News from our churches

Trivia question

Four current ministers in the PRCA have a last name beginning with the letter B. Can you name them and tell in which congregation they labor? Answers later in this column.

Minister activities

Grandville PRC announced a new trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, G. Eriks, and B. Huizinga from which to call a minister-on-loan to our sister church in Singapore. Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor in Doon, IA PRC received this call and planned to answer by August 18.

Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB Canada announced their new trio of Rev. D. Lee, and Candidates Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman; from this trio they called Candidate M. Kortus.

Rev. Brian Huizinga preached his farewell sermon in Hope PRC of Redlands, CA on July 21. Later that week he and his family moved to the Grand Rapids, MI area, as he has taken up the transitional work of becoming a professor in the Theological School of the PRCA. Hope, Redlands announced the trio of Rev. J. Mahtani and Candidates Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman. Hope called on July 21 and Candidate Kortus received their call.

Southeast PRC of MI announced the very same trio as Hope PRC of Redlands and on July 21 they extended a call to Candidate J. Maatman.

Missionary activities

Rev. and Leah Holstege traveled to Brisbane, Australia from July 16-24. Rev. Holstege was invited to speak at a conference on the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt sponsored by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPCA) who are in a “corresponding relationship” with the PRCA. He also preached for them and give a presentation on PRCA mission work in the Philippines.

From the bulletins of the churches in the Philippines: “The Theological School Committee (TSC) (Committee 1) requests the Consistories of the PRCP to hold one worship service on August 11, 2019 dedicated to the beginning of seminary school and entrusting our school to the blessing and care of our sovereign God, and asking our pastors to preach texts related to the ministry of the Word and seminary instruction.”

Young people’s activities

The Western Young People’s Retreat in July was a great success! The speeches by Rev. S. Regnerus and Rev. R. Hanko were well-received. The families attending from Lynden, Spokane, Lacombe, and Edgerton had good fellowship together. The Young People gave a good Christian witness. We thank God for all our young people and pray for His continued care over them!

The annual Young People’s Convention took place from August 12-16 at Camp Michindoh in Michigan with the theme “Watching and Waiting.” Look up for all the details!

Denominational activities

Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors.

Sister-church activities

The denomination of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP), consisting now of four churches, adopted as their official mission work the Protestant Reformed Fellowship of Albuera, located on the Philippine island of Leyte. Recently, a trio was announced from which to call a missionary to Albuera. This trio consisted of Rev. Vernon Ibe, pastor at the Berean PRC, Rev. John Flores, pastor at the PRC of Bulacan, and Rev. Leovino Trinidad, pastor as Maranatha PRC. From this trio the calling church in Bulacan selected Rev. Ibe to receive the call to be missionary in Leyte. This call was announced on July 7, and on July 28 Rev. Ibe revealed his acceptance of the call. We are thankful that God led Rev. Ibe to a clear indication of His will in this matter. We pray also for the Berean PRC in the months ahead.

Evangelism activities

On Wednesday, July 31, a delegation of Prof. R. Cammenga, Rev. R. Kleyn, and Rev. C. Griess made a trip to Mexico to give lectures in two different denominations of churches. Doner Bartolon (First PRC, Grand Rapids) and Samuel Vasquez (Redlands PRC) assisted with translating. Susanna Bartolon, Lael Griess, Rhonda Cammenga, Bryan Pastoor, Madelyn Monsma, and Lydia Monsma helped in other ways as well. This visit was to include conferences at the Lluvias de Gracia Church (National Presbyterian Church) and the Juan Calvino Seminary (Independent Presbyterian Church), as well as speeches at the General Assembly of the NPC and among the IPC congregations in Chiapas. The visitors also had opportunity to preach in these two denominations. Conference and speech topics included: Eschatology, training for officebearers, women in office, the sacraments, the Synod of Dordt, and a critique of Reformational Theology. The delegation returned August 12.

Seminary news

One of the new students entering seminary this Fall is Isaac Peters from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia. Isaac and his wife Rebecca and four children recently arrived in Grand Rapids, MI. They will be attending Grace PRC during their time in the USA.

Trivia answer

The four ministers whose last name begins with B and their congregations are: Rev. Ryan Barnhill of Peace PRC in Dyer, IN; Rev. Heath Bleyenberg of Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI; Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma in Pittsburgh, PA PRC; and Rev. Allen Brummel in Calvary PRC of Hull, IA. More trivia next time.