Sister Church Activities
The Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) of Singapore sponsored a Reformation Conference on November 7 and 8. The theme for the conference was The Reformation and Development of the Truth. Rev. Daniel Kleyn, missionary to the Philippines, was the featured speaker and presented three speeches: “The Restoration of the Truth,” “The Furtherance of the Truth,” and “The Price Paid for the Truth.” There were a good number of visitors at the conference and many timely questions were asked in a rather interesting manner. Rev. Kleyn was given a cell phone and questioners were instructed to submit their questions to him via text message. On Sunday, November 9, Rev. Kleyn led the installation service for Rev. Andrew Lanning into the office of minister of the Word and sacraments in the CERC. Rev. Kleyn preached on the theme “Preaching Things Consistent with Sound Doctrine” from Titus 2:1. We are glad to hear of the successful conference—and thankful with the CERC that they now have a minister to call their own to labor in their midst!
A Fall lecture was held November 14 in Kalamazoo, MI PRC. Prof. Barry Gritters, instructor in the Protestant Reformed Theological School in Wyoming, MI spoke on the topic, “The Prince of Darkness Grim: The Reformed Truth About Satan.” Refreshments were provided after the address.
Though in November most U.S. Midwestern farmers have completed their harvest, in the Philippines it is optimal time for planting vegetables as the cool and dry season is beginning. This is the season that the missionary families are happy to see, as it brings a bit of relief from the heat. The young Smit family gardeners have been hard at work planting carrots, radishes, beans, cucumbers, and lettuce. Pastor Donasco in Si-alay, Negros Occidental is their green-thumbed gardening consultant, supplying answers when needed for the missionary gardeners. The chickens that the Smit children had raised from chicks have now been sold. Duke and Lady, the two family dogs, are present and doing well. Speaking of the cool season, a recent overnight Antipolo low temperature was 69.9 F. It may be hard to believe, but that truly is shivering weather in the Philippines!
And speaking of shivering, the Tri-state area of Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota (also known as Siouxland, see Wikipedia) where five of our churches are located, experienced uncommonly cold weather in mid-November. For almost two weeks the temperatures registered highs in the teens and 20’s, and lows as cold as -5F, with wind. It is likely no Filipino would have survived that! We understand that much of the country has experienced an early taste of winter from God’s hand, including possibly where you reside. We are thankful that such a powerful God whom the winds and waves obey, such a powerful God whose cold none can stand before, holds us in His Almighty hand, guiding and directing all things for our profit! Every Remembrance Day (equivalent to the U.S. Veteran’s Day) the congregation of First PRC, Edmonton, AB, Canada holds their “car rally,” inviting the congregation of Lacombe to join them. The bulletins there requested that participants bring along a Bible, pen, digital camera and enthusiasm. You might wonder, as we did, what a November Canadian “car rally” involves? Each team piles into a car and away they go, using the provided clues (many from Bible texts) to find their way around and complete the tasks required. Teams are scored by the number of correct answers and the time (around two hours) and distance it took them to complete the rally. Extra points are awarded to teams with members under ten years of age. A delicious soup supper followed the rally. That sounds like a really enjoyable and challenging day!
Rev. Clayton Spronk preached his farewell sermon in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL on November 16. Following the second service on that date, a time was set aside as a farewell for Rev. Spronk and to thank him for his faithful labors there. Rev. Spronk was scheduled to be installed as the seventh minister of the Word and sacraments at Faith PRC, Jenison, MI on November 30. We give thanks to God with Faith Church for a pastor of their own to labor in their midst! On November 16 Doon PRC, the calling church for the Philippine mission field, extended a call to Rev. Jonathan Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC of Dyer, IN) to be the next missionary to the Philippines. On November 16 First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI announced a new trio consisting of Rev. Allen Brummel (Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, SD), Rev. Richard Smit (foreign missionary to the Republic of the Philippines), and Rev. Ronald Van Overloop (Grace PRC, Standale, MI). First Church planned to call from this trio on December 4, D.V.
The Protestant Reformed Churches were present at the recent meeting of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) held in Hamilton, ON, Canada. Rev. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC), Rev. Gary Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and Rev. Kenneth Koole (Grandville PRC) attended with the intent to observe, investigate the changes to the group’s constitution, and to help assess the value and possibility of continuing to send observers to NAPARC.
The Reformed Free Publishing Association expected a new book to be published in early December. Entitled Just Dad, Stories of Herman Hoeksema, this book is written by his daughter Lois Kregel and records many never-before-told stories of this PRC church father.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).