News From our Churches

Denomination Activities

In accordance with Article 67 of our Church Order the consistories of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the USA called their congregations to worship on the National Day of Thanksgiving, November 27. We were encouraged to “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks…” I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Sister-Church Activities

Did you know that one of the sister churches of the PRC, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland has a wide-ranging website? That is certainly an understatement. The site www.cprf.co.uk is extremely impressive! Its “languages” link contains Reformed literature in some 121 foreign tongues. The “audio” link has more than 1,000 sermons, interviews and debates. The “articles” page holds over 230 items, and there are more than 130 pamphlets available on that part of the website. The “Covenant Reformed News” page includes over 500 items for your reading pleasure. Of particular interest to anyone studying the Belgic Confession is the link on the right hand of the home page that is entitled “New Belgic Confession class audios.” If you have some time on your hands and want to use it in a positive way, browse this site and marvel at all it contains! This is a prime example of a beneficial and enriching use of the Internet to spread the gospel.

Seminary Activities

From our seminary comes the announcement about this school year’s interim course to be taught by Prof. Ronald Cammenga. “The Theology of John Calvin” will be taught weekdays 9:00-11:30 a.m. January 5-14, 2015. Visitors are welcome but must register by calling the seminary.

Congregation Activities

The existing sanctuary ceiling pulpit lights were replaced with new LED spotlights by their building committee during the week of November 17 in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, IA.

Some notices in the church bulletins just jump out at you and grab your attention. Such was the case with this bulletin announcement of Randolph, WI PRC: “Reminder, orders for Christmas wreaths and kissing balls need to be given to Jenny by today.” It begged an inquiry. Some of you “kissing ball” authorities may know all about this. For the rest of us, here is what we found: These “kissing balls” are about the size of a basketball, made from a coniferous or evergreen product, with a pretty bow on top. These balls take the place of mistletoe, which may be more familiar to some. Hmmm…. Some of you may have a place for one of these devices. Unfortunately, by the time you read this notice the deadline for ordering for this year will have come and gone. Aim for next year when they may be available for purchase again.

Mission Activities

Rev. W. Bruinsma, Eastern home missionary in Pittsburgh, PA, reported that the Bible Study in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, has begun again for its new season. The first meeting had 15 people present, including some who came last year as well as some new visitors. The study this year will be on New Testament History.

Minister Activities

Rev. Clayton Spronk was installed as the seventh minister of Faith PRC in Jenison, MI on November 30. After the evening service a welcome program was held, and refreshments were served.

Rev. Steven Houck submitted to surgery in mid-November. Doctors performed an angioplasty and inserted four new stents. May God’s healing mercies be evident in the brother’s recovery.

Peace PRC, located in Lansing, IL announced a trio from which to call a minister, including Rev. William Langerak (Southeast PRC, Grand Rapids, MI), Rev. Richard Smit (missionary to the Philippines), and Rev. Ronald Van Overloop (Grace PRC, Standale, MI). From this trio Peace issued a call to Rev. Van Overloop on December 1.

On December 4, First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI issued a call to Rev. Van Overloop as well, from the trio consisting also of Rev. Allen Brummel (Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, SD), and Rev. Richard Smit (missionary to the Philippines). May our heavenly Father, the King of the church be near to Rev. Van Overloop and make His will abundantly clear in the consideration of these two calls, as well as of the call to the work in Grace PRC.

Rev. Jonathan Mahtani, pastor of Cornerstone PRC, Dyer, IN, declined the call on December 7 to be the next missionary to the Philippines.

Young People’s Activities

A young peoples’ Thanksgiving mass meeting was held in By ron Center Protestant Reformed Church on Sunday, November 23 at 2:00 p.m. Byron Center pastor Rev. Audred Spriensma spoke from I Thessalonians 5:18 “Giving Thanks Always.”

Young Adult Activities

Loveland, CO PRC announced plans for their annual Young Adults Retreat to be held April 6-9, 2015 at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO. Speeches are planned according to the theme “Our Calling to be Holy” (Col. 3) with Rev. Steven Key, pastor at Loveland, and Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of the Doon, IA PRC as featured speakers. Registration for this retreat was scheduled to open December 15. All this, the Lord willing.

School Activities

Heritage Christian School Foundation’s “Evening of Praise” was held November 29 at Grandville, MI High School’s auditorium with a dessert reception after. A wonderful opportunity for the adults and children to exalt God’s name using music.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.