News From Our Churches

It seems that Young People’s Societies throughout our denomination are busily engaged in various fundraising projects, with a view to their attending the eagerly-anticipated convention. The Federation Board of those societies, for example, sponsored a pancake breakfast at Hope School’s gymnasium last December 28. The young people of Hull, Iowa, held a soup supper, followed by sports’ activities in the gym of the community building, on February 22, The young people of the host societies (First Church) sponsored a Casserole Supper on the evening of January 30. South Holland’s society held a baked goods sale in February, and, beginning in March, they’re offering an extended car wash-and-wax service. And all that is only the beginning. The host societies, in the newsletter which was distributed recently, reported that they were “tremendously excited about the coming convention.” Many of the other societies, apparently, share that enthusiasm.

According to a February bulletin from Hull, the work; of the Reformed Witness Committee “is now concentrated in helping our small congregation in Forbes.” The committee has taken upon itself the task of publishing Rev. Mark Hoeksema’s pamphlet; “God’s Sovereignty Revealed in Predestination.” The Forbes’ congregation, it seems, is furnished with copies of the pamphlet for their distribution, with the cost of postage assumed by the Reformed Witness Committee.

That committee, which, if I remember correctly, includes men from Doon, Edgerton, and Hull, has a mailing list of its own, too. A Hull bulletin which I’ve been saving in my box for entirely too long, gave some information concerning the formation of that list. It reads as follows: “Some ask, how do we build up our permanent mailing list. . . . We send our pamphlets to all box holders on rural routes or in towns. We do this for four issues, and then enclose a postage free card which they are asked to return to us with their name on it in order that we may then add their name to the permanent list. . . . Our committee also prints the same pamphlets for other churches, having their own name printed on them. These are paid for by these churches, (who then use them) for mission work in their area. . . .”

Written response to the work of that committee appeared in another of Hull’s bulletins. Here’s a sample:

“I would like to take this opportunity to convey my sincere appreciation for the leaflets we have been receiving, would like them to continue. It is indeed very heartening to read this type of material founded so squarely upon the Holy Scriptures. It is our hope and prayer you may continue earnestly to contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The Evangelism Committee of South Holland distributed a newsletter to the members of that congregation in December of 1974. The committee reported that “we have a good supply of our consolation booklets on hand (God is Our Refuge and Strength).” The congregation was urged to “make use of them as ‘cards’ sent to shut-ins or when visiting hospitals, doctors’ offices, or rest homes for the aged and retired.” The booklet consists, incidentally, of Meditations written by the late Rev. Herman Hoeksema.

The letter went on to report that the committee expected to receive “a quantity of the booklet, The Three Forms of Unity. Here, too, is a handy means of ‘broadcasting’ the truth, and the Evangelism Committee would stress to the congregation that we should distribute these Reformed confessions to people, urging them to read one or the other of the creeds as circumstances warrant. . . . The Lord has given us the happy privilege and deep responsibility to be diligent in the dissemination (Eccl. 11:1) of the truth with which He has singularly blessed us.”

The Evangelism Committee, like the Reformed Witness Committee, also makes some of its material available to other of our churches. In response to their offer, the committee received from one church a request for 500 copies of the Consolation booklet, from another a request for 100, and, “even the Standard Bearer asked for 100 of them.”

Concerning correspondence (from those outside our denomination), the committee had this to say: “It is our desire to answer each one individually with a personal letter. In response to a request, to merely bunch together a group of pamphlets and send them out seems to us to be rather dull. We would like to avoid, if possible, the impression that we are a pamphlet-sending-out-agency. We desire to tell them a little about who we are and what we are doing—that we are a body of believers pointing men to the Lord and His truth, not to ourselves.”

Perhaps for the remaining space in this column we could quote from some of that correspondence received by the Evangelism Committee. The following excerpts are taken from another newsletter to the congregation:

“. . . from De Motte, Ind.: ‘I’m writing for additional copies of Meditations. . . . The Scripture texts in the pamphlet have always been known to us, but now with the Meditations, mean so much more.’

“. . . from Hanover Park, Ill.: ‘Thank Lou for sending out the booklets of Meditations so promptly. I use them faithfully for people who are passing through trials and illness. They tell me that they are a source of comfort and strength.’

“. . . from Holland, Mich.: ‘We pray that this avenue of Evangelism may continue to be a rich witnessing to those who distribute it as well as to those who receive it. Keep up your fine work.'”

The newsletter was concluded with an expression of gratitude, on the part of committee, that “God is willing to use us and deems us worthy to be used by Him so that others may ‘rejoice in the hope’ of the glory of God.'”