The consistory of our church in Lynden, Washington made a trio consisting of Revs. Wayne Bekkering, Dale Kuiper, and Gise VanBaren. The Lynden congregation elected to extend a call to Rev. Kuiper. Lynden’s present pastor was expected to arrive in Kalamazoo, Michigan to take up his labors in his new charge early in November. The tentative date for Rev. Woudenberg’s installation in Kalamazoo is November 11. Rev. Ronald VanOverloop has declined the call he received from Hull, Iowa.
The First Church bulletin carried the following announcement on October 24: “We welcome to our pulpit today Seminarian Wilbur Bruinsma and Prof. H. Hanko. The consistory approved a request of the Theological School Committee to allow the professors and/or students to be given opportunities to preach in our church once every eight weeks. The other churches in this area agreed to similar requests. This gives the professors opportunities to preach occasionally, something that they believe they need to continue to do; and it gives to our students the necessary opportunities to gain experience in the pulpit.” Since the closest vacant church in our denomination is about 800 miles from our Seminary in Grand Rapids it is not too practical to send our seminarians to these churches each Sunday. If the recent movement of our ministers from one charge to another continues, that situation could change.
This new Theological School Committee plan would seem to be a good one for several reasons: it provides needed experience in preaching for the students; it exposes the students to our congregations—so that both might be strengthened and encouraged; and it provides our ministers the rather rare experience of sitting in the pew rather than standing behind the pulpit—an experience which should be of benefit to them also.
Our seminarians have been active in other ways in the churches beside giving a word of edification. They have been teaching catechism classes in the Grand Rapids area churches and addressing various gatherings. Seminarian Richard Flikkema accepted the request of the Southeast Church Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Society to serve as their Bible study leader.
With the coming of the Fall season, most of our church bulletins no longer carry the ‘filler’ material needed to ‘flesh out’ the bulletin during the summer as there are so many meetings, lectures, outings, gatherings and the like to call attention to. Among the scheduled events this fall were the following: The combined Mass Meeting of the Leagues of Ladies’ and Men’s Societies was held on October 13 in First Church. Rev. G. VanBaren spoke on the topic, “Do We Really Appreciate Being Protestant Reformed?” The Mr. & Mrs. Societies’ Fall League Meeting was held in Southwest Church on October 19. Prof. H. Hanko spoke on “The Work of Angels”, a topic which we too often view as being very mysterious, but a topic on which the Bible does have much to say if only we take the time to seek it out. The Ladies Circle in our Loveland, Colorado church appears to be a very active group. They scheduled a ‘Tasting Bee’ on October 20. What was to be tasted was not explained, so I guess you had to be in Loveland to discover whether it was pastry, cheese, wine, or what have you. The same group is already planning their, Annual Ladies Circle Bazaar to be held on December: 3 for the benefit of the Loveland Church and Christian School. Loveland has also begun a Choral Society. Another (apparently there were more) church picnic was scheduled in Houston on September 25. Rev. Harbach noted in the announcement that this date was the Jewish New ‘Year, but did not state that the picnic was in honor of this holiday.
The event that all of us in the Michigan area look forward to each year toward the end of October is our Reformation Day Lecture. This year the lecture was scheduled on October 29 in First Church. Rev. Meindert Joostens’ topic is, “The Priesthood of All Believers.”
A quiet thought from Spurgeon in the Houston bulletin, “The doctrinal soon affects the practical. I know many . . . living in different parts of this country to whom the Sabbath is very little of a day of rest, for they hear no truth in which rest is to be found, but they are worried and wearied with novelties which neither glorify God nor benefit the souls of men.”