Mission Activities

The weekend of October 5 and 6 the members of the PR Fellowship in Pittsburgh, PA sponsored their annual Family Conference. The conference included two speeches, the first held Friday night and the second on Saturday morning. These speeches were given in the conference room of the Hyatt Place Cranberry in Cranberry Township, just north of the city of Pittsburgh. The theme of the conference was entitled, “Exercising Ourselves in the Knowledge of Scripture,” based on Psalm 131. Friday night Rev. James Slopsema, pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI, spoke on the subject, “Things Hid­den and Things Revealed.” This speech addressed the truth that there are certain things of God and His ways that God has chosen not to reveal to us, and are therefore beyond our understanding. Sat­urday morning Rev. W. Bruinsma, from our PR Fellowship in Pitts­burgh, spoke on the subject, “How Much Knowledge of Scripture is Enough?” This speech focused on what is necessary to know of those things God has revealed to us. Is the simple knowledge that Christ has died for our sins enough? Or will the true believer seek to know more and therefore search out the Scriptures to attain to a deeper, fuller knowledge of salvation? Af­ter each speech, time was given for open discussion of these subjects. Rev. Bruinsma writes that there were between 40 and 50 who attended the conference, with seven of those being visitors, and that all those attending testified that they thoroughly en­joyed the time together.

As we reported in our “News” of September 1, the Southwest PRC in Grandville, MI and the DMC of our churches approved the sending of four pastors over the fall and winter to assist in the work in Pittsburgh. As you may have guessed from read­ing the above, Rev. Slopsema was the first of these four pastors to travel to Pittsburgh. He and Rev. Bruinsma investigated Cranberry Township and Wexford in late September and early October to determine whether these places would be a potential area to begin a future work. They also planned to visit Butler to determine its potential as well. Rev. Garry Er­iks planned to arrive October 19 in order to help in the continued labors in Pittsburgh and in the north.

Denomination Activities

Prof. Barry Gritters spoke on the subject, “Church Membership in a Postmodern Era” at the Reformed Free Publishing Association’s an­nual meeting on September 27 at the Hudsonville, MI PRC. This speech by Prof. Gritters was given in connec­tion with and as a follow-up to a con­ference on postmodernism given by Hudsonville this past winter, and in connection with two books recently published by the RFPA written by Prof. David Engelsma: Bound to Join and A Defense of the Church Institute.

Sunday evening, October 7, the members of the Reformed Witness Hour, our denomination’s radio ministry, hosted a Fall RWH Rally at the Georgetown PRC in Hudson­ville, MI. This rally was intended to serve as a way to stir up enthusiasm for our radio and Internet ministry. The program included remarks from Rev. Carl Haak, the radio voice of the RWH, members of the RWH Committee giving a behind-the-scenes look at what is involved in producing our half-hour radio program each week, and a special number from the Hope Heralds.

Congregation Activities

On Sunday evening, September 30, Rev. Andrew Lanning, pastor of the Faith PRC in Jenison, MI since late 2006, preached his farewell ser­mon as their pastor. Rev. Lanning chose to preach from the Word of God in Numbers 6:22-27, under the theme, “The Lord Bless Thee, and Keep Thee.” Following the worship service, the congregation gathered to present their farewell in song and word to Rev. Lanning, his wife, Stephanie, and their children.

The following Thursday, Octo­ber 4, at 7:00 p.m., the congregation of the Grandville, MI PRC, as well as all those interested in our work in Singapore, were invited to gather in worship for the installation of Rev. Andrew Lanning as minister-on-loan to Singapore.

Rev. Lanning preached his in­augural sermon for the Grandville congregation the following Lord’s Day, October 7. He entitled his sermon, “The Minister-on-Loan….to Ephesus,” based on God’s Word found in Colossians 4, Ephesians 6, and Acts 20. We share the senti­ments of Grandville: “With heart­felt gratitude to God for leading him to accept the call to serve as MOL to Covenant ERC of Singapore we wel­come him and his wife, Stephanie, together with their 5 children: Jes­sica, Eric, Emily, Megan, and Jason to our congregation and fellowship, though it be only for a month’s time. They will be leaving for Singapore the first week of November.”

We express our thanks to Heri­tage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD for serving as the host congregation for the second Seniors Retreat on September 18-21 at the Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls. Approximately 110 seniors from our churches enjoyed a week of good Christian fellowship and spiritual instruction. If you have not done so yet, we encourage you to check out Heritage’s web site to view and enjoy a slide presentation of a few of the week’s events. This year’s retreat centered on the theme, “Our Glorious Heritage.” Rev. Kenneth Koole spoke on the subject, “Our Heritage of Faith.” This was followed the next morning by Rev. Audred Spriensma speaking on “Our Heritage of Family and Friends,” and then the next day Prof. Russell Dyk­stra concluded with, “Our Heritage and the Future.”

The “Care Group” committee of the Calvary PRC in Hull, Iowa planned on sending care packages to the young adults in their con­gregation who attend college. This committee asked their church to become involved by donating items for those care packages. Plans were to put the packages together in mid-October.

Minister Activities

We add our congratulations, along with those of our Peace PRC in Lansing, IL, to their pastor and wife, Rev. Clayton and Allison Spronk, who received the gift of a newborn son, Blake Evan, born on October 2.