Candidate Kenneth Koole has accepted the call from our congregation in Randolph, Wisconsin, to be their pastor. Randolph requested a special meeting of Classis West in order that Mr. Koole might receive his classical examination prior to his being installed as Randolph’s pastor. Classis was scheduled to meet in special session on December 13 for this purpose.
The Fall Meeting of the Officebearer’s Conference in Classis East was held in Hope Church (Walker) on September 29. Rev. C. Hanko spoke on the topic “Should We Consider Starting Our Own Institutions of Mercy?” The speaker identified institutions of mercy as sheltered workshops for the handicapped, clinics or homes for the mentally disturbed, rest homes for the long term sick, and homes for the aged. It was the speaker’s contention that the need was most pressing for the first two—both of which he felt were practical possibilities.
Rev. Dale Kuiper has accepted a call to serve our Lynden, Washington congregation. Rev. Mark Hoeksema has accepted the call extended to him from our Hull, Iowa congregation. It appears that, when these latest moves have been completed, only one of our churches will be without a pastor: our congregation in Forbes, North Dakota, which Rev. Mark Hoeksema has been serving.
October 31 is the anniversary of the Reformation of the Church—Reformation Day. On the 31st of October, 1517, in Wittenberg, Germany, the monk and university professor, Martin Luther, nailed to the door of the great church a list of 95 propositions or theses. That act and those theses became the source of that mighty movement within the Church which we know as the ‘Reformation of the Church.’ We do well to commemorate this event of the 16th century, for it had the most tremendous significance for the true church of Jesus Christ.
It is of course normal practice for our churches to schedule Thanksgiving Day services on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. This year our church in Hull, Iowa scheduled their Thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving eve. The reason for this seemingly strange schedule is that Hull was without a pastor at this time. Rev. Kamps from the neighboring congregation in Doon agreed to conduct services in Hull on the night before Thanksgiving. Hull’s pastor elect, Rev. Mark Hoeksema, plans to arrive in Hull on December 14. The installation service is scheduled for December 17.
Most if not all of our churches use tape recorders to bring recordings of church services into the homes of members of the congregation who are shut-in. Tape ministries have also been an effective tool in church extension work. First Church in Grand Rapids began this service with the use of wire recorders about 30 years ago. Recently, the following report appeared in First’s bulletin concerning the cassette tape ministry conducted there:
Rev. Mark Hoeksema was installed as the new pastor of our church in Hull, Iowa on December 17. Rev. Hoeksema’s father, Prof. Homer Hoeksema, preached the installation sermon, and Rev. Marvin Kamps from Doon, Iowa, read the installation form. The following Sunday Rev. Hoeksema preached his inaugural sermon. Prof. Hoeksema led in worship at the afternoon service. On Monday evening, the 20th, the congregation planned a “welcome” for their new ‘pastor and his family. The program began at 7:30 in the church. A social hour and refreshments followed at the school.
The time of Sunday worship services seems to be something that receives a periodic review in our churches. The consistory in Isabel, South Dakota, called a special congregational meeting to consider changing the Sunday worship services from 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM to 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM. The consistory felt this would be an aid to the ranchers in the congregation and to those members who travel a great distance to attend services. They could then do their work and travel while it was yet light.
December, 1976, is a month that will probably be remembered by Rev. Dale Kuiper and his family for many years. On the 11th, the Kuiper family was blessed with the arrival of a son, Victor Paul. Rev. Kuiper preached the evening sermon in Hudsonville Church on the 12th, his last in the church which had been “home” for the Kuipers for the past several months. On the 13th Rev. Kuiper left for Lynden, Washington with his older children. Mrs. Kuiper was to follow by plane with the two youngest children a bit later. Rev.
Sunday, February 8, will bring another milestone in the history of the Reformed Witness Hour. We have already witnessed two generations of program announcers and two generations of Radio Committee presidents. The 1727th broadcast of our radio program will begin a series of eight messages on the general theme of the Covenant Home, by Rev. Mark Hoeksema. Rev. Mark Hoeksema is the third generation of Hoeksemas to speak on the broadcast. The late Rev. Herman Hoeksema spoke on the broadcast when it first began in the early 1940’s. The second generation is represented by Prof. H. C.