Thanks! On Thursday evening, June 16, the Board of the Reformed Free Publishing Association and the Theological School Committee jointly sponsored an appreciation dinner in connection with my retiring as Editor-in-Chief of The Standard Bearer and my completion of 29 years at our Protestant Reformed Seminary. At the dinner many kind words were spoken, and a remembrance (an inscribed pewter plate, a pewter cup, and a pewter lamp) was given me. This was followed by an open house at our Hudsonville Church, which many friends attended. Besides, I received many cards and notes from those who were unable to attend. To all concerned I express my hearty thanks and appreciation for your kindness.
Clarification. There seems to be some misunderstanding abroad with respect to my retirement. I am indeed about to retire as Editor of our magazine. I am not retiring as professor at our seminary. With respect to the latter the facts are these: 1) A few years ago there was a change made in the Constitution of our Theological School with respect to the retirement and replacement of professors. This change was made in order to avoid the crisis situation which we had in the past, when a professor had to be called, consider the call, move to Grand Rapids, and prepare for his new work—all in the space of less than 3 months. 2) As the rules now stand, when a professor reaches the age of 65, synod begins to make provision for his eventual replacement. This replacement, if he accepts the call, is given a full year to prepare for his new work. 3) Meanwhile the retiring professor, if he is able, continues to work until he reaches the age of 70, when retirement becomes mandatory; and the Theological School Committee is mandated to inquire each year whether the professor can continue to carry his load. 4) At the same time, the new professor not only has a year for preparation, but even after that can break into his new tasks more gradually. This is the plan which was put into effect at this year’s synod, with Rev. David J. Engelsma called to be professor in the departments of Dogmatics and Old Testament, and Rev. Charles Terpstra chosen as alternate. (Before this went to the typesetter, we received the good tidings that the Rev. Engelsma has accepted Synod’s appointment.)
Off To Australia. Through our Committee for Contact With Other Churches, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (centered in the more northerly province of Queensland and in the island province of Tasmania, to the far south) asked our churches at synod for help in the form of a pastor to serve in the congregation of Burnie, Tasmania for the period of a year. They also asked for a delegation of our churches at their Synod, which meets in September. Synod heeded these requests. The result is that I was granted a leave of absence from my seminary duties for the coming year, and my wife and I will leave, D.V., on August 16 to serve there until August of 1989. Prof. Hanko was appointed as co-delegate to the synod of the E.P.C. He and Mrs. Hanko plan to leave on the same date; and, after a visit to the Protestant Reformed Church of New Zealand and a visit to the Brisbane, Queensland sector of the E.P.C., he will join me in Tasmania when the E.P.C. Synod meets in Launceston in the first week of September. These are significant developments in our relationship with these churches, with whom we have long had contact and unofficial ties. Our hope and prayer is that we may indeed be of help to this mall and struggling denomination, and that the ties between them and us may be strengthened. I have promised the Staff of The Standard Bearer to report from Tasmania after we are settled there.
Our new address in Australia will be:
Prof. & Mrs. H.C. Hoeksema
59 Bird St.
If you have thoughts or plans of visiting “down under” (as I know some already do have), you will have a warm welcome from the brothers and sisters of the E.P.C. I know this from past experience.