News From Our Churches

Mission Activities

We thank our missionaries to the Philippines, Revs. D. Kleyn and R. Smit, for providing the readers of the Standard Bearer with the following update.

“One of the goals in the mission work our churches are doing in the Philippines is to establish a denomination of churches, according to God’s wise will and timing. In anticipation of this, the consistories of the Berean PRC in Manila and the First Reformed Church in Bulacan are already working together toward this goal. On August 22 these two consistories had a combined meeting in order to identify any areas of concern or differences that needed further discussion and resolution in preparation for a future federation, the Lord willing. Rev. Kleyn was appointed by the consistories as chairman of the combined meetings and Rev. Smit was ap­pointed clerk. As a result of the thorough discussions of the approximately four-hour meeting, the consistories identified only two significant matters of practice in which the churches have differed, namely Article 67 of our Church Order and the validity of the baptisms of the Roman Catholic Church and other such churches. In addition, the consistories identified other concerns in which there seems to be full agreement, but more work has to be done, namely, faithful Bible translations, a com­plete Psalter/Psalm song book translation in Tagalog, an official and accurate Tagalog translation of our Reformed creeds, plus the work of preparing to do other works together as a denomination. The agenda for the next meeting will be to begin a treat­ment of the issue of Article 67. Please pray for the consistories that they may receive wisdom and strength as well as a continued spirit of brotherly cooperation and love in this work of our seeking to express together the unity of the church of Jesus Christ.”

Minister-on-loan Activities

Rev. A. Lanning has received the neces­sary Singaporean government approvals to move his family to Singapore. Rev. Lanning preached his farewell as pastor in Faith PRC on September 30. Installation in our Grandville, MI PRC took place in a special service on October 4, with the move to Singapore planned for the week of November 5. Pastor Lanning will then take up his work as minister-on-loan to our sister church, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, the first week of De­cember. He and Stephanie and their fam­ily covet our prayers as they continue to make preparations for this move.

Young People’s Activities

We at the “News” are always on the lookout for young people’s fundraisers a little out of the ordinary. Something just a little different. Well, we think we found one. The Young People of the Bethel PRC in Roselle, IL were selling wontons as a fundraiser for the YP Convention of 2013. For our Dutch readers, Web­ster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary defines a wonton as a type of Chinese dumpling commonly served in soup or deep fried. Bethel’s wontons were filled with minced pork and green onions.

The Young People’s Society of Grace PRC in Standale, MI served their 3rd annual Labor Day Pancake Breakfast on September 3 at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI. As noted above, the menu consisted of pancakes, in ad­dition to sausage, scrambled eggs, and muffins. Donations went towards the 2013 YP Convention.

Young Adult Activities

The Monday Night Bible Class, led most of the year by Prof. R. Dykstra, began September 10 at the Hope PRC in Walker, MI. The first two meetings (Sept. 10 and 17) featured presentations by Nathan Lanning and Brendan Looy­enga, dealing with the error of evolution­ism. These men addressed how a Chris­tian can and ought to defend the biblical doctrine of creation over against it. After those two sessions the class returned to their discussion of Ecclesiastes.

The Young Adult Society of the First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada hosted a dessert evening for September 21 at their church. This was another in a list of fundraisers that these young adults are sponsoring in anticipation of their plans to host a Young Adults Retreat on July 29-31, 2013, D.V.

Denomination Activities

The Hope Heralds Men’s Chorus presented their annual concert at First Jenison CRC on Sunday evening, September 8. Members of the west Michi­gan churches were invited to attend as this chorus of over 60 men sang praises to our heavenly Father. We struggle to find words that would adequately de­scribe the evening. Thankfully the Hope Heralds recorded the concert for their 2012 CD, so you will have an opportu­nity to enjoy it for yourselves later, if you wish. We can also add that the concert was given on Tuesday, September 11, at the Kalamazoo, MI PRC.

Congregation Activities

The congregation of the Hudson­ville, MI PRC was invited to spend Saturday, September 8, participating in Hudsonville’s 3rd annual Church Bike Ride. Plans called for the bike riders to bike from Holland State Park on the shore of Lake Michigan, to Tunnel Park, about 2.5 miles north. Refreshments were provided at Tun­nel Park, and the younger riders could climb the dunes if they had some energy left. The return trip brought the group back to Holland State Park, where they enjoyed fellowship and brats and hot dogs.

Minister Activities

Candidate Vernon Ibe accepted the call from the Berean PRC in Manila, the Philippines, to become their pastor. His examination has been scheduled to take place on November 1, with his ordination set for November 2, the Lord willing. Rev. D. Overway and Mr. Ike Uittenbogaard are scheduled to attend as representatives of the Doon, IA PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee.

Rev. R. Kleyn declined the call extended to him to serve as pastor of the Hope PRC in Walker, MI. Hope subsequently extended a call to Rev. W. Bruinsma, PRCA missionary in Pitts­burgh, PA.

And after Rev. G. Eriks declined the call he was considering, to serve as the next pastor of the Randolph, WI PRC, Randolph extended a call to Rev. J. Mar­cus, currently serving as pastor of the First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada.