Trivia question

To our knowledge, there are only three Protestant Reformed ministers who are now deceased and who were born after 1924. Can you name them? Answer later in this column.

Minister activities

Pastor-elect Matthew Kortus (a Loveland, CO native) sustained his examination at the meeting of Classis West in September. He was ordained as our newest minister of the Word and sacraments in Hope PRC (Redlands) congregation on October 6. We thank our God for this gift and pray that he will have a long and fruitful ministry.

The Council of Grandville PRC announced a new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC), and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). Rev. Mahtani received this call on October 6.

Rev. Rodney Kleyn had received the call from Im­manuel PRC in Lacombe, AB. On October 13 he declined this call. The Consistory then published a new trio: Revs. R. Barnhill, H. Bleyenberg, and M. VanderWal.

Professor Herman Hanko turned 89 in the Lord’s care on October 10th. I remember him as minister in Doon in the early 1960’s when I was a young boy.

Evangelism activities

The Reformed Witness Committee of the Siouxland area churches presented the following lecture by Prof. Barry Gritters: “The Sabbath Command: The Law Christians Love to Keep.” The lecture was presented at Hull, IA PRC on November 1. Of the Ten Commandments, the fourth (“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”) has always faced unique threats. Recent moves by churches—Reformed and others—to downgrade the official call to worship on Sunday are not new. Already in the Old Testament, the God-appointed day of rest was often threatened, and weakness in observing the day became cause for the church’s chastening and even downfall. Why do we sometimes fail to see the importance of the day? To see the importance of complete devotion of one of seven days to the Lord? And the vital importance of frequent public worship on that day? A speech like this one should leave us all with a renewed desire to keep the Sabbath day holy in thanksgiving!

Young people’s activities

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia, from the 28th of December 2019-3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be guest speaker, addressing the campers on the topic of “The Christian’s Armour” (from Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be the “Australian Bush.” The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx. $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them, and learn about our Savior. You can contact Megan at for the full flyer/registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

The Doon, IA Young People held their annual fall Sur­vival Run in October. This is a highlight of their many organized activities, and I don’t believe any injuries oc­curred. They also held their third annual Car Challenge in early November. This is patterned after the famous Edmonton Car Rally. The competition is friendly, yet spirited. Some say the challenges are becoming more dif­ficult. I’m not sure who has more fun—those attempting to complete the Challenge or the creator of the event!

School activities

The 65th annual Protestant Reformed Teacher’s Convention was held Thursday and Friday, October 17 and 18, at Trinity Christian High School in Hull, Iowa. Approximately 150 teachers descended on northwest Iowa! Rev. Joshua Engelsma gave the keynote speech on the convention’s theme of “Teaching Wisdom” from Proverbs 9:9. Retired teachers and prospective teachers currently attending college were invited to join the teachers for this profitable gathering. The list of sectionals and their descriptions was really impressive!

Hope PR Christian School conducted a special soci­ety meeting on Monday, November 11, to consider the purchase of an adjacent piece of property as well as a building project. More on this in the next report.

Missionary activities

We are glad that the parents of missionary-pastor Rev. Daniel Holstege could visit the Holstege family in the Philippines recently!

Congregational activities

The choirs of Faith, Georgetown, Grace, Hudsonville, and Byron Center Michigan churches are planning two Mass Choir concerts in mid to late February of 2020, the Lord willing. All interested participants are invited to join one of the five choirs to practice as individual choirs. They plan to continue with mass practices after the New Year. “Make a joyful noise all ye lands.. .come before His presence with singing!”

On October 31, the congregation of First PRC of Ed­monton, AB gathered to enjoy a delicious potluck meal together. Then they entered the sanctuary for a singspiration. A delicious time of fellowship and praise!

The organization of Byron Center PRC’s daughter con­gregation, Unity PRC, took place on Wednesday, October 30 at Byron Center PRC. We thank God for His providen­tial guidance of the Byron congregation in leading them to this significant event. The organization service was a call to worship with an offering taken for Unity PRC’s Build­ing Fund. All members of Unity PRC were asked to sit in the front half of the sanctuary in order to facilitate the con­gregational meeting that was to be held during the worship service. Those men who were elected and installed as elders and deacons during the service were asked to re­main behind for the first council meeting of Unity PRC. God grants the increase!

Something new

Decades ago the SB News published profiles of our churches. One church was featured in each issue of the magazine. This served well to inform the other congregations of the specific, interesting details of our churches. We hope to do that again soon. The clerk of each congregation is being contacted with the hope he can recruit someone there to supply us with a short snippet to publish. Stay tuned and see what happens!

Trivia answer

The three deceased Protestant Reformed ministers born post 1924 that we know of are: Rev. Wayne Bekkering, Rev. Dale Kuiper, and Rev. Gise Van Baren. Are there others? More trivia next time.