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Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Writing Contest Winners

The winners of the HC Writing Contest who were present Friday night.At the Friday night session of the PR Seminary's recent Heidelberg Catechism conference (October 17-19, 2013) the winners of the Writing Contest were announced, but only seven of the fifteen award winners could be present (see the picture). And while the others were acknowledged that night, it is also fitting that the entire group be recognized here, while also noting the categories in which they were awarded. We extend our hearty congratulations to all these winners, as well as expressing our appreciation to all those who entered the contest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Junior High (grades 6-8)

Brett Kalsbeek (Hope PRC, GR)
Jori Baas (SW PRC)
Allen Kalsbeek (Hope PRC, GR)

High School (grade 9-10)

Lorraine Smit (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA)
Kelsey Kuiper (Faith PRC)
Rachel Rutgers (Hope PRC, GR)

High School (grades 11-12)

Elizabeth Ensink (Trinity PRC)
Gwen Van Baren (Crete PRC)
Leah Marcus (First PRC, Edmonton)

Post-High/College

Dale Schipper (SW PRC)
Sara Doezema (Hope PRC, GR)
Stephen Mulder (First PRC, Edmonton)

Adult

Sarah Mowery (Loveland CO PRC)
Shirley Casemier (First PRC, Holland)
Rick Noorman (Faith PRC)

Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Conference: Saturday's Closing Session

PA193712Saturday morning was the closing session of the HC Conference held at Hudsonville PRC. Once again there were two great speeches, with Rev.Angus Stewart of the Covenant PRC of Ballymena, N.Ireland going first and speaking on the irenic/polemical nature of the HC. Explaining these two terms, Rev.Stewart taught us that the catechism could be called a "war and peace" manual, since it teaches us both how to battle against the errors that oppose the Reformed faith (from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism to Anabaptism) as well as how to maintain true peace in the church - unity in the truth of the gospel. To listen to pastor Stewart's message, visit this page at Hudsonville PRC's Sermonaudio site.

 

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Prof.R.Dykstra closed out the conference by addressing us on the HC’s teaching on God’s covenant. Proving that the HC is firmly grounded in the biblical and Reformed doctrine of God's sovereign covenant, even though it is only mentioned specifically four times, Prof.Dykstra also showed us the nature of this covenant doctrine: not an agreement but a relationship of friendship; not conditional but unconditional; not general (for all) but particular (for the elect). In other words, the covenant doctrine found in the HC is that of sovereign grace! And he showed us how this was in harmony with what the chief writers of the HC, Ursinus and Olevianus, openly taught, both before and after the HC was written. To listen to Prof.Dykstra's speech, visit this page at Hudsonville PRC's Sermonaudio page.

Even though the numbers were a little less for this session, we still had a good crowd, and we learned afterward that over 200 people were also listening on the live-stream! All of the speeches were also video-taped and the videos will be made available in the near future.

If you wish to find all the conference speeches in audio in one place, visit this special Sermonaudio page.

Hudsonville PRC proved to be a most gracious host for the conference and all those involved in its planning and preparation are to be thanked for all their hard work in making this PR Seminary-sponsored conference a big success.

More pictures from the final day:

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Sem. Stephan Regnerus mans the Seminary tables.        Our German guests with their gifts of facsimile editions of the 1563 HC.

Seminary Heidelberg Catechism Conference: Friday Night's Session

Last evening (Friday) was another great night as the PR Seminary’s Heidelberg Catechism Conference entered its second day. We had another good crowd (600+) and another 200 “attendees” through the live-stream – wonderfully encouraging!

BGritters_small-448x222The speeches were again outstanding – instructive and inspirational!Prof.B.Gritters instructed us in the history and benefits of HC preaching, showing that HC catechism preaching in Reformed churches has a long and noble history (introduced only a few years after the HC itself was published). But in defense of HC preaching he also showed us that catechism preaching itself goes all the way back to the time of Ambrose in the 4th century! And the benefitsof HC preaching? Prof.Gritters provided eight precious blessings of good HC preaching. To find out what those are, listen to his speech, which may be found here at Hudsonville PRC’s Sermonaudio page.

haak_smallRev.C.Haak (Georgetown PRC. Hudsonville, MI) gave a powerful speech on the HC’s view of the Christian life as one of gratitude. With clear proofs from Scripture and the catechism he demonstrated that the HC captures the true meaning – even the heart – of the Christian life when it teaches that the whole of our conduct is to be motivated by thankfulness to God – all because of His sovereign grace to us in Jesus Christ. Pastor Haak gave us the quote of the night when he repeatedly defined this gratitude as “the echo of praise reverberating in the chambers of the heart which knows its redemption and renewal by grace”.  You may listen to Rev.Haak’s message too on Hudsonville’s Sermonaudio page.

The winners of the HC Writing Contest who were present Friday night.

 

The winners of the HC Writing Contest were also announced last evening. Scott Van Uffelen, one of the four judges (along with Sue Looyenga, Liz Griess, and Trisha Haak), described the process of judging the 80+ entries and the joy of reading the essays. The entries revealed not just good writing but minds and hearts in love with the gospel found in the HC. Without revealing all of them just yet (some of the out-of-staters and Canadian winners have to be contacted yet), we can give you this picture of the local winners who were in attendance last evening (Back row -l-r: Sirley Casemier, Kelsey Kuiper, Dale Schipper, Rick Noorman; Front row - l-r: Allen Kalsbeek, Brett Kalsbeek, Sara Doezema, Scott Van Uffelen).

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few additional pictures from the evening.

Friday's full fellowship room!

Friday’s full fellowship room!

Gary VDS (Credo Books) & Josh Engelsma going over books

Gary VDS (Credo Books) & Josh Engelsma going over books

Aaron Lim helps staff the Seminary display table

Aaron Lim helps staff the Seminary display table

Specials guests from Mason, MI display the HC in Burmese translated by Rev.Titus

Specials guests from Mason, MI display the HC in Burmese translated by Rev.Titus

Great Start to PR Seminary's Heidelberg Catechism Conference!

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The PR Seminary had a great start last evening to its conference celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563-2013). And tonight we anticipate a great continuation of the conference!

Thursday night we had a fabulous crowd of people - it even over-flowed the sanctuary of Hudsonville PRC - and we learned that there were over 230 people who tuned in to the live-stream broadcast - amazing! We here at the Seminary and the committee of Hudsonville PRC were greatly encouraged by the turnout.

Dr.J.Klautke, professor at the Academy for Reformed Theology in Hannover, Germany and pastor of the Confessing Evangelical-Reformed congregation in Giessen, Germany, and Prof.R.Cammenga of our Seminary both gave stirring messages, covering respectively the history and purpose of the HC and its grand theme of comfort. These two speeches have already been posted on Hudsonville's Sermonaudio page, so click on the link to download and listen to these.

Dr.J.Klautke delivering his speech on the history and purpose of the HC

Afterward the audience mingled freely in the spacious fellowship room of Hudsonville PRC, enjoying tasty refreshments, good fellowship, edifying displays, and plenty of good books and literature.

Tonight the Conference continues with a special pre-conference music (piano) program by Bryan Westra, a member of our SW PRC (6:45 p.m.). Then Prof.B.Gritters of our Seminary will deliver a speech on systematic HC preaching and Rev.C.Haak of Georgetown PRC on the HC's view of the Christian life as gratitude. In addition, tonight the winners of the HC Writing Contest will be announced and awarded - 15 total from 5 different categories. Once, again, a special night is planned and we hope that you are able to join us at this significant and stimulating event.

But in case you cannot be there, tonight's session will also be live-streamed through Hudsonville's website. Make use of this tool too to join us in marking this historic anniversary!

Below are a few more pictures taken at last night's event.

Prof.R.Cammenga delivering his speech on the HC's theme of comfort

Prof.R.Cammenga delivering his speech on the HC's theme of comfort

Attendees of the HC Conference fellowshiping after Thursday's meeting

Attendees of the HC Conference fellowshiping after Thursday's meeting

Visitors to the Seminary display tables

Visitors to the Seminary display tables

Seminary students Brian Feenstra and Nathan Price help at the Seminary display tables

Seminary students Brian Feenstra and Nathan Price help at the Seminary display tables

Special display of the HC in different languages

Special display of the HC in different languages

 

Report of Classis West - Pastor-elect E.Guichelaar Sustains Exam!

ErikG-ClassisWestExam-Oct2013Below is the official public report - along with a few pictures - courtesy of Rev.Doug Kuiper, Stated Clerk of Classis West, - of the meeting of Classis West which met and concluded yesterday, Wednesday, October 9 in Loveland, CO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report of Classis West
October 9, 2013
 
    Classis West held its fall meeting in Loveland, CO on October 9.  The meeting date had been postponed from the usual September date, so that Classis could examine Candidate Erik Guichelaar, who had accepted the call to be the pastor of the Randolph, WI PRC.
    Rev. Allen Brummel chaired the session.  In addition to the thirty delegates from the churches in Classis West, Classis was attended by the synodical deputies from Classis East (Revs. Haak, Koole, and VanOverloop), and by Seminarian Joshua Engelsma, who is doing his internship in Peace PRC.  Many members from Loveland PRC, as well as students from Loveland’s grade school and high school, were found sitting in the pews during the examination.  No doubt their interest in this particular exam was heightened by the fact that Mr. Guichelaar had served his internship in Loveland, CO last year, and several of the students had Mr. Guichelaar as their catechism teacher.
    As part of his examination, Mr. Guichelaar led a worship service on Tuesday evening, preaching from John 12:26 under the theme “For Him Who Would Serve Christ.”  Classis judged Mr. Guichelaar’s exposition to be sound, Christ centered, and edifying.  The text gave Mr. Guichelaar opportunity to witness of his own commitment to serve Christ, and reminded all the delegates that the way to serve Christ is the way of following Him.
    Mr. Guichelaar’s oral examination took all of Wednesday morning.  Various ministers examined him in the six areas of Reformed doctrine, the knowledge of Scripture, the knowledge of confessions, controversy, and practica.  After lunch, Classis unanimously approved his exam, and advised Randolph PRC to proceed with his ordination into the ministry of the Word and sacraments.  The synodical deputies from Classis East concurred with this decision.  Mr. Guichelaar will be ordained and installed in Randolph PRC this coming Sunday, October 13, D.V.
    God be thanked, again, for the gift of ministers - and of this minister in particular!  And, God be thanked, again, for the gift we have in a denominational seminary, and for professors who are diligent in preparing men for the ministry of the gospel!
    In other business, Classis received reports from its stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon committee.  It also approved a classical examination schedule for Doon PRC, the only vacant church in the Classis.
    Crete PRC had requested Classis to designate the fourth Wednesday of September as the date for the regular fall meeting, in part to avoid travel the week of Labor Day.  Classis did agree to try to avoid meeting the week of Labor Day in the future, but still denied Crete’s request, giving Classis more freedom to schedule future meetings on a date which works best for that particular year.
    The expenses of Classis totaled $10,090.84.
    The next meeting of Classis is scheduled for March 5, 2014 - the first to be hosted by Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD, God willing.
RevABrummelErikandCherithG-ClWest-Oct2013
 
Rev.A.Brummel, Chair of Classis, addresses Pastor-elect E.Guichelaar and family following the decision to approve his examination.

Classis West Meeting in Loveland, CO

LovelandPRC2012CLASSIS WEST is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, October 9 hosted by Loveland (CO) PR Church. The main item on the agenda is the classical examination of Randolph PRC's pastor-elect, Erik Guichelaar. For this purpose a special worship service is planned for Tuesday evening, the 8th, at 7 PM (MT). Synod is to be represented at this meeting by three ministers (delegates ad examina) from the East: Revs. C. Haak, K. Koole and R.VanOverloop

Let us remember in prayer the delegates as they travel and carry out the work of the churches in the West and for pastor-elect E.Guichelaar as he is examined. May the Lord be pleased to bless all the labors conducted and the decisions reached.

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