News From Our Churches

Most if not all of our churches use tape recorders to bring recordings of church services into the homes of members of the congregation who are shut-in. Tape ministries have also been an effective tool in church extension work. First Church in Grand Rapids began this service with the use of wire recorders about 30 years ago. Recently, the following report appeared in First’s bulletin concerning the cassette tape ministry conducted there:

During the past several years we have been using cassette recorders for our shut-ins, but also to send out our recorded services to those outside our congregation. We have also offered for sale such recordings as well as recordings of past lectures. At present, we have 14 individuals or families in our congregation who receive the recorded services, and there are 17 outside of the congregation who receive these. We have also sold over 500 cassettes of services and lectures to many both within our denomination and outside of it. We thank our covenant God for this opportunity to witness to His sovereignty and goodness. Should any desire to be added to the list of those receiving recordings, they may contact John VanBaren, 245-6666. 

John VanBaren is Rev. G. VanBaren’s oldest son. John serves as the recording engineer in this tape ministry. It is quite evident that no little recording activity has been taking place on Fuller and Franklin Streets.

In Hudsonville’s November 2 bulletin this note appeared: “On July 26, 1926, this congregation was organized. Approximately in February of 1927 the church building was dedicated. After worshipping for more than 48 years in this building, the time has come that we leave it. Next Saturday morning catechism classes will be held in the Hudsonville Public High School at the usual time, 9:30 and 10:15. NEXT SUNDAY services will be held in the Hudsonville Public High School at 9:30 in the morning and at 3300 in the afternoon! Please notice the change of time for the second service!” For many in the Hudsonville congregation, November 2 must have been a little sad, for one does not leave the place which has served as church home for almost 5 decades without some feeling. But, we are all looking forward to the building of the new Hudsonville Church. In the course of the November congregation meeting, it was decided to alter the plans for the new church. The new church will have all the rooms as well as the auditorium on one level. The earlier plan was for a bi-level church. 

Hudsonville also conducted a clothing drive for the needy in Jamaica this fall. 

Due to growth in the size of their respective congregations, the size of the consistories in both Southwest and Holland churches was enlarged. The Holland consistory has brought building fund needs to the attention of the congregation because it appears that the building will have to be altered to make more seating room in the auditorium. 

Both our churches in Hull, Iowa and Isabel, South Dakota, scheduled church cleanings last fall. Hull even furnished dinner for the cleaners. Isabel needed a couple men to dust the church ceiling. I always thought Spring was the time for the annual cleaning—especially among the Dutch. 

Kalamazoo extended their call to Rev. J. Kortering. 

For many years, the Sunday School of First Church has been publishing and distributing a number of pamphlets. Recently a letter was received from a book shop in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A new supply of pamphlets was requested to replace those lost when the shop was bombed—”Our Book Shop near city centre suffered bomb damage on a number of occasions. On the last occasion we suffered loss of most of our stock—books & Bibles. But after 6 or 7 months in temporary quarters we are back in our Shop again. The Lord reigns.” The shop owner writes that one of the pamphlets was a great help to a convert from the Roman Catholic Church. We rejoice that the Lord has given opportunity to use these materials even in distant lands.