News

News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, February 2-8, 2020

Psalms 19 1Today, Februay 2, is the fifth 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:

 For our prayers to appear to be unheard is no new trial: Jesus felt it before us, and it is observable that he still held fast his believing hold on God, and cried still, ‘My God.’ On the other hand his faith did not render him less importunate, for amid the hurry and horror of that dismal day he ceased not his cry, even as in Gethsemane he had agonized all through the gloomy night. Our Lord continued to pray even though no comfortable answer came, and in this he set us an example of obedience to his own words, ‘men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ No daylight is too glaring, and no midnight too dark to pray in; and no delay or apparent denial, however grievous, should tempt us to forbear from importunate pleading” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon (Treasury of David, vol. 1, p. 325).

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) has been considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (received Jan.5). Today he announced his decline of this call.

  • On January 26 Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) received the call from Kalamazoo PRC. We pray for God's clear guidance for him as he considers this call.

  • On Jan.19 Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) accepted the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB).

    "Rev. Heath Bleyenberg and his wife Deb are busy making preparations for their move to our congregation.  The paperwork is started here and details are being worked out on their end.  They hope to be able to join us Lord willing, in the latter part of March.  May we continue to thank the Lord for his tender mercies and unfailing love towards us as a congregation in providing a shepherd for us." (Her bulletin today)


    Rev. E. Guichelaar is bringing the word there today and next week as part of a classical appointment.
  • Rev. M. DeBoer is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton again today. Let us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and his family, and that flock there. At the present time, Rev. Marcus continues on a leave of absence from his pastoral duties in Edmonton, but he is available to preach elsewhere in the Protestant Reformed Churches.  Consistories needing pulpit supply are encouraged to contact him. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West Notice: Classis West will be meeting March 4, 2020 at Peace Church, Dyer, Indiana, D.V.  Anyone having material to go before Classis is asked to ensure it reaches the stated clerk, Rev Joshua Engelsma, prior to Monday, Feb 3, 2020.  May our Lord and Saviour grant our delegates all the grace and wisdom needed to represent our congregation.

Prof DK Hermeneutics Jan 2020 1
Prof. D Kuiper teaching first-year students Hermeneutics for the second semester

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now in the third week of its second semester. The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website. Remember to pray for the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of this new semester.
  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area and beyond. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

CERC camp June 2019
Covenant ERC Church camp 2019

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. Ken and Pat Koole left the States this past week to serve the CERC for the month of February. Rev. C. Haak will also make a stop in Singapore on his way back from India and assist Rev. Koole in the annual church visitation on Feb.4.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, Grandville PRC's bulletin contained this note last week: "This past week the appeal made by the session of the CERCS regarding the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani was denied. The Council of Grandville and the Contact Committee are in the process of determining if there are any further options to pursue for Rev. Mahatani to labor in Singapore as a MOL. Please continue to keep the Mahtanis and the CERCS in your prayers at this unsettling time. In the meantime, the Mahtanis are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches.
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC,  the following may be noted:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led Covenant's services today.
    • S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will give a lecture on “The Canon of Sacred Scripture” at Margam Community Centre on Thursday, 27 February, at 7:15 PM.
    • Read the new January 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:

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He is scheduled to do the Church Visitation in Bulacan PRC in the afternoon.

~ Provident PRC: "Rev. Holstege will preach both times for us today and next Sunday, Lord willing."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ 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. One of their students is once again attending the PRC Seminary - Isaac Peters, who along with his wife Bek and four children, are attending Grace PRC while here for his three-year program.

Reading of Law WB 1

Why do the PRC congregations read the law in their worship services? Read this resource for help in understanding the answer.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you perhaps 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.

  • 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Beginning this month Rev. R. Kleyn of the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA is speaking for the RWH. He will be doing a series on prayer, with today's message titled "The Privilege and Necessity of Prayer" based on Luke 11:1. 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:

~ Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ 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 logo

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

  • *A new issue of Salt Shakers magazine has been produced and published. To read the December 2019 issue (#58), visit this page.

PRCV Feb 2020 1
Pastor Paul Raj leading the PRC worship service in Vellore, India today, which included baptism of three covenant children (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. Today he is preaching in Georgetown PRC and giving a missions presentation after the evening service, "Reaching out to the Nones and the Dones." And this week is also the Dorr (MI) Bible study sponsored by BC-PRC: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, February 6, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 10:9. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown led the services today.
    • S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will give a lecture on “The Canon of Sacred Scripture” at Margam Community Centre on Thursday, 27 February, at 7:15 PM.
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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!

Let us continue to pray for the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. From today's bulletin we learn about the delegation currently there (Rev. & Mrs. C. Haak, Deane and Donna Wassink now joined by the Bruinsmas):

India travel update: Haaks and Wassinks were joined this past Friday by Pastor and Mary Bruinsma, the Bruinsma's first trip to India. We thank God that all were granted admission into India!  Pastor Bruinsma will continue the teaching that Pastor Haak has been doing the last 3 weeks to the area pastors and men interested in the Reformed faith. Brad Kamminga also arrived on Thursday to stay and work at GFH for several weeks. The entire team has been very busy in the work of both GFH and the churches in Vellore. Pastor and Mary Haak travel to Singapore on Monday for a couple days of church work before returning to us on Wednesday, February 5.  Please continue to keep the team in your prayers.

  • We also remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh.

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - January 2020

Covenant Reformed News


January 2020 • Volume XVII, Issue 21



The Two Aspects of Regeneration

We may biblically and helpfully distinguish two stages or aspects or senses of regeneration, also known as the new birth or our being spiritually begotten.

First, there is immediate regeneration. At the very start of His applying to us the salvation the Lord Jesus purchased for us, God plants the seed of the new life of Christ in us sovereignly by the Holy Spirit and apart from any means.

Second, there is mediate regeneration. Jehovah sovereignly uses the means of His Word to bring to manifestation the new life already planted in us. Through the power of the gospel, God brings us to conscious faith in the Lord Jesus and causes us to repent of our sins against His holy law.

Both of these aspects or stages or senses of regeneration are taught in I Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

The prepositions in this Scripture are crucial. First, there is “of”—we were “born again, not [out] of corruptible seed, but [out] of incorruptible.” God places the incorruptible seed of life deep inside us. The second preposition is “by”—we were “born again … by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Both aspects or stages go together in the elect who come to the age of discretion. We were “born again … [1] [out] of [the] incorruptible [seed], [2] by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Herman Hoeksema makes the following fine remarks on I Peter 1:23, explaining its highly significant use of two different Greek prepositions: “The apostle makes a very careful distinction here. This is especially plain from the use of the different prepositions. We are born again, ‘not of [ek] corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,’ and we are born again ‘by [dia] the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.’ By this distinction the apostle means to describe carefully the mode of regeneration. The seed of regeneration, that is, the principle of the new life, is implanted by the Holy Spirit in the heart. From that seed or principle sprouts forth the life of regeneration … through the … living and abiding Word of God [that is] proclaimed” (Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, pp. 30, 31).

Let me now show you four New Testament Scriptures on mediate regeneration, the second stage or aspect of the new birth: God’s use of the means of the gospel to bring to manifestation the inner life immediately implanted in us by the Spirit of Christ.

First, we have Paul’s moving words to the church at Corinth: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (I Cor. 4:15). It is asserted here that the means of our spiritual birth is “the gospel.” The apostle emphasizes the role of the preacher who first brought the regenerating Word to the Corinthians. Paul’s point is powerful: since, by God’s grace, he was the agent whom Jehovah used to declare the gospel which was the means of their regeneration, he ought to have a special, even unique, place in their hearts as their spiritual father: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

Second, Paul speaks similarly to Philemon regarding his escaped slave, Onesimus: “I beseech thee [i.e., Philemon] for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds” (Phile. 10). Again we see the role of Paul the preacher who, while he was in prison in Rome, proclaimed the gospel to Onesimus which was the means that the Triune God used to bring to manifestation the living seed which He had placed in him.

Besides these two references from Paul, we have the statement from Peter quoted earlier: “Being born again … by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Pet. 1:23). What is meant by “the word of God”? The preached gospel: “And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (25).

Fourth, from these three texts penned by Paul and Peter, we now turn to James 1:18, which we considered in the last issue of the News. It also underscores the second aspect or stage of regeneration, God’s mediate regeneration of us by His Word: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

To explain things further, we should understand the two images presented in the verses of Scripture quoted above. First, there is the idea of the “seed” (I Pet. 1:23). With His fingers or Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20), God sovereignly sows the new life of Christ into the heart of His elect (immediate regeneration). Continuing the imagery, the Word of God or the preaching of the gospel acts like the heat of the sun upon the seed, causing it to germinate and manifest its life (mediate regeneration).

Besides the horticultural imagery of the “seed” of regeneration, we have, second, the idea of the spiritual begetting or new birth of a human being. The gospel is like an amazing spiritual midwife. When God’s Word is preached to those in whom the Holy Spirit has implanted new life (immediate regeneration), they are brought to birth in Christ. For the first time, as spiritual newborns and by faith, they hear the gospel of their gracious salvation, they see their glorious Saviour crucified for their sins, they taste that their covenant God is good and they become conscious of their blessed new life in Jesus (mediate regeneration). As baby Christians, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

What a blessed role for the gospel of sovereign grace! It is a spiritual midwife present at the birth, helping the birth and effecting the birth of each new child of God! Rev. Angus Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (6)

The Holy Scriptures frequently deal with the whole human race as a distinct part of an organic unity. Some examples of this organic unity can easily be found.

The human race is an organic unity with Adam at its head since the whole human race is guilty for Adam’s sin (Rom 5:12). The law specifically assumed the organic unity of the family when, in the second commandment, God said that He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children (Deut. 5:8-10). The armies of Israel were soundly defeated by a small group of soldiers from Ai, because in Achan’s sin the whole nation had become guilty, although, in all likelihood, they did not even know of his transgression (Josh. 7). The sin of one man, David, brought God’s judgment upon Israel (II Sam. 24; I Chron. 21).

This organism of the nation is the object of God’s wrath when some in the organism sin and the object of God’s blessing when some live in obedience to Him. In the times when good kings sat on Israel’s throne, God richly blessed the land, even though there were many wicked, something evident from the rebellions of Absalom and Adonijah.

When wicked kings sat on Israel’s throne, God brought famine and destruction from enemy nations; even though in the terrible days of Ahab, there were seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal (I Kings 19:18). The wicked received outwardly the good things Jehovah sent upon the land when the righteous ruled, and the people of God suffered dreadfully when drought and disease destroyed the crops in days of apostasy. God deals organically with nations.

In Psalm 80, the nation of Israel, elect and reprobate alike, is pictured as a vine that God brought out of Egypt and blessed richly. But when they sinned, the wicked brought destruction upon the whole nation, a judgment bemoaned by the psalmist.

In the New Testament, the nation of Israel is once again compared to a vine in John 15. Christ is the vine; God is the husbandman. The entire nation constitutes the branches. The branches that do not abide in Christ are cut off, while the branches that remain in Him bear more fruit because the fruitless branches are pruned away.

This figure is picked up again in Romans 11:16-24. Paul speaks there of the nation of Israel as a “good” olive tree. With the exaltation of Christ, God grafts branches from a “wild” olive tree so that these branches bear fruit. They are the Gentiles, born in a wild olive tree but grafted into the good olive tree.

If I may stray from the main point for a moment, the “natural” olive tree, the nation of Israel, is natural because Christ is the principle of its life. Israel carried Christ within her from the beginning of her existence. This great truth was the hope and blessedness of believing Israel, and explains why Israel’s mothers desperately wanted children, for they then participate in the coming of the promised seed. Compare the prayer of Hannah (I Sam. 2:1-10) with the similar praise of Mary (Luke 1:46-55).

To return to the main idea: Gentiles can be, and are, grafted into the good olive tree from which most of its natural branches were cut out; while believing Jews throughout the entire new dispensation can be regrafted into their “own” olive tree, while Gentile branches, once grafted into the olive tree, can be cut out if they refuse to believe. The important truth here is that the branches are not individuals but generations.

For example, Jews are present in the church of the new dispensation throughout history, if they believe in Christ. But once a “branch” of Gentiles falls away, they are lost in their generations. God does not return to His work once those who were the objects of His grace have, in their generations, forsaken the truth.

North America and Europe once had the gospel as continents. In these modern times, in the majority of their people and their leaders, both have forsaken the gospel and are now in the process of deliberately rejecting the whole of God’s law in approving the most abominable sins. God is taking away His Word in these continents, because they had it and rejected it. He is removing the gospel as the apostate church works more and more with the wicked civil governments, while the number of the faithful grows smaller and smaller, until at last they are only a scattered remnant.

That is why, in our day, by and large, God is removing His gospel from America and Europe, and is moving especially to the Orient to gather His church there.

My wife and I have a daughter and son-in-law working in the Philippines. Cries come from so many places that he and his fellow missionaries cannot answer them all: “Come and teach us the Reformed faith.” Can you imagine hosts of people in America crying out to the Protestant Reformed Churches like this? or the CPRC in Northern Ireland receiving so many calls from groups of people in the British Isles who are begging to be taught the pure Reformation truth of Scripture?

As we have said, the final organism of God’s purpose, realized at the end of time, has as its head Christ, who is the second Adam. Scripture teaches that the new organism has our Lord Jesus, exalted in the highest heaven, as ruler over all (e.g., Col. 1:13-20; I Cor. 15:24-28). Under Him, as the whole human race was once under Adam, are all the elect, who are His body. To this organism belongs the whole world of elect angels, who are under the elect and redeemed church as “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14).

The new heavens and the new earth will be delivered from the curse, transformed by Christ’s atoning sacrifice and given to the elect as their everlasting inheritance. Christ is the head of the creation as the second Adam, whose place He took.

By the resurrection of Christ, heaven and earth are made one. Christ’s resurrection took place both in heaven and on earth—united at the same time. For although He arose from a tomb in a garden, He did not come back to this world—as a misguided minister once said, who wished he had been present with a camera to take a photo—for He broke a new door from the grave that opened in heaven, for all His brothers do follow Him. By the great miracle of the resurrection, He made possible the union of the new heavens and the new earth delivered from the curse.

The history of the world is the history of God in His providence and grace working to attain this purpose. And this purpose is achieved fundamentally through the preaching of the gospel. Prof. Herman Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales
Lecture


The Canon of
Sacred Scripture


All Christians view the Bible as the Word of God but where did the 66 books of Scripture come from? How do we know that these books, and no others, belong in the Bible? Who decided which books are the Word of God? Did the church determine this? Does the Bible derive its authority from the church or from somewhere else? Come to hear an explanation of the Bible, its authority and its relationship to the church!

Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Date:
Thursday, 27 February
 
7:15 PM

Venue: 
Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures
limerickreformed.com

Born for Our Salvation

by Martyn McGeown
(288 pp. Hardback)

 
The nativity story is the message of salvation for, in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God … for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


Practical Christianity: Temptation
 
6 sermons on
James 1:2-17
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 


How are temptations and trials related? What is their source? Is God the author of tempation? What is our heavenly Father’s 
purpose with our trials and temptations? How does James 1 teach us to deal with them and endure them? Why is wisdom necessary in this regard? Learn from these sermons about practical Christianity!

(1) How to Handle Our Various Trials
(2) Asking God for Wisdom
(3) Paradoxical Boasting
(4) Enduring Temptation
(5) The Origin & Goal of Temptation
(6) Every Good and Perfect Gift

£6/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line or
order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 26 - February 1, 2020 *(Updated)

Psalms 25 5Today, January 26, is the fourth 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:

When we treat the keys of the kingdom of heaven, we must always beware of dreaming of any power in them apart from the preaching of the Gospel....Whatever privilege of binding and loosing Christ has bestowed on his Church is annexed to the word.  The whole power of the keys consists in this, that the grace of the Gospel is publicly and privately sealed on the minds of believers by means of those whom the Lord has appointed; and the only method in which this can be done is by preaching (3.4.14).  The promise made concerning binding and loosing refers to the ministry of the Word....For what is the sum total of the gospel except that we all, being slaves of sin and death, are released and freed through redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and that they who do not receive or acknowledge Christ as their liberator and redeemer are condemned and sentenced to eternal chains.”  ~ John Calvin, Institutes, 4.11.1

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Jan.19 Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) accepted the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). We thank the Lord for providing another pastor for our sister in Lacombe and pray for Rev. Bleyenberg and his wife as they bid farewell to Providence.  Rev. J. Laning is bringing the Word in Immanuel again today.

  • On Jan.19 Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) declined the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI).

  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (received Jan.5). He plans to answer the call on or before February 2, the Lord willing.

  • Kalamazoo PRC will vote today from the Consistory's new trio: Revs. R. Barnhill, J. Engelsma, and C. Spronk.
    *Rev. R. Barnhill has received this call.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. This past week they received more discouraging news. According to Grandville PRC's bulletin today, This past week the appeal made by the session of the CERCS regarding the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani was denied. The Council of Grandville and the Contact Committee are in the process of determining if there are any further options to pursue for Rev. Mahatani to labor in Singapore as a MOL. Please continue to keep the Mahtanis and the CERCS in your prayers at this unsettling time. In the meantime, the Mahtanis are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches.

  • Rev. M. DeBoer is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Let us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and his family, and that flock there. At the present time, Rev. Marcus continues on a leave of absence from his pastoral duties in Edmonton, but he is available to preach elsewhere in the Protestant Reformed Churches.  Consistories needing pulpit supply are encouraged to contact him. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West Notice: Classis West will be meeting March 4, 2020 at Peace Church, Dyer, Indiana, D.V.  Anyone having material to go before Classis is asked to ensure it reaches the stated clerk, Rev Joshua Engelsma, prior to Monday, Feb 3, 2020.  May our Lord and Saviour grant our delegates all the grace and wisdom needed to represent our congregation.

MKoerner Jan 2020 1
Sem. Matt Koerner leading devotions this past week

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary began its second semester this past week (Jan.21). The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website. Commit to praying for the faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of this next semester.

  • With seminary's second-semester classes beginning ​January 21, three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (Passion week through the missionary journeys of Paul) and Dogmatics (Eschatology, the doctrine of the last things). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Recent Church History (Synod of Dordt to today). If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490​.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been published and was mailed the end of the year; the pdf and ePub editions are available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area and beyond. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
Remember in prayer the work of the PRCP Seminary

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are completing four months of service in CERC today. They plan to return to the States tomorrow. Rev. and Pat Koole will be travelling there later this week. Rev. C. Haak will also make a stop in Singapore on his way back from India and assist Rev. Koole in the annual church visitation on Feb.4.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, Grandville PRC's bulletin contans this note today: "This past week the appeal made by the session of the CERCS regarding the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani was denied. The Council of Grandville and the Contact Committee are in the process of determining if there are any further options to pursue for Rev. Mahatani to labor in Singapore as a MOL. Please continue to keep the Mahtanis and the CERCS in your prayers at this unsettling time. In the meantime, the Mahtanis are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches.
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. Smit, our Missionary will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Belgic Confession Article 30 - “The government of and offices in the church..”

~ Provident PRC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for us today, and Rev. Holstege will teach and preach for the Bearers of Light Community Church. Deacon Mitch plans to accompany him."

~ "The PRCP Seminary informs the members of our churches with thanksgiving to the Lord that another semester of seminary training began on Tuesday, January 14.  If interested, visitors are allowed to visit certain seminary courses for learning and edification. For the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, Hermeneutics (Rev.  Holstege on Tuesdays at 7 a.m.), Dogmatics-Anthropology (Rev. Smit on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.), and Church History (Rev. Kleyn on Thursdays at 7 a.m.) will be open to visitors. Visitors are welcome to attend but must: be punctual,  reserve class time for student questions and discussion, and  notify the instructors a day or two in advance that they will be attending."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ 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. One of their students is once again attending the PRC Seminary - Isaac Peters, who along with his wife Bek and four children, are attending Grace PRC while here for his three-year program.

the covenant of god dje

What is the place of children in God's covenant and plan of salvation? Read this resource for help in understanding the answer.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you perhaps 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.

  • 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is finishing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "God Opens Lydia's Heart" based on Acts 16:13-15. 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:

~ Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ 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!

 GT PRC run fight lead 2019

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

CHaak Paulraj Jan 2020 1
Rev. C. Haak teaching the doctrine of Christ to the Soli Gratia class in Vellore, India (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. Today he is preaching in Georgetown PRC and Hope PRC.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown led the services today.
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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!

Let us continue to pray for the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India. From today's bulletin we learn about the delegation currently there (Rev. & Mrs. C. Haak, Deane and Donna Wassink):

Dear Congregation, It is Friday am in India when I send this brief note. Deane and Donna arrived early this morning, 5 am India time. We have not seen them yet, plan to do so little later today so glad they are here. Thursday the Sola Gratia class went well. Paul had invited only 1-15 regular contacts, but the number rose to 35 by word of mouth. We dealt the subject of the union and distinction of our Saviors two natures. Heavy truth, but embraced and believed by them. And so important as Pentecostalism thrives when the truth of Jesus is not known. They encourage visions and appearances of Jesus rather than resting in the wonder that our Lord in His body is now at God’s right hand. We moved on from there to our Lord’s three fold office and that he is our only prophet who speaks through his word and calls the church to preach the word. I placed emphasis on the need for pastors to feed the church with the word through preaching. We had a great time with the doctors last night at their bible studies. Sorry no pictures. Studied the Millennium of Rev. 20. It was wonderful to see how they grow in faith. New members and babes as well. We are having a retreat with them this Saturday and Sunday. We are thankful to be here and see the grace of God working in unknown but marvelous ways. One becomes convinced that God as his church over the whole earth and knows and runs each one of us to Himself.  “Brethren, pray for us”. Rev Haak

(From a previous GT-PRC bulletin) The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • We also remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin we learn about Rev. A. Lanning's involvement which concludes today: The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28.
    And Covenant ERC in Singapore adds this note in a recent bulletin: The Kolkata Fellowship will be holding their 5th annual church camp on 24 – 26 January 2020. The Fellowship has chosen the theme of the camp as "Ye shall be My witness.", taken from Acts 1:8 and the camp speaker is Rev Andy Lanning. Though Session will not send a delegate to Kolkata, some brethren, Lord willing, will be attending the church camp on their own accord. We thank God for the opportunity for these brethren to meet the saints in Kolkata and to encourage them with fellowship in the gospel. Pray that our brethren will have a blessed and joyful experience of the body of Christ; a fellowship united in one faith and one Spirit of Jesus Christ. Pray also for journey mercy for all the foreign visitors to the camp. 

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 19-25, 2020

1 John 5 11Today, January 19, is the third 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:

We are gravely told by some that “Christ did indeed die; but he did not…purchase forgiveness and eternal life for us certainly: his death only puts us into a salvable state, making God placable and pardon possible.” The whole efficacy of his sufferings, according to them, depends on our being towardly and complying…having first qualified ourselves for his aid by a performance of certain conditions required on our part…According to this scheme…the adorable Mediator, instead of having actually obtained eternal redemption for his people and secured the blessings of grace and glory to those for whom he died; is represented as bequeathing to them only a few spiritual lottery-tickets, which may come up blanks or prizes…His obedience and sufferings stand for mere cyphers [zeroes] until our own free-will is so kind as to prefix the initial figure and render them of value. I tremble at the shocking consequences of a system which…sinks the Son of God into a spiritual huckster who, having purchased certain blessings of His Father, sells them out afterwards to men upon terms and conditions!…Who then art thou O man, that dares to tack an imaginary supplement of thy own to the finished work of Christ? (Augustus Toplady)

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This is the time of year for new officebearer installations (elders and deacons), and with that in mind we mention the special section for officebearers on the PRC website. Here you will find valuable resources - books, syllabi, articles, speeches, and sermons - all designed to help the ministers, elders, and deacons serve the Lord and His people. Be sure to visit this page and browse its aids.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) has been considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). Today he announced his acceptance of this call. We thank the Lord for providing another pastor for our sister in Lacombe and pray for Rev. Bleyengerg and his wife as they bid farewell to Providence.  Rev. J. Laning is bringing the Word in Immanuel this week and next.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) has been considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). Today he accounced his decline of this call.

  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) is considering the call to Cornerstone PRC (received Jan.5).

  • Kalamazoo PRC has announced the following concerning her call of a new pastor: "The Consistory presents to the congregation a trio consisting of Revs. R. Barnhill, J. Engelsma, and C. Spronk. A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, January 26, following the evening service to vote from the trio."

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. The Mahtanis are still awaiting the permission of the Singaporean government and hope to leave for Singapore as soon as that is granted (*see the update under CERC news below). In the meantime, they are residing in the West Michigan area and he is busy preaching in the churches. May the Lord be pleased to grant this approval soon according to His sovereign plan and wise purpose.

  • Rev. R. Hanko is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Let us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and his family, and that flock there.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East meeting: Classis East held its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan.8-9 at Zion PRC (Jenison, MI). The following is a brief summary of this meeting provided by the stated clerk (a fuller report will be provided later):

CLASSIS EAST met this past Wednesday and Thursday at Zion PRC. There were three appeals and two protests. One appeal had portions upheld and portions not sustained. One appeal was not sustained, and the third was declared illegally before Classis due to the manner of its submission. Both protests were judged legally before Classis, however not sustained.  The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2019. Rev. Haak and Rev. Koole were chosen to be church visitors in 2020. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2020 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Langerak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Rick Gritters, Nick Kleyn, Dave Kregel, Brendan Looyenga, and Sid Miedema. Classis advised two consistories to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline. Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2020 with the approval of the classis. Pulpit supply was granted for Cornerstone PRC, Kalamazoo PRC, and Unity PRC. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be on May 13, 2020 at Byron Center PRC.

Classis West Notice: Classis West will be meeting March 4, 2020 at Peace Church, Dyer, Indiana, D.V.  Anyone having material to go before Classis is asked to ensure it reaches the stated clerk, Rev Joshua Engelsma, prior to Monday, Feb 3, 2020.  May our Lord and Saviour grant our delegates all the grace and wisdom needed to represent our congregation.

library archives jan 2020 1
A view of the renovated library and new offices/archives addition (in the center)

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has completed its ten-day Interim (Jan.6-15) on "The Schism of 1953.". The second semester begins this Tuesday Jan.21 (see note below). The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website. Commit to praying for the faculty, students, and staff as we begin this next semester.

  • With seminary's second-semester classes beginning THIS Tuesday, ​January 21, three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (Passion week through the missionary journeys of Paul) and Dogmatics (Eschatology, the doctrine of the last things). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Recent Church History (Synod of Dordt to today). If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490​ before ​January 21​.​ 

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been published and was mailed the end of the year; the pdf and ePub editions are available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area and beyond. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

CPRC NI building
Worship place of Covenant PRC, Ballymena, N. Ireland

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC. In her bulletin last week was this update: "In view of the unknown status of the MOL, Rev. Den Hartog and Sherry have kindly extended their stay in Singapore till end January so that CERC could have continual pulpit supply throughout January. Rev. Den Hartog and Sherry will be departing Singapore on 27 January, Monday...."
    • For future supply, her bulletin today has this news: "While waiting [for the answer of the government on Rev. J. Mahtani], PRCA has scheduled Rev. Kenneth Koole to come over to help in the pulpit supply for the month of Feb 2020 and Prof. Dykstra will cover the first Sunday of Mar 2020. Both Rev. Koole and Prof. Dykstra will conduct Church Visitation in end Feb 2020."
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, the session has made yet another appeal to the  Singapore goverment and in her Jan.12 bulletin added this note: "The Lord has not terminated, but uphold, the process in seeking the approval of Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass application. Thank God for another opportunity to appeal to CMPB. We urge you to keep this matter of MOL in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page.
  • 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:

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad led the services. Provident PRC: Rev. D. Holstege led the services. The Kleyns were in Negros Occidental today.
~We can also tell you from the blogs of the Kleyns and the Smits that the Taal volcano eruption has affected them, but that they are all safe.

~ "The PRCP Seminary informs the members of our churches with thanksgiving to the Lord that another semester of seminary training began on Tuesday, January 14.  If interested, visitors are allowed to visit certain seminary courses for learning and edification. For the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, Hermeneutics (Rev.  Holstege on Tuesdays at 7 a.m.), Dogmatics-Anthropology (Rev. Smit on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.), and Church History (Rev. Kleyn on Thursdays at 7 a.m.) will be open to visitors. Visitors are welcome to attend but must: be punctual,  reserve class time for student questions and discussion, and  notify the instructors a day or two in advance that they will be attending."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ 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.

sb logo rfpa

Are you receiving and reading The Standard Bearer in 2020? It's never too late to subscribe!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you perhaps 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.

  • 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is finishing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "Tabitha Raised from the Dead" based on Acts 9:36-42. 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:

~ Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ 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!

 GT PRC run fight lead 2019

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

CHaak Kartic 2020
Rev. C. Haak catching up with a friend in Vellore, India (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. Today he is preaching in Georgetown PRC while Rev. Haak is in India.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is back in Limerick and leading services today after his trip to Australia to participate in the EPC Youth Camp.
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Rev. Haak and Mary arrived in Vellore around 8:00pm on Thursday night, India time. [They are there] for a three week stay in Vellore, India for a visit with the PRCV. They will be joined by Deane and Donna Wassink who leave on Jan. 26. Their work includes teaching classes at the SGA, meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc.  The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • We also remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin we learn about Rev. A. Lanning's involvement which begins this week: The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28.
    And Covenant ERC in Singapore adds this note in a recent bulletin: The Kolkata Fellowship will be holding their 5th annual church camp on 24 – 26 January 2020. The Fellowship has chosen the theme of the camp as "Ye shall be My witness.", taken from Acts 1:8 and the camp speaker is Rev Andy Lanning. Though Session will not send a delegate to Kolkata, some brethren, Lord willing, will be attending the church camp on their own accord. We thank God for the opportunity for these brethren to meet the saints in Kolkata and to encourage them with fellowship in the gospel. Pray that our brethren will have a blessed and joyful experience of the body of Christ; a fellowship united in one faith and one Spirit of Jesus Christ. Pray also for journey mercy for all the foreign visitors to the camp. 

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 12-18, 2020

1 Samuel 2 2Today, January 12, is the second 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:

And just because they know that [they would walk away from God's fellowship of themselves], and because they find it so horrifying should they lose touch with their God, they don’t say, ‘O my Lord, I love you so much and am so confident of my situation that I know you are capable of overlooking everything and that I will still dwell in your presence!’ No, they say just the opposite: ‘O my God and Father continue to uphold me. Let your watchmen stay alert so that I do not slip away. Don’t loosen the bands of your everlasting love, for things are good only in your presence. Only with you are things wonderful! Glorious! But my own heart would mislead me and my fleshly appetites would kill me. Like a sheep, I have so often wandered off and looked around instead of staying with you as your child. Show me your favor. In your grace, favor me by living in my heart.’ ~ Abraham Kuyper, Honey from the Rock

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This is the time of year for new officebearer installations (elders and deacons), and with that in mind we mention the special section for officebearers on the PRC website. Here you will find valuable resources - books, syllabi, articles, speeches, and sermons - all designed to help the ministers, elders, and deacons serve the Lord and His people. Be sure to visit this page and browse its aids.

  • On January 5 Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) declined the call to Kalamazoo PRC.

  • In Kalamazoo PRC's bulletin today we find this follow up news: "The Consistory presents to the congregation a trio consisting of Revs. R. Barnhill, J. Engelsma, and C. Spronk. A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, January 26, following the evening service to vote from the trio."

  • On January 5 the congregation of Cornerstone PRC voted to call Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) to be her next pastor.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) is considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). He plans to answer this call by Jan.19. Rev. J. Engelsma is bringing the Word there today.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) is considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). He plans to answer by January 19.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. The Mahtanis are still awaiting the permission of the Singaporean government and hope to leave for Singapore as soon as that is granted (*see the update under CERC news below). In the meantime, they are residing in the West Michigan area. May the Lord be pleased to grant this approval soon according to His sovereign plan and wise purpose.

  • Rev. A. Brummel is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Lat us continue to pray for Rev. J. Marcus and that flock there.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East meeting: Classis East held its regularly scheduled meeting this week Wednesday/Thursday at Zion PRC (Jenison, MI). The following is a brief summary of this meeting provided by the stated clerk (a fuller report will be provided later):

CLASSIS EAST met this past Wednesday and Thursday at Zion PRC. There were three appeals and two protests. One appeal had portions upheld and portions not sustained. One appeal was not sustained, and the third was declared illegally before Classis due to the manner of its submission. Both protests were judged legally before Classis, however not sustained.  The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2019. Rev. Haak and Rev. Koole were chosen to be church visitors in 2020. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2020 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Langerak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Rick Gritters, Nick Kleyn, Dave Kregel, Brendan Looyenga, and Sid Miedema. Classis advised two consistories to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline. Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2020 with the approval of the classis. Pulpit supply was granted for Cornerstone PRC, Kalamazoo PRC, and Unity PRC. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be on May 13, 2020 at Byron Center PRC.

Classis West Notice: Classis West will be meeting March 4, 2020 at Peace Church, Dyer, Indiana, D.V.  Anyone having material to go before Classis is asked to ensure it reaches the stated clerk, Rev Joshua Engelsma, prior to Monday, Feb 3, 2020.  May our Lord and Saviour grant our delegates all the grace and wisdom needed to represent our congregation.

interim jan 2020 1
Prof. R. Dykstra teaching his Interim class at seminary this past week

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is currently holding its ten-day Interim (Jan.6-15). The second semester begins Tuesday Jan.21. The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.

  • The Interim class in the seminary this year is “The Schism of 1953” taught by Prof. R. Dykstra. It will meet January 6-10 and 13-15 from 9:00-11:30 AM. Auditors are welcome.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is back from the printer and was mailed the end of the year; the pdf and ePub editions are available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling. Today he is leading the services in Doon (IA) PRC.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

CERC Reformation 2019 denHartog speech
Rev. A. denHartog speaking at the 2019 Reformation conference in Covenant ERC, Singapore

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, the following may be mentioned:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC. From her bulletin today comes this update: "In view of the unknown status of the MOL, Rev Den Hartog and Sherry have kindly extended their stay in Singapore till end January so that CERC could have continual pulpit supply throughout January. Rev. Den Hartog and Sherry will be departing Singapore on 27 January, Monday...."
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC, the session has made yet another appeal to the  Singapore goverment and today's bulletin adds this note: "The Lord has not terminated, but uphold, the process in seeking the approval of Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass application. Thank God for another opportunity to appeal to CMPB. We urge you to keep this matter of MOL in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • The December 2019 newsletter - Reformed News Asia - was posted this past week and may be found on this page.
  • 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:

~ Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit led both services.

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ 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.

UncondCovt DJE Page 1
How important is the truth of unconditional salvation (covenant) today? Read this resource to find out!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.  Don't forget that these books and this magazine make for great gifts!

  • If you are 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "Mary Foresees Christ's Death" based on John 12:1-8. 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:

~ Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ 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!

 young peoples convention header 2020

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

CHaak Nov 2018 sola gratia conf
Rev. C. Haak teaching at a Sola Gratia conference in 2018, Vellore, India (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. Today he is preaching in First PRC and Kalamazoo PRC. In BC-PRC's bulletin today is this note about an outreach work in West Michigan: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, January 16, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 10:1. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led services in Limerick today while Rev. McGeown is "down under." (see next note)
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC News: This congregation continues to work in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • Provident PRC news: [Today] "January 12, Elder Bien will accompany Rev. John Flores on the monthly delegation visit to the PRCP mission field in Albuera, Leyte."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Rev. and Mary Haak leave this Tuesday afternoon for a three week stay in Vellore, India for a visit with the PRCV. They will be joined by Deane and Donna Wassink who leave on Jan. 26. Their work includes teaching classes at the SGA, meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc.  The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • We also remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin we learn about this upcoming involvement of Rev. A. Lanning: The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28.
    And Covenant ERC in Singapore adds this note in today's bulletin: The Kolkata Fellowship will be holding their 5th annual church camp on 24 – 26 January 2020. The Fellowship has chosen the theme of the camp as "Ye shall be My witness.", taken from Acts 1:8 and the camp speaker is Rev Andy Lanning. Though Session will not send a delegate to Kolkata, some brethren, Lord willing, will be attending the church camp on their own accord. We thank God for the opportunity for these brethren to meet the saints in Kolkata and to encourage them with fellowship in the gospel. Pray that our brethren will have a blessed and joyful experience of the body of Christ; a fellowship united in one faith and one Spirit of Jesus Christ. Pray also for journey mercy for all the foreign visitors to the camp. 

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Reformed News Asia - December 2019

 
Issue 57 - December 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
The Law of God
By Rev Rodney Kleyn

"Psalm 119:97ff:

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
 
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
 
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
 
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
 
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
 
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
 
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Born For Our Salvation
by Martyn McGeown
 

From the RFPA website:

The nativity story is the message of salvation, for in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God…for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

Follow the inspired evangelists, Matthew and Luke, as they relate the wonderful events that surround the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Marvel at the announcement of the angel Gabriel. Rejoice with Mary, Elizabeth, the unborn John, and Joseph. Trace the steps of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the Savior is born. Listen to the heavenly song of the angelic host as they announce the gospel to lowly shepherds. Meet patient Simeon and aged Anna in the temple, and hear Simeon’s mysterious prophecy of the Savior’s rejection. Make the long trek from the east with the wise men who eagerly seek him that is born King of the Jews. Enter the palace of ruthless King Herod and witness his satanic enmity against the newborn Savior. Flee with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt to escape the king’s wrath. Observe Jesus’ childhood development in Nazareth, and, finally, accompany Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in his twelfth year, where he must be about his Father’s business. 

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the series of sermons from Thessalonians by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
Paul's Thanksgiving For The Thessalonian Christians
Thanksgiving For The Saving Power Of The Word Of God
Abound More And More In Love
Walk Pleasing to God
Armed As We Await The Coming Of The Lord
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

1 Feb 2020 - CNY Visitation

15-18 Jun 2020 - Church Camp 2020
 
 
Past Events...
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

On the 9th of November 2019, CERC held its Reformation Day Conference under the theme "Personal, Practical, Profitable: The "Other" Work of the Syod of Dordt". The theme was chosen to target the more practical application of the Synod of Dordt. We were privileged to have Rev Den Hartog who delivered the speeches. We were blessed by the speeches and may we apply what we have learnt in our daily lives.

RDC 2019 Speech 1 : The Synod and Church Life
RDC 2019 Speech 2: The Synod and Personal Life
 
Rev Den Hartog giving a speech
 
 
Book sale
Artwork all the way from Kolkata
 
Christmas Caroling 2019

The Christmas Caroling was held at Brother Ishu's and Brother Yoon Chuan's house this year. We are thankful to them for opening their house as well as their hospitality. Everyone had an enjoyable time of singing and fellowship!
 
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers
 

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • www.cerc.org.sg 
 
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, January 5-11, 2020 *(Updated)

Ps27 1Today, January 5, is the first 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:

On the Christian's duties in the church: Uniting with the church, brings its duties. It allies us with Christ and makes us coworkers with Him. We are not to think merely of what the church may do for us—but also of what we may do for the church. Church loyalty is a mark of true and wholesome Christian life. One need not be a narrow sectarian to be a good church member; but one will always be the better Christian for being entirely devoted to his own church and enthusiastic in all its life and work. Anything that weakens a man's loyalty to his own particular church, hurts his spiritual life and lessens his usefulness as a Christian.…It is a high privilege to be a church member, and one who has such honor should seek to be worthy of it, as the church is the body of Christ in this world. ~ J. Miller

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This is the time of year for new officebearer installations (elders and deacons), and with that in mind we mention the special section for officebearers on the PRC website. Here you will find valuable resources - books, syllabi, articles, speeches, and sermons - all designed to help the ministers, elders, and deacons serve the Lord and His people. Be sure to visit this page and browse its aids.

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) has been considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). Today he announced his decline of this call.

  • Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor of Kalamazoo PRC) is retiring from the active ministry and will preach his farewell sermon this morning. We thank the Lord for his 41 years (ordained in October 1978) of faithful service in the churches and pray God's blessing on him and his wife Dawn as they continue to serve the Lord and His people.

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote today for a new pastor from the Council's trio:  Revs. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA). *UPDATE: Rev. G. Eriks has received this call.

  • Rev. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) is considering the call to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB - received Dec.15). He now plans to answer this call by Jan.19. Today Rev.A. Brummel is leading her services and bringing the Word.

  • Rev. R. Van Overloop (Grace PRC) is considering the call to Unity PRC (Byron Center, MI). He plans to answer by January 21.

  • On December 29 Rev. J. Mahtani was installed in Grandville PRC as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. The Mahtanis are still awaiting the permission of the Singaporean government and hope to leave for Singapore as soon as that is granted (*see the update under CERC news below). In the meantime, they are residing in the West Michigan area. May the Lord be pleased to grant this approval soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose.

  • Rev. R. Kleyn is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton today. Next week Rev. A. Brummel is scheduled to. From Doon PRC's bulletin we also learn this: "As the special committee appointed by Classis West, Revs. Brummel and Engelsma will be in Edmonton this weekend to assist the consistory and congregation there." Let us pray for God's blessing on those special labors.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Zion PRC 2019
Zion PRC (Jenison, MI), host of this week's Classis East meeting

Classis East meeting: Classis East holds its regularly scheduled meeting this week Wednesday at 8 AM at Zion PRC. In addition to annual elections, the agenda has three appeals concerning matters believed to be finished at the consistory level and two protests against decisions taken at Classis’ September meeting.

Brief summary of this meeting provided by the stated clerk:

CLASSIS EAST met this past Wednesday and Thursday at Zion PRC. There were three appeals and two protests. One appeal had portions upheld and portions not sustained. One appeal was not sustained, and the third was declared illegally before Classis due to the manner of its submission. Both protests were judged legally before Classis, however not sustained.  The church visitors gave a favorable report of their work in 2019. Rev. Haak and Rev. Koole were chosen to be church visitors in 2020. Elected to represent Classis East at Synod 2020 were: Revs. Eriks, Griess, Langerak, Spronk, and Van Overloop; elders Rick Gritters, Nick Kleyn, Dave Kregel, Brendan Looyenga, and Sid Miedema. Classis advised two consistories to proceed in their discipline of a member after the consistory gave a detailed report of their work and gave evidence of the on-going impenitence of the member under discipline. Three subsidy requests were forwarded to Synod 2020 with the approval of the classis. Pulpit supply was granted for Cornerstone PRC, Kalamazoo PRC, and Unity PRC. The next regular meeting of Classis East will be on May 13, 2020 at Byron Center PRC.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its two-week holiday break and will begin the ten-day Interim this week. The second semester begins Tuesday Jan.21. The class schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • The Interim class in the seminary this year will be “The Schism of 1953” taught by Prof. R. Dykstra. It will meet January 6-10 and 13-15 from 9:00-11:30 AM. Auditors are welcome. If you would like to attend, please call Sharon at the seminary (616-531-1490) between 7AM and 3PM before January 6.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is back from the printer and was mailed this week; the pdf and ePub editions are available online (visit the link provided here). Look for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer (eschatology), and plenty of profitable book reviews. If you would like a copy or wish to be added to the mailing list, please contact the seminary secretary.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches and has begun preaching in the West Michigan area. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

Logo BEREAN 1

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led the services today. From her bulletin last week: "Mary’s father in Michigan... gained his eternal rest last night. We leave for the U.S. tomorrow for a week and return to Dublin the next Tuesday morning (7 January). Then we will be going to Limerick where we are to stay till after the Sunday evening service (12 January). We covet your prayers for us and pray that the Lord will watch over all of you while we are apart." And related to that:  "Rev. Koole will be arriving in N. Ireland on Friday, 3 January, and will be preaching for the CPRC on 5 and 12 January." Let us remember this special request in our prayers this week.
    • Covenant PRC's last church newsletter was received and posted (August 2019).
    • Read the latest issue of the "Covenant Reformed News"! Find the December 2019 issue here.
  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC until next Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "With regard to the appeal for the Employment Pass (EP) for Rev J. Mahtani, we met with the CMPB Senior Manager in charge of our appeal this past Thursday. We were asked to make a further appeal to the higher authority in charge of policy matters on such cases. We have written to them and we ask members to put this in your daily prayer for the approval of the EP. Do also remember Rev Mahtani and his family in your prayer as they wait patiently to come over to Covenant to serve as MOL."
    • Her last newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - has been posted and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Congregational and Denominational News:

~ Berean PRC: "Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit will lead our worship services today. Rev. V. Ibe is scheduled to lead our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija in their worship service today."

~ Provident PRC: "One of our elders will lead our first worship service today using a video sermon of Rev. James Slopsema, one of the emeritus ministers in the PRCA. Rev. Holstege will preach in our second service" [officebearer installation].

~ Maranatha PRC: "Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Canons of Dordt. D.V.

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ 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.

Jhvh Savior SHouck
Do you know the God who truly is the Savior? Read this pamphlet to find out Jehovah's mighty work of salvation!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.  Don't forget that these books and this magazine make for great gifts!

  • If you are 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.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Through this month Rev. W. Bruinsma of the Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message titled "Jedidah and the Elect Remnant" based on 2 Kings 22:1,2. 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:

~ Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

~ A new 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!

 young peoples convention header 2020

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Chaperone registration for the 2020 Young People’s Convention hosted by Georgetown PRC is now open!  The convention is planned for August 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL.  To register, go to www.prcconvention.com, and follow the instructions under the Chaperone tab.  If you have any questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Conventioneer registration opens March 15.

  • Young Men's Conference - Young men of High School and College age, please plan to attend the GPRC Young Men’s Conference, with the theme of "Run, Fight, Lead!", on Saturday morning, April 25, from 8 am-12:00 pm, at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church. Breakfast is included! Don’t wait, register today!  For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

SNegros men 2018 1
The men being taught each month in Sipalay, S. Negros, the Philippines

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.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. K. Koole is currently in Limerick to bring the word while Rev. McGeown is "down under." (see next note)
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - the December 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • Berean PRC news: "Rev. V. Ibe is scheduled to lead our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija in their worship service today.
  • Maranatha PRC news: "Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly."
  • Provident PRC news: "Next Sunday, January 12, Elder Bien will accompany Rev. John Flores on the monthly delegation visit to the PRCP mission field in Albuera, Leyte."
  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • 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!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

The Council will be sending Rev. and Mary Haak and Deane and Donna Wassink for a three week visit to the PRCV of India during this first part of the new year. (Haaks, Sundays of Jan 19, 26, and Feb. 2., Wassinks, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9)  Their work includes meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc. The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to also go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin we learn about this upcoming involvement of Rev. A. Lanning: The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28.

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for January 2020

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First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for January 2020 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

This month we are blessed to have once again Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (PA). He continues and concludes a special series on "Women in the Bible," beginning this month with the mother of good king Josiah. Be sure to tune in for these important messages. The schedule for this month is laid out below and also attached in pdf form.

WBruinsma 2017

January 5 - Jedidah and the Elect Remnant - 2 Kings 22:1,2

January 12 - Mary Foresees Christ's Death - John 12:1-8

January 19 - Tabitha Raised from the Dead - Acts 9:36-42

January 26 - God Opens Lydia's Heart - Acts 16:13-15

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 79th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Visit our website for the latest podcast and for other news and information!

And don't forget our Spanish programs on YouTube!

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Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.

*Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

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