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Trivia question

Which church has had a special church history class for her junior high students for 28 years? (Keep reading!— answer under congregational news)

PRC news (denominational)

Minister calls

On January 9 Heritage PRC extended a call to Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer IN) from their trio that included Revs. E. Guichelaar (Randolph-WI PRC) and J. Marcus.

On January 16 Hudsonville PRC voted to call Rev. R. Barnhill from a trio that included Revs. M. Kortus and J. Laning (Hull PRC, IA).

In January Doon PRC announced a trio of Revs. J. Holstege (Zion PRC, Jenison, MI), D. Kleyn (missionary to the Philippines), and M. Kortus (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA). On January 16 Rev. Kortus received this call.

Rev. J. Langerak will preach his farewell sermon at Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on February 13. He and his wife Sarah plan to move to Spokane that week, where he will take up his labors in Covenant of Grace PRC. Plans are for him to be installed by Rev. R. Hanko on February 27.

Missions

Philippines: In his January Philippine mission newsletter, PRC missionary-pastor R. Smit gave this encouraging news about an aspect of their work that had to be paused due to the pandemic: “Our work in southern Negros Occidental [SNO] has been on hold because of travel restrictions. This situation is beginning to change with the government recently allowing fully vaccinated travelers to SNO. Of course, there is a list of rules that travelers must follow in order to visit, but at least the door is opening again for a resuming of our mission labors in SNO in 2022, D.V.”

PRC news (congregational)

Georgetown (MI) PRC: On February 2 “Marriage Re-Formed” was held at the church, a speech and discussion presented by Rev. Garrett and Jen Eriks. Desserts and fellowship followed the presentation.

Grandville (MI) PRC: For 28 years a church history class has been taught to 7th and 8th-grade students. For many of those years the focus has been on PRC history. According to the current instructor, Mr. Doug Dykstra, the purpose of the class is threefold: “1. To help our young people appreciate our God-given Reformed heritage; 2. To help our young people recognize the vital importance of preserving the Reformed truth; 3. To encourage our young people to both live and promote the Reformed truth now and in the future.” The class meets from September-April after the morning service. Mr. Dykstra adds these thoughts in a letter he sends to the parents: “As leader, I have found the study of our denomination’s history to be profitable, enjoyable, and encouraging. It is my hope that this study will build up our young people and give them zeal for the Reformed truth that they will carry with them into and through adulthood.”

Hope (MI) PRC: Prof. C. Griess has taken over (from Prof. R. Dykstra, who took it over from Prof. H. Hanko) leading the Monday Night Class for young adults. They are currently studying the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. What a wonderful tradition this class has become for our young adult members and friends!

Providence (MI) PRC: According to a recent bulletin, “the building committee has added a wireless printer in the copy room and signage for several other rooms, and the women’s restroom and the nursery have been painted.” Another sign of good stewardship with regard to the Lord’s possessions.

Southwest (MI) PRC: The Young People’s Society just completed a sub sale that included more than mere subs! Beginning January 17 young people contacted members about ordering subs, croissants, or cinnamon rolls—with “a variety of combinations available.” Delivery was made on February 15. Proceeds helped defray the costs of this year’s YP’s Convention. How could one resist?! Good food, good cause!

Wingham (ON) PRC: Rev. D. Holstege was installed on January 9 with Prof. R. Dykstra leading the service. We join the saints there in praising God for the provision of another undershepherd to feed them with the Bread of life.

Evangelism Updates

Byron Center PRC’s sermons had an impressive online witness last year. Her Evangelism Committee reported this in a January bulletin: Our SermonAudio account had 41,261 total plays this year [2021]. We reached all 50 states and all the continents except Antarctica. Our sermons were listened to in many countries from Peru to Kazakhstan to Zambia to Fiji. SermonAudio is great tool for evangelism and spreading the gospel throughout the world.

PRC Sister-church news

This update on Covenant ERC’s (Singapore) Kolkata (India) mission work was given in a January CERC bulletin:

The Session has some updates from our dear Missionary and Pastor Singh. By God’s grace, our dear missionary has been faithfully holding regular worship services at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Because of the distance many have to travel just to enter into the rest of the preaching of the word, many saints come and stay at Pastor’s Singh’s place on Saturday night. On Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, Pastor Singh leads a Bible study on the doctrine of salvation. On the 25th of December, CERC Kolkata had a Christmas gospel meeting. 30 newcomers were brought by God’s providence to hear the gospel of sovereign grace. There was diligent follow up with those who attended. Tracts distribution in marketplaces and metro stations have begun. Witnessing to others of Christ by individual members of the church was done together with a distribution of 10,000 Gospel tracts. On 26th December, [two persons] were baptized at CERC Kolkata. Let us join our brothers and sisters in thanksgiving to God in this significant event. …Please continue in prayers for our Foreign Mission Committee as they labour diligently in providing support to our Missionary Pastor Singh. Pray that the COVID situation will not hinder, but be used by God for the spread of the gospel. Pray for many members who are the only Christians in their homes, pray for faithfulness to the precious Reformed faith.

And Covenant PRC (Ballymena, Northern Ireland) placed this notice in her bulletin recently: “Sign up for the 2022 British Reformed Fellowship family conference at Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland from Saturday, July 9, to Saturday, July 16. The speakers, Prof. David Engelsma and Prof. Brian Huizinga will lecture on ‘Union With Christ.’ For information see the website (http://brfconference.weebly.com).” We certainly hope and pray that this can be held yet this year!

The second semester of the PRC-Philippines’ Seminary began on January 18 (same day as the PRC Seminary in Wyoming, MI!). The plan was to hold face-to-face classes in the seminary library in Beverly Hills, Antipolo. We pray for “Professors” (missionaries) D. Kleyn and R. Smit as they give this instruction once again.

PR Christian school activities

Adams CS (Wyoming, MI): Adams hosted their annual Soup Supper in the gym on February 10, from 5-7 p.m. You could also preorder the soup through their website for pickup from 2-7 p.m. If you’ve never been to this soup smorgasbord, you’re missing a true culinary delight!

Eastside CS (Grand Rapids, MI): The Junior High held a “Take-and-Bake Pizza” fundraiser on February 5. The pizzas could be picked up freshly baked or frozen for later consumption. The school also held their annual online auction on February 9.

Trinity CHS (Hull, IA): On January 31 the annual Trinity Promotional Supper was held. After the meal a short program was put on by the Junior/Senior Choir.

With this issue of church news we begin a new feature— PRC church libraries. In the January 15 issue I noted that I am asking you to submit a photo of your library and a brief description of it. Since I have not yet received any (keep in mind we work a month in advance with the SB), I decided to feature my own church’s— Faith PRC in Jenison, MI. The library of Faith PRC has been in existence for many years, with a dedicated room in the southwest corner of the building. It is operated by a special committee of the Council (Sarah Decker, Dorothy VanDerSchaaf, and Mike VanTil) and contains a variety of books aimed at the adult readers in the congregation: commentaries, church history titles, Bible study aids, and more. As you might guess, it is well stocked with RFPA titles. But there are also books for teenagers and for children, including a special basket of books for the very young!

If you ever visit Faith PRC, be sure to check out her library—it’s a fine one!

Faith PRC (Jenison, MI) is the host of this year’s PR Young People’s Convention, which has the theme “Rejoicing in Our God,” based on Psalm 63. Plan to join us August 1-5 at the Cedarmore Camp and Conference Center in beautiful Kentucky to experience an unforgettable, spiritually uplifting time with our young people. Most of the young people have not had a convention since 2019 and many will be unable to attend another after this! Registration will begin in March. Visit the PRYPC website (prcconvention. com) regularly for updated information.

The Faith PRC Program Committee is looking for special numbers from PR Young People’s Societies— group or individual performances are welcome! Contact Jessica Van Dyke at jessicavd11@gmail.com.

Food for Thought

“We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of him.’ If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects that he might learn to feel our pain. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly  Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection,  if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his  Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the  power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store  of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our  fill from this fountain, and from no other.”  (John Calvin, Institutes, 2.16.19) •