News From Our Churches

The Theological School Committee, which has held past meetings in Southwest Church, plans to hold its next meeting in our brand-new Seminary building. That will be on the 17th of January. The dedication services for the new building will be held on Friday, February 1, in the auditorium above the old Seminary rooms. During the afternoon of that same day (from 1:00 till 5:00) there will be Open House at 4949 Ivanrest, for those who live outside the Grand Rapids area. The next day, February 2, also from 1 to 5 P.M., there will be Open House for those who live in the area. 

Needless to say, the professors and students are looking forward with eager anticipation to their move to Ivanrest. Incidentally, there’s a possibility that the student body next school year will be even larger than it is now. The committee reports that three students from outside our churches have applied for entrance into our Seminary for the 1974-1975 term. 

The committee also reports that the 10-50 Drive was another success. Total contributions for the Drive, as of November 30, amounted to $9,782.12, and more has come in since that date. That brought the grand total, of cash collected and pledged, to $128,094.93. There’s not a large difference, anymore, between that figure and the anticipated price tag for the entire project !

Rev. and Mrs. Lubbers are back, as of December 12, on native soil — this time, likely, for good, not just for a short furlough. After a bit of rest, Rev. Lubbers will no doubt be occupied in preaching in various of our churches where he’s invited. What with the regular assignments, of both east and west ministers, to Houston for two or three week periods, there will likely be quite a number of occasions for him to be busy with pulpit supply. And since Rev. Lubbers is surely one who loves to be busy with the Word, it is a virtual certainty that he will be happy to do that sort of thing. Incidentally, since he has served for more than two years in one place, he’s also eligible for a call in our churches.

The 1973 Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Convention was held in Covenant Christian High School on October 11 and 12. On the morning of the 11th, no less than thirty-eight teachers gathered in one of Covenant’s classrooms for the keynote address, delivered by Rev. C. Hanko. Many of them were from the Grand Rapids’ area, of course, but some had traveled from as far away as Loveland, Colorado. Teachers from Doon, Edgerton, and South Holland were also in attendance. 

The teachers, according to a newsletter from one of the schools, “enjoy this occasion of fellowship and opportunity for exchange of ideas with fellow Protestant Reformed school teachers.” Provision was made in the schedule for plenty of opportunity for the teachers to share ideas and to learn from each other’s experience, study, and insight. At practically any given time during the two convention days, there were two presentations being made. The teachers then, had a choice to make (often, likely, a difficult one), between the topics of sectionals being held simultaneously. On Friday morning, for example, they could choose between “A Program of English Instruction,” presented by Miss Hulda Kuiper, and Quenga. Other topics for sectionals included “Topical Geography,” by Miss Beverly Hoekstra, “Continuity of Math Instruction,” by Mr. John Buiter, “Making Students Aware of Current Events,” by Mr. Lamm Lubbers, and “Teaching of Reformed Doctrine,” by Prof. H Hanko. 

The teachers do well, of course, to devote such time and effort to professional development and self improvement, for the task in which they are engaged is indeed a serious one. Rev. C. Hanko, in the introduction to his keynote address, sought to impress that fact on the minds of the teachers. I hope you are all aware, as I am , he began, that this room holds one of the most important powers for influence in our churches today. You have, he continued, the tremendous responsibility of providing by means of the instruction of covenant youth, for the future of our churches. If the church is strong, one reason that the seminary is stable; another reason is that the ministry is what is should be; but no small part of that, he insisted, is the work of the teachers. It’s probably more true today than ever, to that out teachers have a tremendous calling. In the light of seriousness of our times, the task of the Christians teacher is graver and more serious than that which any teacher has ever had.

That was the gist of the opening remarks of Rev. Hanko’s speech. Sobering thoughts they were, and ones which, by design certainly, would serve to put the activites of the Convention in proper perspective. Through such gatherings, the teachers become more conscious of the gravity of their work, and , no doubt, more aware also of their own limitations. I think that I speak for the rest of the teachers, too, when I say that we covet your prayers.