News From Our Churches

A number of items of interest have arrived during the past several weeks concerning our Southwest Church in Wyoming, Michigan. On Saturday morning, December 31, the Southwest Mr. & Mrs. Society sponsored a pancake breakfast at Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School. Payment for this delicious breakfast was by way of donations which will be used to furnish the nursery in the new Southwest Church building now under construction. And, speaking of the new building, the latest progress report received (the middle of December) announced that the walls of the new building were partially up. 

A special congregational meeting was scheduled at Southwest on January 10 to consider a proposal from the church council to accept an offer to buy their present church building. 

The Southwest council has also granted the request of their pastor, Rev. Herman Veldman, for emeritation and will request the approbation of Classis East at their next meeting. 

On his way to Christchurch, New Zealand, Rev. Ronald VanOverloop and his family stopped over the weekend in Redlands, California. Rev. VanOverloop led the Sunday morning worship service in our Redlands Church on December 18. 

Beginning with the New Year, Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Houston, Texas, has changed the time of their morning worship service from 10: 30 to 9:30. The Sunday School follows the worship service. The congregation in Houston has undergone a slight expansion as Rev. Bekkering and his family rejoice in the birth of a baby girl, Wanda Joy, born on December 20. 

After the special meeting of Classis West in Randolph, Wisconsin, on December 13, the pastors of our churches in Doon and Hull, Iowa and Edgerton, Minnesota, set up a three way pulpit exchange on December 18. Rev. Hoeksema of Hull preached in Edgerton, Rev. Slopsema of Edgerton preached in Doon, and Rev. Kamps of Doon preached in Hull. 

These same three churches sponsor an organization called the Reformed Witness Committee. This Committee recently sponsored a lecture in Sheldon, Iowa. Response to this lecture was unusually good with 50 to 75 people from outside of our churches attending. Because of the response, a second lecture is planned for early February. 

Our Church in Holland, Michigan, has recently made two changes in their order of worship. The reading of Scripture will now immediately precede the sermon. Also the Consistory will file out of the auditorium after the service before the congregation. 

The collection taken during the Old Year’s Night service in Holland was designated for the Church Publication Committee Fund. This fund is used to underwrite the cost of sending tape recordings of the church services to points as far away as Jamaica, New York, Washington, and Florida. Other of our churches such as Hope, First, and Kalamazoo are also active in this area, sending cassette recordings of church services, lectures, Bible lessons, and Reformed Witness Hour radio programs from Ireland to Australia and the Far East. It has proved to be an effective and inexpensive way to bring the Word. 

The song services sponsored by the young people after the evening service the last Sunday of the month continue in First Church. The congregation gathered to sing Christmas carols on Christmas Sunday evening. During the November song service, another attempt was made to sing Dutch Psalms – in Dutch, of course! The volume was considerably greater this time as a number of Dutch Psalters were available. 

The Young People’s Societies in the Grand Rapids area gathered for a Christmas Mass Meeting on the Sunday before Christmas at First Church at 2 P.M. Rev. Joostens spoke on “An Unbelievable Story.” 

There appears to be considerable activity among the young people in our South Holland, Illinois, congregation making plans for the 1978 Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention if the number of bulletin announcements concerning Steering Committee meetings is any indication.