News From our Churches

Minister Activities

The Council of the calling church for the Philippine mission field announced a new trio from which to call a second missionary. Included were Rev. Garry Eriks (Hudsonville, MI PRC), Rev. Cory Griess (Calvary PRC in Hull, IA), and Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC of Redlands, CA). At the congregational meeting in Doon, IA held October 5, the call was extended to Rev. G. Eriks, who declined that call on October 25.

The congregation at Calvary PRC, Hull, IA recently helped move Pastor Cory Griess and family into their newly-built parsonage.

Prof. Herman Hanko celebrated his 85th birthday on October 10.

Rev. Allen Brummel marked the 20th anniversary of his ordination into the ministry in the PRCA on November 13. The Consistory of Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD used the occasion of their monthly luncheon to surprise Rev. Brummel with a plaque of recognition and presented him and his wife Crysta with tickets to the upcoming Christmas Jubilee concert. The entire congregation, and guests, were treated to cake and ice cream to top off the celebration.

Congregational Activities

The Canadian churches of the PRCA observed their Thanksgiving Day with special services on Monday, October 12.

At a congregational meeting held October 5, the members of Doon, IA PRC voted to change the time of their second service to 5:00 p.m. year around, which will take effect December 6.

Some of the members in Hope PRC, Redlands, CA felt the effects of the 4.0 earthquake near Yucaipa, CA recently. Rev. Brian Huizinga reports that while sitting in his study chair, he experienced a gentle rocking motion for a few seconds. No damage or injuries occurred that we are aware of.

Denominational Activities

Classis West met September 30 in Edgerton, MN with an officebearers’ conference the previous day on the topic of “The Local Church and Missions.” At a special call to worship the evening of September 29, Pastor-elect Ryan Barnhill led the service as part of his Classical examination. Rev. Ron Hanko led Classis in opening devotions from Zechariah 1 before turning over the chairman’s duties to Rev. Brian Huizinga. In attendance were also students of the Free Christian School in Edgerton and upper grade students from the Northwest Iowa Protestant Reformed School in Doon. Pastor-elect Barnhill sustained his oral examination before Classis, with the approval of the Synodical deputies, and was ordained as minister of the Word and sacraments in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL on October 9, with Prof. Barry Gritters leading the service. We in the PRC rejoice with the Barnhills and the congregation at Peace that our faithful God has given another faithful laborer in His vineyard! Classis West plans to meet next on March 2, 2016 in Crete, IL PRC.

School Activities

The 61st Protestant Reformed teachers’ convention was held October 15 and 16 at Hope Protestant Reformed School in Grand Rapids, MI. Rev. Bill Langerak gave the keynote speech from Hebrews 12:1, “Surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses.” The convention ended with a fitting speech by Prof. H. Hanko entitled “Our Precious Christian Schools.” The next convention is to be hosted by Heritage Protestant Reformed High School in Dyer, IN on October 20-21, 2016, D.V. We encourage our school teachers in their important work and calling!

On October 2 a lecture was presented in Heritage PRC of Sioux Falls, SD with Rev. Steven Key from the Loveland, CO PRC giving the speech. The fitting message was entitled “Why Protestant Reformed Education?,” and was well attended by many from the Siouxland churches.

Sister-Church Activities

Late in September, fires burning in the land of Sumatra caused a smoky haze over the island of Singapore. One day the haze was significant enough to cause the schools to be closed. Rev. Andrew Lanning of the CERC of Singapore seized the opportunity to author a meditation on the topic of fire and smoke, showing from Scripture what God has to say about those things. Part of the meditation spoke of the end times: “‘And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.’ When Christ comes again, He will burn up the old earth and create a new heavens and a new earth, where we will live with Him forever. That fire and smoke will be far more intense than the haze we currently see. Nevertheless, the haze over Singapore is a reminder that Christ is on His way to judge the wicked in His wrath, and to judge His own people in His mercy. Let us watch for His coming with eager anticipation, and let us conduct ourselves as is fitting for those who will live with Him forever.”

Evangelism Activities

On Friday, October 2 the Evangelism Committee of Loveland, CO PRC presented a lecture delivered by Rev. James Laning of Hull, IA PRC. This speech was entitled “The Signs of the Coming of Christ and His Kingdom.” The junior and senior classes of Loveland PR School hosted an ice cream social after the speech as a means of funding their upcoming trip to Chicago.

Prof. Ronald Cammenga addressed the topic of theistic evolution and the Christian’s response at a lecture titled “Theistic Evolution: Should the Church Make Peace or War?” Southwest PRC invited all to this lecture at Grace Community Church in Hudsonville, MI, on Friday, October 9.

Young People’s Activities

The Young People’s Society of the Loveland, CO PRC thanked the congregation for their support in their recent Rent-a-Worker Fundraiser. Sixteen jobs were provided. Eighteen young people put in a total of 70+ hours, many working two to three different jobs raising money for their society.

Senior Activities

Crete PRC of Crete, IL hosted the Senior Retreat on September 22-25 at the comfortable accommodations of Cedar Lake Ministries in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Approximately 140 seniors, ranging from ages 50 to 91 attended the retreat. The group was blessed with beautiful weather, great food, and wonderful fellowship. Three thought-provoking speeches were given to develop the theme “Christian Living,” using the booklet recently re-worked by Rev. John Marcus. Rev. Nathan Langerak spoke on “Christian Living and the Cross”; Rev. Carl Haak spoke on “Christian Living and this Present World”; and Prof. David Engelsma spoke on “Christian Living and the End.” All the speeches were followed by great discussions. On-site activities included boat rides, pickle ball, bean bag toss, and a bonfire. The group traveled to Dyer, IN for an outing and were favored with a beautiful chapel by the students of our PRCS/HCHS. Chuck Terpstra encouraged the group by means of a “book chat” to “read often and read well.” Thursday evening the retreat came to a conclusion with a special program, featuring various singing groups, a Family Feud game, and a photo presentation by John VanBaren. All participants were blessed with a wonderful time of fellowship in our Lord.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.