News From Our Churches

Congregational Activities

Pastor-elect Brian Huizinga, his wife, Michelle, and their children, Anna, Calvin, and Jacob, arrived in Redlands, CA late Thursday evening, September 8. His ordination and installation as the twelfth pastor of the Hope PRC took place during the morning worship service on Sunday, September 18, with Prof. R. Decker leading the service. Rev. W. Langerak, who was also present, read the form and participated in the “imposition of hands by the officiating minister and by other ministers present,” as noted in Article 4 of the Church Order. For the worship service Prof. Decker preached from God’s Word found in II Timothy 4:1-4 under the theme, “The Preachers Charge.” Hope officially welcomed the Huizinga family after their evening service with a brief program and a time of fellowship together. The following Lord’s Day, September 25, Rev. Huizinga preached his inaugural sermon as pastor at Hope, preaching from Isaiah 40:9, under the theme, “Behold Your God.”

On Thursday evening, September 29, the Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI gathered in worship to witness the ordination and installation of Pastor-elect Nathan Decker as their second pastor. Prof. R. Decker led the worship service, preaching from I Timothy 4:12 under the theme, “Called to Be an Example of the Believers.” At this service there were ten ministers who participated in the “laying on of hands” at the time of ordination. The following Sunday evening, October 2, Rev. Decker preached his first sermon as pastor at Trinity under the theme, “Bringing the Word in Love,” based on God’s Word found in I Thessalonians 2:11, 12.

We rejoice with these two congregations as their vacancies come to an end. May the King of the church bless the relationship between pastor and congregation by using them to be a blessing to each other.

We can also add here that Rev. N. Decker, his wife, Jessica, and daughter, Kate, will not be moving into Trinity’s present parsonage next to their church. Trinity’s congregation voted to purchase a new parsonage about two city blocks from Trinity and to tear their old parsonage down. A study showed that making necessary improvements to their present parsonage was just too costly to justify, making the purchase of a new home for their pastor and family the best choice.

While on the one hand Trinity welcomed their new pastor to their fellowship, they also said farewell to Prof. R. Dykstra, who had been providing them Catechism preaching for the past ten months. To mark this occasion the congregation had an appreciation coffee for Prof. Dykstra on Sunday, October 2, after their morning worship ser-vice.

On Saturday, October 1, the men of the First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada were invited to a work bee at their church to remove dead and diseased trees from their property.

The Long-Range Planning Committee of the Hudsonville, MI PRC recently reported to their congregation that the progress of their church addition and renovation remains on schedule. The building addition, including a new nursery, infant room, a large meeting room, classroom, new restrooms, and consistory room is finished. The renovation work, including a new library; expansion of the fellowship hall; and renovation of the existing society room, church office, the new church offices, and the east and west entrances, is scheduled to be completed around the end of the year.

For its first Bible study meeting of the year, the Senior Adult Society of Peace PRC in Lansing, IL arranged for Prof. D. Engelsma to speak about the Declaration of Principles. The speech was entitled, “The 60th Anniversary of the ‘Declaration of Principles’: A Commemoration.” Peace invited the members of area churches to join them for this special society meeting. The meeting was held at Peace on September 27.

The League of Protestant Reformed Adult Bible Studies held their beginning-of-the-year mass meeting on September 20 in First PRC of Holland. First’s pastor, Rev. D. Holstege, spoke on “In Everything Give Thanks.”

The First PRC congregation in Holland, MI sponsored a lecture series entitled “Train Up a Child” on three consecutive Wednesdays in September at the Howard Miller Library in Zeeland, MI. The first speech on September 14 was given by Rev. D. Holstege and was entitled, “Parenting in the Information Age.” This was followed on September 21 by Rev. G. Eriks speaking on “Child Discipline, Nurturing, and Communication,” and September 28 with Prof. B. Gritters speaking on “The Christian Lifestyle of a Parent.”

On Friday evening, September 23, Rev. S. Key gave a speech at the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA. Rev. Key spoke on “Amazing Grace,” the story of John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” which showed how he himself experienced the amazing grace of God.

The Reformed Doctrine Class met for the first time this fall on September 18, at Faith PRC in Jenison, MI. Prof. D. Engelsma devoted this first class to consideration of objections to his book concerning church membership, Bound to Join, and a brief critique of the rejection of the instituted church by Harold Camping.

Mission Activities

It is typhoon season again in the Philippines. Our missionaries and the saints there endured one of these typhoons in late September, but suffered only minor inconveniences this time. Let us thank God for His protective care and remember to pray for the continued safety of our missionaries and of the saints in the Philippines.

Sister-Church Activities

A second “overnighter” was planned for September 23 and 24 for the Covenant PRC in Ballymena, NI and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. The venue was the Foy Centre, Carlingford, Co. Louth, on the Cooley Peninsula. Discussions on the office of believer and the antithesis were planned.

Minister Activities

Candidate Jonathan Mahtani accepted the call he received to serve as the next pastor of the Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN. This means that he also declined the call extended to him to become the next pastor of the Edgerton, MN PRC.

Rev. R. Hanko received the call to “come over and help” from the Hope PRC in Walker, MI.