On Monday morning, July 11, a line of severe thunderstorms came in off Lake Michigan and swept through southwest Michigan. In addition to the usual rain, thunder, and lightning, these storms also packed winds estimated by the National Weather Service to be in excess of 90 mph. You can imagine the damage done in some communities around the area. One such area was Jamestown, MI, where the parsonage of the Providence PRC took a direct hit from those storms. Five trees on the property around their parsonage and barn were uprooted or broken off as a result of that storm. In God’s providence, Rev. and Mrs. Bleyenberg were not home at the time, and the parsonage did not receive any damage from falling trees. We are reminded again of the words of Psalm 46:8, 10, 11: “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth…. Be still, and know that I am God….”
The Adult Sunday School of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI enjoyed a special presentation on the translation of Reformed Catechism books, including from our churches, into Chinese, Tamil, Burmese, South African, etc., and their distribution in foreign countries. Their guest speaker was Ming Chong, from the Pilgrim Covenant Church of Singapore. She translates for the Gratia Dei Sola Media, which also has projects of translating Reformed materials in Myanmar, India, and Africa.
At a special congregational meeting on July 11, the members of the Loveland, COPRC gave approval to the proposed building project from their Building Committee. Work has already begun and will continue in the months ahead.
The congregation of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI hosted an area-wide summer singspiration entitled, “Sing for Joy,” on Sunday evening, July 17, at First. This was an evening of praise to God in song, with audience singing as well as vocal and instrumental special numbers.
The members of the Kalamazoo, MI PRC enjoyed some relief from the summer heat with a pool/supper get-together Saturday afternoon, July 23, at the home of one of their families. Also available was the public park behind their home and various yard games, which all added up to an enjoyable time together.
The Evangelism Committee of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI had the opportunity this summer to lead a Bible Study Class at the Holland Men’s Rescue Mission from mid-July through August. Mr. Deane Wassink volunteered to lead those classes centering on the Lord’s Prayer. Georgetown’s congregation was invited to join the Bible study each week.
The Evangelism Committee of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI has been busy this summer reworking ten information sheets that were originally produced by Rev. W. Bruinsma for the Pittsburgh Mission. These information sheets answer some commonly asked questions about the PRC. Copies will be available for visitors, and members of First were encouraged to direct visitors to these sheets to help them better understand our churches.
As reported earlier, the Georgetown PRC has decided to discontinue the airing of their worship services on a Grand Rapids radio station. Sunday, July 24, was the last broadcast. We thank the Lord for giving Georgetown the opportunity to air these services each Sunday for over five years. Georgetown concluded these efforts in the confidence that in each broadcast God has directed the Word as He saw good and built up His people in the faith that will not make ashamed.
The PR Fellowship in Pittsburgh, PA has set up new Facebook and Twitter accounts. These accounts can be found at www.facebook.com/prcpittsburgh and www.twitter.com/prcpittsburgh. Be sure to go to these sites often and follow the Fellowship activities, as well as following links to Rev. Bruinsma’s sermons at Sermon Audio each week.
Rev. Ron Hanko was invited to Singapore to speak for the annual Church Camp sponsored by the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore. Rev. Hanko and his wife, Nancy, were there from the 14th to the 27th of June. This year’s camp was held in Rompin Pahang, Malaysia. Rev. Hanko spoke four times on the theme, “Rooted in Christ: Bearing Fruit.” His message subjects were: Rooted in Christ, Established in Christ, Walking in Christ, and Abounding in Christ. Rev. Hanko also spoke for Covenant’s family support group on “Husbands, Love Your Wives.” Rev. Hanko concluded his note to the “News” by adding that he and Nancy “had a wonderful time, enjoyed the wonderful hospitality and food, and were refreshed and en-couraged by the love of the people there, by the good fellowship, and by the Christian witness, both of the adults and the youth.”
Rev. Angus and Mary Stewart left on July 18 for their biennial trip to North America. Plans called for them to be away from the Covenant PRC in Ballymena, NI for four weeks. In their absence Rev. Heath Bleyenberg was scheduled to preach three times for them and one week for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, filling in for Rev. Martyn McGeown, who planned to be in the United States serving as a chaperone for the Young People’s Convention, D.V.
Candidate Brian Huizinga received calls to serve as the next pastor from the Edgerton, MN, the Hope Redlands, CA, and the Hope Walker, MI PRCs.
Candidate Nathan Decker received calls from the Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN and the Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI to serve as their next pastor.