News From Our Churches

The calls of Redlands, California and Isabel, South Dakota to Reverends Slopsema and Bekkering, respectively, have both been declined. 

No doubt our readers remember what was written in the May 15 news column concerning the search of our Redlands congregation for “a qualified man to oversee a crew of mostly volunteer help.” You recall the “qualified man” was sought to oversee the construction of a new house of worship. Apparently members of Redlands read the part of the May 15 news column concerning the collection plates that Mr. George Joostens had made for our Loveland Church and decided on that basis that he was their man. Well…that may have had something to do with it. Regardless, a July 5 Redlands bulletin reports, “The Lord in His goodness has brought Mr. and Mrs. Joostens safely into our midst. We welcome them back to Redlands and look forward to working with them as we build the new church.” 

From that same July 5 Redlands bulletin we read that, “Seminarian and Mrs. Lau Chin Kwee plan to visit here from July 11 until 16.” Incidentally by the time this news is published many of our western churches will have had opportunity to meet and fellowship with the Laus (remember, last name first). It seems fitting that while the Laus are the recipients of our American hospitality, two of our ministers, Reverends Engelsma and Kamps, are the guests of our GLTS brethren in Singapore. These pastors have been sent to Singapore because, according to a Doon, Iowa bulletin: “The Synod of 1981 mandated the Doon consistory and the Foreign Mission Committee to send emissaries to Singapore and the GLTS as quickly as possible for the purpose of explaining Synod’s decisions to our missionary and the GLTS.” 

Though we have digressed considerably from church building programs, we should return to that topic, I think. In their May, June, and July bulletins our Covenant Church of Wyckoff, New Jersey reports the following building progress: “The plumbing has been laid in the sub-floor of the basement and inspected. Public Service has brought power to the utility pole on the property. The cement floor of the basement of our new sanctuary was poured this past week.” 

I have found, for the most part, that summer bulletins are generally quite anemic as far as newsworthy information is concerned. June and July bulletins of many churches do announce at least one item of common interest, however, that being information concerning “church,” “Sunday School,” and/or “congregational picnics.” Obviously the traditional church picnic still has a place in many, if not all, of our churches. It is also obvious from the bulletins that the picnics are not all conducted in the same way: most common is the each-family-supply-its-own-food method; some use the potluck method; others utilize catering services; while Redlands Young People’s Society served Spaghetti. The picnic committee of Southwest scheduled their picnic on the day of their pastor’s and his wife’s wedding anniversary. The congregation took the opportunity to sing their anniversary wishes to Rev. and Mrs. DeVries. One final note concerning church picnics yet, this one experienced first hand by the undersigned: The picnic committee of our Hope, Grand Rapids congregation selected a rainy June 20 date for their picnic. It was later suggested by a member of the picnic committee that their intent in picking a rainy day was to avoid being chosen to direct future picnic activities. 

A personal note to the pastor of our Trinity P.R. Church in Houston, Texas: The six .15 cent stamps you sent along with your last bulletins were greatly appreciated; however, endorsed pay checks are preferred.