The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, June 13, the twenty-fourth Lord's Day of this year 2021.
Today as we gather for worship, we bring our praise and thanks to our triune God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. ...Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. ...Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. ~ Psalm 9:1,2, 11,13,14
- If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- Last Sunday Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) declined the call to Wingham PRC. He continues to consider the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received May 30).
- Today Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) declined the call to Hudsonville PRC.
- The congregation of Crete PRC will vote for a new pastor from the following trio after her service this evening: Rev. N. Decker (Grandville PRC); Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC); and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). UPDATE: Rev. J.Engelsma has received this call.
- From Byron Center (MI) PRC's bulletin today: Professor Russell Dykstra accepted the call he received from us to be our next pastor. Prof. Dykstra and his wife Carol plan to move into the parsonage on June 18. Lord willing, Prof. Dykstra will be installed as our new pastor on Sunday, June 27. Prof. Barry Gritters will lead the morning worship service and Prof. Dykstra will preach his inaugural sermon that evening.
- The final worship services of Bethel PRC (Roselle, IL) will be held on June 27, D.V. May the Lord continue to be with the congregation and her pastor, Rev. Lee, as they prepare for the disbanding of this dear congregation.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. N.Decker in Byron Center PRC; Rev. J.Engelsma in Crete PRC (IL); Prof. R.Dykstra and Sem. M.Wee in First PRC-Holland; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Maatman in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. A.Spriensma in Kalamazoo PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. C.Haak in Providence PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation to help one another in this need.
May we also remember to pray for all the needs of these vacant congregations, including Wingham PRC, which cannot receive pulpit supply from the U.S. at this time (pandemic travel restrictions) and which is also under new lockdown orders, meaning that the church's in-person worship and other meetings are suspended for the time being. May the Lord encourage their hearts during these difficult times and soon open the way for them to gather in person again.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Did you know that...
- a new Sunday School season has begun in many of our PRC congregations this summer? With the Christian school year over and catechism season ended the time has come for the church's children to receive Bible and doctrine instruction in this way. Let's pray for the teachers involved in this and for the covenant children, that this too may be a means of great good for them.
Pittsburgh PRC's consistory room and nursery are undergoing repairs this summer? Along with that note in her bulletin was one asking parents to watch their children so as to avoid the mess. Yes, those curious children... and parents.
Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville MI, host of this year's PRC Synod
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- PRC Synod 2021:
- The delegates met in daily sessions from Tuesday to Friday this week, recessing early Friday afternoon. In order to give committees time to finish their work, synod plans to meet again Tuesday morning June 15 at 8 a.m. For the reports on synod's work and decisions, visit this page.
- Highlights: Sem. Josiah Tan successfully sustained his oral examination and was declared a candidate for the ministry of the Word. Missionary-pastor D. Holstege addressed synod on the work in the Philippines and in the PRCP. Synod extended a call to Rev. C.Griess (pastor of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) to serve as professor in the PRC Seminary, replacing Prof. B. Gritters in the area of Practical Theology and NT Studies.
- Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary is now in her spring/summer break. Continue to pray for the seminary in all her needs. The faculty keeps busy with preparation for the next term as well as with other activities, and many of the students return to their summer jobs. The seminary will be open daily during the spring and summer, except for holidays (M-F, 8-5).
- The professors are currently serving as committee advisors at the PRC Synod as it meets at Georgetown PRC. Synod plans to resume its sessions this coming Tuesday, June 15. This news concerning part of the synod's seminary business may also be reported here: Synod extended a call to Rev. C.Griess (pastor of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) to serve as professor in the PRC Seminary, replacing Prof. B. Gritters in the area of Practical Theology and NT Studies. He plans to answer by July 4.
- Last week Prof. R. Dykstra accepted the call to Byron Center (MI) PRC. He plans to be installed on June 27 by Prof. B. Gritters. We pray for Prof. Dykstra and his wife Carol as they prepare to transition to the pastoral ministry once again. In the Fall Prof. Dykstra will also be finishing his final year of teaching at the PRC Seminary (2 classes) as Prof. Kuiper prepares his final courses to replace him.
- Senior student Josiah Tan (Covenant ERC, Singapore) was examined at the PRC Synod this past week and was approved as a candidate for the ministry in his home church, Covenant ERC in Singapore as well as in the PRC. His graduation ceremony was held on June 10 in Georgetown PRC. For more on this event, visit this link. We rejoice with the brother and his wife in God's goodness and pray that he will soon find a place to serve in Christ's church.
- The internship of Seminarian Marcus Wee (Covenant ERC, Singapore) will take place this summer and fall (July - December) at Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) under Rev. C. Spronk.
- With joy the faculty announces that it has licensed student Matthew Koerner (entering his junior year) to speak a word of edification in the churches. We are grateful for the brother’s progress to this point in his training. As of May 30 he has begun preaching in various PRCs.
- Work continues on the Spring 2021 issue of the PRTS Journal. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please call or email the seminary.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
The May and June issues of "Covenant Reformed News" are available! See more on this below.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- From the "Pastoral Voice" in her bulletin today: Many of us have witnessed the examinations of our Seminarian Josiah Tan this past week at the PRCA’s Synod 2021 hosted by Georgetown PRC via livestreaming. Here’s an extract from the PRCA’s announcement after the first day: Senior Seminarian Josiah Tan preached a specimen sermon on Psalm 89:1 at around 10:00 this morning. As it had the night before, synod heard a stirring word of God about the amazing mercies of God. Synod unanimously voted to approve Sem. Tan’s sermon and to proceed to his oral examination. We are thankful that Seminarian Josiah sustained the examination and Synod has declared him eligible for a call in CERC. The examination was modified by the Theological School Committee to include Classical examination to facilitate future calling of Seminarian Josiah in CERC. This means that he may not need to be examined again should he be called by CERC.
- CERC has also returned to increased covid restrictions due to an increase in cases in the country. The congregation is divided into 4 groups (50 persons are allowed) that will rotate for in-person services. All other church meetings are suspended or will be held online. Let us remember them in prayer during this time.
- Re the Kolkata, India mission work: May we continue to remember the brethren in Kolkata, that God gives grace and strength to Rev Singh as he ministers to the people there amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the cyclone that hit their land recently. May God’s mercy be upon them as they continue in their labour to spread the gospel and worship of Him.
- The April 2021 issue of Salt Shakers is now available! Visit the link to read the edifying articles. Especially are young people are encouraged to do so!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland and her Limerick, Ireland mission:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word in person to the saints in Ballymena.
- This past week the May and June 2021 issues of the "Covenant Reformed News" were published. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- Rev. M.McGeown continues to minister the Word in Limerick (now in person again!) until he is able to come to the U.S. to serve Providence PRC. To read his last update (newletter), visit this page. *Important update (from Sunday's bulletin):
Rev McGeown’s last Sunday preaching for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will be 27 June, while Rev Stewart will preach one more time for us on 4 July. After 4 July the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will officially cease meeting. This will give Rev McGeown time to visit friends and family in Northern Ireland, attend a medical examination on 13 July, and arrange an international move, before travelling to the USA in August. This assumes that the immigration interview (24 June) and the medical examination (July 13) go well and that the visa is issued in late July/early August. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The latest Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. D.Kleyn led the services today. ...live streaming of our worship services will be available on Berean PRC Facebook page. The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecijawill join u sin our worship services today via live streaming at face book live, the Lord willing.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe led the services today. The live-streaming of our services will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page.
- The PRCP Classis met yesterday in Provident PRC and was able to complete its work just before5:00 p.m. We thank the Lord for His goodness in guiding the Classis in all its labors. We pray the decisions may be used of Him for the building up of our churches in our unity of faith and of the love of Christ.
- The latest Philippines' Newsletter may be found here.
- Rev. R.Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA) is currently doing a series on the Gospel according to Mark. Today's message is based on Mark 3:28-30 and titled "The Only Unforgiveable Sin."
- Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener?
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
Looking for reading ideas for the summer? How about graduation or wedding gifts? Consider the Reformed Book Outlet in Hudsonville, MI!
- Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
In the last issue of the News, we introduced the beautiful truth of the catholicity of the church and began to explore what we referred to as the church’s geographical catholicity.
Unlike other religions, biblical Christianity does not, and will never, have an earthly centre or headquarters, such as Rome (Roman Catholicism), Jerusalem (Judaism, premillennialism and dispensationalism), Mecca/Medina (Islam) or Salt Lake City (Mormonism). All notions of an earthly centre or headquarters represent a retrograde (and false) religious step.
The elect, redeemed and regenerate people of God have their headquarters (as it were) in heaven, where the risen Christ lives, the sole king and head of the church. The “Jerusalem which is above … is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26), “For our conversation [or citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). The church’s (geographical) catholicity not only includes the horizontal aspect, the church militant in the various continents and countries of the earth, but also the vertical dimension, the church triumphant in heaven.
...Thus, unlike the pagan religions, the faith of Jesus Christ does not dominate in its place of origin (Jerusalem, Israel, the Middle East). Befitting its nature as catholic, Christ’s church is the most widely spread of the religions. The white horse of the gospel must ride through all the earth (Rev. 6:1-2) converting the elect and hardening the reprobate, for “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).
Rev. A. Stewart in the May 2021 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" (also attached to this news page in pdf form)