Young People’s Activities

Beginning on Monday, July 30, and running through Thursday, August 2, the Young People’s So­cieties of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA and the Lynden, WA PRC hosted the second annual Young People’s Western Retreat at Pend Oreille Bible Camp in New­port, WA, north of Seattle on the Idaho border. Thirty-five young people from our churches in Lynden, Spokane, Loveland, Edmonton, and Lacombe planned to attend. The theme of the retreat was, “Stand Fast in One Spirit,” from Philippians 1:27. Rev. S. Key and Rev. R. Kleyn spoke on the retreat theme, and Rev. R. Hanko and Mr. F. Hanko led dis­cussion groups on the topic of “True Christian Love.” Activities included volleyball, basketball, water games, swimming, hiking, and spending a day at the Silverwood Amusement Park. This retreat gives the young people of our isolated western churches an opportunity to have a good time and fellowship with oth­ers of our denomination and get to know each other better. This is also helpful for Young People’s Conventions they may attend in the future. But even more importantly, it serves as a means to prepare our young people spiritually as they take their place in our churches and denomina­tion.

Mission Activities

Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn returned safely to the Philippines on July 11 after a busy and profit­able furlough during which they gave numerous presentations on the work of the Philippine Mission. We pray for the Lord’s blessing upon them and the Smits as they return to their labors in the extension of the holy gospel of our Lord.

We also add here that Rev. Kleyn recently agreed to be reappointed by the Council of the Doon IA PRC and the Foreign Mission Commit­tee to another three-year term of service as one of our denomination’s missionaries to the Philippines. Rev. Smit has just completed the first year of his second three year term of service. We give thanks to God for the good work that our mission­aries willingly continue to perform.

We also extend to Mr. Vernon Ibe, a member of the Berean PRC in Manila, our congratulations on his graduation from our Protestant Reformed Seminary this past June. Mr. Ibe and his wife, Melody, and their two sons returned home to the Philippines in July where he, the Lord willing, will take up labors as a pastor of the Word and sacra­ments.

In connection with the Ibe fam­ily’s leaving in July for the Philip­pines, we see that First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI, the church home for the Ibes the past five years, held a farewell program for them on Sunday, July 8. All of our churches in the area were invited to join First congregation in saying farewell to the Ibe family.

With much thanksgiving to God, the Berean PRC in the Philippines declared Mr. Vernon Ibe a candi­date for the ministry of the Word and sacraments and has presented him to their congregation for a call. The congregation will be asked to vote on that call after their worship services on Sunday, August 5.

The Southwest PRC in Grand­ville, MI and the Domestic Mis­sion Committee of our churches have approved sending four min­isters from the DMC to assist in the work in Pittsburgh from the months of September through No­vember. This added assistance is meant to help expand our witness to the north of Pittsburgh.

Congregation Activities

At a congregational meeting on July 8, the congregation of Cov­enant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA approved a proposal from their Council to purchase the house in which their pastor, Rev. R. Kleyn, and his family are currently living, to be the church’s parsonage. This will be the first property that the congregation owns, as they currently worship in rented facilities. Some of the reasons the Council gave for do­ing this are: 1) This should reduce Covenant’s subsidy burden on the denomination; 2) this will help the church to establish real estate and financial records, which will be good for other real estate purchases in the future (e.g., the purchase of a church building; 3) this frees the pastor of real estate and financial burdens; and 4) Covenant is in a good position to do this financially. We add that this is a big and positive step forward for Covenant of Grace as they continue to grow and seek to become more established as a church.

On Sunday morning, July 8, Rev. Doug Kuiper was installed as the 13th pastor of Edgerton, MN PRC. The service was led by Rev. D. Kleyn, missionary to the Philippines. Rev. Kleyn chose to preach from the Word of God found in John 3:30 under the theme, “John’s Willingness to Decrease.” Rev. Kuiper preached his inaugural sermon that night un­der the theme, “The Fundamental Duties of a True Prophet,” using the Word of God found in I Samuel 12:23, 24. A welcome program for the Kuiper family was held after the evening service. We join with Edg­erton in asking for God’s blessing upon Rev. Kuiper as he takes up the work of pastor in their midst.

Minister Activities

We extend our congratulations to Rev. Jonathan and Keri Mahtani on the occasion of the birth of a son, Ezra Samuel, born on July 24.

Rev. Cory Griess declined the call extended to him to serve as the next pastor of the vacant Hope PRC in Walker, MI.

Rev. Andrew Lanning received the call from the Grandville, MI PRC to serve as minister-on-loan to our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church.