk

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