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Sept. 5, 1960

Candidate J. Kortering has accepted the call from our Hull congregation and has already taken up residence there. His installation into office awaits his examination before Classis West, September 21.

Grand Haven has submitted another trio consisting of the Revs. H. Hanko, R.C. Harbach and G. Lubbers.

Our two newest churches, Isabel and Forbes, have jointly called the Rev. C. Hanko from a trio which included Rev. Harbach and Rev. Lubbers.

Edgerton’s school opened the 60-61 year with a half day session August 28, with Dale Kuiper and Evelyn Huizenga comprising the teaching staff. Hope and Adams St. Schools opened their doors after Labor Day.

At a recent congregational meeting, First Church decided to make some alteration in the church basement, partitioning the large catechism room to furnish a new room which will be given to the Theological School for classroom use. The Theological School has been holding classes in our Adams St. School for the last few years, but Adams St. needed the room due to increased enrollment. So, once again, an emergency has been met benefiting all concerned.

Doon’s bulletin reveals that two young men have been added to their list of confessing members by public confession of faith in their church; and, from Edgerton comes the notice that they have accepted the confession of faith of six of their young people. How happy we may be when we recognize this internal growth to be the evidence of God’s favor upon us as He produces fruit upon the pure preaching of the Word among us. I Cor. 3:6, 7.

All of our church bulletins carried invitations to help First Church celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary of Rev. H, Hoeksema’s installation into the office of the Ministry. The response was very gratifying, for visitors included those from Muskegon, Grand Haven, Holland and Kalamazoo, Michigan; from South Holland, IL, and from South Dakota; and even one well-wisher from far off California! At this celebration were Mrs. Hoeksema, Rev. M. Schipper and his father and mother, and Mrs. N. Jonker, who were also at the Dominee’s installation service forty-five years ago, they being members of his first congregation in Holland, Mich. It was an old fashioned picnic that was prepared for the celebration, old fashioned because it was an afternoon/eve­ning affair with a serious speech on each program—speeches and group singing as we used to enjoy them when picnics were annual events instead of weekly outings as we know them today.

Rev. G.M. Ophoff opened the afternoon program with prayer. We were all happy that Rev. Hoeksema’s best friend and stalwart ally was able to do this for him. By co-incidence it was a red letter day for Rev. and Mrs. Ophoff too, for they were remembering their fortieth wedding anniversary on that date. Following the opening prayer we enjoyed some group singing, featuring Dutch Psalms exclusively. The canopy of tall shade trees, under which the tables were grouped, served as an admirable cathedral in which to sing the songs of Zion.

The afternoon program featured a speech by the Rev. Hoeksema’s colleague in First Church, Rev. C. Hanko. The speaker reflected upon the Word of God as found in Gen. 49:22-24, drawing a parallel between the lives of those two men of God, Joseph and the guest of honor at the picnic. Truly, it might be affirmed that “the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him,” and no less might be confessed that “his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”

Rev. G. Vos asked the blessing before supper, and Rev. R. Veldman opened the evening program with prayer. The Hope Heralds, a male choir from Hope Church, rendered two fine selections from the Psalter; and Arnold Dykstra, from Hudsonville, praised God with the singing of a vocal solo.

Rev. M. Schipper, the speaker of the evening, shared with us a few incidents from his early acquaintance with the Dominee, and then spoke on the admonition found in God’s Word as it is recorded in I Thess. 5:12, 13. This speaker stressed the point that we owe esteem to the workers in God’s vineyard for their work’s sake. Indeed, both speakers of the day led us in the contemplation of God’s grace unto His Church in the gift of men appointed and equipped by Him to gather His Church through the foolishness of preach­ing. Both speeches forbad our praise of men, but definitely fixed it upon the glory and honor of the God of our salva­tion.

A generous offering was taken to start a fund for a “Rev. H. Hoeksema Memorial Library” to be administered by the Theological School Society.

Rev. Hoeksema was then called to the microphone by the master of ceremonies, Prof. H.C. Hoeksema. The Reverend reminisced about his first year skirmish in his forty-five years battle for the truth, the first one being the truth of the cov­enant responsibility of the parents in Christian instruction for their children. He agreed with the preceding speakers, ascribing all thanks, honor and praise to the King of the Church, who alone provideth the means listed in I Cor. 12:28 for the gathering of His elect. He then led us in closing prayer, confessing our sins, and praising God for the gift of His Son Who took our sins upon Himself, thereby redeeming His own unto all eternity.

May this be our prayer: “Lord, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4.

. . . . see you in church.                                

J.M.F.