News from our churches

Trivia question

In looking for a trivia question, I randomly picked a bound volume off my shelf. The report of Classis West held March 2–3, 1977 stared out at me. So…where was that Classis held? And how was the weather? Answers later in this column.

Congregational activities

Attention all Sunday School teachers, parents of Sunday School children, and any others in the Grand Rapids area who are interested: Plan now to attend a lecture by Rev. J. Smidstra on “The Value of Sunday School for the Body of Christ.” The lecture will be sponsored by the Protestant Reformed Sunday School Teachers’ Association and will be held at Byron Center PRC on May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Why do we use the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible? What errors are found in other versions? A pre­sentation was held May 9 at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA on the KJV.

From Georgetown PRC’s (Hudsonville, MI) bulletin we find this significant item in April:

This month is our congregation’s 25th Anniversary. We confess together from our hearts: God is Good! God is Faithful! “God has done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Ps. 126:3). The Council is forming a 25th Anniversary Committee to help us celebrate His Covenant Faithfulness to Georgetown. Details will follow in the bulletin in the coming months. Do you have personal memories, pictures, special blessings God has given you as a member of Christ’s body in Georgetown? Please give them to the Pastor or to Elder Mike Moelker.

Back in March, Byron Center PRC bulletin had this follow-up note of interest: “Investigation into the start­up of a daughter congregation—as a result of the meeting this past Tuesday, the following men were elected to the steering committee: Mike Kooienga, Joe Lubbers, Sid Miedema, Chad Mingerink, Duane Mingerink, and Rich Sleda.” This steering committee met March 18. We will look for further developments in the months ahead.

Seminary information

If you have not yet done so, check out the new PRC seminary website (prcts.org)! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages—and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

Sister-church activities

From a recent “Pastoral Voice” of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore:

One of the precious Reformed heritages of a faithful Reformed church is to maintain and teach the true doctrines that are prescribed in the Word of God. The faithful Reformed church maintains this calling in these three aspects. First, through insisting on the faithful and solid doctrinal preaching from the Word of God in our worship services. Secondly, conducting catechism instruction for our children and youth. And last but not least, having family and personal worship where we are instructed from God’s Word. These, Covenant and her members must see to it that they are carried out in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, in today’s world, the faithful Reformed churches are challenged that their emphasis of doctrines in the lives of God’s people are not practical to Christian living. We want to refute this. Doctrines shape our lives. They cultivate our values. They direct us on the path we tread. They instruct us in the decisions we make. They show us if we are walking in the right way, and they comfort us when we go through difficult trials and even face death. Doctrines encompass the whole of our lives, from the time we are born till we breathe our last breath. Doctrines move a child to obey his/her parents when he/she remembers the fifth commandment. A youth chooses the kind of lifestyles he/she adopts because they are governed by God’s Word. A young person seeks to marry a godly spouse because they knew the calling to set up a covenant home. A mother who gave up her career to care for her child was moved by the doctrine of God’s covenant. A father labors hard to provide and protect the family because he knows he is appointed by God to be ruler of his household. When we are afflicted with difficult trials, we can be comforted because we believe that they come from our Father’s hand and it will be good for us. When an old saint closes his/her eyes the last time, they do so in peace because they are assured that they will be with their Lord Jesus in heaven. Beloved, be not deceived. Doctrine is our lives. Without true doctrines, we will be tossed to and fro without meaning and direction in our lives, waiting to be deceived. The Devil shapes the ungodly world and her followers with his doctrines and values. Our lives and values must and will be shaped by the Word of God. May the Lord give us grace to preserve this Reformed heritage.

And from a recent bulletin of Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela City, Philippines: “We have temporarily cancelled our Bible study due to the severe heat because of the effect of ‘El Nino.’”

Minister activities

On March 24 Rev. Bill Langerak announced he had been led by God to accept the call extended to him by Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI. We praise God for a clear indication of His will! He preached his farewell in Southeast, Grand Rapids PRC on April 28 and was installed in Trinity on May 12.

Also on March 24, Immanuel PRC of Lacombe ex­tended a call to Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) and Grandville PRC called Rev. Clay Spronk (Faith PRC) to be minister-on-loan to Singapore. On April 14 Rev. Guichelaar acknowledged God’s will that he remain in Randolph. And on April 21, Rev. Spronk declined the call from Grandville PRC.

Senior activities

Senior Retreat 2019 will be held September 17–20, 2019 at Gull Lake Ministries (MI). Registration forms will be sent to the churches and will be available on Zion PRC’s website: zionprc.org. Registration dates: May 1, 2019–August 1, 2019.

Trivia answer

Here is what that 1997 Classis West report included:

Classis West met in Hull, Iowa in the midst of a snowstorm reminiscent of the famed Hull blizzard of March, 1965. More than a foot of snow fell on Wednesday with the result that the delegates were unable to get to their lodging in the country that evening. Since all travel by car was impossible even within the town of Hull, delegates were transported to homes by snowmobile. It was an amusing sight: delegates perched warily on the back of the suspicious machine, one arm holding the driver for dear life, the other arm grasping a suitcase, and a hat left to fend for itself. The hostility of the elements was more than matched by the warm hospitality of the Hull congregation, some of whom put up five or six delegates on Wednesday evening. Indeed, in the good providence of our God, the One who “saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth” (Job 37:6) the storm served to increase the fellowship of the delegates and the brothers and sisters of northwest Iowa.