Remember. . . ?
And can you imagine? On the basis of those memories can you imagine?
Remember what? Remember the fourteen annual Field Days held in the Grand Rapids area. The first Field Day was advertised as follows in the July, 1925 issue, of the Standard Bearer:
FIRST ANNUAL FIELD DAY
Protesting Christian Reformed Churches
SATURDAY, JULY 4th, 1925
The First Annual Field Day of the Protesting Christian Reformed Churches will be held at Boynton’s Grove, near Jenison, Michigan, on Saturday, July 4th. Come in the forenoon and enjoy the whole day. Addresses will be given by the Revs. H. Hoeksema, H. Danhof, G. M. Ophoff and Candidate R. Danhof. There will also be singing, band music and games for the children. You will find room for picnic dinners, so bring your baskets. Refreshments will be on sale at the Canteen.
The proceeds from a collection and from all sales will be for the support of our monthly paper—THE STANDARD BEARER.
Let’s make this a success.
Remember how these were held for fourteen years in a row on the 4th of July? Remember the speeches, fellowship, and fun had by all?
Can you imagine having one of them again?
Remember? Remember the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Conventions you were able to attend over the past 36 years? Can you still remember some portions of the speeches? Can you recall the family with whom you were housed, some of the events, and some of the young people you met?
Were you, perhaps, too old to attend a convention by the time they began in 1939 at South Holland? Or were there other reasons which hindered you from attending one of these wonderful events? Do you, whether you have attended one or not, feel a twinge of envy for the young people who leave your congregation to attend one?
Can you imagine attending a portion of the Young People’s Convention this year?
Can you imagine what a thrilling event that would be if a Field Day and a Young People’s Convention were held together?
The Lord willing, just such an event is being planned and will take place this summer. No matter your age, or how many children you may have, you can be part of a very special young people’s convention. This will be the 35th annual convention, hosted by the Young People’s Societies of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids.
Can you imagine a beautiful, air-conditioned building, seating twelve hundred people, filled to capacity on two different warm summer evenings? The occasion for these overflow crowds will be lectures given by two of our seminary Professors, telling us of aspects of the covenant faithfulness of our God.
Can you imagine an all day outing sandwiched between those two lectures. Imagine Rev. C. Hanko, as only he can do, reminiscing both soberly and humorously of past events in the history of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Imagine one of our faithful ministers standing on a make-shift platform, in the cool of a summer night, telling us of the historical realization of God’s covenant faithfulness. Imagine 1200-plus Protestant Reformed people gathered together out of doors singing praises to their covenant God. Just think of the enjoyment and fellowship involved in such an event!
Is this imagining the wild workings of the imagination of the writer?
No. All of this could be a reality, the Lord willing. All of the above-mentioned events are being planned now.
All of this began in Hudsonville, at the Synod of 1972, when a committee was elected to take care of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformed Churches. This committee has been busy over the past year and a half doing just that. In the carrying out of their duties this committee, in turn, appointed a committee of two and gave them the responsibility of coordinating the Young People’s Convention and the celebration of the 50th Anniversary by the adults of our denomination.
The young people of First Protestant Reformed Church are now a long way in their preparations for this annual convention August 4-7. Having been informed of the tentative schedule, nine energetic couples were found to make the celebration of our anniversary by the adults a wonderful reality.
As these couples met with the above-mentioned committee of two, many ideas were: presented and discussed. And during this discussion an air of excitement took hold! Were they excited because they were fooled by one who could make good use of propaganda? NO. Rather there was excitement because these people saw great possibilities that many of these ideas could become a reality and make the celebration of the 50th Anniversary by the adults of the churches a long remembered event. No, these are not the wild workings of a vain imagination. They are not a pipe dream. They are already becoming a reality. The Lord willing, they shall take place. It is up to you, the members of the Protestant Reformed Churches, to make this a success.
As a denomination we are small enough to be able to gather many of our families into one spot at one time. Vacations could be taken at that, time. Those who do not live in the Grand Rapids area can journey there, where arrangements will be made for lodging. Families can take their young people to the convention, rather than just sending them there. What a thrill to be able to see so many who are of like faith. How wonderful, especially for those who are a part of congregations which are separated by many miles from any other Protestant Reformed congregation. What a communion of those “agreeing in true faith!”
Would such a celebration be a glorying in man? NO! No one desires that, and it may not be that. This would be no more glorying in man than an open house for a couple’s celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Certainly, there is no denying it, that there is a danger of this being a celebration of what man has not. But that danger exists every minute of every day in the life of the child of God, and it is no reason that such a celebration should not be held. Because of that danger we all must exercise ourselves in the sanctifying battle of faith, so that we can see only the graciousness of our Heavenly Father and the faithfulness of our covenant God.
This is a celebration of what God has wrought. It is a celebration our covenant God has made possible. This is the Golden Anniversary of the Protestant Reformed. Churches. It is OUR Golden Anniversary, even though many individual members of our churches are not yet 50 years old themselves. The Lord willing, let us celebrate. And by His grace, let us celebrate aright.