Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 18 June, 2017

“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

The Healing of the Lame Beggar (4)
Peter and John on Trial  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Acts 4:1-22
Text: Acts 4:1-12

I. The Unjust Arrest
II. The Intimidating Arraignment
III. The Bold Apology
Psalms: 119:161-168; 40:6-10; 105:15-21; 118:20-29

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Lord’s Supper  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 10:1-22
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 28

I. Its Commands
II. Its Promises
III. Its Admonitions
Psalms: 95:1-6; 40:11-17; 27:9-14; 34:8-16

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

John Calvin on Acts 4:12: “And if so be this doctrine were deeply imprinted in the minds of all men, then should so many controversies concerning the causes of salvation be soon at an end, wherewith the Church is so much troubled. The Papists confess with us, that salvation is in God alone, but by and by they forge to themselves infinite ways to attain unto the same. But Peter calleth us back unto Christ alone. They dare not altogether deny that we have salvation given us by Christ; but whilst they feign so many helps, they leave him scarce the hundredth part of salvation. But they were to seek for salvation at the hands of Christ wholly; for when Peter excludeth plainly all other means, he placeth perfect salvation in Christ alone, and not some part thereof only. So that they are far from understanding this doctrine.”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

This evening is preparatory with the view to partaking of the Lord’s Supper next Sunday morning. Rev. McGeown will be preaching for us and administering the sacrament, while Rev. Stewart is in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to the PRC and copies of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal are on the back table. New CPRC address/phone lists are also available; please take one and keep it safe for future reference.

The Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to consider further the dividing up the promised land in Joshua 14-22.

Family visitation: Wednesday, 21 June, 7 PM - Timothy & Hilary Spence (Reid/Rev. Stewart)

Everyone is invited to the manse for a barbecue this Friday (23 June) at 6:30 PM or as soon as you can come thereafter. In order to know how much food we need, please let Pastor or Mary know if you are coming. A sign-up sheet is on the back table.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Haak is “A Dress Code for Marriage” (Col. 3:12-13).

Family visitation: Monday, 26 June, 6 PM - Rev. McGeown (Crossett/Rev. Stewart)

Annual General Meeting: Monday, 26 June, 7:30 PM. All are welcome!

S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown plans to speak in Margam Community Centre at 7:15 PM on Thursday, 6 July.

Offerings: General Fund: £579.

Website Additions: 4 Hungarian translations.

PRC News: Rev. Decker is considering calls from Southwest PRC and Zion PRC. Holland PRC has formed a trio of Revs. R. Kleyn, Mahtani and Marcus. Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has extended a call to Rev. Griess. Rev. Bleyenberg plans to answer the call to be third missionary in the Philippines next Lord’s Day.

An Abbreviated Report From the 2017 PRC Synod


Day 1 - Tuesday, 13 June

Synod convened this morning at 8:00am in Hudsonville PRC. Present were the 20 delegates from Classes East and West, our three seminary professors and Mr. Brian Crossett. Mr. Crossett is a special guest of Synod who represents our sister church, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Rev. Steven Key was elected as president, Rev. Bill Bruinsma as vice-president, Rev. Doug Kuiper as 1st clerk and Rev. Clay Spronk as 2nd Clerk.

Committees of pre-advice were appointed ...

Synod has the privilege of examining seven seminarians this year. Today was sermon day. Synod divided into two groups to listen to the sermons. One group remained at Hudsonville PRC to listen to the specimen sermons of four students. The other group met at Providence PRC to hear the specimen sermons of the other three students. Synod approved all of the sermons. After the approval of the students’ sermons, Synod adjourned for the day so that the pre-advice committees could begin their work.

Day 2 - Wednesday, 14 June

Synod voted today to extend a call to Rev. Doug Kuiper to replace Prof. Dykstra as Professor of Church History and New Testament Theology. Rev. Andy Lanning was elected as the alternate and will receive the call should Rev. Kuiper decline.

The oral examination of the seven senior seminary students began today. Once again the delegates and the students divided into two groups. Prof. Cammenga examined the students in Introduction to Dogmatics, Theology, Anthropology and Christology. Prof. Dykstra examined the students in Church History. Prof. Gritters conducted the examination in Old Testament History. Prof. Gritters also examined one of the groups of students in Church Polity.

Synod had time today to treat the advice of Committee 1. Here are some of the important decisions:

• Synod noted that Southwest PRC’s work as the calling church for our home missionary has ceased after 18 years and it expressed appreciation to the congregation for its labours.
• A budget of $137,000 for a home missionary was adopted. Let us pray that God will provide our churches with a home missionary soon!
• Thanks was expressed to Profs. Cammenga, Dykstra and Gritters, and to Judi Doezema and Charles Terpstra for their faithful labours in the seminary. They do a tremendous job!
• The stated clerk was instructed to inform the churches of the urgent need for seminary students! Let us heed the words of Jesus in Luke 10:2: “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
• It was noted that Matt Kortus, Jacob Maatman and Darren Vink have finished their second year at the seminary, and Josiah Tan (from Singapore) has finished his first year. May the Lord sustain these men in their preparation for the ministry of the gospel.

Synod also treated the advice of Committee 4 concerning the legality of 7 protests that concern the decisions of Synod 2016 in regard to the Hope PRC (Walker, MI) and Neil Meyer case. Five of the protests were declared legal. One part of a three-part protest was declared legal (the other parts were declared illegal). One protest was declared illegal. Committee 4 will now craft advice concerning the substance of the legal protests.

Day 3 - Thursday, 15 June

Today Synod heard the final portions of the examination of the seven senior seminarians, with the men being examined in the final loci of Dogmatics, Church Polity, NT History and then in Practica. Following that, Synod approved the examinations of Matt DeBoer, Brian Feenstra, Joe Holstege, Jon Langerak, David Noorman, Stephan Regnerus and Justin Smidstra. Synod has declared them candidates for the ministry of the word and sacraments in the Protestant Reformed Churches. They will be eligible for calls on 15 July.

After the examinations finished, Synod adjourned for the day to allow the committees of pre-advice to do their work.

Day 4 - Friday, 16 June

The highlight of today’s work was the approval of a sister-church relationship between the PRCA and the P. R. Churches in the Philippines, pending the approval of the CERC in Singapore and the CPRC (NI). We give thanks to God for the mutual love that our denominations have for the truth of God as confessed in our churches.

Synod then turned to the report of the Contact Committee (CC). Synod approved the CC’s work with the following congregations and denominations:

• The Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore
• The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Australia
• The Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland
• The Bekennende Evangelisch-Reformierte Gemeinde of Giessen, Germany
• The Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines
• The Korean Presbyterian Church (Koshin)
• Gereformeerde Kerke in Namibia (a newly formed denomination consisting of five congregations that left the GKSA)
• There are also some individuals with whom the CC has contact in South Africa

Last year’s synod adopted a policy for the CC to use in evaluating the possibility of participating in or joining ecumenical councils. The CC applied this policy to the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) and recommended that our denomination not apply for membership in this council. Synod approved this recommendation The grounds for not applying for membership are:

a. Although NAPARC shows a level of commitment to the confessions, which is evident from their actions in removing the Christian Reformed Church, yet the council does not manifest a sufficient commitment to the confessions. This is evident from their allowance of member denominations who have exonerated those who embrace the teaching of the Federal Vision and their allowance as member denominations those who teach a doctrine of creation that does not interpret literally the Genesis creation account.
b. Although NAPARC does address some of the matters that divide its member denominations, according to our observers, there has been little to no discussion during plenary sessions of the threat of the teachings of Federal Vision, especially in the denominations in which office-bearers have been accused of teaching this heresy.

Synod approved the emeritation request of Rev. Tom Miersma.

During the CC Report regarding the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Northern Ireland, Synod received a report from Elder Brian Crossett. Brother Crosset reported on the spiritual health of the congregation in Ballymena and of the mission group in Limerick. At the end of our session today, Synod bid farewell to brother Crossett, wishing him safe travels home and God’s blessings on the saints in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Byron Center PRC is to host Synod 2018 that is to convene on 12 June.

Synod 2017 will not meet in session tomorrow (Saturday). But you can be sure that some of the committees of pre-advice will be working away to finish their advice. Synod will reconvene as a body Monday morning at 8:00 AM, DV.