News From Our Churches

From a trio of Reverends Bekkering, Bruinsma, and Van Baren, the latest Redlands’ call has been extended to Rev. Van Baren; and Isabel, South Dakota has called Rev. Slopsema from a trio including also Reverends Koole and Bekkering. 

As you know—some from firsthand experience—the building committees of many of our churches have been kept busy with various expansion projects. Some of the latest information of this kind that I have received include the following: 1. The plans for Redlands’ new church building are ready for approval by the City of Redlands, and they are now looking for a “qualified man” to oversee a crew of “mostly volunteer help.” 2. Southwest of Grand Rapids is in the process of building a new parsonage on the north side of “seminary hill.” Those of our readers who know the lay of the land in that area will know what I mean; everyone else will have to come and “take a look see.” 3. Whether or not these Loveland items qualify as “expansion projects” must might be debatable, but I’ll throw them in anyway. On a Loveland bulletin we read, “The consistory expresses thanks to Mr. George Joostens for the new collection plates that he made and to Mr. Ray Ezinga for the new communion trays that he made.” If in the future you visit Loveland, don’t forget to pay special attention to these works of art. It might be best, however, to delay your inspection until after the service, rather than while collection is being taken. 

We recently received something new from our First Church in Grand Rapids, namely a bimonthly newsletter to the congregation. As stated on the first page, “The purpose of the newsletter will be to stimulate the common bond we possess as the body of Christ and also as a congregation. The committee will look forward to receiving bits of information from societies and individuals that will be of an interest to us all.” Also, “The format will include missionary information (letters, reports, etc.); schedules of ushers, nursery attendants, and transportation; transportation; birthdays and anniversaries (as this information reaches the committee); church activities and special interest items.” 

It’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to do justice in this column to the recent program commemorating two thousand Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts. If you listened to the May 10 Reformed Witness Hour broadcast, you know a little bit of what happened that night; and if you were able to obtain a copy of the commemorative booklet that was handed out at the program, you have a good idea of what transpired; but nothing could possibly serve as a substitute for actual attendance. If I had to select a part of the program that would most merit a few lines in the S.B., I would choose the “Time Capsule.” For many of the older generation in attendance it triggered fond memories, and for the others the glimpses into the early history of the Reformed Witness Hour were refreshing. These “glimpses” included an excerpt from the first broadcast, with Rev. H. Hoeksema speaking on the Topic, “God is God.” Following that, numerous other excerpts of radio sermons, from Rev. Ophoff, Rev. Heys, and Rev. Schipper in English to Rev. Vos in Dutch, were played over the public address system. Incidentally, if you want to hear more of what you missed, copies of these tapes are available at a cost of $4.00 per tape by sending to: The Reformed Witness Hour, P.O. Box 1230, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. 

Though we would never want it said that this is a gossip column, some wedding congratulations are in order, I think. Within the last few years many of our readers have had opportunity to meet and fellowship with Johnson See of Singapore and John Steele of Australia during their visits to the United States. From what I hear, they must have sent nearly as many wedding invitations to the United States as they have sent to prospective guests in their native countries.