October 31 is the anniversary of the Reformation of the Church—Reformation Day. On the 31st of October, 1517, in Wittenberg, Germany, the monk and university professor, Martin Luther, nailed to the door of the great church a list of 95 propositions or theses. That act and those theses became the source of that mighty movement within the Church which we know as the ‘Reformation of the Church.’ We do well to commemorate this event of the 16th century, for it had the most tremendous significance for the true church of Jesus Christ. It was the most important act of God upon the Church for good from the time of the apostles to the present time.
Reformation Day is not forgotten within our churches. In addition to the Reformation Day programs mentioned in an earlier issue, several more public programs have come to our attention. Rev. Lanting spoke on “The Place of Reformation in the Church Today” in our Loveland, Colorado, church on November 7. The first paragraph of this column is taken from Loveland’s Reformation Day program.
Rev. Lanting spoke on the same topic in Rock Valley, Iowa, on October 29. This lecture was sponsored by the Reformed Witness Committee. In addition to the speech, the program included some special music, a question and answer period, and coffee afterward.
Rev. Engelsma of our South Holland, Illinois, church gave a Reformation Day lecture for our Prospect Park, New Jersey, congregation on October 30. The Prospect Park consistory also requested Rev. Engelsma to preach for them on the following Sunday as well, offering to provide pulpit supply for South Holland. That certainly is an example of long distance co-operation.
Rev. J. Kortering from Hull, Iowa, gave a Reformation Day address in Pella, Iowa, on- October 28. His speech was titled, “Reformation NOW.” Rev. R. Moore accompanied Rev. Kortering on the visit to Pella to conduct the annual classical church visitation.
The congregations in Isabel, South Dakota, and Forbes, North Dakota, were invited to a Reformation Day observance in Isabel on Reformation Day. Rev. Mark Hoeksema lectured on the topic “Scripture Alone,” divided as follows: I. Denied by Rome, II. Set Forth in the Reformation, III. Affirmed by the Church Today. In addition to the speech, a mini-singspiration was held. This must have been an interesting evening for all who attended, especially in view of the fact that Forbes and Isabel are separated by something like 185 miles.
The Hull, Iowa young people invited the congregation to a Reformation Singspiration on Sunday evening, November 2. “Rev. Slopsema (Edgerton, Minn.) will give a short speech, there will be spirited singing, and an offering taken for the Beacon Lights.”
On November 13, Prof. H.C. Hoeksema and Rev. C. Hanko gave an illustrated lecture (slides) on their Australasian tour of last summer. First Church was almost full that nite (950 people?). Prof. Hoeksema lectured from the pulpit wired for sound (with a lavaliere mike), and armed with a stout stick (to point out faces and sights on the huge screen.) After reading about the tour in the Standard Bearer, it was very interesting to see something of the people, churches, and country our representatives visited. The lecture and slides were also given in South Holland on November 21.
Because of the delays inherent in news gathering, editing, and publishing, the news reported in this issue goes back to October and early November, was. written up the day after Thanksgiving (USA), and will probably be read just before Christmas. Speaking of Thanksgiving, did you realize that our brethren in Edmonton, Canada, celebrated Thanksgiving Day on October 13? Some things are different up there you see!
Rev. B. Woudenberg declined the call from Edmonton.
Another quiet thought from the Southeast bulletin: “When your faith is properly fed, your doubts will be starved to death.”