News From Our Churches

This is the time of year when churches schedule their annual congregational meetings to elect office bearers, approve a budget for the coming year, and address various other issues put before the meeting by the consistory. First Church in Grand Rapids met in their annual meeting on November 28. In addition to the normal business before the meeting, a pastor elect was chosen. From a trio of Rev. David Engelsma, Rev. Meindert Joostens, and Rev. James Slopsema, Rev. Engelsma was extended a call to “come over and help us.” 

Rev. and Mrs. Harbach report that all legal matters pertaining to their relation to the Canadian government have been resolved. A work permit was not required. Rev. Harbach has the freedom to labor in religious duties for up to a year with the possibility of extension. The Harbachs do like to hear from our people. Their address is: 55 Bay St. # 325, Victoria, B.C., Canada V9A 6X9. Rev. Harbach is laboring as home missionary from our churches in Victoria. Rev. Harbach sent in a copy of a little paper he is presently publishing as part of his work called the Calvinist Contender. Rev. Harbach addresses a number of issues in the Reformed church world in a rather clear, direct way. Such. things are covered as the covenant, creed revision, women voters, man’s responsibility, true conversion, and a couple of biographical sketches of Guido de Bres and Ursinus, authors of the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism respectively. 

The Ladies Guild in Hull, Iowa sponsored a hostess supper for the benefit of their Christian School there. Rev. Mark Hoeksema spoke on “Our Unchanging Purpose in a Changing World.”

The Ladies’ Circle in our church in Loveland, Colorado, is a very active group. They scheduled their Annual Bazaar for December 9 and a bake sale on November 19. Both of these were open to the public. The Ladies’ Circle recently purchased a mimeograph machine for the church with the proceeds from their activities. The bulletin reports that “The printing of the bulletin has been much enhanced through this gift.” 

Faith Church in Jenison, Michigan, has adopted a new schedule for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper will now be celebrated on the 3rd Sundays of the months of February, May, August and November. 

Under the caption PROGRESS REPORT ON THE NEW BUILDING, The Southwest Church bulletin reported as follows: “The land has been cleared for the new church building on Ivanrest Ave., and the footings have been laid. We urge you to stop out and walk around the site. You will notice the corner stakes denoting the size of the building. You will also notice the parking lot layout. We will try to keep you informed of the progress on the building.” Two weeks later, on November 27, the following appeared under the same caption, “Have you stopped out to the site? Are the walls up yet? Are they ready to lay blocks? The answers to these and many other questions will be answered when you drive out to Ivanrest Ave. and have a look around.” Since the undersigned was not able to drive out and ‘take a look around,’ these questions will have to remain unanswered until he does or the answers appear in the next bulletin. 

Recently, a rather large packet of bulletins arrived from Rev. Moore in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Rev. Moore reports that his small congregation has rejoiced in some growth during the past few months, both from within (three baptisms) and from without. He also reports that a goodly number of visitors regularly attend services. Edmonton also scheduled a Reformation Day Lecture with their pastor speaking. Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 10 in Edmonton, as the National Day of Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated in October, and not in November as we in the states are accustomed to. After their evening Thanksgiving service, Miss Marjorie Martin from Australia showed some slides of her homeland and gave a short talk about church life in Australia. Miss Martin’s name has popped up in church bulletins from California to the East as she completed her tour of our churches on the North American continent. On Sunday, September 24, the entire Edmonton congregation was invited to the home of one of the member families to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the congregation in psaltry and fellowship. In mid-September, Rev. Engelsma lectured in Edmonton on the topic “Reprobation—Is It Reformed?” This was done in conjunction with classical church visitation conducted by Rev. Engelsma and Rev. Kortering. 

A Thought For Contemplation from the South Holland bulletin: “God has not called His people to ‘win the world to Christ’: rather does He require them, by their lives, to witness against it.”—Pink