News From Our Churches

Mr. Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.

Young Adult Activities

 

In late June, the 24th through the 28th to be exact, the young adults of the Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, Canada, along with help from their congregation, hosted a Young Adults Retreat at the Deer Valley Meadows Christian Center. There were forty-six young adults registered to attend this retreat. Many of them arrived the weekend before the retreat officially began, so they were able to visit with and enjoy a picnic supper with church members on Saturday and worship with them as well on Sunday. On Monday all the young adults had opportunity to enjoy a day trip to the mountains. Tuesday the Retreat officially got underway with registration and breakfast at the church, travel to the Center, and an evening speech given by Rev. M. DeVries, pastor of neighboring First PRC in Edmonton, AB. The theme of the retreat was, “Standing Fast and Holding the Traditions,” based on II Thessalonians 2:13-17. Rev. DeVries spoke on “Standing Fast and Holding the Traditions—Scripturally.” Wednesday featured discussion groups in the a.m., followed by various activities after lunch and a p.m. debate. Rev. R. Miersma, pastor of the Immanuel PRC, spoke Thursday evening on “Standing Fast and Holding the Traditions—Confessionally.” The congregations of First and Immanuel were invited to join the young adults at the Center for these two speeches.

All too soon Friday came, with the usual time set aside for necessary cleanup and the always difficult good-byes to friends, new and old alike, followed by trips to Edmonton International and Calgary for flights home. As churches we can be thankful for Immanuel’s willingness to host this retreat. Doing so is no small undertaking. Immanuel was planning this event at least two years ago. But what an opportunity for fellowship with young adults from many of our churches. All we have heard since late June about this Retreat has been very positive. So, on behalf of the forty-six young adults who attended, and those of us who wish we could have, we extend a thank-you to Immanuel.

 

Sister-Church Activities

 

July 1st Prof. and Mrs. Robert Decker and Rev. and Mrs. Ron Cammenga left West Michigan for a two-week trip to Australia to attend a conference with our fellow saints in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia. Also present at this conference were representatives from our sister churches in Singapore. Interesting papers on such topics as “The Presbyterian View of Covenant Children,” “The Real Presence of Christ in the Preaching,” “The Offer of the Gospel,” “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament,” and “Union to Christ in Reformed Soteriology” were scheduled to be given and discussed.

 

Congregation Activities

 

Rev. C. Terpstra, pastor of the First PRC in Holland, MI, has been teaching a class this summer on practical Christianity, for his congregation and any other interested persons. Each Wednesday this class has been looking at the subject of self-denial, using W. Chantry’s book, The Shadow of the Cross.

Rev. R. Hanko was installed Sunday, July 21, as the sixth pastor of the Lynden, WA PRC. We rejoice with their congregation in our heavenly Father’s providing an undershepherd for them after they were vacant for two years. If our records are correct, Lynden called eleven times before Rev. Hanko accepted their call. Lynden organized a committee to plan two events to welcome the Hanko family. The first event was a time of fellowship and a short program after the evening service of July 21. The second was a picnic/potluck on Saturday afternoon, July 27.

In mid-June the members of the First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI met at a congregational meeting and approved proposals to replace the carpeting in their lower level and the upper narthex and to renovate their restrooms.

 

Mission Activities

 

We read of two developments in Ghana recently that we want to pass along. First, a Steering Committee has been organized to conduct better the day-to-day affairs of the mission. Rev. W. Bekkering is president, and he is joined by four men from the mission. Secondly, the calling church for Ghana, the Hull, IA PRC, has given the mission permission to begin a young adult society. Members between the ages of 18 and 30 and single were encouraged to attend.

Delegates from the Southwest PRC in Grandville, MI visited the Pittsburgh mission field July 19-22. They planned to meet with Rev. J. Mahtani Friday evening and the Steering Committee on Saturday, and to worship with the Mission on Sunday.

This July Rev. W. Bruinsma was able to bring lively preaching to the “Fellowship” in Fayetteville, NC. In addition to that, he brought along with him the youth group, all seventeen of them, from his church in Kalamazoo, MI. As you can imagine, these visitors were made most welcome, and an entire week of activities was planned for them. Rev. Bruinsma also gave two speeches that week, one on Tuesday entitled “God’s Covenant,” and another on Thursday on “God’s Covenant in Our Generations.”

Minister Activities

 

From a trio of the Revs. Bruinsma, Dick, and Kleyn, the Hull, IA PRC extended a call to Rev. M. Dick to serve as second missionary for Ghana. With the decline of Rev. J. Slopsema, the congregation of the Grandville, MI PRC extended a call to Rev. R. VanOverloop to serve as their next pastor. Along with Rev. Van Overloop, the trio also had Prof. D. Engelsma and Candidate R. Kleyn on it. Rev. J. Slopsema also declined the call he had received from the Byron Center, MI PRC. Since that time Byron Center has made a new trio, consisting of the Revs. A. Brummel, M. DeVries, and C. Terpstra. Byron was to call a pastor on August 11.

Our newest congregation, the Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI, extended a call to Candidate R. Kleyn to serve as their first pastor. Candidate D. Overway and Rev. R. VanOverloop were also on that trio. On August 4, Candidate Kleyn accepted that call. Rev. D. Kleyn declined the call from the Covenant PRC in Wyckoff, NJ. Since then Covenant has extended a call to Candidate D. Overway to serve them as pastor. Also on their trio were Rev. Dick and Rev. Eriks.