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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - June 2018

CPRC NI building

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
28 June, 2018


Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

CPRC News

Family visitation in the CPRC has included 24 meetings on 11 different days over 2 weeks (7-21 May). Our Scripture passage this year was Ephesians 5:22-6:8, which deals with the respective callings of husbands, wives, children, fathers, and employees. As always, family visitation was a profitable exercise. Only one visit remains, that with one of our members who is currently studying at a university in Wales.

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 28 May included reports by Stephen Murray (audio-visual), Julian Kennedy (financial), and Rev. Martyn McGeown (missionary). I spoke on our plans for the future, covering events, speakers, books, etc., involving the CPRC in the next year, DV.

In the last year, our best-selling book was Called to Watch for Christ Return by Rev. McGeown, and our best-selling box set (CD or DVD) was “Celebrating 500 Years of the Reformation,” consisting of the 10 speeches and sermons by Prof. Engelsma in the CPRC in the autumn of 2017. The visitors on the written pages of our website (www.cprc.co.uk) have averaged 1,880 per day over the last year, which marks steady growth year on year.

In January - May, 2018, our most hit audio was “Job's Comfort and Our Comfort” (Lord's Day 1). Over the same period, the 10 countries that listened most to CPRC sermons were, in order, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, China, Israel, Australia, Qatar, Canada, and South Korea. Turning to the top 10 countries for the written pages on our main website for the first 5 months in 2018, we have the United States, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Peru, Italy, Russia, Germany, and Hungary. If we remove from this list the English-speaking nations (USA at #1, UK at #5, and the Netherlands at #2, for almost all the Dutch speak English), there is a strong correlation between the remaining 7 countries included in the top 10 and the languages in which we have a lot of translations: Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, German, Indonesian, Spanish, and Russian.

The CPRC has (or very soon will have) two new lady members. First, we received the membership papers of Larisa McGeown from First Holland PRC (6 June). Second, Grace Mae was born to David and Kristin Crossett (20 June); she is to be baptized this Sunday (1 July).

 baby grace crosset
Grace Mae Crossett with big sister Sophie

Our Tuesday morning Bible study has moved to the topic of the Old Testament sacrifices. Currently, we are working our way through the 6 main stages in offering bloody sacrifices. So far, we have covered the presentation of the animal, the laying of hands upon the beast, and its slaughter, in connection with our Saviour's cross.

U.S. Trip

This year, I was the CPRC delegate to the Synod at Byron Center PRC in mid June, my first time at the PRC's broadest assembly since 2002. I hasten to add that there were various good and wholly innocent reasons for my lengthy absence, including that attending Synod means that the CPRC goes without live preaching for a Sunday. This is the first year that Mary's parents will not be able to come to the biennial British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference and the opportunity to stay with them tipped the balance in favour of going to Synod.

It was good to witness the working of Synod, especially since our congregation has no broader assemblies on this side of the Atlantic. I enjoyed fellowship with the ministers, elders, and professors, as well as the brethren from the Philippines and Singapore. I was also pleasantly surprised that I was able to watch other people working while I was largely inactive, with less difficulty than I had expected!

While in Grand Rapids, I gave a speech on “Gottschalk: Medieval Confessor of God's Absolute Sovereignty” in Georgetown PRC and sponsored by Trinity PRC (13 June). This amazing ninth-century monk spent some two decades under house arrest for teaching, by God's Spirit, the truth of unconditional election and reprobation, particular atonement, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. He even boldly and uncompromisingly denied the well-meant gospel offer, in the faithful tradition of Augustine of Hippo and Fulgentius of Ruspe, declaring, “All those whom God wills to be saved (I Tm 2:4) are without doubt saved, nor can any be saved but those God wills to be saved. Nor is there any one whom God wills to be saved, and is not saved, since our God has done all things whatever he willed [Ps. 135:6]. They therefore are all saved—all whom he wills to be saved.” The video of the Gottschalk lecture is on-line, including the slides and the Q. & A. session (www.youtube. com/watch?v=9hKDOcaTbFA).

Our Lord's day in America (17 June) was spent in Chicagoland in 2 churches we had not seen for some years. First, I preached in Crete PRC (Jude 20-21), after we joined the saints the previous day for their annual church picnic. Second, I spoke in Bethel PRC (II Kings 6:8-23), where I also gave a PowerPoint presentation on the witness of the CPRC. Our thanks to Phil and Karen Van Baren and Fred and Rose Iwema for their kind hospitality.

Mary and I then flew to Washington DC for a few days of informative and enjoyable sightseeing at the capital, including Arlington National Cemetery. Arriving in Dublin on Saturday, I preached in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), while Rev. McGeown was in the CPRC.

We brought back a good weight of RFPA books, especially Here We Stand, edited by Prof. Cammenga, and The Belgic Confession: A Commentary, volume 1, by Prof. Engelsma. Chief among the pamphlets we transported home are “The Bible Versus Mormonism” by Rev. Hanko and “Spousal Abuse in the Reformed Community” by Prof. Engelsma. All such materials help our witness to God's truth, and encourage saints in the British Isles and other parts of the world.
Others

On 28 April, Marco Barone was interviewed live by phone on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio in Pennsylvania in connection with his fine book, Luther’s Augustinian Theology of the Cross: The Augustinianism of Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation and the Origins of Modern Philosophy of Religion (www.ironsharpens ironradio.com/podcast/april-26-2018-show-with-marco-barone-on-luthers-augustinian-theology-of-the-cross). His article on the “500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's Heidelberg Disputation” was published in the English Churchman (27 April & 4 May).

Our thanks to saints from England, Northern Ireland, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois who recently donated to the CPRC Translators Fund. The last 3 boxes of books we posted out went to 2 ministers in Kenya and a Brazilian pastor in the Azores, a cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean belonging to Portugal. In the last couple of months, we added 14 translations to our website: Hungarian 7, Greek 4, Swahili 2, and Portuguese 1 (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm).

We are now just a few weeks from the 2018 BRF Family Conference on “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” with Prof. D. J. Engelsma and Rev. A. Lanning in S. Wales (21-28 July). We are delighted that as many as 108 people are booked in, including a good number of our translators.

Some 4,500 copies of the new BRF book, Behold, I Come Quickly, consisting of the speeches and sermons at the 2016 BRF Conference are due to be published any day now. This excellent little volume will be available from many PR congregations in America and Canada, the churches in the Philippines and Singapore, and the CPRC Bookstore of course.

Thank you for your interest and your prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you!

Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of June 24, 2018

Matt5 6On this twenty-fifth Lord's Day of 2018, June 24, we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • From Calvary PRC's (Hull, IA) bulletin today we learn to these two items:
    • We welcome Prof. R. Cammenga to our pulpit today. Following the evening service, Prof. Cammenga will give a presentation regarding his recent trip to South Korea. The presentation will begin at 7:45 PM. The area Protestant Reformed churches are also invited to attend. Refreshments will be served after the presentation. All are welcome to attend.
    • Rev. D. Holstege will be giving a presentation on the work in the Philippines while he is in the area on furlough. The presentation will be held at Calvary PRC on July 1 at 7:45 p.m. Plan on attending!

  • From Pittsburgh PRC's bulletin today we find this little note: "Pastor and Mary Bruinsma will be traveling to Redlands, CA this week Wednesday for the Young Adults Retreat. Seminarian Matthew Kortus will fill our pulpit next Sunday."

  • And from Loveland PRC's bulletin we learn the following about Sem. Kortus' activity today: "Given the length of the meetings at synod which prevented our pastor’s return until yesterday [Rev. S. Key], Seminarian Matt Kortus agreed to stay and supply our pulpit today. We pray for God’s continued blessings upon him as he brings the Word today, and as he leaves here to begin his internship at Trinity PRC on July 1.

  • On May 13 Candidate J. Langerak announced his acceptance of the call he had received from Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on April 29. His examination will now take place at the meeting of Classis West on August 29 at Peace PRC (cf. note below under "Denominational News). In that conection, SW PRC's bulletin (where J. Langerak is a member) contains this note today: "Pastor-Elect Jonathan Langerak is currently filling the pulpits in five churches of the NW Iowa area for most of the summer. His examination before Classis West is scheduled for August 29 at Peace Protestant Reformed Church."

  • From Lynden's June 17 bulletin we find this update on the upcoming Young People's Retreat: " Western Young People’s Retreat: The Western Young People’s Retreat is scheduled to take place July 2-5, at Camp Sanders, located in Sanders, Idaho. The theme of the retreat is “Communion With God”, from Psalm 63. Speeches and devotions will focus on improving personal devotions. Registration will take place Monday afternoon. An outing at Silverwood Theme Park is scheduled for Tuesday. Games and activities are planned for Wednesday. Check-out time will be after breakfast on Thursday. Pray for safety in travels and a good time of fellowship for our Young People!"

  • From First PRC's (Edmonton, AB) bulletin for today we find this interesting announcement concerning her upcoming family conference: "Thank you for the great turnout at yesterday's Family Conference Preparation Event!  Delicious food was enjoyed, many bottles were collected, volunteer positions were filled and delightful fellowship was had by all.  We raised $671.50 at this combined event for the 2018 Family Conference.  If you didn't take the opportunity to sign up for a volunteer position the volunteer sheets are available in the basement."

  • Reminder from 1st PRC in Edmonton, AB: The dates for the 2018 Family Conference are coming up quickly. We plan to host the conference July 20-22, 2018 D.V. Hear from our speakers: Rev. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus on the topic of 'Seeking The Lord'. Mark your calendars and finalize your plans to attend what promises to be an edifying time of growth and fellowship with saints from Canada and abroad, as well as an opportunity to see some of the beauty that God has created here in Canada. For more information or to register, please visit our website https://edmontonfamilyconf.wixsite.com/conference2018, or contact Scott Ferguson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., For those that prefer the phone, you can call (780)489-6470.

  • Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids has made a special announcement and request concerning a significant event in her history: "Southeast Protestant Reformed Church (formerly Fourth PRC) will be celebrating 75 years of existence in March of 2019.  A book is being developed to commemorate this event.  If you have memorabilia, pictures, anecdotes, etc. relating to this history and are willing to share, please contact Tim Pipe Sr at 616-890-2545 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."

byroncentrePRCAdamsCS 1

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • Synod 2018: The PRC Synod completed its work for now on Thursday of this past week (June 21 - it will reconvene on August 28 for a special examination). Summary reports on the decisions reached may be found under the News section of the PRC website.

  • Classis West meeting (note date and place changes): At the request of Heritage PRC (and Doon PRC), the Classical Committee of Classis West has changed the date for the next meeting of Classis West to August 29. It had previously been scheduled for September 26. Also, at the request of Heritage PRC, the location also has been changed. Peace PRC will host the August 29 meeting of Classis where Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak will be examined, while Heritage PRC will host Classis on March 6, 2019, the Lord willing.

PRTJ Spring 2018 cover

  • PRC Seminary News:

    • The Spring 2018 issue of the PRT Journal is now back from the printers and has been mailed out. If you would like to receive a print copy and are not on our mailing list, contact the seminary. The pdf version is also still available for free download. Visit this page to find out the contents and begin reading.

    • The seminary will be open daily during the summer months, including the library and archives. Staff will be available for assistance with any needs you may have.

    • Two of our professors have special trips planned this summer: Prof. R. Dykstra will labor in our sister church in Singapore (Covenant ERC) for six weeks and Prof. R. Cammenga will be part of an exploratory mission trip to Mexico with Rev. C. Griess (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) and Doner Bartolon, one of our pre-seminary students who comes from the area to be visited.

    • The upcoming internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman will soon begin. Sem. Kortus will be interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council and Sem. Maatman will intern at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.

    • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee is working on plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618-19-2018-19. Look for details on this in the future.

 ephesians 4 3 2

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • The PRC now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. May the Lord grant us a mutually edifying and God-honoring relationship.

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we call attention to the following:
    • From the Limerick Reformed Fellowship bulletin (mission of the CPRC) from this Sunday we learn the following about a common "pulpit exchange": We welcome Rev. Angus and Mary Stewart to our services today. Pastor and Larisa are in the CPRC this Sunday; they will return to Limerick on Sunday evening.
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted recently (April 2018). And don't forget her other publication - Covenant Reformed News! That latest issue received last week (May 2018) may be found here.

    • It's not too late to join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Hebron Hall in South Wales from Saturday, July 21, to Saturday, July 28. Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God." Booking forms are due June 13 and are available at http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins (616-214-2779; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we note the following:

    • Synod approved the calling of a minister-on-loan to provide a pastor for our sister church in Singapore. Grandville PRC was again appointed the calling church for the calling of the MOL.

    • Rev. A. den Hartog and his wife Sherry continue to serve the CERC until at least June of this year. Read the "Pastor's Voice" part of her bulletin to learn more.

    • Her latest newsletter (APRIL 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page. Watch for the next issue soon!

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (May 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • 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 too.

 
good news afflicted
One of the many pamphlets available free on the PRC website - this one a small treasure of comfort for those who suffer.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • The PRC Denominational Directory is now for sale for just $15.00. To order please fill out an order form or by emailing Laura Huizinga @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Directories will be delivered to your church 1-2 weeks after payment is received.

  • *The Psalter App is now available for Android as well as for IOS (Apple) devices. For more info visit: https://psalterapp.weebly.com

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read, including perhaps some graduation gift ideas? 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. You will also want to read the RFPA's Spring Newsletter!

  • Are you searching for spiritually edifying music as well as for Bibles and other Reformed literature? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI or visit their website.

  • *Considering some pamphlets 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.

PRYP Convention logo 2018

  • The 2018 PRYP's Convention will be held August 13-17, 2018 at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN. The hosting churches of the Midwest are excited to have you join us for an upbuilding week of fellowship and fun!
    • *NEW NOTE! URGENT NEED OF MALE CHAPERONES for 2018 Young People’s Convention.  The convention is planned for August 13-17 at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN.  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.

    • Registration for the 2018 PRYP Convention is now closed! All registrants are reminded to mail their paperwork and payment by May 31. Any paperwork postmarked after May 31 must include the $25 late fee.

RWH logo 1

Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville, MI) continues his series on Jesus' Beatitudes. The title of today's message is "Blessed Are They That Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness," based on Matt.5:6.

  • From the Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) Committee: the RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the Reformed faith.

  • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

PRCP Classis June 2018 1

Delegate picture from the recent (June 12) meeting of the PRCP Classis.

 MISSION NEWS:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond.

  • The February/March 2018 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.

  • Have you read Rev. Titus' most recent report on the work going on in Myanmar (May 2018)? Find that on this page.

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (April 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.

  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's one! And the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC:
    • Rev. R. Smit will lead us in worship and preach today.
    • Rev. D. Holstege and his family are visiting in Randolph, Wisconsin, USA, today.  Mrs. Leah Holstege grew up in the Randolph PRC, and her parents are members in the church and live there.   Rev. Holstege plans to preach in Randolph for both worship services, and then give a presentation of his labors here in the evening.  Next week, the family plans to visit and worship in the Doon PRC (Doon, IA), the calling church of our PRCA missionaries.
    • Rev. Leovy Trinidad returned home safely on Friday, June 22, from his visit to the PRCA Synod 2018 as representative of the PRCP with our sister-church, the PRCA.

    • Maranatha PRC:
      • Our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead our first service and our second service. After the second service, He will continue the Belgic Confession l,esson 8 and 9.
      • We welcome back home again Rev. L. Trinidad for his safe travel. We are thankful for his sacrifice in representing the PRCP at the Synod of 2018 of the PRCA. We are now officially Sister-Church relationship the PRCA.

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.
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PRC Synod 2018 - Day 7 - Thursday, June 21

AdamsCS 1

The PRC Synod 2018 completed its work Thursday, June 21, beginning at 8 AM and ending after lunch.

Rev. G. Eriks, second clerk of synod, offers this final summary of the day's work:

After praying for God’s blessing upon the work of the day, synod returned to recommitted material regarding
the appeal dealt with yesterday. Synod sustained the appellant's appeal of Art. 44 of Classis East, which decision advised

Hope’s consistory to require the appellant to retract an accusation. 

Synod also made a favorable judgment on the paper that Rev. D. Overway wrote in response to the following
mandate of Synod 2017: “respond fully, in writing, to the objections against his sermon on John 14:6 as
sustained by Synod 2017. This response must include his theological convictions about the matter.” Synod said
that Rev. Overway satisfactorily fulfilled this mandate and judged his response to be orthodox.

Synod then approved some recommendations to help Hope PRC implement these decisions. This included the
appointment of a special committee of Prof. R. Cammenga, Rev. C. Spronk, and Rev. R. Van Overloop.
Synod then turned to the three protests of the decision found in Article 88, B.1 of Synod 2017 (Acts, pp. 88-89).

Synod sustained the protests of these three men and rescinded Art. 88. B. 1 because the statements were unclear
and because Synod 2017 erred when it entered into the statements of a protestant while at the same time not
sustaining the protest, which charged these statements with antinomianism.

Synod also responded to one protest by rebuking the protestant for including in his protest charges of heresy
against an office bearer in good standing in the PRC.

After lunch, synod voted on appointments to the standing committees of synod, and approved expenses of over
$12,000 for the meeting of synod.

The chair thanked the delegates for their work and cooperation and the chair was thanked for his able leadership
of the synod through many difficult issues. Elder Jim Lanting closed synod with a prayer of thanksgiving

May the King of the church give His sovereign blessing to the decisions reached by Synod 2018 - for the welfare of His church and the glory of His name.

PRC Synod 2018 - Day 6 - Wednesday, June 20

AdamsCS 1

The PRC Synod 2018 resumed its work Wednesday morning, June 20, at 9 AM at Adams Christian School.

Synod Wed20 1
Delegates and audience stand to sing for morning devotions - a beautiful sound in the gym!

synod wed20 2
A large number of visitors were present on Wednesday.

Synod treated the recommendations of Committee 4 regarding the appeal of a member against the decisions of Classis East. Synod adopted some of the recommendations, sustaining the appeal, while others were recommitted to Committee 4 for reformulation.

Before synod finished its work for the day, the chairman bid farewell to Rev. L. Trinidad, who will be returning to the Philippines Thursday, the Lord willing.

Synod planned to reconvene at 8 AM on Thursday morning.

May the King of the church continue to guide the delegates and bless their decisions for the welfare of His kingdom and cause.

PRC Synod 2018 - Day 5 - Monday, June 18

AdamsCS 1

The PRC Synod 2018 returned to its work Monday morning, June 18, at 1 PM at Adams Christian School. 

Synod Mon 18th 1

Second clerk Rev. G. Eriks again provides a detailed summary of synod's work today (also attached in pdf):

Synod first treated the reformulated advice of the committee dealing with Psalter revision. After a
lengthy discussion, the following motion failed: That synod discontinue our involvement in the
interdenominational Psalter revision project with two grounds:
1. Our consistories indicate that there is not sufficient support in the denomination for this
Psalter revision.
2. This does not conflict with past synodical decisions involving us in the participation of the
interdenominational Psalter revision committee.

This means that we will continue our involvement on the interdenominational Psalter revision project.

Later synod approved the following subsequent motions regarding Psalter revision:
1. That synod declare the proposed revisions of Psalm 1-40 are in harmony with the principles
of text, music, and format approved by Synod 2016.
a. This declaration of synod is not a final approval of the section and all the details but a
statement that the synod judges that the principles have been followed.
b. The committee of pre-advice has gone over the changes in this section and is satisfied
that the principles governing the changes have been followed.
2. That synod inform the Interdenominational Psalter revision committee, in response to their
request for an indication of continued denominational support, that it is unlikely that our
denomination would adopt the revised Psalter in its entirety. Grounds:
a. A survey of our consistories has shown that more than half are not in favor of continuing
the project.
b. In the judgment of a majority of our consistories, too many changes have been made in
the revision to be found acceptable by our congregations.
3. Synod also thanked Prof. Gritters, Prof. Kuiper, and Mr. Joshua Hoekstra for their work on the
Psalter Revision Committee.

Synod adopted the budget for the PRCA of $2,261,686 (adjusted to $1,725,062 because of excess
funds) for 2019 and approved assessments of $800 per family in 2019, a $25 increase per family
from 2018 ($775).

Synod plans to reconvene at 8:00am WEDNESDAY morning, the Lord willing, which gives committees
3 and 4 time to work.

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of June 17, 2018

psalm 23 1 3On this twenty-fourth Lord's Day of 2018, June 17, we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • From Grace PRC comes this special invitation for TONIGHT: "PHILIPPINES PRESENTATION TONIGHT:  Please join us tonight at 8:00 PM. Grace PRC will host a presentation by Rev. Holstege, missionary to the Philippines. Rev. Holstege will be detailing how a third missionary is affecting the labor in the Philippines, and he will be giving an update on Provident Christian Church and on the establishment of a seminary in Manila. Refreshments to follow.  For those unable to attend, the presentation will also be live-streamed on our website."

  • From Pittsburgh PRC comes this announcement about a special lecture THIS WEEK: "Save the date! On June 22 at 7 pm, we will have a lecture given to us by Rev. N. Decker from our Trinity Protestant Reformed Church. It is entitled “Living Wisely in a Digital Age.”

  • SE (Grand Rapids, MI) PRC's bulletin contains some exciting news relating to their present property and future relocation: "The Council approved the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee arranging the sale of our church building. An offer has been received, and the Council brings several recommendations for consideration of the congregation. The Council calls the congregation to a special congregational meeting TOMORROW, Monday, June 18 at 7:30 PM to treat these recommendations."

  • On May 13 Candidate J. Langerak announced his acceptance of the call he had received from Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on April 29. His examination will now take place at the meeting of Classis West on August 29 at Peace PRC (cf. note below under "Denominational News).

  • The Western Young People's Retreat: The Young People from Spokane and Lynden are planning another retreat for 2018 for ages 14-20. The theme of the retreat will be "Communion with God” from Psalm 63. The dates are July 2-5 at Camp Sanders in Tensed, ID, about an hour Southeast of Spokane. We encourage families to come and spend the week (on-site camping and cabins are available). For more information or for a copy of the registration form contact Rev. Rodney Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Mr. Fred Hanko (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Registration forms will also be available from your pastor or Young People’s Leader.

  • Reminder from 1st PRC in Edmonton, AB: The dates for the 2018 Family Conference are coming up quickly. We plan to host the conference July 20-22, 2018 D.V. Hear from our speakers: Rev. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus on the topic of 'Seeking The Lord'. Mark your calendars and finalize your plans to attend what promises to be an edifying time of growth and fellowship with saints from Canada and abroad, as well as an opportunity to see some of the beauty that God has created here in Canada. For more information or to register, please visit our website https://edmontonfamilyconf.wixsite.com/conference2018, or contact Scott Ferguson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., For those that prefer the phone, you can call (780)489-6470.

  • Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids has made a special announcement and request concerning a significant event in her history: "Southeast Protestant Reformed Church (formerly Fourth PRC) will be celebrating 75 years of existence in March of 2019.  A book is being developed to commemorate this event.  If you have memorabilia, pictures, anecdotes, etc. relating to this history and are willing to share, please contact Tim Pipe Sr at 616-890-2545 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."

byroncentrePRCAdamsCS 1

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • Synod 2018 notice: The PRC Synod is currently holding its sessions in the gymnasium of Adams Christian School (Byron Center PRC is the calling church). Reports on the work completed so far may be found under the News section of the PRC website. Synod is scheduled to reconvene, D.V., Monday, June 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM (*note the time).

  • Classis West meeting (note date and place changes): At the request of Heritage PRC (and Doon PRC), the Classical Committee of Classis West has changed the date for the next meeting of Classis West to August 29. It had previously been scheduled for September 26. Also, at the request of Heritage PRC, the location also has been changed. Peace PRC will host the August 29 meeting of Classis where Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak will be examined, while Heritage PRC will host Classis on March 6, 2019, the Lord willing.
  • PRC Seminary News:

    • The Spring 2018 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printers but the pdf version is available. Visit this page to find out the contents and begin reading.

    • The seminary will be open daily during the summer months, including the library and archives. Staff will be available for assistance with any needs you may have.

    • Two of our professors have special trips planned this summer: Prof. R. Dykstra will labor in our sister church in Singapore (Covenant ERC) for six weeks and Prof. R. Cammenga will be part of an exploratory mission trip to Mexico with Rev. C. Griess (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) and Doner Bartolon, one of our pre-seminary students who comes from the area to be visited.

    • The upcoming internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman will soon begin. Sem. Kortus will be interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council and Sem. Maatman will intern at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.

    • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee is working on plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618-19-2018-19. Look for details on this in the future.

 LTrinidad 3
Rev. L. Trinidad addressing the PRC Synod of 2018 as the first official representative of our new sister in the Philippines, the PRCP.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • The PRC now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. May the Lord grant us a mutually edifying and God-honoring relationship.

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we call attention to the following:
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted recently (April 2018). And don't forget her other publication - Covenant Reformed News! That latest issue received last week (May 2018) may be found here.

    • It's not too late to join Reformed believers from around the world at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Hebron Hall in South Wales from Saturday, July 21, to Saturday, July 28. Our speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, will lecture on "The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God." Booking forms are due June 13 and are available at http://brfconference.weebly.com or contact Briana Prins (616-214-2779; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we note the following:

    • Synod approved the calling of a minister-on-loan to provide a pastor for our sister church in Singapore. Grandville PRC was again appointed the calling church for the calling of the MOL.

    • Rev. A. den Hartog and his wife Sherry continue to serve the CERC until at least June of this year. Read the "Pastor's Voice" part of her bulletin to learn more.

    • Her latest newsletter (APRIL 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page. Watch for the next issue soon!

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (May 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • 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 too.

 WhyPsalter 1
*One of the many pamphlets/articles available on the PRC website (cf. note below)

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • The PRC Denominational Directory is now for sale for just $15.00. To order please fill out an order form or by emailing Laura Huizinga @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Directories will be delivered to your church 1-2 weeks after payment is received.

  • *The Psalter App is now available for Android as well as for IOS (Apple) devices. For more info visit: https://psalterapp.weebly.com

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read, including perhaps some graduation gift ideas? 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. You will also want to read the RFPA's Spring Newsletter!

  • Are you searching for spiritually edifying music as well as for Bibles and other Reformed literature? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI or visit their website.

  • *Considering some pamphlets 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.

PRYP Convention logo 2018

RWH logo 1

Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville, MI) continues his series on Jesus' Beatitudes. The title of today's message is "Blessed Are the Meek,"  based on Matt.5:5.

  • From the Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) Committee: the RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the Reformed faith.

  • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 PRCP Classis 2018 1
Delegate picture from the previous meeting of the PRCP Classis. See bulletin note below under Provident CC for a report on the most recent meeting, held this past week.

 MISSION NEWS:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond.

  • The February/March 2018 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.

  • Have you read Rev. Titus' most recent report on the work going on in Myanmar (May 2018)? Find that on this page.

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (April 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.

  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's one! And the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Provident CC:
      • We welcome you all to Provident Christian Church this Lord’s Day. Rev. Kleyn will preach for us today and will also lead the class on the Church Order. Next week Rev. Smit is scheduled to preach here in PCC.

      • Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit will travel to Sipalay City in Negros Occidental this week to teach the pastors there.

      • The Holsteges arrived safely in the USA this past Monday. During their furlough, Rev. Holstege will be preaching in some of the Protestant Reformed churches and giving presentations of our mission work.

      • Classis of the PRCP met this past Tuesday here in PCC from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Rev. Ibe chaired the meeting. Among other things, Classis treated matters concerning finances, pre-seminary Greek (approving some preparations), theological training (approving constitutions), contact with other churches, budget for a missionary who might be called to labor in the PRFA in Leyte (recommitted), and translation work. A significant decision of Classis was to start working toward establishing a sister church relationship with the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore. Classis expressed its thanks to Provident for the use of the building. Classis’ next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 31, to be hosted by Maranatha PRC.

        • Rev. Holstege and Rev. Trinidad attended the Synod of the PRCA this past week in Michigan. Here are a few highlights from the daily summaries of Synod:

        • Rev. Holstege, one of the missionaries in the Philippines, addressed synod today (Wednesday), expressing his joy and gratitude in laboring as the Lord’s servant in the work of missions in the Philippines. He highlighted some of the recentdevelopments on the field and thanked the synod and churches for their generous and willing supportof the missionaries and their families.

        • With much thanksgiving Synod approved the implementation of sister-church relations with the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines after our other sisters in Singapore and N. Ireland expressed they have no objections to establishing this relationship. After this was approved, Rev. Van Overloop addressed Rev. Trinidad and Rev. Holstege expressing our thanks at what God has given to us in the sister church relationship. Synod sang Psalter #371 and Prof. Gritters offered a prayer of thanksgiving on this happy occasion.

        • When Synod treated the material concerning contact with the PRCP, Rev. L. Trinidad addressed synod. He expressed thanks for the gracious work of the Lord in forming the PRCP. He also expressed great thanks for the missionaries from the PRCA, and for the sister church relationship.

  • Maranatha PRC:
    • Today, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in our First and Second services. Next week Rev. D. Kleyn will do so.

    • [Her bulletin also contained the news about the meeting of the PRCP Classis and of the PRC Synod.]

Let us continue to lift up 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.
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PRC Synod 2018 - Day 4 (Friday) at Adams Christian School

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The PRC Synod 2018 took up its work Friday morning, June 15, at 8 AM at Adams Christian School. 

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Group picture inside the gym of Adams CS

Second clerk Rev. G. Eriks again provides a detailed summary of synod's work today (also attached in pdf):

After Rev. R. Kleyn led us in opening devotions, synod returned to two recommitted matters from
Committee 2. The first matter was a mandate given to the observers to NAPARC 2018. The
mandate was approved. The second matter was Psalter revision. The pre-advice committee
recommended “that synod inform the interdenominational Psalter revision committee that we will not
continue our official involvement in the work of their committee.” This matter was recommitted
because the recommendation and ground did not take into consideration the decisions of past
synods.

Synod then treated the recommendations of Committee 5. The following are some of the highlights:
• Synod reappointed Mr. Don Offringa to a three-year term as synodical treasurer and Rev. R. Van
Overloop to a three-year term as stated clerk. Synod also thanked these men, and our synodical
bookkeeper, Mrs. Pamela Bos, for all of their work.
• Synod noted the following in regard to the finances of the denomination, for which we give thanks
to our God, Who faithfully provides:
1. As of Dec. 31, 2017 the assets of the PRCA totaled $11,880,853, an increase of 11.7% from a
year ago.
2. Revenues exceeded expenses in 2017 by $1,228,289 due entirely to investment earnings of
$1,307,979 during an exceptional year of stock market growth.
3. The Emeritus Fund totaled $3,893,803 by Dec. 31, 2017. The current balance is ahead of the
goal of 4,000,000 in the fund by 2023.
• Synod approved the emeritation request of Rev. Koole effective on July 31, 2018. Synod
expressed its thanks to Rev. Koole for his almost 41 years of faithful service and capable
leadership in the denomination as a minister of the Word and sacraments
• Synod approve 17 requests for emeritation support for 2019 in the amount, $486,195. This is for
the support of our emeritus ministers and minister’s widows. What a blessing that we can support
these men financially as churches. Let us remember these men and their wives in our prayers.
• Synod also approved subsidy requests for eight of our churches, which provides financial support
for these smaller churches so that the gospel can be preached by them.
• The stated clerk, Rev. Van Overloop, called our attention to a couple of things in his report: he
expressed appreciation for the labors of Don Doezema in helping to prepare the substantial
agenda for synod 2018. He also noted that as of January 2018 the PRCA is made up of 33
congregations comprised of 2,144 families and 8,716 souls.
• Finally, Synod 2019 will be held at First PRC (GR) beginning on June 11, 2019.

Synod finished its work today around noon, giving three of the committees of pre-advice time to
work. Synod decided to reconvene Monday afternoon at 1:00pm, the Lord willing.

And here are some candid photos of the delegates and representatives at Synod 2018. See how well you can identify them by now.

Delegates candid 1
Looks like Elder Adams has some pointed advice for Rev. A. Stewart

Delegates candid 2

Delegates candid 3
For some reason, gatherings under the east basketball hoop are common.

Delegates candid 4

DK LT candid

And lunch time - how would synod ever be able to work without the wonderful lunches provided by the faithful ladies?! Thank you, too, for your service to synod!

lunch 1

lunch 2

PRC Synod 2018 - Day 3 (Thursday) at Adams Christian School

AdamsCS 1

The PRC Synod 2018 continued its work Thursday morning, June 14, at 8 AM at Adams Christian School.

officers 1
Officers of Synod 2018: Rev. C. Spronk (1st clerk), Rev. R. Van Overloop (president), Rev. J. Laning (vice-president), Rev. G. Eriks (2nd clerk)

The second clerk (Rev. G. Eriks) has provided a summary of the business covered and the decisions reached (also attached in pdf form). They are as follows:

After opening devotions, synod considered the report of the Contact Committee. One of the highlights of the day was the speeches from the representatives of our sister churches.

CERC Leong
Elder Leong Fai Chong from Covenant ERC in Singapore (sister church) addressed synod (cf. report above).

  • Elder Leong Fai Chong from the Covenant Evangelical Church in Singapore expressed gratitude for the many benefits of the sister church relationship: the ministry of Rev. Lanning and his family, pulpit supply while they are without a pastor, and faithful seminary instruction for their students. Rev. Van Overloop assured them also of the great blessing the relationship is for us.
  • Rev. Angus Stewart, representing the Covenant PRC in N. Ireland extended the greetings of the CPRCNI to synod, the PRCA, and the our sister churches. He expressed their hearty thanks for the literature, faithful pulpit supply, church visitors, and financial support from the PRCA.
  • When we came to the material concerning our contact with the PRC in the Philippines, Rev. Leovino Trinidad addressed synod. He expressed thanks for the gracious work of the Lord in forming the PRCP. He also expressed great thanks for the missionaries from the PRCA and the sister church relationship.
  • Also letters were read from two other contacts we have. A letter was read from the BERG, the congregation in Giessen, Germany, with whom the PRCA has contact. And a letter was read from the Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Australia.

 RevAStewart
Rev. A. Stewart, pastor of Covenant PRC in N. Ireland, also addressed syod as a representative of a sister church to the PRCA.

Here are some other highlights of the work of synod regarding the Contact Committee report.

  • Synod approved the calling of a minister-on-loan to provide a pastor for our sister church in Singapore. Grandville PRC was again appointed the calling church for the calling of the MOL.
  • With much thanksgiving synod approved the implementation of sister-church relations with the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines after our other sisters in Singapore and N. Ireland expressed they have no objections to establishing the sister-church relationship. After this was approved, Rev. Van Overloop addressed Rev. Trinidad and Rev. Holstege expressing our thanks at what God has given to us in the sister church relationship. Synod sang Ps. #371 and Prof. Gritters offered a prayer of thanksgiving.

One of the main issues this synod must consider is Psalter revision. Two things to note here:

  • Synod considered the protest of Mr. Peter Vander Schaaf who protested the decision of Synod 2017, Article 82, in which synod instructed the Contact Committee “to poll our consistories in order to gauge denominational support for the project of Psalter revision…” After careful consideration and a lengthy discussion, the brother’s protest was not sustained.
  • Then synod discussed a recommendation of the pre-advice committee regarding the work of Psalter revision. After a lengthy discussion, synod decided to recommit the matter to the committee for reformulation. Synod anticipates treating this matter Friday morning.

Synod dealt with a few other matters this afternoon:

  • Synod considered matters dealing with domestic missions. Synod approved the budget and expressed its thanks to Rev. and Alva Spriensma and to Byron Center PRC for for their faithful work and assured them of our prayers for God’s blessing upon their labors.
  • Synod expressed its thanks to Chuck Terpstra for his work of overseeing our denominational website, and thanked Luke Bomers, Brad Kamminga, and Alex Postma for their help with the website and the denominational app.
  • Finally, synod treated a few recommendations from the catechism book committee. Synod appointed Prof. Cammenga and Rev. den Hartog jointly to compile a different memory work schedule for the Juniors and Seniors curriculum and approved the work of the catechism book committee.

LTrinidad 3

Rev. Leovy Trinidad also gave greetings to synod, in this case, on behalf of the PRC in the Philippines, the newest "sister" of the PRCA.

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