News From Our Churches

Rev. M. Kamps declined the call extended to him from Kalamazoo.

The denominational Office Bearer’s Conference held in South Holland on March 4 was attended by nearly one hundred men. Discussions on the office of the diaconate were introduced by two papers—one, “Ministering to the Saints,” by Rev. Lubbers, and the other, “A Layman’s Observation of the Office of Mercy,” by Mr. Milton Alsum of our Loveland Church. The discussions were, according to Hope’s bulletin, “stimulating and instructive.”

March 2, as you know, was designated the Sunday in which all of our congregations would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Protestant Reformed Churches. In each of our congregations there were sermons which emphasized God’s covenant faithfulness, and our calling to be faithful. In addition, individual congregations held special activities which were planned with a view to this commemoration. In Edgerton, for example, there was an evening singspiration, which included also a short speech, by Rev. Moore, on the anniversary of our churches. Hull, Doon, and Edgerton, incidentally, all provided special numbers for that program.

In Isabel, the February 23 Sunday evening group discussion centered on the history of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Recommended study. guides for that discussion were Prof. Hoeksema’s lecture at Calvin Seminary (as it appeared in printed form in the January 15 issue of the Standard Bearer), and Rev. Hoeksema’s book The Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Rev. Miersma, according to Isabel’s bulletin, was to chair the meeting and provide for the lunch.

From the March 2 bulletin of Faith Church, this: “Today as a denomination we celebrate our 50th anniversary. We have much to be thankful for. The Lord’s hand has not waxed short, but His faithfulness has been abundant. We are thankful that the Lord has seen fit to preserve the truth among us and it is our prayer that He will continue to keep us in His grace.”

Rev. Slopsema, pastor of our Edgerton congregation, conducted the Sunday afternoon chapel service at the Edgebrook Rest Center on January 26.

Rev. Joostens and family are settled in Faith Church’s brand new parsonage. A March 9 bulletin announced that the Consistory meeting that week would be held in “the meeting room at the parsonage.”

The Junior Young People’s Society of Southwest plans to hold a Pizza-Barbecue Supper in the basement of Southwest, on April 4—likely in order to raise money for the up-coming Convention. Members of the Randolph Young Adult Society planned “a night of Fun and Fellowship” for the people of their congregation. That was held on March 1, in the Randolph Christian School gym.

Randolph’s new 1975 Church Directory does not include family pictures, as it did last year. But, again, there are what appear to me to be rather unique features. The front cover includes a photograph of the new church’s interior. Following the “Congregational Statistics” there is a two page “Church History,” which includes interesting facts concerning the founding of the church in Randolph, concerning their past and present pastors, and concerning the construction of their new building. The directory also contained the. 1974 Financial Report, the 1975 Collection Schedule, a calendar of birthdays and anniversaries—all in addition to the usual Membership Directory. Again, a very attractive and, certainly, extremely useful little book.

So much for the new news. (As one of the readers of this column remarked the other day, there’s always a little bit of that slipped in, in order to keep everyone reading it.) The old news item has been in my box since 1973. It happened that, earlier in that year, I had included in several news columns some interesting correspondence received by Mr. Vander Wal, from faraway places. A subsequent bit of correspondence with Mr. Vander Wal, by one of our ministers, carried reference to those columns. It read as follows:

“With interest we have been reading in the S.B. the information you supplied the news editor re the out; reach of the Standard Bearer to distant and unexpected points. Last week I experienced in unexpected places the nearness of the Standard Bearer.

“Upon entering the admitting room of the local hospital, to be booked for surgery the next day, my eyes fell at once on the Standard Bearer in that waiting room. I sat down next to the magazine stand where it lay and noted on the cover, ‘Courtesy of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland.’ A delightful, unexpected surprise!

“Upon being assigned to my room, I was introduced to the other patients. A little later, being questioned by one patient, an elderly (80 year-old) child of God, it became known to them that I was pastor of the local Protestant Reformed Church. The response of this child of God was, ‘O, I get the Standard Bearer, and like it very much.’ I can remember when people used to respond in such circumstances, ‘O, I knew Rev. Hoeksema.’ Now it is, ‘O, I get the Standard Bearer.’ The Standard Bearer was a link between our beds, and I had no strange bed fellow in that three-bed ward.”

Rather old news, surely, but interesting nevertheless.