What a summer for our sister church in Northern Ireland, the Covenant PRC in Ballymena! We can only imagine the range of emotions they have experienced, and are still experiencing, for all our heavenly Father has done for and through them. First, Mr. Martyn McGeown, one of their members, graduated this past June from our Theological School and accepted Covenant’s call to serve as their missionary pastor. Mr. McGeown was ordained into the office of minister of the Word and Sacraments on July 30. Rev. McGeown will be working as missionary, with his labors centering in Limerick, Republic of Ireland, working with the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.
Second, after many long years of anticipation, the Covenant congregation held their final worship service in the Protestant Hall on Sunday, July 25, and moved into their newly completed church building. Their first worship service there was the following Friday evening, the ordination service for Rev. McGeown. We rejoice that God has given our sister church a missionary pastor, and we also thank God that He has given to Covenant a church building of their own. The building was to be dedicated on August 5 in a special worship service led by Prof. H. Hanko.
Dr. David Torlach, of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (a denomination with which our churches have a corresponding relationship), who was trained in our Theological School, was examined in July by the Presbytery of the EPC for candidacy in the ministry of the EPCA. Dr. Torlach passed this exam and is now eligible for call from one of their vacant churches. We rejoice with our brother and his family and pray that his ministry may be a clear and shining light to the glory of God.
The Evangelism Committee of the Peace PRC in Lansing, IL recently decided to start using sermonaudio.com. For a while now the most recent sermons from Peace have been posted on their Website. Now those sermons will be archived at sermonaudio.com, so the older sermons will also be available. Another advantage of using sermonaudio is that Peace now has the ability to broadcast their sermons live. This is especially convenient for those who, for good reason, must miss a service. Peace will also be able to monitor how many people listen to their services. Other churches report that many people from many different countries listen to their sermons this way. Clearly, this is another effective way of spreading the truth about Jesus Christ.
The Evangelism Committee of the Faith PRC in Jenison, MI sponsored a short summer seminar on personal evangelism after their evening worship services, July 25 and August 8. This seminar was particularly intended to equip recent high school graduates and college students for the work of evangelism in their everyday lives.
The congregation of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI sponsored a summer singspiration entitled “His Wondrous Love Proclaim,” on Sunday evening, July 25, at their church. Members of First and neighboring churches were invited to spend an hour that evening praising God with audience singing and through the voices and musical instruments of others.
At a meeting this summer, the Council of the Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI approved the publishing of a monthly newsletter entitled “Providence Post.” The first edition of this newsletter was available to the congregation on July 25.
At a special congregational meeting held on July 8, the Hudsonville, MI PRC voted to go forward with architectural drawings for a proposed addition to their church building. Hudsonville anticipates the need for additional space at this time and into the future, as the number of children continues to increase in the congregation. This proposal is not to increase the seating capacity of the sanctuary, but to provide support areas of the appropriate size to meet the needs of their congregation.
A special committee of the Loveland, CO PRC has also been investigating future expansion of their church building taking into account the needs of the church and the school. Their most significant recommendation is to remodel their present facility by demolishing the old portion of the church, digging a basement to provide additional rooms, expanding the narthex, and putting a larger consistory room, nursery, and restrooms on the main floor and adding a second floor with four full-size classrooms that can also be used by the school. After receiving cost estimates and considering the financial needs, the Council will decide on recommendations to present to their congregation.
The congregation of the Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD invited the area PR congregations to join them on July 29 for a day at Wild Water West. The discounted admission fee included unlimited access to go-carts, batting cages, mini-golf, bumper boats, water park, wave pool, and sand volleyball. Even though the weather interrupted plans, the turnout exceeded all expectations, with over 250 people signed up.
Rev. J. Laning preached his farewell sermon at the Hope PRC in Walker, MI on Sunday, July 11. Rev. Laning served Hope for almost 13 years. That week he and his family moved to Hull, IA, where he was installed on Sunday, July 25, as their 13th pastor.
Since last month’s “News,” a number of calls from vacant congregations have been declined: Rev. G. Eriks declined the call extended to him by the First PRC in Holland; Rev. C. Spronk, the call from Trinity PRC in Hudsonville; Rev. W. Langerak, the call from Wingham PRC in Ontario, Canada; and Rev. A. Lanning, calls from Edgerton, MN PRC, Hope PRC in Walker, MI, and Cornerstone PRC in Dyer, IN. Edgerton PRC has subsequently called Candidate Daniel Holstege.