News from our churches

Trivia question

How many cups of coffee does a Young People’s Convention chaperone, steering committee member, or activities committee member drink in one week? Answer later in this column.

Young People’s convention recap

I am writing this recap in the evening of August 17. I returned home from the PR Young People’s Convention only hours ago, having served as a convention chaperone for the first time ever. My son and my granddaughter were conventioneers. I can honestly say I have never experienced a week like this one in my life. And it was all good. I find no negative. I told some folks on the steering committee and sub-committees that I give the week an A+ in all areas! I found the eight young men under my care, my mixer-game team, my discussion group members, and my team, the Shaggy Sheep, all to be a blessing to me and to one another. They are not perfect, but they were respectful, cheerful, and uplifting in every circumstance and situation. If the convention were held again tomorrow in the Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, Minnesota, I would be among the first to sign up as a chaperone.

Now for a few of the specifics of the week: The theme “Guided by God” was accurately punctuated by the theme song, Psalter #67, which was sung of­ten. Speeches entitled “Guided by God,” “Delighting in God,” and “Drawing Near to God” were given by Revs. J. Engelsma, C. Griess, and A. Brummel. High­lights of the week were morning discussion groups and evening devotions conducted by chaperones in small groups. The campus itself was fantastic, with the wor­ship center and dining hall being extremely large and nearly new buildings. The food was good, with four food lines to feed our 500 people in well less than an hour. The “Boat Building” mixer was a great start and a big hit! And the team games were eagerly anticipated each day, which included “Iowa Fair” games involving the making of fresh lemonade and butter. The only mi­nor injury I noted was my skinned knees from kneeling in the sand and digging for “Old McDonald” animals. The Minnesota state bird, the mosquito, was present but not overbearing, and it was fun to watch the bald eagles and pelicans gliding over.

A wonderful week with many tearful good-byes and the singing of “God be With You Til we Meet Again.” God was present, and God is good!

Missionary activities

This notice came from Rev. R. Smit on August 13 concerning conditions in the Philippines:

For your information, worship services were cancelled in the Berean PRC and the Provident Christian Church yesterday due to monsoon rains that the area received in the Lord’s providence from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. Rainfall accumulation (at the Kleyns’ rain gauge) was about 165mm (6 1/2 inches) in about a 48 hour period. The average rainfall in August in the Manila area is usually about 392 mm (15.7 inches). We received 40% of the average August rainfall in the 2-day period.

Worship services at Maranatha PRC and First PRC-Bulacan were held as normal. Monsoon rains had affected the Leyte area earlier in the week, but not yesterday when Rev. Kleyn led the services and preached yesterday (in Tagalog). There was flooding in the Provident-Marikina and the Mayamot-Antipolo subdivisions where these two congregations have their worship buildings. PCC’s building had floodwater in the ground floor, and the Berean PRC’s parsonage had water in its ground floor. Roads to the church buildings were not passable by vehicles or pedestrians on Sunday. In the next couple of days, the congregations will be busy in the task of cleanup and restoration of the buildings, properties, and parsonage. Classes at both government and Christian schools, including Faith Academy, were cancelled in the metro Manila area today. We expect classes to resume on Tuesday morning, the Lord willing.

Denominational activities

The Synod of the PRCA reconvened August 28 at Byron Center, MI PRC. For more information on Synod 2018, visit

Classis West of the PRCA met August 29 at Crete PRC, but was hosted by Peace PRC. Heritage PRC of Sioux Falls, SD will host the next meeting of Classis West on March 6, 2019, D.V.

PRC seminary news

The new season of instruction began on Wednesday, August 29. Besides our seniors (Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman—internships), we have two other seminary students this year: third-year student Josiah Tan and first-year student Marcus Wee, both from our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC. In addition, four young men will be taking different levels of pre-seminary Greek at the seminary.

The seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee is working on plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618-19—2018-19. Visit the new website for details on this.

School activities

All were invited to join fellow friends, students, alumni, and staff of Eastside Christian School on Thursday, August 30, as they celebrated the beginning of a new school year with the annual “Picnic on the Patio.” Attendees enjoyed grilled hamburger, hotdogs, salads, and dessert on the lower level and patio of First PRC in Grand Rapids, compliments of the Eastside Christian School Foundation.

Heritage Christian School extended an invitation to eat at their full-service restaurant at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds, August 20-25! They served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as desserts and snacks in the white building just inside the north pedestrian gates of the fairgrounds. Their grandmas’ homemade pies and specialty desserts were available all day, every day! Takeout orders were filled to bring home or for lunch at work.

Young Adult activities

Lynden PR Church will host a young adults’ retreat July 1-5, 2019, at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp. Check it out at Registration will open in February 2019. All young adults of post-high school age are encouraged to attend. Further details have been posted to Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019 on Facebook. Request an invite to see the details or message the group if you have any questions.

Minister activities

Rev. Rodney Kleyn continued to consider the call to be minister-on-loan to the CERC in Singapore and was expected to answer on September 9.

Grandville, MI PRC, upon the emeritation of Rev. Ken Koole, formed a trio consisting of Revs. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC of Hudsonville, MI), Joshua Engelsma (Doon, IA PRC), and Erik Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC). On Au­gust 26 the congregation voted to call Rev. N. Decker.

Trivia answer

How many cups of coffee in a Young People’s Convention week? Well, in my case, none. I am not a coffee drinker. But I can assure you the pots were perking throughout the week, beginning in early morning, as the days were long and the nights were short for those in many positions. Many thanks to all who planned and carried out the convention! What a great week!