News From our Churches

Trivia Question

At the time of this writing schools have not yet started the 2017-2018 school year. But when you read this, they will have begun all the activities of a new year. Do you know how many Protestant Reformed Christian schools exist in North America? Answer later in this article.

Mission Activities

Pastor Vernon Ibe of the Berean PRC in the Philippines, along with missionary-pastor Rev. Daniel Holstege and Seminarian Matt Kortus, visited with the saints in Sitio Karugang, Gabaldon, in the Province of Nueva Ecija. Rev. Ibe led the saints there in the study of “Essentials of Reformed Doctrine,” lesson 12. The consistory of the Berean PRC asked the congregation to pray for continued blessings on the labors there. Gabaldon is a four to five-hour drive northeast of Manila.

The outreach work of Bulacan PRC in Albuera, on the Philippine island of Leyte is progressing. The saints there were visited by Committee #2 of the PRCP in late July and according to missionary-pastor Rev. Kleyn the trip went well, as did the visits and the fellowship with the members there. It is possible, if God wills, that the denomination could take over the work there, and that we might see an organized church there some day! Seminarian Kortus accompanied the committee and experienced firsthand the 5.9-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter less than five miles from Albuera! We are told Seminarian Kortus was pretty impressed by the feeling of the quake. For a time electricity was lost, but everyone was fine and it seemed no buildings were affected. We are thankful to God for His safe-keeping. Seminarian Kortus also accompanied Rev. Kleyn on the monthly trip to Southern Negros. A trifecta for him—Gabaldon, Albuera, and Bacolod/Sipalay!

Missionary-pastor Daniel Kleyn and his wife Sharon recently spent about a month in the USA on furlough from their work in the Philippines.

Denominational Activities

The Contact Committee of the PRCA sent Prof. R. Dykstra and Rev. J. Engelsma to Australia to visit the Evangelical Presbyterian Churches on behalf of the PRC. They took part in a two-day Reformation Day conference, attending the meetings of the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on the island of Tasmania, and preaching in the EPC. The 2015 Synod of the PRC approved holding a conference with the EPC on the ground that “such face-toface meeting and discussions with the men of the EPC are excellent ways both to make the corresponding relationship meaningful and to further the relationship.” Prof. and Mrs. Dykstra left July 18, and returned (after a time in Singapore) August 16. Rev. and Mrs. Engelsma left July 24 and returned August 7.

Advance Notice: Classis West is scheduled to meet this Fall on Wednesday, September 27, at Hull (IA) PRC. There will also be an Officebearers’ Conference on Tuesday, September 26 at Hull PRC on the “Five Solas of the Reformation and How They Matter for the Ministry.”

Save the Date: The dates for the 2018 Family Conference have been finalized! First PRC of Edmonton, AB, Canada will host the conference July 20-22, 2018. The theme for the conference is “Seeking the Lord” and Revs. B. Huizinga, N. Langerak and J. Marcus will be the speakers, D.V. Mark your calendars and plan to attend what promises to be a spiritually encouraging time of growth and fellowship.

Minister Activities

Rev. R. Kleyn declined the call from First PRC of Holland, MI. Rev. A. Brummel (Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls) declined the call from Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, Alberta, whose Council then formed a new trio of Rev. E. Guichelaar and Candidates Matthew De Boer and Brian Feenstra. On August 6 Rev. Guichelaar received this call. Byron Center PRC Council called Rev. A. Spriensma (Byron Center) to serve as home missionary, a call he accepted on July 30. On July 23, the congregation of Edgerton, MN PRC called Candidate Matthew De Boer. On July 16, the congregation of Southwest PRC called from a trio of Rev. J. Mahtani, Candidate Joe Holstege, and Candidate Justin Smidstra, with Candidate Smidstra receiving this call. On July 23, Zion PRC called Candidate Joe Holstege. On July 30, Holland, MI PRC, from a trio that also included Revs. G. Eriks, and C. Spronk, voted to call Candidate Justin Smidstra.

Rev. Douglas Kuiper planned to preach his farewell sermon in Edgerton, MN PRC on August 13 and move his family to the Grand Rapids, MI area that week. The installation service as professor in our seminary is set for September 20 in Faith PRC, D.V.

Evangelism Activities

From the Hudsonville PRC Evangelism Committee: “Ye Are My Witnesses!” At 7 p.m. on July 26 and August 16 the Evangelism Committee sponsored two lectures for the congregation on personal evangelism. Prof B. Gritters spoke, concentrating on especially three things: the calling to 1) Be who you are: Witnesses of Jehovah; 2) Grow in the three fundamental graces, in order to be qualified to witness; 3) Do the first things. The speeches emphasized that all of God’s people must be, but especially can be, witnesses.

Congregational Activities

The men of the congregation at Kalamazoo, MI PRC made “lighter” work of moving rock around the church building by showing up with many hands. Soon after, the parking lot of the church was resurfaced.

The congregation at Kalamazoo, MI PRC is preparing to produce a new photo directory.

At Loveland, CO PRC the church carpets were recently cleaned and in the school there the gym, science lab, and kitchen floors were briefly off-limits for chemical stripping and a nice shiny new coat of wax! The grade-school carpets were cleaned too.

Volunteers from Randolph, WI PRC manned the church booth recently at the Alto Fair.

Two air conditioning units were replaced in the Doon, IA PRC.

Trivia Answer

If our calculations are correct (hopefully they are) there are 17 Protestant Reformed schools in North America. That number includes grade schools and high schools. And, of course, our own theological school (seminary) is in full swing again also. We thank God for His provision of schools and ask His continued blessing upon them as they are a flurry of activity again. More trivia next time.