News from our churches

Trivia question

Who was the first graduate of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary to be examined by Synod? Perhaps you know when this occurred? Answers later in this column.

Denominational activities

Classis West met March 6 in Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Look for the report in the next issue.

Important information for future teachers and min­isters: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Interested individuals can email prcscholarship@gmail.com to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31.

Young people’s activities

Georgetown Young People’s Soup Supper was held in February. “Why cook? Join us for an evening of great food and great fellowship at our annual Young People’s Soup Supper,” is the way the announcement read. Menu included three soup options, plus chili, hot dogs, salad, and dessert. All proceeds to benefit the 2019 Young People’s Convention.

Seminary activities

The faculty and students of the seminary attended a Reformed conference on the Synod of Dordt (400th anniversary) at Westminster Seminary West (Escondido, CA) in January after Interim. They spent Saturday night and Sunday in fellowship and worship with the members of Hope PRC in Redlands, CA.

Sister-church activities

Rev. A. Spriensma spent time in the pulpit of Covenant ERC of Singapore in late January. He was followed by

Rev. Stephan Regnerus (Lynden PRC) for three weeks, and then Rev. Heath Bleyenberg (Providence PRC) for four weeks. Rev. A. den Hartog (emeritus) plans to be there from April to June. We thank God for all His provision.

South Wales Lecture: Rev. Angus Stewart will speak on “The Canons of Dordt: The Original Five Points of Calvinism” in Margam Community Centre on the 21st of March.

Congregational activities

Southeast PR Church has published a book Archives and Anecdotes: 75 years at Southeast Protestant Reformed Church, which celebrates this anniversary with details from the church records and memories from past and current members. Of particular interest will be the history of the 1953 split and the related 1960s split. This approximately 250-page book is now available. The cost is $5 (plus shipping). To make ordering easy, orders can be placed through the RFPA (616-457-5970 or mail@rfpa.org) and picked up at the RFPA.

From Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI: their annual Chili Cook-off was held in February, followed by their Fellowship Dinner. But then this from their bulletin: “Our next church activity will be a ‘Dipapalooza’ night at church on Friday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m. Please read the flyer in the Post for all the details, and add your name to the sign-up sheet in the back of church if you can attend.” OK, we need help with this one. A good trivia question might be: What is a Dipapalooza night?

The Activities Committee at Calvary PRC of Hull, IA scheduled an event at the All Seasons’ Center in Sioux Center for ice skating, swimming, and games! A delicious BBQ pork supper was included in the fun-filled evening.

The last week of January/first week of February was termed “brutal” as far as weather in the central United States. The West Michigan area had about two feet of snow and below zero temperatures. School was can­celled for a week. In the Siouxland, or Tri-State area of the Midwest, the focus was on the cold. There was not so much snow, but the air temperature registered -25F one day and school was cancelled that day with bitter wind-chill factors. No one can stand before God’s cold! What a wonder that the small birds and outdoor animals survive! And I often wonder how the American Indians on the plains managed just a few generations ago!

Denominational activities

From the bulletin of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI:

Advanced Notice: Synod 2019 will be held here at First PRC the week of June 10-15, the Lord willing. A pre-synodical worship service will take place at First PRC at 7 p.m. Monday, June 10. This is a worship service hosted by our congregation, therefore it will be a call from the consistory for the congregation to worship together that evening. In addition, the Lord willing, Thursday, evening, June 13, graduation exercises for our Theological Seminary will be held at First PRC for seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman. Mark your calendar!

Mission activities

Years ago our missionaries used to preach in Gabaldon, in the province of Nueva Ecija, about 4 hours northeast of Manila. This practice ceased in 2014 due to the determination that there was a lack of potentialofficebearers there. Upon the request of those in Gabaldon, a Bible study was begun there in 2016, led by Rev. Vernon Ibe, minister in the Berean PRC. Live- streaming of the Berean PRC services has been available in Gabaldon also. In January of this year the Berean PRC consistory decided to resume worship services in the Gabaldon location. Rev. Ibe travels once a month to preach for the group. Elders of the Berean PRC travel the other Sundays of each month by rotation to lead the services. Approximately 10 families attend the services. May God continue to bless the sending of the gospel in this manner.

Minister activities

On February 10 Rev. Joshua Engelsma declined the call from Trinity PRC, Grandville PRC called Rev. Carl Haak to be Minister-on-loan to Singapore, and Immanuel PRC of Lacombe called Rev. James Laning to be their next pastor. Trinity has formed a new trio of Revs. E. Guichelaar, W. Langerak, and J. Mahtani.

Trivia answer

Rev. John A. Heys graduated from seminary in 1940. He was examined by Synod in that year, the first year a PRC synod was held. Previously, the broadest assembly was a Classis, and the Classis examined the students. Rev. Heys went on to minister to the congregations at Hope PRC of Walker, MI; Hull, IA PRC; South Holland, IL PRC; and Holland, MI PRC. Rev. Heys became emeritus in 1980. God used him to proclaim the gospel for 40 years!