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Trivia question

How many students were enrolled in the PRC seminary in September 1974? Find the answer later in this column. More trivia next time.

 

Minister activities

Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI) declined the call to Kalamazoo, MI PRC. Rev. J. Smidstra (First Holland, MI) received the call from Wingham PRC, declining it on March 21. Byron Center has formed a new trio consisting of Revs. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), and D. Holstege (missionary to the Philippines). On March 7 they voted to call Rev. Engelsma to be their next pastor.

The Irish government had extended the “Level 5” restrictions until April 5. The McGeowns were not able to have their March 8 appointment; however, the appointment is for a non-immigrant visa, and the embassy’s website states that under Level 5 restrictions the U.S. embassy in Dublin will be offering “only extremely limited immigrant visa services” while “non-immigrant visa services will be suspended.” Rev. McGeown has another non-immigrant visa interview pending, scheduled for August 11 in London. There is also a very small possibility of an immigrant visa interview being granted to Rev. McGeown before August. Please remember in your prayers Rev. and Larisa McGeown, the remaining saints of the LRF, as well as the members of Providence PRC who await the coming of their pastor.

 

Young people’s activities

A Young People’s breakfast fundraiser was held Saturday, March 20 at the church of 1st PRC in Holland, MI. This was a restaurant-style breakfast with ordering from a menu and service to each table. The fundraiser was conducted by following Covid -19 precautions and by reservation only. Reservations started at 7 a.m. and went every half hour until 10:30 a.m. Take-out service was also provided so supporters could pick-up breakfast and eat at home.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the restrictions imposed, the YPS Federation Board decided to cancel the Easter Mass Meeting this coming spring. In this, too, we share the disappointment of our young people.

The young people of Pittsburgh, PA PRC hosted a singspiration for their congregation on February 28 after the evening service with an offering taken for the young people’s fund.

 

School activities

From the Federation of PR Christian School Societies: “Recently the Perspectives in Covenant Education sent out a special issue to all Protestant Reformed households in North America with one of the goals being to highlight the work of the Federation. We hope that you enjoyed this special issue as you were able to read about the exciting work going on in our schools. If you did not receive this special issue but would like a copy, please contact Kyle Bruinooge, executive director, at kbruinooge@covenantchristianhs.org.”

Eastside Christian School was excited to announce a spring Banket Sale. They will have a curbside pickup at Eastside on April 23 from 1-3 p.m. Mmmm…delicious! It’s been too long since I’ve tasted that treat.

 

From Classis West meeting of March 3-4

On the agenda of Classis West in March was a request from the consistory of Bethel PRC for Classis to concur with its decision to disband, a decision based on her declining membership. With sadness, Classis concurred and extended a word of commendation to the saints in Bethel, and to her present and former officebearers, for the labors so faithfully extended in the spread of the gospel over the past 32 years. Classis also thankfully acknowledged Bethel’s continuing heart for and gift to the denomination in her decision to forward her remaining assets to Synod. Bethel plans officially to disband at the end of June 2021.

In light of its decision to disband, Bethel also brought a request for her pastor, Rev. Dennis Lee, to be declared temporarily emeritus effective after the disbanding of the congregation, unless he should receive and accept a call to another congregation in that time. Classis approved the request, and will forward it to Synod 2021 for its approval.

 

A glance back in time—1974-1975

The convocation program of the seminary in September 1974 showed no less than 15 young men enrolled as students! Three were from outside our denomination…. Classis West in September examined and approved Cand. James Slopsema and advised the consistory of Edgerton, MN to proceed with his ordination, with Rev. R. Moore conducting the service…. Rev. Dale Kuiper accepted the call of Hudsonville PRC to leave Pella, IA PRC and become home missionary. He moved to Skowhegan, Maine to take up his work there…. Rev. C. Hanko observed 45 years in the ministry of God’s Word and Rev. G. Lubbers 40 years…. Classis East unanimously approved the examination of Cand. A. denHartog, pastor-elect of Prospect Park, NJ congregation…. Rev. J. Kortering declined calls from Kalamazoo and Pella…. Rev. R. Harbach continued to labor as home missionary in Houston, TX…. In the summer of 1974 the congregation at Doon, IA began to watch their new church building come to reality. The hope was to occupy the structure by the first Sunday in March 1975. That was the day designated by Synod 1974 as the day all our churches should set aside for our fiftieth anniversary as a denomination…. Rev. G. Lubbers accepted the call to Pella, IA…. Prof. H.C. Hoeksema traveled to Forbes, ND PRC to see his first grandson—Stephen Mark, son of Rev. and Mrs. Mark Hoeksema. While he was there, he presented a public lecture with about 50 people filling the small church building. Some traveled 50-60 miles…. “God’s Covenant Faithfulness” was the theme of the 35th Young Peoples Convention, which ran concurrently with the 50th anniversary celebration of our churches…. The congregation at Redlands, CA opened their own school in September of 1975 with approximately 30 students in grades 1-9…a school was also in the works in Hull, IA.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.