News from our churches

Trivia question

How many living original (1924) members of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America are there in our churches today? Answer later in this column…or not?

Sister-church activities

Prof. D. Engelsma lectured in Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland October 21st on “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God” (11 a.m.) and “Justification in Paul and James” (1 p.m.); October 27th on “Martin Luther: Man of Conviction” and on November 3 on “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant.” For those unable to attend, the speeches were streamed live on CPRC’s website and recorded (audio and video). Prof. Engelsma also planned to preach in Ballymena on October 22 and 29 and on the 5th of November, D.V. Rev. Angus Stewart planned to preach in Limerick on October 29 and November 5 while Rev. M. McGeown was in the USA from October 24 to November 8. While he is in the USA, Rev. McGeown was scheduled to participate in two Reformation conferences, speaking on “The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship” in Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) on October 28 and in Loveland PRC (Colorado) on November 4. I think we have that all right!

From the bulletin of Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore:

The Lord’s Day! A day to make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. The Sabbath! A day to serve the LORD with gladness and come before His presence with singing. The day of rest! A day to enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. The first day of the week, on which our Lord arose! A day to be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. In our Lord’s mercy to us, He has given us an entire day of rest in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Laying aside our earthly labours for the entire day, we devote ourselves to the worship of our risen Saviour and our heavenly Father. A significant portion of our day will be spent in the church building together. The highlight of our time in church will be the two worship services. There, God Himself comes to meet with His church, drawing us to Himself by His Word and Spirit, speaking His good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, and receiving the worship of our believing hearts in praise and thanksgiving. A blessed, holy meeting between our God and His people!

Evangelism activities

The Evangelism Committee of the Crete, IL PRC sponsored a lecture by their pastor, Rev. Nathan Langerak on October 31. The theme, “Martin Luther, A Christian’s Quest for Assurance,” focused first on Luther’s struggle to find confidence in his salvation in the Roman Catholic Church, which taught salvation by works. It was demonstrated that salvation by works does not lead to assurance but that only justification by grace can do that. The lecture was live-streamed and can now be viewed on Sermonaudio.com.

Denominational activities

Classis West of the PRCA met September 27 in the Hull, IA PRC. We are thankful to note that Pastorelect Matthew De Boer passed his examination with unanimous approval, becoming the first of the seminary class of 2017 to be examined by a classis. His ordination took place September 29 in Edgerton, MN PRC. Rev. Joshua Engelsma was elected to a three-year term as Stated Clerk of Classis West. And a request for emeritation by Lynden PRC on behalf of her pastor, Rev. Ron Hanko, was approved. We thank God for Rev. Hanko’s 38-plus years of service to our churches and wish him well in the future! The next regular meeting of Classis West is scheduled for March 7, 2018 in Loveland, CO.

Classis East held a special meeting at Georgetown PRC on October 18 in order to examine Pastor-elect Justin Smidstra (First PRC-Holland, MI) and Pastor-elect Joseph Holstege (Zion PRC-Hudsonville, MI).

Minister activities

On September 10 it was announced that Southwest PRC in Wyoming, MI called Candidate Stephan Regnerus to be her pastor.

Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB, Canada called Candidate Brian Feenstra and he accepted her call on October 1.

Byron Center MI PRC called Rev. A. Lanning (Singapore) to be her next pastor.

With the emeritation of Rev. Ron Hanko on October 15, Lynden, WA PRC announced the trio of Rev. B. Huizinga, J. Mahtani, and Candidate Stephan Regnerus, with Cand. Regnerus receiving this call on October 8.

On October 1 Rev. Richard Smit announced his acceptance of the call from Doon, IA PRC to be the third missionary to the Philippines. May God bless the Smit family as they make plans to depart for their former home across the ocean!

Seminary activities

The Protestant Reformed Seminary sponsored a conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The conference theme was: “Here We Stand!” and was held at Faith PRC on October 27 and 28. Six speeches were given by three of the professors along with Rev. S. Key (Loveland PRC), Rev. M. McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, and Rev. D. Torlach from the EPC of Australia.

Trivia answer

The answer to the question about how many surviving original members of the PRCA there are is…unknown. Today that would mean those who were infants or toddlers and PRCA members by virtue of their parents’ memberships. In 1999, the 75th anniversary of our denomination, a list was compiled and published in the back of the commemorative booklet that was printed. Efforts are being made to create a new list. Each church has been contacted and results of the survey are coming in. This is a friendly reminder to those churches who have not yet sent in their specific results. Hopefully we can answer this question for you in the not-too-distant future! More trivia next time.