News from our churches

Trivia question

The Synod of Dort (or Dordt) was an international Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618-1619 by the Dutch Reformed Churches to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The first meeting was held on November 13, and the last on May 9. Do you know how many times this body convened including those dates? Answer later in this column.

Denominational activities

Classis East met on January 9 at Hope PRC in Walker, MI. For the full report, see the Stated Clerk’s report earlier in this issue.

Minister activities

The Consistory of Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, Alberta presented the following trio to the congregation: Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace, PRC), Rev. B. Huizinga (Redlands, PRC), and Rev. J. Laning (Hull, PRC). Voting to extend a call to one of these ministers to be their next pastor took place on Sunday, January 6, with Rev. Huizinga receiving this call. On January 27, he declined this call.

Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI called Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI) to serve as their new pastor. Rev. Eriks was led by God to decline this call. Trinity subse­quently formed a new trio consisting of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and W. Langerak. On January 20, Rev. J. Engelsma received this call.

Grandville, MI PRC formed a new trio for a minister-on-loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore, which included Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI), and Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI). From this trio, Rev. Guichelaar received the call. On January 20 it was announced that he had declined this call.

Rev. Daniel Kleyn, missionary-pastor to the Philip­pines, and his wife Sharon arrived in the USA on New Year’s Day. As they traveled, they were extended New Year’s greetings in three countries on the same day. Synod 2018 approved Rev. and Sharon Kleyn taking an extended furlough in 2019. The purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRC (Philippines) seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. and Sharon opportu­nity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family. They plan to stay in the States until June 18.

Congregational activities

In this case, a couple non-activities. With snow showers and high winds, the congregations at Edgerton, MN PRC and Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD cancelled their services on December 31. Visibility was greatly reduced that day and evening.

Missionary activities

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not seen fireworks over Manila at the moment of New Year, well, you have not really seen fireworks! The lights and noise begin before midnight and extend for a lengthy period of time after the start of the New Year. Our missionaries have opportunity to view this first hand. You may have to check it out on YouTube. Some believe the fireworks scare away evil spirits.

Young adult activities

Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: A reminder that registration for this retreat is now open! Instructions on how to register will be announced in the bulletins as well as posted to the Facebook page— Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the page and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, the retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Speakers for the retreat will be Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. S. Regnerus. Our retreat theme is “An Unchanging God in an Ever-Changing World.” Come join Lynden for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

School activities

The 8th grade class of Hope Christian School Redlands, CA has recorded a CD entitled “Songs of Thy Salvation.” Cost is $12 per CD. Please email orders to lorianne.karsemeyer@hcsredlands.org. Thank you for your support!

Young people’s activities

Southwest and Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 Young People’s Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing. The convention will be held at the Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI. Registration for chaperones is now open! Please view the website prcconvention.com to register.

Trivia answer

The Synod of Dort convened 154 times including the dates of November 13 and May 9. What follows here is the solemn oath recited before Synod proceeded to its business:

I promise before God, in Whom I believe, and Whom I worship, as being present in this place, and as being the Searcher of all hearts that during the course of the proceedings of this Synod, which will examine and decide, not only the five points, and all the differences resulting from them, but also any other doctrine, I will use no human writing, but only the Word of God, which is an infallible rule of faith. And during all these discussions, I will only aim at the glory of God, the peace of the Church, and especially the preservation of the purity of doctrine. So help me, my Savior, Jesus Christ! I beseech Him to assist me by His Holy Spirit.

More trivia next time.