News From Our Churches

Rev. G. Lanting, pastor of Holland’s church since 1959, declined the call from our Loveland congregation.

Rev. G. VanBaren, Doon’s pastor since 1956, accepted the call extended him by our Randolph church.

Rev. M. Schipper, pastor of Grand Rapids Southwest Church, has received the call from Doon from a trio which included the Revs. G. Vanden Berg and G. Lanting.

Our beloved Rev. G.M. Ophoff, Emeritus Professor, was taken to his heavenly rest Tuesday, June 12, at the age of 71 years. Southwest’s bulletin expressed it this way: “After standing in the line of battle for the truth, God has given His servant rest and a wreath of victory.” Rev. OphoK’s old-time friend and colleague, Rev. H. Hoeksema, preached the funeral sermon and Rev. C. Hanko spoke at the graveside. Rev. Hoeksema’s text was Psalm 73:24, Asaph’s beautiful confession: “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Rev. Ophoff will be missed by all of us, but he has left us a legacy in the volumes of The Standard Bearer, as over the years he has delved into the nooks and crannies of the Old Testament Scriptures from whence to bring out its treasures, new and old. “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen in today in Israel?”

Young men, this was the concluding paragraph of Southwest’s account of Rev. Ophoff’s demise: “The ranks are thinning. Who will see it his duty to fill in the gaps? Young men, our churches need recruits!”

The Program Committee of The Reformed Witness Hour reports: Rev. C. Hanko has completed the recording of five sermons which, D.V., will be broadcast during July. These messages have as their general theme, “The Return Of Our Lord” and proclaim the truth that “the end 05 all things is at hand, and that it is therefore the calling of every true believer to be sober and to watch unto prayer.” Sermon titles of these broadcasts are, July 1—”The Coming of the Lord”; July 8—”Christ Is Coming Again”; July 15—”Our Lord’s Speedy Return”; July 22—”The Nearness of the Lord’s Coming”; and on July 29—”Present Day Signs of Christ’s Coming” will be pointed out to the listeners. These five fine sermons by Rev. Hanko are now available in a single booklet. White for your free copy today—our address is: The Reformed Witness Hour, P.O. Box 8, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The 1962 Synod finished its work Friday morning after many strenuous sessions, the results of which will no doubt be found elsewhere in this issue. We believe that the work might be made easier for the delegates if each were convinced that the prayers of the whole denomination were being offered for them. A true token of such unity might have been (but was not) graphically displayed by a large attendance at the pre-synodical prayer service. Rev. M. Schipper, of Southwest Church, preached the Word of God as found in Philippians 1:27, 28, “Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing terrified by your adversaries; which to them is an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” Rev. Schipper admonished the Church, as represented by the synodical delegates, that it was the church’s only calling to strive together for the faith of the gospel, and explained how to realize that calling, and gave the incentive for such striving. With such Scriptural inspiration any session of Synod should be able to work in the spirit of love and harmony.

From the Northwest Iowa Prot. Ref. School Society we received their News Letter No. 12 which gave a brief resume of the progress made in the past year. Though the Board is not presently occupied with the routine matters of running a school, it is laboring to establish a good foundation upon which they can, D.V., build their own school in the future. The letter says, among other things, “We are not standing still. We are pressing forward, laboring with joy in this essential aspect of our Christian calling.” An Inspirational Meeting has been planned for June 22 in Hull, with the Rev. Kortering speaking on the subjects, “End-time Education.”

Rev. R.C. Harbach receives and accepts many opportunities to cause his influence, and that bf the Prot. Ref. Church in Lynden, to be felt. May 24 he addressed the Christian School Mothers’ Club, speaking on, “The Covenant”; the next week he spoke at the local Christian Rest Home; and the following morning spoke at the teachers’ devotions at Drayton School. Thus we see, way up there in Lynden, the striving to bear out the Scriptures that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

Hull’s pastor, Rev. Kortering, went to the Dakotas on classical appointment in June, and while there lectured in Isabel on “The Inspiration of Scripture”; at Forbes Rev. Kortering assisted the Elders in Family Visitation.

Bulletin Quote (Hull’s): “The Church is not an art gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.”

. . . . see you in church.

—J.M.F.