Mr. Charles Terpstra, member of Faith PRC in Jenison, Michigan and full-time librarian/registrar/archivist at the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary

PRC news (denominational and congregational)

With all the vacant churches in the PRC, numerous calls have been made and responded to in the last few months. We only provide the most recent here.

Back on November 20, 2022, Rev. J. Laning accepted the call from Zion PRC to serve as home missionary. On January 1, 2023 he preached his farewell in Hull PRC, and on February 5 he is to be installed as home missionary. He plans to take some special missions classes and do some writing as Zion determines where best to have him begin his labors.

Also on January 1, Rev. S. Key’s emeritation became effective (ordained in Sept. 1986). He and his wife plan to stay in Loveland, CO and help the congregation yet, while also serving the denomination in various ways. We thank the Lord for his faithful ministry and pray that God will continue to give him health and strength to serve the churches.

On January 8, Rev. J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland) declined the call from First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) and the call from Hull PRC (NW Iowa).

Rev. C. Spronk was to answer his call from Hudsonville PRC on January 15.

In summary, eight churches—Doon, First PRC (Grand Rapids), Hosanna, Hudsonville, Hull, Loveland, Randolph, and Georgetown PRCs—are all calling.

The need for pastors has increased even more in the last year, so let us remember to pray for and encourage the sons of the church to consider God’s call to the ministry.

Annual church visitations by the PRC to her sister churches have been taking place. In January (11-24) Rev. W. Bruinsma and his wife along with elder D. Kregel and his wife made a visit to Singapore to visit Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church.

Also in January, Doon PRC with the Foreign Mission Committee sent a delegation of officebearer C. Woiwood and D. Brands (FMC) and his wife to the Philippines to visit the churches there.

On January 19, a delegation from the Contact Committee, consisting of Rev. and Mrs. Martyn McGeown and Mr. Sid Miedema, also traveled to the Philippines for their annual visit with the PRC in the Philippines. This delegation had some overlap with the delegation from the FMC (cf. above). The delegation met with the PRCP’s Contact Committee, with the missionaries, and with as many of the PRCP members as possible. Rev. McGeown preached in their churches where possible.

We pray that the Lord will bless these visits for their good and for the good of the PRC.

Seminary news

Between semesters, Prof. B. Gritters taught Reformed Christian Ethics from January 9-18. Besides the three seminary students who took the course, a good number of auditors participated as well. The second semester began on Tuesday, January 24. Remember the seminary in your prayers! Sem. Matt Koerner and the seminary’s secretary, Sharon Kleyn, were joined in marriage on January 13.

Sem. Koerner has entered his final semester of training— and his new bride will be in her last months, too!

Prof. C. Griess has completed his course work and is now busy working on his ThM thesis, which is to be completed this spring.

Library feature—Kalamazoo PRC

My thanks to Pastor Dennis Lee for providing this brief report and photo of his church’s library.

Having just started last summer, the KPRC Library is almost certainly the newest—and the smallest—in the denomination.

It all started when an initial donation of books was received and made available for borrowing in the Council Room in early June. From there, slowly but surely, one good thing has led to another. Books started being borrowed. More book donations came in. Some funds were approved for an RFPA Book Club membership to be purchased. Bookshelves were ordered and assembled. Members have come forward to offer their help in organizing the library. Interest in the library has grown over the summer in accord with the growth in the number of books: from about half a shelf at the beginning to two sets of shelves at the time of this writing.

This is because the congregation understands the value of a good library as a shared resource for all her members—especially her young members. As it stands today, a third of the congregation are between eight months and eight years old; and there is a strong desire here for these children to develop the godly habit of reading good religious books and magazines from their youth. There is also an ongoing, strong need and desire for good resources to help develop young, growing families. Finally, there is a felt need for more good books and variety than the current selection.

It is our earnest prayer that the Lord Himself will continue to give increase to the use and size of our fledgling library, and cause it to be a great blessing to our members!