Trivia question

Of the 19 churches in Classis East, how many are not in Michigan? Answer later in this column.

School activities

The Federation of Protestant Reformed School Societies is pleased to offer the “History and Principles of Reformed Education” course this coming fall and winter at the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. The instructor will be Prof. R. Dykstra. Although the purpose of this course is to educate teachers, it is open to all interested individuals. School board members, parents, grandparents, and lovers of Christian education will benefit from gaining a better understanding of the history and principles of Reformed education. This course is offered at no charge for participants, so please take advantage! The classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings with the first two classes being held November 13 and December 11. The remaining classes will be held approximately two times per month, January through May 2020. Visit for more information and registration.

The Northwest Iowa PR School Society in Doon re­cently approved the project of paving the school park­ing lot. This was completed in late summer and all are now driving in style on smooth pavement. The Board’s proposal to purchase a 12-passenger van for the school was also approved, so that transportation is supplied for class trips and for the joint band practices in Hull each week.

Denominational activities

Classis East met for two days in September (11, 12). Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman sustained his classical exam and Southeast PRC was advised to proceed to his ordination. Classis approved the organization of a new congregation with the proposed name of Unity PRC, a daughter of Byron Center PRC. Approval was given for the emeritation of Rev. Michael DeVries effective January 1, 2020 after 41 years of faithful service in five PR congregations. Approval was given in a matter of discipline. In addition, classis treated six appeals and protests and one overture, adopted a pulpit-supply schedule, and appointed a moderator for Kalamazoo PRC.

Classis West met in late September with a lengthy agenda and the examination of pastor-elect Matt Kortus. At last report, brother Kortus had sustained his exam and was to be ordained and installed in Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) on Sunday, October 6.

The annual meeting of the RFPA was held on Sep­tember 26. Rev. Justin Smidstra spoke on “Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading” at Zion PR Church in Jenison, MI. All in the area were invited to attend, and for the benefit of those who live out of state, this event was live-streamed as well. Let’s not let read­ing become a lost art!

Congregational activities

Following pastor-elect J. Maatman’s successful examination by Classis East, the Consistory of Southeast

PRC scheduled his ordination and installation into the gospel ministry as their next pastor. This took place on Friday evening, September 27, at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. David Engelsma officiated at the service, an official call to worship for the Southeast congregation.

Members of Southeast PRC were all invited to a Fall Pizza gathering at the Mines Golf Course Pavilion on Friday, September 20. Pizza, beverages, and lots of fun were provided! The plans included a few children’s ac­tivities, along with a hayride, followed by a bonfire with s’mores. Sounds like a great fall activity!

The congregation in Doon, IA recently accomplished the milestone of singing through the psalms in its ser­vices. Since August of 2015 the second song of the second service has been devoted to advancing through the psalms one at a time. When they sang Psalter 409 (Psalm 150) on September 15, the mission was complet­ed. It was a good way to be sure some psalms were not left out in their congregational singing. It remains to be seen if they start over soon with Psalm 1.

Evangelism activities

On September 24 the Southwest Evangelism Committee invited the congregation to a Society Kick-Off and Ice Cream Social. Pastor David Noorman gave a speech explaining some ways in which this aspect of congregational life might promote a faithful witness. Members were invited to join one of the Bible societies. All were invited to stay around afterward for fellowship and ice cream (served by the young people). A nice start to the society season.

From the Evangelism Committee of Crete, IL PRC comes this note:

The world around us is becoming increasingly digital; we see many instances of this in society as well as in the church. Digital technology can be used wisely and productively; however, we often do not notice or stop to think about the effects it may be having on our spiritual life. Plan now to join for a fall lecture “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” to be given by Rev. Nate Decker on Thursday, October 31, at Crete Protestant Reformed Church, D.V. Rev. Decker will address this topic from a distinct Reformed viewpoint and have the audience consider wisdom in our use of digital media. All in the area are encouraged to attend.

Young people’s activities

Young people of Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI were invited to join together Friday, September 20 at church for a night of fellowship and fun. Included were three escape rooms and games. Incoming young people were encouraged to attend and all could take friends along. I hope everyone made it out of those rooms! What if someone didn’t escape?!

At Grandville, MI PRC the Young People’s Society once again participated in the Farm Girl Flea this Fall. This fundraiser was held on September 28th and all the proceeds will go toward the 2020 YP Convention. Hmmm…I have lived in farm country all my life but never heard of such a thing! Efforts to discern just what this entailed were unfruitful at printing time. Suffice it to say that we’re not sure what it is, but we’re pretty sure it occurred!

Trivia answer

Of the 19 churches in Classis East, only three are not in the state of Michigan. They are: Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, Indiana, Pittsburgh PRC in Pennsylvania, and Wingham PRC in Ontario, Canada. More trivia next time.