News from our churches

Trivia question

In the November 1, 2017 issue of the Standard Bearer the trivia question was asked: How many surviving original members of the PRCA are there? Then we had to admit we did not know. Well, now we do. Answer later in this column.

School activities

We call your attention here to an exciting, upcoming event planned for April 12, 2018, D.V. For the first time ever six Protestant Reformed high school choirs will join together for a mass concert! Students from Covenant Christian High School (Grand Rapids, MI), Faith Protestant Reformed Christian School (Randolph, WI), Heritage Christian High School (Dyer, IN), Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School (Redlands, CA), Loveland Protestant Reformed Christian School (Loveland, CO), and Trinity Christian High School (Hull, IA) will unite in song that evening in the B.J. Haan Auditorium at Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA. That just might be worth planning a trip to northwest Iowa to hear! I think it would be! Start planning.

Sister-church activities

Plans are coming together for the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference, to be held in South Wales from July 21-28, 2018. The BRF Conference is a great opportunity to explore various parts of the British Isles while enjoying sweet fellowship with God’s people from all across the earth, as well as being edified by the sermons and lectures planned for the week. If you are planning on traveling overseas in 2018, have a look at the BRF Conference and consider making it your destination. Sister Lisa Ong has kindly agreed to be CPRC’s booking secretary for the conference again, so please contact Lisa regarding registration.

The theme, sermons, and speeches of the BRF 2018 Conference are as follows: The Reformed (Christian) Family—According to the Word of God

  • Saturday evening introductory speech: Rev. M. McGeown
  • Sunday services—a.m.: The God of the Living (Matt. 22:23-33) (Rev. A. Lanning)—p.m.: (Rev. A. Stewart)
  • Six main Conference addresses:

1. The Divine Origin of the Family (Rev. A. Lanning)

2. The Authoritative Content of the Gospel (Prof. D. Engelsma)

3. The God-Fearing Man and His Virtuous Wife (Rev. A. Lanning)

4. The Reformed (Christian) Family: Parents and Children (Prof. D. Engelsma)

5. It Is Good to Be Single (Rev. A. Lanning)

6. Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal (Prof. D. Engelsma)

Minister activities

On November 26 Rev. B. Huizinga, pastor at Hope PRC of Redlands, CA, announced his decision according to God’s will that he decline the call extended to him from First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI. First’s Council then drew up the trio of Rev. C. Griess, Rev. J. Mahtani, and Candidate D. Noorman.

Also on November 26 Rev. J. Engelsma, pastor at Doon, IA PRC, announced that God had led him to decline the call extended to him from Southwest PRC in Michigan. Southwest Council’s new trio included Rev. A. Brummel, Rev. J. Mahtani, and Candidate D. Noorman. In all cases we thank God for clear revelation of His will. May God be with our vacant congregations in this time of need.

On November 26 Rev. R. Smit was installed as missionary to the Philippines in Doon, IA PRC. Rev. J. Engelsma led the service, preaching from II Timothy 2—“Committing the Gospel to Faithful Men.” Rev. Smit’s emotional inaugural sermon that evening was taken from Psalm 121:5—“Jehovah Your Keeper.” May the Lord of the harvest be with the Smit family in this time of transition. They left the States on Christmas Day and are now living in the same home they left about three years ago.

Pastor Andy Lanning preached his farewell sermon on December 24 in Covenant ERC of Singapore after officiating at the Lord’s Supper in the morning service that day. Candidate Dave Noorman traveled to Singapore to supply the pulpit there for three weeks. Emeritus minister Rev. A. denHartog will supply their pulpit from the end of January through the end of June. The CERC plans to ask the June 2018 PRCA Synod to provide them with a minister-on-loan. If synod approves this request, a calling church would likely be appointed and a trio made from which to call the minister-on-loan. We pray that God will continue to supply our sister in her need!

Classis West convened November 29 in special session at Lynden, WA PRC. The examinations of pastors-elect Brian Feenstra and Stephan Regnerus took place, with these young men being unanimously approved and ordinations held—December 10 and December 1, respectively. We thank God for these young men. May He be with them in their labors.

Young people’s activities

The YPS of Wingham, Ontario, Canada recently held a volleyball tournament to raise funds for transportation to the PR Young People’s Convention this summer. Congregational activities The Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI) book club planned to begin a new session in January, hoping to choose a new book for discussion soon.

Reformed Free Publishing Association

Did you know that the Reformed Free Publishing Association has a blog? Their writers publish edifying, relevant content several times each week—content that is not published anywhere else. By reading the blog, you will stay up-to-date on current church issues like antinomianism and covenant views. You will also have access to insightful book reviews and to articles on topics such as social constructionism, seminary life, and spiritual disciplines. Sign up for their mailing list at the bottom of their homepage (www.rfpa.org) and every blog post will be delivered straight to your email inbox.

Trivia answer

Through careful research, including a survey of our churches in North America, we can now reveal that, to the best of our knowledge, there are eight (8) surviving original members of the PRCA. Their memories must be interesting and many good stories over all that time could be told, we are sure. We are thankful to our faithful God that He has kept them faithful through the years. And may He be their guide in days to come.

They are listed as follows alphabetically by last name:

Mrs. Eleanore Bol, Hudsonville, MI PRC

Mrs. Johanna Bomers, Hope PRC of Walker, MI

Mrs. Dolly Geers, First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI

Mrs. Florence Haveman, First PRC of Holland, MI

Mr. Cornelius Jonker and his wife Truda Jonker, Grandville, MI PRC

Mrs. Marion Ondersma, Southwest PRC of Wyoming, MI

Mr. Richard Poortinga, PRC of Crete, IL