March 17 was the last of Rev. Harbach’s four Sundays in Houston, Texas. He is, as you surely know, considering the call to serve there as home missionary. He was granted permission to announce his decision three weeks after his return from Texas. He was to be followed in Houston by Rev. Lubbers, who is currently considering the call to serve as pastor of our Prospect Park congregation in New Jersey. Rev. Kortering declined the call from Loveland, Colorado. The new trio of Loveland consists of Revs. Kuiper, Lanting, and VanBaren.
A couple of notices from a February bulletin from Holland, Michigan, might be of interest. Evening church services there have been changed to 6:30 P.M. Visitors will surely want to bear that in mind lest they arrive in the middle of the congregational prayer. The other item, I think, can be best reported by simply lifting a paragraph from the bulletin. Here it is: “At the last meeting of the Board of the Society for Protestant Reformed Education a committee was appointed consisting of E. Kortering, B. Windemuller and W. Bonzellar to investigate the possibility of starting our own Protestant Reformed School in Holland. Anyone having ideas, comments or in any way able to give the committee assistance or advice, please contact one of the above mentioned committee members.
Rev. Engelsma, though still a pastor in Classis West, is now within reach of program committees of the east, as he probably learned before he had unpacked all his books at 16515 South Park Avenue. According to a March 3 bulletin, at any rate, he was already slated to speak at the Eastern Ladies’ League Meeting in the Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan. He plans to speak on the topic, “The False Church and the True Church in this Last Age,” with special reference, according to the bulletin announcement, to the current Pentecostal Movement.
A couple of other speeches are, I think, noteworthy. On March 1, Rev. Van Baron spoke on “The Place of the Woman in the Church,” for a combined meeting of the Men’s and Ladies’ Societies of South Holland. And on February 11 Professor O’Donnell spoke on the A.A.C.S., for the Mr. and Mrs. Society in Hull. The congregation was invited to attend, and notice of the meeting was also placed in Doon’s bulletin.
How about this “Quiet Thought” from Southeast’s bulletin of February 17: “If you missed the Dedication Program of our new seminary building last Friday, you really missed it!”
News is a little hard to come by at this time of year so I have an opportunity to dip into my reserves—which is probably a good thing, since some of the material in it would already fit better under a caption “History of Our Churches” than “News From Our Churches.”
Quite a bit of the “news” which has been accumulating in my box has to do with church extension efforts by various of our congregations. From a September bulletin of Loveland we learn that pamphlets on “Calvinism” were made available to members of the congregation through the bulletin racks. In addition, about 600 of these same pamphlets were mailed by the Church Extension Committee to addresses within the city of Loveland.
In October of last year the committee distributed to members of the congregation a report concerning its activities during the year. It was noted that “we are still sending out pamphlets locally—approximately 500 every month. Thirty nine are also sent elsewhere in Colorado and nine outside of Colorado. The titles of the pamphlets sent out this past year are as follows: ‘Children—the Blessed Gift of God’, ‘Children—Willingly Cared For’, ‘The Christian School—Why?’, and three pamphlets entitled ‘Calvinism’… The pamphlet entitled ‘Key 73 What Must We Say About It?’ was also mailed to the forty eight members on our permanent mailing list.”
Elsewhere in the newsletter, the committee reported that “another means we used to witness to the truth was the use of the radio broadcast. The thirteen 15 minute speeches which Rev. Engelsma had spoken earlier over the radio were rebroadcasted.”
Further reference was made to a couple of lectures sponsored by this obviously hard working committee. The purpose of it all came out very nicely in the last line of the report. I quote: “We would like to close this letter by asking that you pray diligently for this work of witnessing to the reformed truth in order that God may be highly praised, honored, and glorified and that His people might come to the light which God hath prepared for those who love Him.”
The same thirteen tapes, incidentally, were put to use by another of our small congregations. From an August bulletin of Isabel we learn that “Forbes is now airing over the radio a series of 15 minute tapes by Rev. Engelsma.” For the people of Isabel, the announcement continued, “the signal is weak, but if you have a good radio you can pick it up over KSDN, Aberdeen, 930 on your dial, at 6:00 P.M., MDT.”