News From Our Churches

Since our last column, there is much to report concerning the activity of our calling churches. Due to the vacancy left by Rev. Koole who, as we earlier reported, accepted the call to Redlands, California, our Randolph, Wisconsin congregation extended a call to Rev. Slopsema of our Edgerton, Minnesota church. The following handwritten sentence at the bottom of a Randolph bulletin reveals the response they received, “Rev. Slopsema has accepted the call!!!” As a result, Edgerton has formed a trio of Reverends Bekkering, Bruinsma, and Houck. Meanwhile Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has received a decline to their call to Rev. Kamps of Doon, Iowa; and have since extended another call: this one to Rev. Kuiper, pastor of our Lynden, Washington congregation.

Nearly all of us, in one way or another, have been affected by graduations in the past month. No matter the level of achievement, Rev. Joostens’ remarks in “Across the Aisle” (monthly newspaper of our First Church in Grand Rapids) are worthy of our consideration. “They say, that one picture is worth a thousand words. The Holy Scripture does not have any pictures, but certainly it delineates for us some beautiful examples. There was a Moses, who possessed all the learning of the Egyptians and no doubt could have become a Pharaoh in Egypt. He, rather than to have all the prestige of Egypt, led God’s people home to Canaan. He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.’ I think of an Apostle who sat at the feet of Gamaliel and was schooled in all the formalism of the Pharisees. Yet, he counted all loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. You must look ahead! You must apply your knowledge and achievements in that way wherein God is glorified. Receive our congratulations and God’s blessing as you strive to do that!” 

Speaking of graduations the Seminary and Pre- Seminary graduation exercises were held at Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan on June 8. Seminary graduates, Mr. Thomas Miersma and Mr. Jon Smith, were declared candidates by our 1982 Synod. Also on that occasion Mr. Lau Chin Kwee (student in our seminary for the last two years) was recognized for his labor as a special student in our seminary. Incidentally, the day following graduation Mr. Lau and his wife returned to their beloved brothers and sisters of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore. Finally, the following pre-seminary graduates received diplomas: Mr. Russ Dykstra, Mr. Steve Key, and Mr. Chuck Terpstra. 

Many Standard Bearer readers outside the Grand Rapids area will have direct contact with some of the recent graduates and students of our seminary this summer: candidate Miersma will be in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; candidate Smith will be in Edgerton, Minnesota, and student Ken Hanko will be in Bradenton, Florida. Prior to student Hanko’s early June arrival, Rev. Lubbers spent several weeks laboring in Bradenton.

An October, 1981 bulletin of our South Holland, Illinois church carried this thought for contemplation from Augustine: “Deliver me, Lord, from myself.”