With the Word of God found in Revelation 7:9 in mind, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues stood before the throne and before the Lamb…,” we extend our congratulations to First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI, celebrating their anniversary as an organized congregation and holding their first worship service on December 25, 1925.
A Request Night program was held at First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI on November 10. There was a variety of singing and instrumental numbers provided by children, young people, and adults of the congregation. An offering was taken for the upcoming Young People’s Convention in California, and a light lunch was served between the program and the evening service.
Members of our churches around Chicago, IL were invited to attend a Fall Choir Concert on Friday, November 15 at the Crete, IL PRC. The occasion was the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism. The students from grades K-6 of the PR Christian School in Dyer, IN and also choir members from Cornerstone, Crete, and Peace PRCs presented choral selections and special numbers to commemorate the occasion.
The Covenant Ladies Circle of First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada hosted their church’s Annual Car Rally and Soup Supper on Remembrance Day, November 11. The car rally began around 11:30 a.m., with the soup supper following at about 4:00 p.m. The congregation of Immanuel PRC in Lacombe was also invited to join with Edmonton for the day-long event.
The Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI extended a hearty welcome to Rev. Paul Raj, pastor of the Reformed Christian Church in Vellore, India and a graduate of our ARTS program in Singapore in 2004. Pastor Raj visited West Michigan from November 8-18. During that time he had the opportunity to attend worship services at Georgetown. He was able to visit catechism classes and Bible studies, as well as meet with Georgetown’s Council and their India Committee. In addition, he also gave chapel speeches in our area schools and visited our Seminary. On Sunday, November 10, Pastor Raj gave a slide-show presentation of the founding of the Reformed Church in Vellore, their mission outreach to Hindus, the struggles the Reformed faith faces in India, and the establishment of the Grace Foster Home.
Rev. J. Laning and Rev. C. Griess, on behalf of our denomination’s Foreign Mission Committee, left on November 7 for Myanmar, where they spent a week visiting with contacts and hosting a conference, with a view to fulfilling the mandate that last year’s synod gave to the FMC, in Article 33 of the 2013 Acts. Contacts from six different regions of the country, about 40 men, traveled to meet with our emissaries and receive instruction. Plans called for the men to return home on November 16.
As most of you are no doubt aware, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) passed through the Philippines on November 8, leaving in its wake a path of destruction, death, and misery for many. Our missionaries, Rev. D. Kleyn and Rev. R. Smit, report that the saints in Manila were not hit by the center of the storm and are doing well. Some of their contacts in other regions were hit harder with rain, winds, and then subsequent flooding. However, as I write this in mid-November, there appear to be no reports of any contacts being hurt. We are thankful to the Lord for His safekeeping of the saints there. Continue to remember all of God’s children there in your prayers.
Our churches are known for fall lectures, particularly around Reformation Day, and this year was no exception. Some lectures have already been mentioned here. In this issue we include the remainder.
The Evangelism Committee of the Crete, IL PRC sponsored a Reformation Day Lecture on October 31. Mr. Joshua Engelsma, fourth-year student of our Seminary, currently interning at the Peace PRC in Lansing, IL, spoke on “Simon van Velzen: Watchman on the Walls of God’s Zion.”
The Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA hosted a lecture on Reformation Day, October 31. Rev. R. Hanko spoke on “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Church.”
Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, Canada was privileged to sponsor a Reformation Day Lecture on October 31. Their pastor, Rev. T. Miersma, spoke on “450 Years of Comfort: The Heidelberg Catechism, a Reformation Day Celebration.”
Family and friends of the Lynden, WA PRC were invited to a Reformation lecture on November 1. Rev. R. Kleyn spoke on the theme, “Martin Luther: Father of the Reformation.”
The annual Fall Lecture of Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD was held on November 1. Prof. R. Dykstra spoke on the topic, “The Reformation’s Zeal for Christian Schools.”
The Evangelism Committee of the Kalamazoo, MI PRC sponsored a fall lecture on Friday evening, November 8. Rev. R. Van Overloop spoke on the topic, “Calamities: The Mighty God, Our Father, Has the Answers.”
The Consistory of the Wingham, Ontario PRC sponsored a Reformation Day Lecture on Friday evening, November 8. Their speaker was Mr. Adrian Stoutjesdyk, of the Trinitarian Bible Society. He spoke on the history of Bible translation, making reference to the many who sacrificed their lives to bring Bibles to people in their own languages, including our English.
The Evangelism Committee of the Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN invited friends and family to a Fall Conference on Saturday, November 16. This conference was entitled, “Are You Ready? Preparing Ourselves for Personal Witnessing.” The conference featured Rev. W. Bruinsma, Rev. Madany, and Mr. Jai Mahtani. These men led workshops on practical methods, necessary content, and overcoming hindrances in our witnessing to others.
This year the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore sponsored a Reformation Day Conference on October 25-26 at the Salvation Army Building in central Singapore. The theme was, “The Kingdom’s Inheritance Rediscovered.” Rev. A. Lanning spoke three times, each with a question and answer period following.
Since our last “News,” Revs. W. Langerak and G. Eriks declined the calls they received to serve as pastors of the Doon, IA PRC and the Faith PRC in Jenison, MI, respectively.