News From Our Churches

The annual spring lecture, planned by the Lecture Committee, was held in First Church- on April 24. The “Musical Number” in the program consisted of several selections by the Covenant Christian High School Choir, under the direction of Mr. Roland Petersen. The topic of the lecture for the evening was “The Christian Marriage and the Problem of Divorce.” The speaker, Rev. David Engelsma, began by assuring his audience that every pastor is well aware of the fact that there exist in many marriages problems—for some of which the only merciful solution, it would seem, is divorce. What he had to say therefore, he insisted, was not at all out of ignorance of the realities of the situation. He proceeded, then, to deliver a powerful exposition of the clear teachings of Scripture with regard to the matter of divorce. Divorce, except for the cause of fornication, is never the solution to those problems.

It goes almost without saying that the position of our churches on the divorce question, as it was articulated by Rev. Engelsma, is not a popular one in much of today’s church world. One thing is certain, however—the near capacity audience in First Church that evening must surely have been left with an appreciation for the fact that our stand is based squarely on the Word of God, and, further, that the essence of that position is not so much that it’s against divorce, as that it’s for marriage, which pictures, in a beautiful way, the blessed union which exists between Christ and His Church.

According to the printed program, the evening’s lecture will be available on tape. Tapes may be ordered from the RFPA, Post Office Box 2006, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501.

As is customary at this time of year, church bulletins are filled with announcements concerning programs of one kind or another. Perhaps I could list some of those which have been held recently.

Rev. Joostens, we notice, has been kept busy of late. At the Mr. and Mrs. League Meeting, held in Hope Church on April 22, he spoke on “Our Christian Calling in Supporting Worldly Organizations.” On April 15, he spoke at the Ladies’ League Meeting, which was also held in Hope Church. His topic at that time was “The Intermediate State of the Soul.” And on March 19 he was the speaker at the Spring Breakfast, sponsored by the Mothers’ Club of Adams Street School.

On April 1, Prof. Hanko spoke at the Officebearer’s Conference in Southeast Church. His topic was, “The Discipline of the Mentally Troubled.” On April 3, Prof. Hoeksema delivered a public lecture, sponsored by the Publication Committee of our Holland Church. He lectured on “God’s Sovereign Love for the World.” On April 6, the Loveland Protestant Reformed Church Choral Society, under the direction of Mr. Gerald Kuiper, presented an Easter Program in the church after the evening service. On that same evening the Hope Choral Society presented an Easter Concert in Hope Church. South Holland’s Choral Society rendered its Easter Singspiration a week earlier, on March 30th. And in Grand Rapids on that night the Beacon Lights sponsored an Easter Singspiration in First Church.

The annual spring Western Ladies’ League Meeting was held on April 16 at the Doon Protestant Reformed Church. The theme of the program was, “Lord, Lead Thou Us.” On the 18th of April, two of our day schools presented annual All-School programs. The theme chosen by Hope School in Grand Rapids was, “God’s Most Elegant Books,” while that of our Loveland Protestant Reformed Christian School was, “Rejoice, The Lamb Reigneth.” On April 21, the Men’s League Meeting was held in Southeast Church. The program consisted of a debate on the topic, “Resolved that it is a proper activity for our churches and/or individuals to be involved in world relief efforts of other Christian groups.” And, finally, the Young Peoples Federation Board sponsored the Church League “All-Star” basketball game. Half-time activities were to consist of a volleyball game between the students of the Seminary and the members of the Federation Board.

Several other items, gleaned from various church bulletins, might be more interesting if they’re quoted directly. I’d like to do that:

From Faith’s April 13th bulletin—”The consistory has set this week Thursday the 17th as open house, so that the congregation can see their parsonage. The time will be from 7-9. Cookies and coffee will be available. Since the sidewalks are not in, you are requested to enter through the basement to minimize tracking.”

From Loveland’s March 16th—”Taped sermons will be heard at both services today. The pastor is unable to preach, due to laryngitis.”

From Southeast’s April 6th—”The Council has decided that at the Communion Service the communicants will partake of the elements in unison.”

From Edgerton’s March 30th—”Beginning next week, our afternoon service is moved to 7:30 P.M. This will continue through the summer months.”

Informational letters and questionnaire cards relative to the 50th Anniversary Celebration have been, I think, distributed in each of our churches. The committee asked, remember, that the cards be mailed by the 15th of May, in order that appropriate arrangements can be made for food, lodging, games, etc. If you’re reading this May 15th issue of the Standard Bearer on May 15, the deadline is today. You haven’t forgotten, have you?