Today, April 12 - Resurrection Sunday! - is the fifteenth Lord's Day of 2020; we may note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Without the resurrection from the dead, all else [Christ did] would be defective....For seeing that in the cross, death, and burial of Christ, nothing but weakness appears, faith must go beyond all these, in order that it may be provided with full strength. Hence...by faith in his resurrection we are said to be begotten again to a living hope, because by rising again he became victorious over death....For how could he by dying have freed us from death, if he had yielded to its power? How could he have obtained the victory for us, if he had fallen in the contest? ~ John Calvin, Institutes, 2.16.13
- Today is Resurrection Sunday, when the PRC, with true Christians all over the world and in every age, celebrate the glorious rising from the dead of our Savior Jesus Christ. Though we may not be able to gather as congregations in public worship, let us believe and express our unity in our risen Lord by worshiping Him in our homes. Let us confess together, "The Lord is risen indeed!"
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. (Rev.5:11-14)
- These PRCs are live-streaming sermons today (and for the time being). You are encouraged to worship with one of these congregations: Calvary PRC at 9:30 AM and 6 PM CDT; Crete PRC at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM CDT; 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; Grace PRC at 9:30 AM and 5 PM EST; Hope PRC-GR at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM (EST); 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); 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 April 5 Rev. M. McGeown (Limerick, Ireland mission) announced his acceptance of the call to Providence PRC (Hudsonville, MI). We rejoice with them in this gracious provision of a new undershepherd to lead and feed them with the Word of God.
- The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. C. Haak, J. Mahtani, and M. McGeown. The congregation will be voting online on Monday evening, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Mahtani has received this call.
- The Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) has formed a trio consisting of Rev. C. Griess (First PRC-GR, Rev. J. Mahtani (Grandville PRC), and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). The congregation is to vote by ballot by April 14. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Mahtani has received this call.
- The Council of Unity PRC formed the following trio from which to call her first pastor: Revs. E.Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), J. Mahtani (Grandville PRC), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC). A congregational meeting is scheduled for April 15. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Mahtani has received this call.
- Rev. J. Laning (Hull PRC, IA) is considering the call from First PRC, Edmonton. He plans to answer on or before April 19.
- Grandville PRC has 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).
- First PRC of Edmonton has released their pastor, Rev. John Marcus, and announce that he is now available for call within the PRC.
- The Council of Grandville PRC announces to the churches that Rev. J. Mahtani is eligible for a call on April 1, 2020.
- Did you know... that
- the entire collection of Psalm Choir videos and CDs are 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.
- Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) is holding an online Easter Singspiration tonight? Join in if you wish! It begins at 7 p.m. EST
PRC Seminary News:
- The seminary was on Spring break this past week. Online classes resume this week (see next note). Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, seminary is open only for essential operations at this time. No auditors or visitors should come until the restrictions are lifted. The staff can try to assist you with any needs, however. Call or email the seminary with your important needs.
- Due to the extended "stay-at-home" order from our governor (now through April 30), the faculty and students have switched to all online classes until the restrictions are lifted. Some classes are using previously recorded videos and receiving assignments via email, while other classes are being livestreamed using Zoom. So far this has worked well and we are thankful to be able to continue in this way.
- We express our sincere sympathies to our student Josiah Tan and his family, whose mother passed away this past Saturday (April 11) in Singapore (a member of our sister chruch, Covenant ERC). The wake is today and her funeral tomorrow. May the Lord updold them in His kindness and comfort them with the gospel of Jesus' victorious resurrection.
- Work has begun on the Spring 2020 issue of the PR Theological Journal. Though we may have to wait for the print edition under the present circumstances, the seminary will produce and post the digital copy as soon as it is ready.
Let us remember to pray for our fellows saints in every land and place, including in our sister churches (this is Provident PRC, the Philippines)!
- Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
- From her bulletin today:
In the providence of God that we do not have a minister and the authority has imposed stricter COVID-19 measures, we did not commemorate Good Friday with our usual gospel meeting in church this past Friday. Nevertheless, our hearts rejoice with the truth that Jesus’s death has accomplished our salvation as affirmed by our Belgic Confession Article 20.
And today on Resurrection Sunday, we commemorate and rejoice again at this wonderful and mysterious event of the resurrection of Jesus, when the angel spoke these words to the women at the tomb, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said” (Mat 28:6). These are words of victory, for our Lord Jesus Christ has defeated death, our last enemy, as He rose from the dead; and thus these words become our comfort and assurance of our salvation.
- The February 2020 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.
- A new issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available. Find the March 2020 issue here.
- Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, the following may be noted:
- From last week's bulletin: The arrangement for the CPRC Sunday services today is the same as the last 2 weeks: livestreaming a streamlined meeting with only prayer and exposition of the Word on video (https://cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/) at 11AM and 6PM. During this difficult time when we are unable to meet together, may we confess with the Psalmist, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” (Ps. 84:2).
- Read the latest CPRC newsletter - February 2020!
- Read the new March 2020 issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"!
- Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, the following may be gleaned from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, 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.
~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit, our Missionary will lead us in both Worship Services live stream via Facebook: Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
~ Provident PRC: The elders have sent links to two worship services for today. The first is from Lynden PRC in the state of Washington. Rev. Stephan Regnerus is the pastor there. We will hear the word of God from him concerning the resurrection of our Lord. The second service is from Zion PRC (Prof. Russ Dykstra). Rev. D. Holstege gave a Good Friday message on “Salvation in the Cross of Christ” last Friday night on Zoom for the Bible study of Rev. John Flores (PRCB). The message was recorded, so if anyone would like to hear it, just follow the link below. The message begins about 50 minutes into the video.
~ PRCP Seminary: Classes resume this week, though they are all given long distance.
~ The most recent mission newsletter (January 2020) was published and distributed in February.
~ 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.
Is Jesus truly risen, and what is the benefit of His resurrection? Read this resource to learn more.
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.
- Are you looking for good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.
Due to printing restrictions related to COVID-19, the RFPA is temporarily unable to print and distribute hard copies of The Standard Bearer. Once these restrictions have been lifted, the RFPA will print and mail out all postponed issues of the magazine. In the meantime, these issues will be available for free online as they are produced. You can find the April 15 issue at https://rfpa.org/pages/the-standard-bearer
- Llisten 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 delivered a series on prayer. Today's message is a special Easter one titled "Now Is Christ Risen," based on 1 Corinthians 15:20. 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!
*A new issue has been released - see below!
ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:
- 2020 PRYP's Convention News! Registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention opened on Monday, March 16!
- Young Men's Conference postponed! GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", scheduled for Saturday morning, April 25 has been put on hold for now.
- Colorado Retreat: Save the date August 3-6, 2020 for a young adults retreat in Colorado!
- *A new issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shaker, is available. Find the March 2020 issue here.
Pastor Paulraj bringing the word to the children of Grace Foster Home, Vellore, India (Sunday, April 5)
PRC MISSION NEWS:
- 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.
- Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
- Rev. M. McGeown led the services today. Last Sunday he announced his acceptance of the call to Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI.
While the “lockdown” continues, we shall attempt to conduct our meetings electronically. Let us cry out to God to restore the means of grace to us: “My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth for the living God” (Ps. 84:2). Bible Study: Tuesday 8 PM by video conferencing beginning at James 4:8.
- (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. Rev. McGeown will likely stay in Limerick for the next six months and will then, the Lord willing, move to the United States. 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.
We remember in prayer the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines, especially in these difficult days of quarantine. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.
- Let us pray for our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.
Rev.Titus in Myanmar using multiple apps to livestream messages and Bible lessons
- We also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar. From Hope's bulletin last week we were given this update concerning things in that country at present:
Rev. Titus reports that life in Myanmar right now concerning the coronavirus is nearly identical to what we are experiencing. They have economy shutdown and stay-at-home orders similar to what we have. Worship services and related church activities have been canceled. Men of the congregation are out of work or unable to go to work while this situation persists. Rev. Titus is working hard on his studies and translation work. Your committee was able to meet together yesterday along with Rev. Titus via a Zoom meeting application that allows us to video conference together from our own homes with our computer or tablet. We are thankful to the Lord for the provision of this means to continue in gospel labors within his kingdom. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Ps. 55:22).