The Lord moves in mysterious ways, His will and counsel to perform; and separates us from our earthly relationships, as with a silent voice. And in a fleeting moment, the past becomes but history, and all the future plans undone. For the Lord is calling! And His faithful servants respond in the words of childlike Samuel: “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth!” The work of thy kingdom must carry on. The bonds of faithful labor, in love, communion of saints, and friendships, through tangible relationship, must wait; till realized in its fullest perfection, in that glorious kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Who is our faithful covenant God.
Thus also the consistory of Holland, was suddenly confronted with the question by their former pastor, Rev. P. De Boer: Will you kindly grant me a six-weeks leave of absence to labor in the Redlands California congregation? That was the beginning of a series of events that brought Rev. De Boer to the Redlands congregation as its pastor, and the former candidate now Rev. W. Hofman to the Holland congregation as pastor.
These events as they are briefly enumerated below took place in rapid succession:
Oct. 14.—The consistory of Holland confirmed its informal action previously taken, to grant the request of Rev. De Boer to labor for six weeks in the Redlands congregation. And to ask Candidate W. Hofman to conduct our services and teach our catechism classes, during Rev. De Boer’s absence.
Oct. 26.—Rev. De Boer received the call from the Redlands congregation to become its pastor and shepherd. Nov. 23.—Rev. De Boer previous to this date informed the Holland congregation that he had accepted the call to Redlands. A special consistory meeting was held on this evening in which the following trio was nominated: Rev. C. Hanko, Candidate W. Hofman, and Rev. G. Lubbers.
Dec. 12.—Rev. P. De Boer delivered his farewell sermons to the Holland congregation. Choosing the following portions of Scripture:, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” And , “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
Dec. 13.—The Holland congregation gave a farewell social to Rev. and Mrs. De Boer and family, and wished them Godspeed and God’s blessing.
Dec. 14.—Rev. and Mrs. De Boer and family left Holland, Michigan, and began their trip to Redlands, Calif.
Dec. 15.—A congregational meeting is held at Holland, at which time Candidate W. Hofman is called to become pastor and shepherd of the Holland congregation.
Dec. 31.—During the Old Year’s evening service, a letter is read from Candidate Hofman, in which he informs the congregation at Holland that by God’s Grace he accepts the call, to come over and help them, and become their pastor and shepherd.
Jan. 1.—During the New Year’s morning service, a letter is read from Rev. De Boer, that he and his family had arrived safely in Redlands, Calif.
Jan. 14.—During this week Candidate and Mrs. Hofman moved to Holland, Michigan.
Jan. 20.—Installation services and ordination of pastor elect, Candidate W. Hofman took place, in the following order: Sermon delivered by Rev. B. Kok; Prayer offered by Rev. G. M. Ophoff; Form of Ordination read by Rev. M. Schipper; Ordination ceremony, laying on of hands, by all the ministers present including Rev. A. Petter. Rev. H. Hoeksema charged both Rev. W. Hofman and the congregation, using the following Scripture,: “And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” The Rev. A. Petter closed the service with prayer and thanksgiving after which our newly ordained pastor pronounced the benediction.
Jan. 23.—Rev. W. Hofman delivered his inaugural sermons to the Holland congregation, choosing the following portions, of Scripture,: “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” a: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life.”
Jan. 27.—The Holland congregation gave a reception to Rev. and Mrs. Hofman, and welcomed the Brother and Sister into their midst.
And in as much as it pleased God, to take from us our beloved former Pastor and Brother, Rev. P. De Boer, He again made our hearts glad with rejoicing in giving us another Servant, to go before us, and break the Bread of Life. And it is indeed a blessing that through the mouthpiece of this youthful servant, we may again hear the Word of God proclaimed to us from Sabbath to Sabbath. That Word pure and unadulterated feeding us unto the way of Life. That Word feeding the youth of God’s covenant in catechism, and other midweek activities. Our hearts are filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to God, that He again gave us His Servant, our beloved Pastor and Brother, Rev. W. Hofman.
Protestant Reformed Church