Mr. Charles Terpstra, member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan and full-time librarian/registrar/archivist at the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary
What was the first RFPA publication? (Hints: It was not a magazine, and it was in a foreign language.)
PRC news (denominational)
On June 19 Rev. E. Guichelaar accepted the call he had received from Grace PRC—Grand Rapids, MI (May 22). His farewell in Randolph (WI) PRC was held on July 17. He was installed as the third pastor in Grace’s history on July 31.
On May 22 the Consistory of Hosanna PRC-Edmonton (note the new name!) announced a trio of Revs. R. Smit (Philippines), J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland), and C. Spronk (Faith PRC—Jenison, MI). On May 29 the congregation voted to call Rev. Smidstra. And on June 19, he declined this call. Subsequently, Hosanna’s Council formed a new trio of Revs. A. Brummel (Calvary PRC—Hull, IA), J. Holstege (Zion PRC—Jenison, MI), and R. Smit (Philippines). On July 10 the congregation voted to call Rev. Smit.
On June 5 Rev. J. Smidstra declined the call to Hudsonville PRC (MI). Hudsonville’s Council then formed a new trio of Revs. N. Decker (Grandville, MI PRC), Rev. J. Laning (Hull, IA PRC), and Rev. D. Noorman (SW PRC—Wyoming, MI). On June 26 Rev. N. Decker received that call. On June 5 Rev. J. Holstege received the call from Doon (IA) PRC. That trio included Revs. N. Decker and M. DeBoer. On June 19 he declined this call. After the Council formed a new trio, Doon voted to call Rev. N. Decker on July 10.
Rev. J. Marcus was installed in Peace PRC on June 12, with Rev. J. Engelsma leading the service. The congregation held a night of fellowship on June 17 to welcome the family. We rejoice in God’s goodness in providing a place of labor for him and pray that he and his family will experience God’s great blessing serving that congregation.
Prof. B. Huizinga and his family traveled to Northern Ireland to participate in the BRF family conference (July 9-16) held at Castlewellan Castle, where he, along with Prof. D. Engelsma, spoke on the theme of “Union with Christ” and preached.
Prof. D. Kuiper is teaching a summer class on PRC history. As the 100th anniversary of our denomination approaches, he is covering the first twenty-five years—1924-1949. The class is open to all PRC members and friends in the area and those who may be visiting from out of town. The class is being held at Southwest PRC (to accommodate the good numbers!) on the Wednesday evenings of July 6 (Grandville PRC), 13, and 20, and August 10, 17, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. Do you want to learn about the early history of the PRC? Then make sure you attend this class—it’s not too late! You may also watch the recorded classes through the seminary’s website—prcts.org (YouTube channel).
After being part of the delegation (along with Prof. C. Griess) that went to Tabasco, Mexico in late June, Sem. M. Koerner began his internship at the beginning of July in Hope PRC-Grand Rapids under the mentorship of Rev. J. Mahtani. You may recall that he was supposed to do his internship in Randolph PRC under Rev. E. Guichelaar, but when he accepted the call to Grace PRC, Hope was asked to fulfill the internship.
Sem. Arend Haveman was in the Philippines for two and a half weeks (June 23-July 11) as part of a brief missions “internship.” He assisted Rev. D. Kleyn in various aspects of the work there and spoke a word of edification in the churches. From all accounts, it has been a rewarding experience.
The Contact Committee of the PRC informed the churches that Revs. Jim Laning and Bill Langerak traveled to the Philippines to participate in a special conference on July 2 sponsored by our sister church, the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines. They, together with Rev. Daniel Kleyn, gave three speeches and participated in Q&A sessions. The conference theme was “Contending for the Faith: Doctrinal Development Since the Schism.” On the following Sunday Rev. J. Laning preached in Berean PRC, while Rev. W. Langerak preached in Provident PRC. The CC asked us to “pray that the Lord will bless this work of our churches together with our sister churches in the Philippines for the cause of the truth and the good of His church universal.”
Zion PRC, the calling church for home missions, sent out a call to Rev. J. Smidstra on May 29. That initial trio included Revs. A. Brummel and C. Spronk. On June 19 Rev. Smidstra declined this call.
First PRC-Grand Rapids invited those in the area to a singspiration/Mexico update evening on Sunday June 12. This was tied to her plans to sponsor two trips to different areas of Mexico this summer. Those in attendance could learn more about the work and also hear an update on a book translation they are working on as well. A collection was taken to help cover the costs of this outreach. In her June 26 bulletin, First had this note about the first delegation that went from June 27-July 4: “Professor Griess, Dan and Madeline Monsma, and several others [Rev. J. Mahtani, Kyle Bruinooge, Matt Koerner, Sharon Kleyn] are leaving tomorrow morning for Tabasco, Mexico, visiting churches and believers there. This visit includes two conferences [on Christian education] and preaching in different churches.”
First PRC-Holland: The Evangelism Committee, with help from Georgetown (MI) PRC, is holding an outreach Bible Study this summer. It is meeting on alternate Wednesdays at the Howard Miller Public Library in Zeeland. Rev. J. Smidstra led the first meeting, which was on the subject of “Hope in Troubled Times.” Members were invited to attend and encouraged to invite others to attend as well. Her EC printed business cards for the members to hand out to help advertise this special work.
PRC news (congregational)
Summer translates into outdoor activities for our congregations too, and that’s reflected in the recent bulletin notices.
Calvary PRC held her church picnic on Saturday, June 11, at the Boyden City Park in Hull. Activities included kickball games (K-8), supper, and softball (high school or older). Glad to see that traditional church softball game kept alive.
Doon PRC held her church picnic on July 9 at the Community Center. This included two special events: fellowship with the Smit family, on furlough from the Philippines, and…a softball game! More good traditions!
First PRC-Grand Rapids has a monthly golf outing at Gracewil Country Club for members. The first one was held on Saturday June 18.
Grace PRC’s Activities Committee is back to having morning “Coffee in the Park” at Sunset Hills Park in Standale. This is mostly for the ladies and children, although maybe there are some male retirees who come too.
Hudsonville PRC had her church picnic on June 22 at the Hudsonville Fair Grounds.
Kalamazoo (MI) PRC held a potluck dinner outside on the church yard on July 19.
Providence (Hudsonville, MI) PRC held a “parking lot party” on July 13. The members were invited “to a night of fellowship and fun,” with kids encouraged to bring their bikes and scooters and adults their yard games and lawn chairs.
And, of course, we cannot forget camping! Southwest PRC held her church campout at Dutch Treat in Zeeland (MI) June 18-25. On Friday night they invited those who did not camp to come for a potluck-style dinner and singing. Byron Center PRC held hers at the same campground from July 9-16 and included a beach day for the congregation on Wednesday as well as a potluck dinner with games on Thursday. And by now you may also know that Immanuel PRC in Lacombe (Alberta) invited those with passports and travel plans to join them at their annual church camp August 1-4, which included “a lovely facility…with cabins, spots for campers and tents along with beach access and many activities.” Such good memories of those church campouts.
And, not to miss out on a great outdoor activity, Trinity (MI) PRC’s men and boys gathered at the Wassink farm in Holland for a fishing night on June 10.
Hosanna PRC-Edmonton: Yes, you read that correctly. The reconstituted PRC that was formerly named First PRC of Edmonton, AB has decided to rename the church Hosanna PRC. That decision was made by the congregation on May 29, and the next Sunday the Consistory added this note: “We rejoice that the Lord has given us this name and we pray that He will bless our congregation as we go forward (Mark 11:9)—“And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” Let us continue to pray for this ‘new’ congregation.
Young people activities
Pittsburgh PRC’s young people took an enjoyable and edifying visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky the first weekend of July.
The Western Young People’s Retreat was held July 12-15 at Camp Sanders in Tensed, Idaho. The theme of the retreat was “Walking by Faith” based on II Corinthians 5:7, with Rev. S. Regnerus and Rev. J. Langerak speaking. We trust it was another profitable time of Christian fellowship and spiritual growth for the young people who attended.
Kristen Kamps sent in this description of Hudsonville PRC’s church library along with two pictures. We thank her for this great contribution to our church library feature. “In 2011, Hudsonville remodeled the church building, adding a new fellowship hall and classrooms. During that renovation, a beautiful new room for the library was added. Our library has a well stocked adult section that includes Christian living books and many doctrine and church history books. We also have a large children’s and junior’s section that is very well used. We are thankful for this resource for our congregation.”
The first publication of the Reformed Free Publishing Association was Langs Zuivere Banen, (Dutch for “Along Pure Paths”) written by Revs. H. Danhof (First CRC, Kalamazoo) and H. Hoeksema (Eastern Ave. CRC) between the end of 1923 and June of 1924 when the CRC Synod met and adopted her three points of common grace. The eighty-five-page pamphlet was a further refutation of this doctrine, a subject of intense debate in the CRC at that time. Danhof and Hoeksema were responding to criticism of an earlier and larger work critical of common grace, “Sin and Grace” Kurt Hoksbergen Shannon and Bethany Schuller Haley, Madison, Connor Hull, Iowa (Zonde en Genade). As you will note, LZB was prior to the formation of the PRCA and the publication of the Standard Bearer—but not by much! If you wish to know more about this early RFPA publication, you can read it in English (including Prof. D. Engelsma’s historical introduction to it) in The Rock Whence We Are Hewn (RFPA, 2015), pp. 157ff.