News from our churches

Trivia question

Some issues ago we revealed that most of the churches in the PRCA meet at 9:30 A.M. for their first service of the Sabbath Day. Do you know which starting time is most used for the second service of these congregations? Answer later in this column.

Mission activities

Each calendar year a delegation of two men is sent to the Republic of the Philippines. Until now, one man has represented the Council of the calling church in Doon, IA while the other has represented the Foreign Mission Committee. The 2019 delegation consisting of Rev. J. Engelsma and Rev. N. Decker visited from February 15-26. Rev. Engelsma represented both Doon and the FMC, while Rev. Decker represented the Contact Com­mittee of the PRCA. The Contact Committee has be­come involved now that a sister-church relationship has been established with the Protestant Reformed Church­es in the Philippines.

The adopted mandate of the delegation consisted of conveying greetings to the missionaries and their fami­lies while bringing encouragement and appreciation for their diligent labors. The delegation worshiped with as many of the churches and groups there as possible and brought official greetings. They met with the Councils of the three established PRCP churches and attended the Classis of the PRCP on February 25. Family visi­tation was conducted with the missionary families. If possible, the men planned to attend the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto with Rev. Holstege. This is a relatively new contact for our missionaries. Another goal was to visit the official mission station of the PRCP, the Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte. And of course, submit a written report to the Doon Council, the FMC, and the CC of their work. We find these delegations get busier and busier!

Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn began their furlough in January. Rev. Kleyn has assured us that things are going well. However, their bodies are not used to Michigan winters, and weeks into the furlough Rev. Kleyn revealed that they had not warmed up yet since arriving in the States. This from someone who, when he was the pastor there, used to call Edgerton, MN balmy!

On Friday, January 25, Kalamazoo PRC had oppor­tunity to view a picture presentation by Rev. Bill Langerak on his 2017 visit to South Korea as a member of our Contact Committee delegation. Flyers promoting the program were available to use in inviting friends, rel­atives, and neighbors. The ladies brought cookies and bars for the refreshments.

Young adult activities

Lynden PRC Young Adults’ Retreat updates:

A reminder that registration for our retreat opened in February! If you haven’t already, request an invite to see the Facebook page Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019, and invite your friends as well! As previously announced, our retreat will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp during July 1-5, 2019. Our speakers for the retreat will be Prof. Gritters and Rev. Regnerus. Our retreat theme is “An Unchanging God In an Ever-Changing World.” Come join us for a wonderful retreat in beautiful Northwest Washington!

Young people’s activities

This from one of our church bulletins:

Last week, the Young People brought questions to discuss on the faith and practices of the PRC. One of the questions was this: why do we worship twice on the Lord’s Day? This led to a discussion of the creation ordinance of God to set aside a whole day for the Lord (not just a morning) (Gen. 2:1-3), the Old Testament practice of morning and evening prayers (Ps. 92:1-2), the importance of “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:25), and the privilege and blessing of the Lord’s Day (Is. 58:13-14). Another question: why do we have congregational silent prayer before the worship service? This led us to discuss the Old Testament practice of sanctifying oneself before coming into God’s presence (Ex. 19:16-25) and what we should pray for before worship. These were just a couple of the questions we discussed! We had such good discussions that we didn’t get to all the questions. We’ll get to the rest of the questions next week, the Lord willing!

Southwest and Providence PRCs will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People’s Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing. The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI. Reg­istration for chaperones is open! If you are interested, visit the website at prcconvention.com to register.

Evangelism activities

In January, Rev. D. Overway and R. Peterson of the Myanmar committee of Hope PRC (GR) departed for Myanmar with Cal and Seth Kalsbeek and John VanBaren. The Myanmar committee had a list of mandates, including conducting a seminar for forty men arriving from many churches all over Myanmar and giving encouragement to the saints on the other side of the world.

Minister activities

The Domestic Mission Committee and Byron Center PRC’s Council approved a request for Pastor A. Spriensma to assist the saints in Singapore from January 15 until February 12. Besides the four Sundays of preaching, Rev. Spriensma was busy teaching catechism and leading Bible societies. He also conducted a wedding and a funeral, administered the sacrament of baptism, and worked with Singapore’s Evangelism committee.

Rev. E. Guichelaar was led by God to decline the call to be missionary-on-loan to the CERC of Singapore. Grandville PRC Council then formed the next trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, G. Eriks, and C. Haak. On Febru­ary 10 the congregation voted to call Rev. Haak.

On January 20, Trinity PRC of Hudsonville, MI called Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA PRC) to be their next pastor. On February 10 he declined their call.

From her new trio of Revs. J. Laning, M. McGeown, and C. Spronk, Immanuel PRC called Rev. Laning on February 10.

Sister-church activities

On January 9, Rev. and Pat Koole and Peter and Dorothy VanderSchaaf traveled to Ballymena, Northern Ireland and Limerick, Ireland on behalf of our churches to conduct church visitation. We are thankful for safety, and by this labor may God prosper the gospel and saints in our sister church and mission field on the island.

Congregational activities

Providence PRC chili and soup cook-off was held Saturday, February 9. All were encouraged to invite family and friends and join at Adams Christian School at 5 p.m. Sounds delicious!

Seminary activities

The Seminary is sponsoring a three-day conference for the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. This conference will be hosted by Trinity Protestant Reformed Church and be held April 25-27, 2019. Mark your calendars and visit the special conference website at dordt400.org. (See back page for details.)

Trivia answer

Twenty of our congregations use 5:00 p.m. for the starting time of their second service. Other times used by some of our congregations are: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 5:30, and 6:00 p.m. More trivia next time.