News From Our Churches

The following news was printed in the Hope Church (Walker, Michigan) bulletin of January. 15 concerning their pastor, Rev. VanOverloop, who is ‘on loan’ to Christchurch, New Zealand. “Word has been received from our pastor and his family that they arrived safely in Christchurch, New Zealand. They have been warmly received by the congregation and are in the process of ‘settling in’. In addition to preaching twice each Sunday, Rev. VanOverloop has been engaged in pastoral work as well as all the activities which belong to the organic life of the church: young people’s doctrinal instruction in a bi-weekly meeting with all the members’ of the congregation, etc. Our pastor reports that “As we are settling in, the work within the congregation is becoming more definitely set out before us and we are eager to get going. At the present time the extent and nature of the work within the denomination is not known. . . . Please remember us in your prayers. The Lord is supplying our every need.” 

Rev. Robert Harbach, who is engaged in mission work for our churches in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, kindly sent in a copy of his little paper called theCalvinist Contender. The January issue contains many quotes from various church fathers and applications to our lives of the Reformed Faith. The following is an example. “The motto of Ursinus which hung over the door of his study read, ‘Friend, who enters here, be short, or go, or help me with my work!’ Are we as avid, dutiful, diligent and painstaking in our service unto the Lord? Do we give ‘of our time and strength for the advance of the Reformed Truth? Ursinus did, and as a result today we have the beautiful little book of comfort we call The Heidelberg Catechism. Do you know it and live its contents?” 

The Reformed Witness Committee of Northwest Iowa and Minnesota sponsored a lecture in the Sheldon, Iowa Community Building on February 1. Due to the good response to an earlier lecture there, the Committee decided to follow up with another lecture by Rev. Kamps on “How to Interpret the Bible.” Rev. Kamps is the pastor of our church in Doon, Iowa. However, due to the poor weather on the lst, the lecture was postponed until the 8th. 

And, speaking of poor weather, our Michigan churches were not spared. On January 26 and the days following, the Midwest was ‘shut down’ by quite a snow storm. For the first time in memory, First Church canceled the Sunday morning service because of the snow. Classical appointments in neighboring cities could not be kept and many other activities were postponed. It seems that these January storms arrive with regularity on or about the undersigned’s birthday. 

Our Seminary has not suffered from any want of pulpits for the school’s professors and students to preach from of late as First Church is without a pastor, Hope’s pastor is in New Zealand for nine months, Kalamazoo’s pastor was in Jamaica for the Mission Committee, and various of our other ministers were kept from their pulpits by illness on occasion. 

Sometimes the ‘news’ comes in rather roundabout ways. A note in the Edgerton Minnesota bulletin informs us that our church in Prospect Park, New Jersey, is about to receive their building permit for a new church building after more than a year and a half of ‘red tape’. 

At a congregational meeting on January 10th, the members of our Southwest Church decided to accept an offer to purchase their present church building and parking lot. After the sale contract is signed the congregation will have 30 days to vacate the building. Southwest will keep their organ. Temporary facilities for worship services and other activities are being investigated until the new church building now under construction is ready. 

Rev. C. Hanko has now moved out of the ‘old’ Hudsonville parsonage into his new “retirement” villa at 5046 – 32nd Ave., Apt. 14, in Hudsonville, Michigan. 

The funeral service for Mrs. Nick Yonker took place on February 1 in Muskegon with Rev. John Heys of Holland, Michigan, officiating. Mrs. Yonker reached the ripe old age of 100 years, and had she been spared another fifteen days would have reached 101. But for the child of God death is gain and for the attainment .of things which we could never have and enjoy here below in this vale of tears. The above is included from the Holland Church bulletin on the suggestion of Rev. Heys, as he is sure that many of the older people in our churches would remember the Yonkers.