News From Our Churches

Congregation Activities

Remembering the Word of God found in I Timothy 3:15, “. . .the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,” we call your attention to the anniversary of the Grandville, MI PRC, organized on February 9, 1984.

Rev. C. Haak, Elder Deane Was­sink, and Prof. B. Gritters, on behalf of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, left January 2 for a two-week trip to the Reformed Christian Church of Vellore, India (RCCV). In addition to preaching in both the English and Tamil congregations, the men also planned to give a conference on the Office of Elder and Deacon and the function and calling of the instituted church. The men hoped to spend time with Pastor Paulraj and his wife, Kasthuri, members of the RCCV, the Grace Foster Home, and possibly a few of the village outreaches of Pastor Paulraj. You may also be interested to know that the India Mission Out­reach of Georgetown provides as­sistance to RCCV in two main areas, with the focus always on the spread of the gospel. Financial assistance is given by Georgetown to RCCV as well as to Grace Foster Home through a sponsorship program. In addition, members of Georgetown’s outreach committee, as well as pas­tors from other churches, meet with Pastor Paulraj on a bi-weekly basis via Skype, studying the Bible in depth and increasing Pastor Paulraj’s under­standing of the Reformed faith.

The members of the Choral So­ciety of Peace PRC in Lansing, IL invited their congregation to their annual Christmas program/singspi­ration on Sunday evening, December 23. A collection was taken for this summer’s Young People’s Conven­tion.

Starting with the New Year’s Day service, January 1, the congregation of the Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids, MI began reciting the Votum in unison. Rev. W. Langerak, South­east’s pastor, will now pronounce the Salutation, “Beloved congregation in the Lord Jesus Christ,” and the congregation will respond with the Votum, “Our help is in the name of Jehovah who hath made heaven and earth.” If you are interested in the background for the change, search the Standard Bearer archives, spe­cifically an article in the November 15, 2012 issue by Rev. C. Griess. We could add that our sister church in Singapore does this, as does also the Grace PRC in Standale, MI.

The members of the choir of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, presented their Christmas pro­gram on Sunday evening, December 16. In addition to the choir singing, there were also several special num­bers, and the audience was given the opportunity to join in the singing of several Christmas carols.

The Loveland, CO PRC had the opportunity to say “farewell” to Seminarian Erik Guichelaar, his wife Cherith, and their daughter, Ken­nedy, after their morning worship service on January 1. Seminarian Guichelaar led that service, the last official duty of his six-month intern­ship in Loveland, before returning to Grand Rapids, MI and the Seminary for his last semester of classes before graduation in June, D.V. A short pro­gram followed the January 1 service, with refreshments and fellowship in the church basement afterwards.

Mission Activities

The combined consistories of the First Reformed Church in Bulacan and the Berean PRC in Manila, the Philippines, met together on December 24 in Antipolo. Our missionary pastor Rev. D. Kleyn served as president, and Rev. R. Smit served as clerk for the meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and seek to come to an agreement concerning Article 67 of the Church Order, the article calling for the observance of special worship services like Christmas, Ascension Day, etc., as well as concerning the acceptance of baptisms from other churches, such as the Roman Catholic church.

Denomination Activities

On Saturday, December 15, be­tween the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Reformed Free Publishing Association, the publishers of this magazine, sponsored a warehouse sale at their headquarters in Jenison, MI. Customers could come and have the opportunity to fill a reusable book bag with as many books as they could fit in for only $25. There were 40 titles available for the special. This sale was a way for the RFPA to say thank you for the continued support they receive from us, the readers, and it was also intended to help young people and families establish a solid Reformed library. We are happy to say that the average age of customers that day was estimated to be about 30. This is very encouraging for the RFPA. Younger members are interested and are read­ing RFPA material. That Saturday approximately 460 bags of books were sold to an estimated 325 or so custom­ers. The RFPA cleared about 10,100 books from their warehouse. The most popular book was Portraits of Faithful Saints, selling 402 copies; with the Unfolding Covenant His­tory series close behind, at approxi­mately 380 copies of each volume.

Sister-Church Activities

The week before Christmas was the annual Youth Camp for the Cov­enant Keepers and Covenant Keep­ers Seniors, basically all the young people of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore. They do this every December, stay­ing together at a place in Singapore from Monday through Friday morn­ing. Rev. A. Lanning was this year’s featured speaker. He was able to speak four times on the book of Judges, under the theme, “Deliverers from the Lord.” Rev. Lanning spoke on Othniel, Deborah, Barak, and Jephthah, while Elder Chan gave a speech on Gideon, and Aaron Lim gave a speech on Samson. In addition to these speeches, there was a short one to close the camp and an intro­ductory speech by Prof. H. Hanko, via DVD, to open it.

Minister Activities

Rev. C. Haak, pastor of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, declined two calls he was considering. He declined the call from Faith PRC in Jenison, MI to serve as their next pastor, and he declined the call extended to him from the Hope PRC in Walker, MI to serve as their next pastor.

Rev. A. Brummel, pastor of the Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD, received the call to serve as pastor of the vacant Randolph, WI PRC.