Mr. James Holstege, member of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and administrator at Eastside Christian School in Grand Rapids

Greetings, dear reader of the Standard Bearer! It is our hope, the Lord willing, to begin a new supplemental series to “News from Our Churches,” in which we explore the organic nature of the church. Especially, we want to take a look at that part of the great and glorious body of Christ in the world we know fondly as the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, along with her sisters and friends.

We are described in Scripture as living members, alive by the regenerating Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives in us. We live, as members of a body unto our Head, to His glory and praise. Our life in this body can be summed as follows: walking in the way of love. Love toward God, because He first loved us, and love toward one another. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity [love]” (I Cor. 13:13). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (I John 4:11). So it is, from this perspective of the church, her organic nature, filled with living members, that we wish to explore. We do so gladly, in order to help us pray for one another, and to love one another.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the PRCA, we plan to start this series by using the opportunity to reflect and look backward. Several of us can trace our own family heritage to the early beginnings. We are looking for those of you who know your family history. We want to hear from all parts of our denomination. Remember, we are all important members of the body, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free. We certainly could use your help! Do you know your family history? We would appreciate hearing from you.

While our family histories intersect with individual churches, we also hope to explore the congregations. We hope to hear firsthand or perhaps secondhand accounts from some of you about the early days in our churches. Perhaps you or your forebears were part of a mission station, or a congregation that no longer exists. We hope to explore our own Christian schools and the important role they have played in our denominational history. Perhaps we can take a look at some previous conferences or celebrations. The 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary celebrations certainly come to mind.

Looking beyond our approaching 100th anniversary, and as we continue to contemplate the wonder of God’s amazing grace, we hope to use this series in order to look more closely at our current lives within the churches and so much more. May it serve to bring praises to our glorious Head, the Lord Jesus, and to bring us closer to one another during these last days in which we live. “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (I John 3:11).