Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 27 December, 2015

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown

Philemon: An Object Lesson in Forgiveness (3)
Paul’s Commendation of Philemon’s Love  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Philemon 1-25
Text: Philemon 4-7

I. Philemon’s Generous Love
II. Paul’s Thankful Response
III. Paul’s Expectant Prayer
Psalms: 40:1-5; 119:113-120; 16:1-7; 116:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown

Philemon: An Object Lesson in Forgiveness (4)
Paul’s Approach to Philemon  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Acts 28:11-31
Text: Philemon 8-9

I. Not Flaunting His Authority
II. Appealing to Love
III. Drawing Out Philemon’s Affection
Psalms: 107:1-8; 119:121-128; 69:31-36; 102:17-22

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

Matthew Henry: “Our prayers and praises should be offered up to God, not for ourselves only, but for others also. Private addresses should not be altogether with a private spirit, minding our own things only, but others must be remembered by us. We must be affected with joy and thankfulness for any good in them, or done by them, or bestowed on them, as far as is known to us, and seek for them what they need. In this lies no little part of the communion of saints. Paul, in his private thanksgivings and prayers, was often particular in remembering his friends ... [The saints] bear the image of Christ, which will be loved by every Christian. Different sentiments and ways in what is not essential will not make a difference of affection as to the truth, though difference in the degrees of love will be according as more or less of that image is discerned. Mere external differences are nothing here.”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be preaching for the CPRC today, while Rev. Stewart takes the services in the LRF.

A 2016 Bible reading programme is available on the back table.

All are invited to the manse on New Year’s Eve for games and fellowship at 7:30 PM or any time thereafter. If you plan to come, please let the Stewarts know.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Watching for Christ’s Return” (I Thess. 5:1-6).

The next Council meeting is Monday, 4 January, at 7 PM.

The Tuesday Bible study will meet again on 5 January at 11 AM to study Hosea.

The Belgic Confession Class resumes on 6 January, when we will consider catholicity in the local church and missions.

The church visitors arrive on Saturday, 9 January. A sign-up sheet to have them over for dinner is on the back table. We will be having tea after the evening worship service on 10 January. It is Group A’s turn on the tea rota.

Catechism classes resume Monday, 11 January.

The congregational dinner is scheduled for Friday, 15 January, at the Ramble Inn. Prices are £10 for an adult meal and £5 for a children’s meal. A menu and sign-up sheets are on the back table.

Upcoming Lectures:
CPRC, Wed., 13 Jan., 7:30 PM, Rev. Decker on “God’s Beautiful Covenant of Grace”
S. Wales, Thurs. 28 Jan., 7:15 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Our Identity in Christ”
CPRC, Fri., 18 March, 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Our Identity in Christ”

Offerings: General Fund: £583.32.

Website Additions: 1 Indonesian (Rev. A. Brummel’s pamphlet “Bringing Forth Children in an Age of Selfishness”) translation.

The Special Education Program of the
Northwest Iowa Protestant Reformed School


In Deuteronomy 6 God calls His people to instruct their children in His commandments and especially in that first commandment of love for our Lord: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children” (Deut. 6:6-7a). This calling is for parents in the home, but it is also the calling of parents as they seek to have their children educated through good Christian schools. That command to instruct, or educate, cannot be limited to certain of our children, but must extend to each of them regardless of their gifts or of our perception of their ability to be instructed.

During the 2010-2011 school year, the school board of the Northwest Iowa Protestant Reformed School in Doon, Iowa, began to investigate both the need for, and the feasibility of, starting a special education program in our school. A committee was appointed to lead that investigation, and after several months of work, the committee recommended that the board proceed with the hiring of a special education teacher to lead the development of our special education program. In addition, the school board adopted a policy to guide the effort of the special education program. That policy explains the purpose of the special education program: “To help those students to whom God has given special needs to reach their full potential, socially and academically. The end goal being to help them integrate as much as possible into the classroom and activities with their peers and to foster their talents and abilities.”

In 2011 Miss Leah Vink joined the teaching staff as our special education teacher. Throughout the course of the last several years, Miss Vink has developed the program to support the education of several students with special needs. She has been able to utilize a number of different resources to assist in her work. Those resources have included staff from Elim Christian School, teachers and special education staff from other Protestant Reformed schools, education professors at Dordt College, and the Northwest Area Education Agency. The Northwest Area Education Agency is a regional agency that provides services to schools in a 10-county area in the northwest corner of Iowa, and has provided support to our school through speech therapy, occupational therapy, and learning resources. In 2014 Miss Erika De Jong joined the staff of our school as a special education aide. Miss Vink and Miss De Jong now work together to ensure a quality education for our students with special needs.

Our special education staff utilize numerous different programs and accommodations to help those with special needs reach their full potential. The school purchased an IPad several years ago specifically for assisting those in the special education program. In addition, programs such as Wilson Reading Program are utilized, songs are created to assist in learning, assignments and lesson plans are adapted, and specific goals are set to focus the development of these students with special needs. The school has a room dedicated for this one-on-one instruction, however, the focus of the program is to integrate these students into the general education classroom as much as possible.

The students served by our special education program over the past number of years have many different needs. Those needs include learning disabilities such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, emotional and behavioral challenges, and delayed fine and gross motor development. Yet even with these special needs, we see and understand that each of these children are truly fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)! In April 2015, our school had its first “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Day,” which began with a chapel speech given by Rev. Joshua Engelsma. Following the chapel, relatives and friends were invited to school where three different presentations were given to both students and guests. Those presentations addressed certain special needs including autism, sensory disorders, and Williams Syndrome. In addition the presentations included activities to help others understand the difficulties these individuals face each day and also demonstrated how those with special needs can be helped and included despite their difficulties and differences.

As we reflect on the past five years, we give thanks to our Heavenly Father for His blessing upon our school and upon our special education program, staff, and students. We are humbled and thankful that even in our small Christian school, those with special needs can be instructed in the light of His Word! We also covet your prayers and pray for His continued blessing upon our work: “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17).