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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - July 2, 2017 *(Updated)

Calvin justif 1On this July 2, 2017 Lord's Day we give the following updates on news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields, as well as denominational activities:

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) is considering the call from First PRC (Holland, MI). He plans to answer by July 16.
  • On June 25 Rev. N. Decker (Trinity PRC) DECLINED the calls from Southwest PRC and from Zion PRC (Hudsonville/Jenison, MI).
  • The consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. Allen Brummel (Heritage, Sioux Falls), Eric Guichelaar (Randolph), and Nathan Langerak (Crete, Illinois). *Update: The congregation voted on July 2 to extend a call to Rev. A. Brummel.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • The Synod of 2017 called Rev. D. Kuiper to serve in the PRC Seminary as professor of church history and NT studies, in replacement of Prof. R. Dykstra. Today he announced his acceptance of this call. We give thanks to God for providing a man for this position, and pray for him and his family as well as Edgerton PRC as he makes this transition and prepares for his new post.
  • The PRC Synod of 2017 concluded its sessions on June 21, at Hudsonville PRC. Summary reports on each day may be found under the synod section of this website.

MISSION NEWS:

  • Byron Center PRC Council has made a new trio for home missionary. The trio consists of Revs. S. Key (Loveland, CO), R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA) and A. Spriensma (Byron Center).  *Update: The congregation voted on July 2 to call Rev. A. Spriensma.
  • On June 25 Rev. H. Bleyenberg (Providence PRC, Hudsonville, MI) DECLINED the call Doon PRC extended to him to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines.
  • From the Provident Christian Church bulletin for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Today is the beginning of two full worship services at PCC! Let us rejoice and thank God for this evidence of Him building the Church at PCC! We welcome you all and pray that you will be refreshed as we worship the Father today in spirit and in truth.

    • Rev. Holstege will preach for us twice today. Rev. Kleyn will be in Bulacan with Sem. Matt Kortus and his wife Sarah.

    • The 7M pastors classes will be held this Tuesday, July 4, at 9:30 am here at PCC, Lord willing.

    • From Friday (July 7) to Monday (July 10), Rev. Kleyn and Sem. Kortus will accompany a delegation of the PRCP to the Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte. Pray for safety and a blessing on their trip.

 The Kleyns' posted some pictures and descriptions of the recent visit of Rev. H. Bleyenberg and his wife, while he was considering the call to be a missionary to the Philippines. Below are a couple of samples. Find more at the link provided.

Bleyenbergs 2017 1Rev. Bleyenberg spoke for PCC's Wednesday night class (usually led by Rev. Holstege on the Canons of Dordt) on "How To Study the Bible."

Bleyenbergs Ibes 2017 2
At the Ibes to say hi.

Mrs. Stephanie Lanning (wife of Rev. A. Lanning, pastor of Covenant ERC in Singapore - blog is "Stories from Singapore") has added to her posts on the recent church camp there.  We include a couple of those pictures here.

 CERC Camp 2017 1

CERC camp 2017 2

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Reformed News Asia - June 2017

Issue 41 - June 2017
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN MARRIAGE
By Rev Wilbur Bruinsma

"Conflict in marriage is inevitable.  It is so because in marriage two sinners are bound together by God.  None of us is free of sin.  And sin is what gives rise to conflict in marriage.  There are disagreements that arise between a husband and a wife.  In fact, it is a wonder that God, almost miraculously, takes two incompatible sinners and makes them one flesh, and then, by His grace, causes them to live together in that peace and that joy which is necessary for marriage."

In a two-part series aired over the Reformed Witness Hour radio broadcast, Rev Bruinsma talks about one of the main causes of conflict in marriage - pride - as well as practices that should be found in every marriage: giving, communication, reading the Word of God together and repentance.

Read to find out more!

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.
Less Than The Least
by Cornelius Hanko

From the RFPA website:

"Son of Dutch immigrants to America, Rev. Hanko served six pastorates in five states, most notably in First Protestant Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1948–1964), along with Rev. Herman Hoeksema and Rev. Hubert De Wolf. Rev. Hanko poignantly describes the grief caused in the PRC by De Wolf’s heresy and schism (1953).

More than this, Less Than the Least follows Rev. Hanko from his childhood, school days, and seminary training, all the way to his retirement (1977) and beyond.

This delightful book comes complete with photos and appendices."
 
Audio Recordings
Here are the 4th and 5th sermons of Rev Lanning's new series on Galatians:

4) Justified By The Faith Of Jesus Christ
5) The Charge Of Antinomianism

Also, click here to access the 4 speeches from our recent church camp.
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save these dates!

1) 9 Aug 17 - Fellowship Outing

2) 1 Sep 17 - Family Seminar

More details coming soon!
 
Past Events...
 
CERC Church Camp (12-15 Jun)
June's always an exciting month for CERC, with school holidays for the children and many church activities. It's also the time of the year for our annual church camp, one of the highlights of our organic church life.

This year, we returned to one of our favourite camp locations - Awana Genting! Situated up in the mountains of Malaysia, the cooler environment was a respite from the sweltering heat of Singapore. It was also a relief for the 7 Americans that had joined us from PRCA (see if you can spot them!). Given its location, the camp theme - Zion founded on the mountains - was an apt one, and the related speeches and discussions were nourishing for our souls.
GROUP PHOTO! We had quite a turnout this camp, with just over 110 campers.
Our camp speaker, Rev Andy Lanning
One of the 10 discussion groups
Ice-Breakers! Do you know your group members??
Brave souls preparing to embark on an exhilarating, physically-challenging, leech-infested, FUN hike.
Intense game of Captain's Ball during our free time.
The beautiful view from one of the hotel rooms.
 
CK/CKS June Retreat (24-26 Jun)
Another highlight in June (for the young people) is the Covenant Keepers' retreat. Held at Changi Cottage over 3 days, it was a nice way for the youths to spend time together in fellowship and studying God's word. The theme this year was "The God of Zion's Youth".
Group Photo, with first-time chairman, Joseph Teo posing in front.
In a game of Mental Sums, Rachel Buiter (who happens to be going to school for Math), loses to her brother Brian and gets splashed in the face.
The unconventional game of crab soccer. The game eventually ended when the ball got punctured by thorns. How deflating.
Rev Lanning was unable to speak for us in person as he was attending the PRCA Synod. So we watched recorded speeches that he had prepared and sent us instead.
 
7 Young Americans!
More (young) visitors to add to the list! This past month, we welcomed and hosted 7 young Americans from the PRCA: From Hope (Redlands): Brian and Rachel Buiter, Bruce and Emily Feenstra; from Crete: Lydia Smits and Cobie Lenting; from Hope (Walker): Monica Koole.

We had a whale of a time taking them around Singapore, letting them try our foods (including the un-disputably delicious Durian), fellowshipping in church and at the camp/retreat, and simply getting to know one another.
Atop the look-out tower at Pulau Ubin
Volleyball showdown! USA vs. SG - guess who won??
Traveling the Singaporean way - MRT (train system)
Trying out some local delights - dim sum
Farewell Sunday - as usual, our visitors were given a very warm farewell.  During the entertainment segment, they were made to answer questions about Singapore and CERC. For each wrong answer, they all had the privilege of savouring a local dish (:
Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
 
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 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  • www.cerc.org.sg 
 
 
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Covenant Reformed News - June 2017

Covenant Reformed News

June 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 14


Our Identity in Christ (3)

Men and women truly know and rejoice in their identity as human beings, and as male and female, only in Jesus Christ! We entered our new, spiritual life through the new birth. We had a first, physical birth and we were born again with a spiritual birth. Our first birth was here below; our second birth was from above. For most of us, our first birth took place in a hospital; our second birth was from heaven.

This second birth enables us to understand our earthly identity as human beings and gives us a spiritual and heavenly identity as Christians. Through our new birth, we are children of God in the Son of God, not spiritual orphans. God is our Father, “Our Father which art in heaven,” as the address of the Lord’s Prayer puts it. To Him we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).

As those with a new life through a new birth, we are new men and new women in Christ. As II Corinthians 5:17 puts it, “old things are passed away.” These include the old, sinful ideas of identity—pagan ideas, secular ideas, the vain traditions handed on to us by the world (cf. I Pet. 1:18).

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). This is our new identity and new life in the Lord Jesus.

It is an amazing thing that we find our real identity through our identification with Jesus Christ! What is the believer’s justification? What is the righteousness of God that He imputes and reckons to my account? It is not any righteousness that I have wrought but the righteousness of another, even Jesus Christ.

What is my sanctification? Not any holiness or goodness that I have worked up of myself. It is the holiness of Jesus Christ Himself wrought in me by His Holy Spirit. “Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20). I died in the first Adam; I live through the last Adam!

So what has happened to each and every believer? Just what Jesus said! We find our true selves by denying ourselves and losing our lives for His sake (Matt. 16:24-25); we find our true identity by losing our old, sinful identity.

The believer also knows that he or she is not perfect— far from it! “Simul justus et peccator,” as Martin Luther famously put it, that is, “At the same time just and sinner.” The child of God is just or righteous with the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ which is received by faith alone. But also and at the same time, he is a sinner. In me is not only the new man in Jesus Christ but also the old man or indwelling sin. Though the flesh is dethroned and not dominant, it still lusts for sin and against the spirit (Gal. 5:17). There is a battle within us and this too is part of our identity while here in this life. Yet it is the new man that is “me” in the deepest sense (cf. Rom. 7:14-25) for it is dominant and everlasting, whereas my old man will die with my physical death.

This is your identity, child of God. You are a loved person—loved by God. You were loved by Him before you were converted, before you were born and even before the foundation of the world, for you were beloved in Jesus Christ in God’s eternal decree of election!

You are a redeemed person. Jesus Christ bought you back from sin and death and hell by paying the ransom price for you by His blood on the cross! “This is my only comfort in life and death,” says the child of God, according to the opening words of the Heidelberg Catechism, “That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil.”

We are in a gracious covenant with the Triune God in Jesus Christ. The Ruler of the cosmos, who inhabits eternity, dwells in the high and holy place with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit (Isa. 57:15). My Maker reveals Himself to me in His beautiful creation all around me, in His infallible Word and in the cross of Jesus Christ.

How else does being in Jesus Christ determine our identity? In Christ, we have “got a life,” abundant life (John 10:10), not a life in the slavery of sin. In Christ, we have purpose: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, A. 1), whereas most people drift through life not knowing what they are supposed to be doing or why they are here.

We have dignity because we are prophets, priests and kings in Jesus Christ, and not mutated protoplasm. This affects our life and work! We are rich for all things are ours, serving our salvation (I Cor. 3:21). We are not spiritual paupers!

We know the difference between right and wrong (ethics) and for us it is not being redefined every few years by new civil laws, opinion polls, the PC elite or the false church. God’s moral law (unlike ungodly man’s law) is written in stone and in our hearts, according to the promise of the new covenant (Jer. 31:33; II Cor. 3:3)!
We know what to do with our bodies. Our bodies are for the Lord and not for fornication (I Cor. 6:13). Our bodily members are to be used as “instruments of righteousness,” not as instruments of uncleanness and iniquity (Rom. 6:13, 19).

In short, in Jesus Christ, we have become truly human, better men and women, those who image God our Creator and Christ our Redeemer. After all, we have been stamped not with 666, the number of the beast, but with the seal of the Spirit!   Rev. Stewart

 

The More-Loving-Than-God Argument (3)


In my last two articles, I began a series addressing a reader’s concerns over the heresies of common grace and the gracious or well-meant offer of the gospel (the notions that God loves absolutely everybody and passionately desires to save those He has eternally decreed not to save). With this News, I continue my answers to his questions. 

Question 2. “Jesus told us to love our neighbour as He loves them. If He loves just a few, how come He asks us to love everyone? Does He not want us to be like Him? If Jesus loves only a few, and yet we aspire to love and have concern for everyone, are we not making ourselves more loving than He is?”

This question is very much like the first one (which we covered in the last issue of the News) and has the same errors. It assumes ideas that are unscriptural and untrue.  

The assertion that Jesus loves His neighbours who are all men is a purely human invention that is found nowhere in Scripture. I beg of the objector that he read such passages as John 17:9 and John 13:1. In fact, I know of a minister who used this very argument and so fell into the heresy of Nestorianism, the error that teaches that Jesus has two persons, a human and a divine. This view was condemned by the church early in its history at the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). The argument here goes like this: Jesus, in His human nature, loved His neighbour; His neighbour included all men head for head. Therefore, Jesus loved all men in His human nature, while in His divine nature He loved only the elect. That is heresy.

We are in the world and do not know who are God’s elect and who are not. God and Christ know. They love the elect. We are witnesses who are called to love our neighbour. That means that we seek the salvation of all those whom we know and meet in life. God wills that the reprobate hear the gospel, as well as the elect. He uses our witness through the preaching and personal witnessing to save His elect. He also uses our preaching and witness to bring the wickedness of the reprobate to a full manifestation  so that God may be justified in His punishment of those who reject His truth.

What is so hard to understand about that? It is biblical and glorifies God.

The defenders of common grace may not, as they do, argue from our love for all men to a universal love of God. We do not and cannot love all men. In any case, we must not manufacture a god who is like us (Ps. 50:21).

Question 3. “Paul in Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1 reveals that he has an ardent, earnest desire and longing for all his kinsman (head for head) to be saved. Yet you deny that God Himself desires all to be saved. Does not that make you more loving than God?”

At last, we have some texts with which to deal! It is the only appeal to Scripture in all the six questions. It is a relief, for it brings us back to God’s Word, instead of engaging each other in the arena of man’s philosophizing.

Yet I find the argument puzzling. Yes, Paul expressed his desire that all Israel be saved. Moses did something of the same thing when he prayed to God that He would spare Israel after their sin of worshipping the golden calf at Sinai. Moses loved God’s church so much that he was willing to go to hell for them (Ex. 32:32).

Has the defender of common grace never pleaded with God to spare someone whom he loved? His wife dying of cancer? his son who has fled home and lives a godless life?  Have not godly parents, while watching their little child writhe in pain, wished that they could suffer in the place of their child? 

God showed Moses and Paul that His will was not to save everyone. Moses learned this when God declared, “[I] will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (33:19). Paul wrote that, in spite of his personal desires, God does not save all Israel; He desires to save (and, therefore, saves) the true Israel of election (Rom. 9:6-8). God does not desire to save reprobate Jews or Gentiles: “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (13); “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [or wants to] have mercy, and whom he will [or wants to] he hardeneth” (18); “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing [or wanting or desiring] to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ...” (21-22).

And so the believer, in his anguish, prays, “Thy will be done,” and seeks the higher purpose in life’s sorrows: the glory of Almighty God.

I might add that neither Moses nor Paul had to go to hell because of their sin or the sin of the church, for Christ suffered for all His church so that, by the power of His particular and efficacious atonement, all the elect are saved from the hell we deserve.

Question 4. “You aspire to treat everyone with kindness (i.e., love them) and share the gospel with them (i.e., you want them to be saved) and yet God only loves a few. Are you making yourself more loving than God?”

It is true that the elect are, according to Isaiah, a hut in a garden of cucumbers, a besieged city and a very small remnant (Isa. 1:8-9). Isaiah was describing the church on earth which, at the time he prophesied, was limited to Israel, an Israel that had become mostly apostate. But the true church for which Christ died is described as being greater in number than the stars in the heavens and the sand at the seashore (e.g., Gen. 22:17). That number cannot be described as “a few,” although it is probably true that the number of the whole church is less than the number of all the reprobate.

Eternally, God chose to reveal and glorify Himself through Jesus Christ and the salvation of the elect in Him (Eph. 1:3-14). Eternally, He determined that the reprobate would serve the purpose of saving the elect (Rom. 9:12)—as the chaff serves the purpose of bringing forth the wheat or as the scaffolding serves the erection of the building itself.

Yet the gospel is preached to elect and reprobate alike, because in the gospel the ungodly also are called to repentance. God’s judgment upon them is just for they have refused His command to repent and believe in Christ. They are damned for their unbelief, according to God’s eternal purpose: “them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed” (I Pet. 2:8). The reprobate were appointed to destruction in the way of their unbelief. Prof. Hanko

 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
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/cprcni • www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture
Thursday, 6 July, 2017
 7:15 PM

Speaker: Rev. M. McGeown

Subject: Humility

Humility, meekness, lowliness: these are distinct Christian qualities. Why are Christians, and especially Reformed Christians, humble? How do humble believers behave with respect to God, other members of the church and even unbelievers? What do the Reformed confessions teach about humility? What behaviour is consistent with, or inconsistent with, humility?
 
NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
www.limerickreformed.com
 

Reformation Resources

The 16th Century Reformation of the Church
edited by David Engelsma
(200 pp. Softback)
Twenty-five articles on the Protestant Reformation dealing with its central characters and doctrines.
Stirring stuff!
£7.70

Always Reforming
edited by David Engelsma
(318 pp. Softback)
This superb book traces the continuing reformation in the Netherlands in the 17th and 19th centuries and in the Protestant Reformed Churches in North America in the 20th century.
£9.90 

Portraits of Faithful Saints
Herman Hanko
(450 pp. Hardback)
Inspiring and instructive biographies of over 50 saints from the 1st to the 20th century, including Augustine, Patrick, Alcuin, Bernard of Clairvaux, Beza, de Brès, Tyndale, Ames and Gresham Machen.
£24.20

The Reformed Faith
of John Calvin

David Engelsma
(472 pp. Hardback)
An excellent summary of Calvin’sInstitutes, including explanation, analysis and application for today of this great Reformer’s much-needed teaching.
£19.80

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

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

Celebrating
500 Years
of the Reformation

----
Reformation
Conference

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
11 AM -  “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God”
1 PM - “Justification in Paul
and in James”
(lunch served between the two lectures)

Friday, 27 October, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Martin Luther: Man of Conviction”

Friday, 3 November, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

Speaker
 Prof. David J. Engelsma 

emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Venue
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence St., Ballymena, N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services,
11 AM & 6 PM, on Lord’s Days22 & 29 October and
5 November

Watch www.cprc.co.uk or contact us at (028) 25 891851 
for more details closer to the event 

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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for July 2017

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for July 2017 on the RWH radio program.

Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he continues a series on marriage this month.

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 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).

July 2, 2017 - Husband, Love Your Wives, Eph.5:25-27

July 9, 2017 - Husbands, Love with Purpose, Eph.5:27

July 16, 2017 - The Husband is the Head of His Wife, Eph.5:23

July 23, 2017 - To Provide and Protect, Eph.5:23

July 30, 2017 - A Wife's Submission to Her Husband, Eph.5:22-24

RWH Flyer July 2017 Page 1

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Philippines Mission Newsletter - June 2017

philmap2

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER


Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
PO Box 1173 ACPO, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870, Philippines


Dear Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our Sister Churches.

This newsletter will be a little different from the usual. Rather than writing a summary of the various areas of our work, I give you instead some snippets of news that my wife has recently written. Hope you enjoy these. Hope too that they give you a little window into our lives and into the work here.
**************
Sunday, March 12
Today we were in the PRC in Bulacan. I have to say, I really enjoyed being there again. It had been a long time. Rev. Kleyn preached the first service and Rev. Flores the second (in Tagalog). The singing was really enjoyable – they do a good job and already know the Psalter well. I enjoyed seeing how the little children had grown and it was great to catch up with everyone. We had to leave soon after the 2nd service as Rev. Kleyn needed to attend a Steering Committee meeting in Provident. We got to Provident before 2:00 and Rev. Holstege had just started the meeting with the other men. I drove Leah and the kids home. The guys came home later when their meeting was finished, and the Holsteges came over for supper.

Thursday, March 16
We had a young man drop by for books who had been here once before. He belongs to a Reformed Baptist church, is a student at a Bible College, and has bought the Confessions, Psalter, and some books on Calvinism. He read through all the Confessions and said he learned a lot about what Reformed is. This time he bought Reformed Worship, but wanted to talk about a-mil and pre-mil. He stayed for more than an hour and asked many questions.

Saturday, March 18
Rev. Kleyn had the twice-monthly 7M pastors’ classes this past Tuesday in Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela. On Wednesday evening we had supper at Holsteges. The Ibe family was also there, which was really nice. All the kids got on well together and had fun playing together. And of course, the adults enjoyed good fellowship, too.

Sunday, March 19
We were in Maranatha today. The group of 4 young adults from Victory Church (which is Pentecostal and Arminian) who now attend Maranatha has grown to 5. I think that makes a total of 7 (2 go to the Berean PRC). These people are all friends and were in what they call a cell group of about 12 of them in Victory Church. They still get together now and then as a group and have many discussions about what they are learning and what they believe. Who knows – there may be more in that group that come to our churches. The ones on Sunday asked Rev. Kleyn a lot of questions about sanctification. Some of them email questions to him every couple of days, too.

Tuesday, March 21
We were in Negros today (central Philippines) for the pastors’ classes in Sipalay. It was an interesting day again. The classes were well attended (15) and there were many questions and a lot of good discussion. It’s so rewarding to see some of the men (also some of the more recent ones) really starting to get it. Some of their comments were spot on. We had loads of luggage this time because we had two large book orders and a few smaller ones. We took along about 60 books. Now again I have orders for next time.

Friday, April 14
This past Wednesday through Friday was the youth camp for the three churches here. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn went, but Leah and I and the kids stayed home. There were three speeches at the camp by the local pastors. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn led devotions and helped with the games and transportation. The theme of the camp was “Love not the World” with speeches on Youth & Money, Youth & Technology, Youth & Society. They had discussion groups after each speech and Rev. Kleyn said he was impressed with the young people – some of them talked for 5 to 10 minutes about the speech and what was relevant to them. It was so nice that the youth from the different churches could interact with each other, get to know each other and grow together. They also had teams and many organized games. One of the games was that one of the members of your group had to recite Psalm 23 and
another member, Lord’s Day 1. The game Rev. Kleyn was in charge of was that they had to find peso coins in a bowl of flour. BUT, they had to find the coins with their mouths, and that after FIRST sticking their face in a bowl of water. Wow. A little gross, but pretty funny how they looked afterwards. The staff said they put Rev. Kleyn in charge of that one because then the kids wouldn’t dare argue or put up a fuss about it. Haha.

Sunday, April 30
Rev. Kleyn preached in Provident so Rev. Holstege could preach in the PRC in Bulacan. Rev. Holstege had not preached there before, so I went with them to show the way. Traffic was heavier than normal and we were running late by a good half hour. And to top it off, the road in front of Bulacan church was being torn up, so we couldn’t park there. Instead I dropped everyone off at the church and then took the car back about a kilometer to a member’s house for parking. We had to block traffic for a while by the church (almost caused gridlock I think) trying to turn the car around to go back. A member of the PRCB came along with me and we eventually got it parked, but then had to wait for a tricycle to take us back to church. Finally, at that point, my sense of humor took over, and I could get a little bit into the local mind-set of not worrying so much about time. ☺ We had lunch at church. The Holsteges and the visitors who were with us (from both Singapore and Northern Ireland) really enjoyed meeting all the people there. We left church about 2:00 and traffic was actually better on the way home, so we were home before 4:00. From the point of view of the catholic church, we had a beautiful Sunday. We had God’s people together from 4 closely related denominations and from at least 6 different nationalities. A pretty good representation of the universal church.

Saturday, May 20
Rev. Kleyn started teaching catechism in Provident again, after a summer break (he is still helping out a little in Provident so Rev. Holstege can have time for his Tagalog learning). Leah and I went and met the ladies and children once catechism was finished and we all headed to a pool near the church. The children had fun swimming and we ordered in Jollibee chicken meals for lunch. We stayed until about 2:00.

Sunday, May 21
Rev. Kleyn preached in Maranatha PRC today. We were supposed to have a Church Order class too (Rev. Kleyn is giving a brief overview of the Church Order for the congregation), but it was cancelled because of the heat. The men had a Consistory meeting after lunch, so I sat and chatted with three of the ladies. We had a nice visit. We talked about movies (started by the recent article in the Standard Bearer about the new Disney movie promoting the homosexual agenda). We talked about witnessing at work – how terrible the talk is at their work places and how many homosexuals they work with. And we talked a bit about Rev. Kleyn’s sermon on The Communion of Saints. The Consistory meeting didn’t last too long and we got home about 4:30.

Thursday, May 25
There is a neat story about the book, Saved By Grace. A man who attends Provident has had business meetings with a man from the Netherlands and gave him two copies of the book – one for him and one for his boss. The boss back in the Netherlands wrote back and said, “I am excited to receive such a book from a business friend, which is really uncommon! The title Saved by Grace is very close to my heart, and the faith in God through Jesus Christ, grounded on the Bible, is my daily source of life. Also, I fully underwrite the Calvinist doctrine, which is the closest to the Bible.” He attends a Reformed church in the Netherlands.

Saturday, May 27
Today we had a Reformed Discussion Table meeting in our home. There is a group of young adults (headed by some of the young adults who are members of the Berean PRC) who get together twice a month for doctrinal discussions. They asked Rev. Kleyn to speak on Common Grace today. So we had about a dozen young adults here. Rev. Kleyn taught catechism in Provident in the morning and then picked up a few of the young adults at the train station on the way home. The rest arrived over the next hour or so. Holsteges were here as well. They were all bombarding the men with questions about all kinds of things. Then at 3:00, Rev. Kleyn spoke for about an hour and that was followed by an hour of questions about the topic. I said to Rev. Kleyn, “I wonder how many questions you and Rev. Holstege were asked today?” Dozens probably. Leah helped with the food for supper. They all left at about 7:00.

**************
In conclusion, I’m thankful to report that both our families are doing well. The Holsteges are settling well into their life and work here and both we and the saints are very glad to have them here. We thank God for His daily care and blessings. We also thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Until next time, in Christian love,
Rev. Daniel Kleyn

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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Mission News - June 25, 2017

John 14 27On this final Lord's Day of June 2017 (June 25) we give the following updates on news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields, as well as denominational activities:

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On June 18 the congregation of First PRC (Holland, MI) voted to call Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA).
  • On June 18 Rev. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull IA) DECLINED the call from Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB.
  • This morning Rev. N. Decker (Trinity PRC) announced that he had DECLINED the call from Southwest PRC.
  • This morning Rev. N. Decker also anounced that he has DECLINED the call from Zion PRC (Hudsonville/Jenison, MI).
  • The consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. Allen Brummel (Heritage, Sioux Falls), Eric Guichelaar (Randolph), and Nathan Langerak (Crete, Illinois).
    The congregation plans to vote next Sunday after the afternoon service.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • The PRC Synod of 2017 concluded its sessions this past Wednesday evening, June 21, at Hudsonville PRC. Summary reports on each day may be found under the synod section of this website.
  • Synod called Rev. D. Kuiper to serve our churches as professor of church history and NT studies, in replacement of Prof. R. Dykstra.  He plans to announce his answer by July 16.

MISSION NEWS:

  • Byron Center PRC Council has made a new trio for home missionary. The trio consists of Revs. S. Key (Loveland, CO), R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA) and A. Spriensma (Byron Center).  The congregation plans to vote from this trio on July 2nd, after the evening service.
  • On May 14 the congregation of Doon PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. H. Bleyenberg to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. In order to properly consider this call, Rev. Bleyenberg and his wife visited the field for two weeks (June 9-22). This morning he announced he had been led to DECLINE this call.
  • From the Maranatha PRC and Provident Christian Church bulletins for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach for us twice today. Rev. Kleyn will be in Maranatha.
    • The Wednesday night Bible study will meet this week, June 28, at 7:30. Rev. Holstege will teach Heads III/IV, Articles 6ff of the Canons.
    • This coming Wednesday, June 28, one of the seminary students of the PRCA will be arriving in the Philippines, namely Seminarian Matt Kortus and his wife Sarah. Seminarian Kortus has just completed his 2nd year of seminary and will be doing a brief summer internship with Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Holstege. They plan to be here for approximately 8 weeks. We look forward to their arrival and to their time among us.

 Mrs. Stephanie Lanning (wife of Rev. A. Lanning, pastor of Covenant ERC in Singapore - blog is "Stories from Singapore") posted some recent pictures of the church camp there, and the seven American visitors they enjoyed.  We include one of those pictures here.

 CERC church camp 2017

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PRC Synod 2017 - Day Six Report

 wed crowd 1
A large crowd gathered for the discussion of several protests and appeals relating to the doctrine of salvation by grace alone in Christ alone.

The following report from day six of the PRC Synod 2017 (Wednesday, June 21, 2017) is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk. We take this opportunity to thank him for the daily reports.

Early in today’s session Rev. Doug Kuiper read a letter acknowledging the call to serve as professor of Church History and New Testament Theology and expressed his intention to answer the call no later than July 16, 2017.

Synod then turned to the advice of Committee II regarding the report of the Psalter Revision Committee. Synod instructed the Contact Committee (which is overseeing the work of the Psalter Revision Committee on behalf of synod) to poll the consistories in order to gauge denominational support for the project of Psalter revision and report back to Synod 2018.

Synod treated an appeal that contended that a consistory violated a members right to protest and appeal according to Article 31 of the Church Order when it placed that member under discipline after he filed a protest. Synod rejected this appeal and ruled that Article 31 of the church order was not violated.

Synod voted for synodical committee members with the following results (3 year terms unless otherwise stipulated):

A. Catechism Book Committee: Rev. R. Barnhill, Bob Vermeer.
B. Contact Committee Prof. R. Dykstra, Rev. Eriks, Sid Miedema.
C. Domestic Mission Committee: Revs. A. Spriensma, R. Van Overloop, Doug Dykstra (Faith), Doug Pastoor.
D. Emeritus Committee: Chester Hunter (primus), Gaylen Te Slaa (secundus).
E. Foreign Mission Committee: Revs. C.Griess and D.Kuiper, Leon Uitenbogaard, Perry Van Egdom.
F. Student Aid Committee: Jeremy Meulenberg, Steve Bylsma.
G. Theological School Committee: Revs. R. Van Overloop and W. Langerak and Cal Kalsbeek, Greg Van Overloop.
H. Finance Committee: Revs. G. Eriks and C. Haak.
I. Board of Trustees: Rev. G. Eriks (3 year term), Nick Kleyn (3 year term), Rev. R. Smit (2 year term), Sid Miedema (2 year term).

Synod treated the advice of Committee IV regarding five protests. This committee started last week by bringing recommendations regarding the legality of six protests. One protest was declared illegal on the ground that the protestant is not a member of the PRCA. So today Committee IV brought advice about the substance of the other five protests.

All of the protests had to do with decisions of synod 2016 regarding a sermon on John 14:6. Synod 2016 decided not to sustain an appeal that contended that the sermon in question teaches a conditional covenant. Synod 2017 sustained three protests against that decision declaring that the sermon did make “our good works part of the “way” of the text.” Synod also declared that another protest did not need to be treated since it asked for a clarification of a decision that synod has now overturned. Synod also rejected the protest of the consistory (of the pastor who preached the sermon) that defended the sermon on John 14:6. Synod made some decisions to try to help the consistory and the pastor work through and implement these decisions, and appointed a committee to help them in all matters pertaining to this case.

Synod 2016 also took a decision not to sustain the decisions of a consistory and Classis East to charge a man with antinomianism. Synod 2017 decided not to sustain a protest against that decision today. However, it did note that some of the statements made by the individual in question “taken at face value, are contrary to Scripture and the Reformed Confessions.”

Sometime around 8:00 p.m. the minutes of the day were read and approved. The Vice-President, Rev. Bruinsma thanked Rev. Key for his capable leadership as chairman of Synod 2017. Rev. Key thanked the delegates for their cooperation. Prof. Russell Dykstra Closed with prayer.

Synod 2017 is adjourned.

PRC Synod 2017 - Day Five Report

Delegates visitors Mon 1

The following report from day five of the PRC Synod 2017 (Monday, June 19, 2017) is furnished by Rev. C. Spronk, second clerk.

Synod began the day by treating the recommendations of Committee II regarding an appeal against the decision of Classis East to uphold a consistory’s decision to grant permission to members of the BERG (Confessing Protestant-Reformed Congregation of Giessen, Germany) to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Synod rejected this appeal.

The Catechism Book Committee (CBC) reported that it polled the consistories of our churches with regard to suggested improvements in the catechism books and workbooks used for the Bible History and Heidelberg Catechism classes. The CBC plans to evaluate the results of the poll and bring appropriate recommendations to Synod 2018. Synod approved the actions of the CBC.

The Contact Committee reported good news today about a potential seminary student, Dr. Ronald Carey. Dr. Carey is a physician in Vellore, India. Georgetown PRC is working with the group to which Dr. Carey belongs and recommends him for seminary. He, his wife, and their one child plan to move to the US in the fall of 2017. The Theological School Committee is in the process of admitting Dr. Carey as a special student. Because of Dr. Carey’s need for support synod decided to ask the congregations to take three collections in 2018 for the Foreign Student Assistance Fund.

Synod approved of the work of the synodical deputies from Classis West in their concurring with the decision of Classis East to approve of the organization of Zion PRC.

The following motions where moved, supported, and carried regarding our mission work in the Philippines:

1. That synod approve the work performed by Doon PRC’s Council and the FMC in the Philippines on behalf of the churches.
2. That synod express its appreciation to Doon PRC for their faithful oversight of the mission work in the Philippines.
3. That synod express its gratitude to Rev. and Mrs. Holstege and to Rev. and Mrs. Kleyn for their faithful service in the cause of the mission work in the Philippines.
4. That synod adopt a 2018 budget of $457,000 for the mission work in the Philippines (note: This amount is for three missionaries).
5. That synod grant financial assistance to the PRCP Classis in the amount of P671,952.44 (about $13,439) for 2018 to be taken from the FMC Special Mission Fund.

The FMC reported that it is working closely with Georgetown PRC in evaluating the work in India. The India Committee of the FMC is growing in its conviction that the time to call missionaries to India might be sooner rather than later. Another reason to pray that God will
provide us with more ministers!

Synod took a decision to request that our congregations designate four offerings for foreign missions and one offering for the Philippine book fund in 2018.

This afternoon synod began by treating the recommendations of Committee II regarding the Psalter Revision Committee. Synod declared that the proposed revisions of Psalms 73- 89 are in harmony with the principles of the text, music, and format approved in 2016. This decision is not a final approval of the section but is simply a statement that synod judges that the committee has faithfully followed the adopted principles. Synod also approved the distribution of Psalms 73-79 to the congregations for usage and feedback. Hopefully these booklets will be available in your church soon. Until then you can find the revisions at psalter.net. Committee Two made one more motion regarding Psalter revision that was recommitted for reformulation. More on that another day.

Synod welcomed Revs. Carl Haak and Andy Lanning to its session today. Rev. Haak did not attend the sessions of synod last week to attend to a pastoral need in the congregation he serves. Rev. Bill Langerak filled in for him, and we are thankful for his willing service to synod last week. Rev. Lanning, pastor of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, was not able to attend last week’s sessions because he was a speaker at the CERC’s church camp. He arrived today in time for the afternoon session of Synod.

Finally, synod took a decision to recess until Wednesday in order to give Committee IV more time to formulate its advice regarding six protests.

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