We start this issue of the “News” where we left off last issue with more Reformation Day lectures sponsored by various of our churches.
Prof. D. Engelsma, retired professor of theology in our PR Seminary, was able to present his lecture, “Federal Vision, Unconditional Covenant, and the Reformation’s Gospel of Grace,” four times this fall. He spoke first at the First Christian Reformed Church of Byron Center, MI on October 29 at the request of the Evangelism Committee of the Southwest PRC in Grandville, MI. This was followed on November 5 at the Hull, IA PRC, sponsored by the Reformed Witness Committee. Prof. Engelsma next gave the lecture on November 12 at the invitation of the Evangelism Committee of the Randolph, WI PRC, followed closely on November 19 by a presentation in the auditorium of the PRC of Crete, IL.
The Evangelism Committee of First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada hosted a Reformation Day lecture on October 29 at their church. Their pastor, Rev. J. Marcus, spoke on the topic, “Brave New World: A Christian’s Response.”
Prof. R. Cammenga traveled to the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA in late October. While there he not only preached for the congregation on October 31, but also presented a lecture entitled “Calvin’s Reformation of Worship,” on October 29.
The Evangelism Committee of the Calvary PRC in Hull, IA looked for volunteers to man two booths that displayed information about their congregation and the truths they confessed as Christians and as PR churches. One booth was set up at the Kiwanis Poinsettia Sale on November 19, and another during the Hull Winterfest on December 4.
On Tuesday, November 16, Revs. Koole and Eriks flew to Pompton Plains, NJ as representatives of our Contact Committee, to attend a meeting of the association of North American Presbyterian and Reformed Churches (NAPARC), an association of conservative churches that seek to keep each other informed about important decisions within their own denominations and to discuss common challenges and dangers being faced. There are eleven member denominations and several others who were invited to attend as observers. The PRC Synod of 2010 accepted the invitation to send representatives as observers and to participate per the invitation. The conference concluded Wednesday afternoon. More information can be found in the 2010 Acts.
November 19 and 20 the Pittsburgh, PA Mission Fellowship hosted a family conference in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The theme of the conference was, “Guided by God’s Counsel.” Missionary pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma and Rev. A. den Hartog were the two speakers at this conference.
Another news item from Pittsburgh was that their 12th annual Reformation Day lecture, held October 29, was a great encouragement. Rev. Bruinsma spoke on the topic, “Martin Luther: Captive to the Word.” Besides full participation by the members of the mission, there were twenty visitors. The audience almost filled the little church building and was the occasion of great excitement.
Rev. M. McGeown, missionary pastor of our sister church, the Covenant PRC of Ballymena, NI, laboring with the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in Limerick, NI, gave a public lecture on “God Is Love” in Limerick on November 11.
We had opportunity on Saturday, November 13, to stop at the newly-acquired property of the Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI for a cup of coffee, a cookie, and a look at their property. Providence has purchased a total of ten acres, just south of Hudsonville, with easy access to all major highways in the area. Included in this purchase is a three-year-old home and a somewhat older pole barn. What makes this property somewhat unique is that the home is attached to the pole barn. With a little work, Rev. and Mrs. Bleyenberg will be able soon to move into the home. With a little more work, the congregation could also use the pole barn for weekly catechism and society meetings, and with even more work, possibly even Sunday worship services. At this point no timetable has been established, other than for the use of the home as a parsonage. Providence has made no formal decisions regarding additional possible use. With a Michigan winter coming, the time for upgrades to the barn is short. But one thing is certain, the Providence congregation has purchased property that should serve them well in the years to come.
The congregation of the First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada enjoyed their annual Car Rally and Soup Supper sponsored by the Covenant Ladies Circle on Thursday, November 11. The car rally began at 11:30 a.m., with the soup supper at about 4:00 p.m. First also invited neighboring Immanuel PRC in Lacombe to join them.
On November 12, Hope Christian School in Redlands, CA held their annual Fall Banquet. This year’s theme was “Remembering 35 years” of Hope Christian School. We pass along our congratulations on their reaching this milestone in their history (Ps. 16:6).
Young People’s Activities
The Young People’s Society of the PR Church in Crete, IL sponsored an organ recital/singspiration on November 12. Guest organist was Jared Langerak. A collection was taken for the young people to help with the cost of next year’s convention.
The Young People of the Grace PRC in Standale, MI held their annual Christian Service Day on Saturday, November 13. Anyone in their congregation needing some yard-work done was encouraged to fill out a request for help, and the young people would do the rest.
Rev. Daniel Holstege, pastor of the First PRC in Holland, MI, was united in marriage to Miss Leah Regnerus of the Randolph, WI PRC on November 5. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord’s richest blessings on them as they serve Him as joint heirs together.
Since our last “News,” Rev. Lanning declined the call to serve as pastor of the Wingham, ON PRC. Rev. Haak declined Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN, and Rev. Bruinsma declined calls from the Edgerton, MN PRC and Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI.
Rev. G. Eriks received the call to serve as pastor of Hope PRC in Walker, MI.