News from our Churches

Trivia Question

Rev. John Flores is the pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Bulacan in the Manila area of the Philippines. When Pastor Flores attended the Grace Ministerial Academy (Reformed Baptist seminary) in 2005, what book did he find in the library there that proved very helpful to him? Answer later in this column.

Congregational Activities

The congregation of Peace PRC in Lansing, IL made a big decision on July 31. The decision was made to purchase the New Hope Community Church Campus in Dyer, IN. This includes almost five acres of land quite near to the PR School. There are plans for extensive remodeling and intentions also to sell the current property owned by the Peace congregation. If things go that way with God’s blessing, there will be a second PR church in Indiana, with Peace staying in Classis West. An exciting time for the Peace congregation!

Members of the Wingham PRC in Ontario, Canada often gather on summer Friday evenings to play baseball. Young and old are invited to play, and the games become spirited and competitive. A fun way to spend some time together!

A recent remodeling was completed in the parsonage at Southwest, MI PRC, with a cleaning bee taking place soon after.

Young People’s Activities

The annual Young People’s Convention was held in early August in central Michigan with 461 conventioneers and about 60 chaperones making the trip to Michindoh Camp near Hillsdale. We are told it was a great success! One first-time conventioneer, when asked what was best about the convention, replied, “Pretty much everything.” Others indicated the slip-n-slide and team games were a big hit. Many are already looking forward to the 2018 convention hosted by the Siouxland churches of Classis West, to take place at the Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN (located in Central Minnesota). The 2019 convention will once again be held at Michindoh Camp, D.V.

Minister and Candidate Activities

On July 23, Edgerton PRC called Candidate Matt De Boer; on August 27 he accepted this call. On July 16, Southwest PRC called Candidate Justin Smidstra; on August 27 he declined this call. Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) called Rev. E. Guichelaar; a call he declined on August 27. On July 30, First Holland called Candidate J. Smidstra, and on August 27 he accepted the call. Rev. A. Spriensma has accepted the call to serve as domestic missionary, and Byron Center PRC formed the trio of Revs. C. Griess, B. Huizinga, and A. Lanning to fill his place. Rev. B. Huizinga received the call to Byron Center on August 20. Rev. Spriensma’s farewell is scheduled for September 17 and his installation as home missionary is scheduled the same day, in the second service. Doon (Philippines) called Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC), who declined this call on August 20. Zion PRC called Candidate Joe Holstege to be their first pastor and God has led him to accept their call, his first charge. May God continue to be with and bless all the ministers of our denomination, young and older!

Rev. Thomas Miersma preached his farewell sermon in Immanuel PRC of Lacombe on August 27. The service was followed with a farewell supper, singing, and fellowship. We are thankful to our heavenly Father for using Rev. Miersma for the good of our churches through these many years. Rev. Miersma was ordained in 1982.

Denominational Activities

Prof. R. Dykstra and Rev. J. Engelsma, along with their wives spent a few weeks in Australia participating in a conference there. They also had the opportunity to preach and attend the meeting of the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia. This small denomination is made up of four congregations, two in the cities of Brisbane and Penrith on mainland Australia, and two in Launceston and Winnaleah on the island of Tasmania. The visit went well and was believed to be profitable. We are thankful for safety in travel and for the return of the delegation to their homes and congregations.

The Protestant Reformed Seminary is sponsoring a conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The conference theme is: “Here We Stand!” It will be held at Faith Protestant Reformed Church on October 27 and 28 of 2017. There will be six speeches given by the three professors and Rev. S. Key (Loveland PRC), Rev. M. McGeown (Limerick Reformed Fellowship), and Rev. D. Torlach from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, D.V. Be sure to make plans to attend.

School Activities

Heritage Christian School invited all to their full-service restaurant at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds. They served breakfast, lunch, and supper, as well as desserts and snacks in the white building just inside the north pedestrian gates all 6 days of the fair, opening at 6:30 a.m. to serve early-bird breakfast customers. Included were expanded and improved menu options including a new specialty chicken sandwich. Grandmas’ homemade pies were back, as well as gourmet desserts! Sounds like the place to be during the fair!

There were announcements on the bulletin of Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB about their Genesis school…a number of announcements. They concerned the annual society meeting, the PTA meeting, the annual school cleaning, and a golf tournament fundraiser. Lots of activities centered around the schools of our denomination during the late summer and fall months!

Missionary Activities

During his furlough to the USA in August, Missionary-pastor Daniel Kleyn spoke at the annual Young People’s Convention, and he gave three presentations in the churches about the work in the Philippines.

Trivia Answer

The book that surprisingly appeared on the shelves of the seminary library in the vast city of Manila on the other “side of the world” was indeed Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Hoeksema! Pastor Flores used the book extensively and as “my number one reference for every report and assignment that we had.” When the professor and also the president of the seminary noticed how much the book was being used, it was moved to the top of the shelves in the library and eventually it disappeared completely. Today Pastor Flores has his own copy.