Rev. Dale Kuiper has accepted a call to serve our Lynden, Washington congregation. Rev. Mark Hoeksema has accepted the call extended to him from our Hull, Iowa congregation. It appears that, when these latest moves have been completed, only one of our churches will be without a pastor: our congregation in Forbes, North Dakota, which Rev. Mark Hoeksema has been serving.
The last news received from and about our church in Redlands, California was last August. Since that time quite a number of things of note have happened in that city. Rev. Kortering became the new pastor of the Redlands congregation in October. Rev. Kortering’s new address is 902 E. Brockton Ave., Redlands, California 92373. The parsonage phone number is 714-792-0307 and the pastor’s study 714-792-2627. The congregation was presented with an offer for purchase of their church building last August. Apparently that offer was accepted, as they are leaving their present ‘church home’ as of January 8, 1977. The consistory has secured a rental agreement for one year or more with the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Clay and Lugonia Streets. The entire church can be used for both church services plus Sunday School and Young People’s Society. This is the same church building which was used by our Redlands congregation before 1953. Since the pastor’s study was in the old church building, the consistory has rented an 8 x 20 foot trailer and placed it on the Brockton Avenue property to serve as the pastor’s study. Consistory meetings, catechism classes, Ladies Aid, and Men’s Society will meet in the Hope Christian School. The official mailing address of the Redlands Church, as of October 31, is 1309 E. Brockton Avenue, Redlands, California 92373. The congregation is also considering an offer to sell a piece of land on San Bernardino Ave. which was purchased some years ago by the Redlands Church with the idea of building a new church building there. Since the purchase of the land on San Bernardino Ave., the congregation purchased another parcel of land adjacent to the new Hope Christian School which was opened a year ago this September. This school receives its support from the members of our Redlands Church. While it was not specifically stated in the bulletins just received from Redlands, it is my understanding that their plan is to erect a new church building at 1309 E. Brockton, adjacent to the school.
The 1976 Synod of our churches decided to send two emissaries to the Island of Jamaica for a period of about 6 weeks, preferably in November of this year. The purpose of this visit would be to encourage and work with the four young ministers and the people with whom our churches have been laboring for about a decade. The Mission Committee of our churches was unable to arrange this visit in November as Synod had requested. Present plans are to have Rev. John Heys of Holland, Michigan and elder John M. Faber of First Church in Grand Rapids leave for Jamaica about January 12. They will be accompanied by their wives. You may recall that early in 1976, Rev. G. Lubbers, now serving our church in Pella, Iowa and elder Faber left for the island for a period of almost three months.
September 25 marked the first anniversary of our church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The following note appeared in Edmonton’s bulletin in recognition of that anniversary, “The Lord has richly blessed us, in that He has filled our every need. We could have our worship services unhindered, we were supplied with Bible-study, catechism classes, we shared each other’s joys and sorrows. What a joy, too, when God in His good pleasure sent Rev. Moore and his family to us. We pray for God’s continued blessing as we put all our trust in Him alone, who keeps His covenant.”
The various societies, Bible study classes, and discussion groups meeting in our churches are considering a wide range of subjects and books of the Bible this year. However, the books on marriage by Rev. David Engelsma and the study of the parables by Prof. H. Hanko seem to be much used as discussion guides. Some other topics include the influence of Arminianism on the church today, considered in the Hudsonville Discussion Class. The Sunday night group discussions in Isabel, South Dakota considered the topic of church-extension work, regarding areas of authority and responsibility. The congregation was advised to study the 1976 Acts of Synod where this subject is treated at some length.
A closing thought from Isabel’s bulletin: “A man’s Sunday self and weekday self are like two halves of a round trip ticket—not good if detached.”