News From Our Churches

Mr. Vander Wal, our business manager, has submitted a couple of contributions for use in this column “when space allows.” We enjoy those contributions, but . . . space didn’t allow, in the last several issues; so to make certain I don’t neglect them any longer, I’ll place one at the beginning this time. 

“Some months ago the Board of our Standard Bearerbegan a ’10 for 2′ subscription drive. This means that any NEW subscriber can obtain ten forthcoming issues for only two dollars. What a success this campaign has proved to be! Almost 250 interested persons have responded to this offer! Of course, not all of these people have become permanent subscribers, but over 50 respondents to the offer have taken out yearly subscriptions to our magazine! Indeed an amazing outcome! Response to this offer has been received from 21 states, and also from several countries, including Canada, Australia and even Korea. We thank all those cooperating, and responsible for making this effort a success.” 

The covers of Randolph’s Sunday bulletins have recently been including a “Sketch of Our Proposed New Church Building.” 

And, in further building news, the Consistory of Faith Church in Jenison reports having rented a parsonage. Members of the congregation have been working with the Building Committee to prepare the house for occupancy. “The bedrooms upstairs have been paneled, and work has started on installing tiled ceilings. Downstairs the walls have been prepared for painting and work has begun on the difficult job of refinishing some of the woodwork.” 

And, for still another building project, we turn to Southeast’s April 29 bulletin. “We are informed that the deed to the Seminary property has been signed by the proper parties—the plans for the building will be checked out by the architect—and that possible ground opening may take place the first of June. It behooves everyone of us to give thanks to God that, after some 49 years of existence, our Seminary will have a building of its own.”

Something rather unusual happened at First Church the other day—folding chairs had to be brought out to accommodate an overflow crowd. Bulletin announcements had encouraged our people in the Grand Rapids’ area to come out for the Mass Choral Program, featuring the combined voices of the choirs from First, Hope, Hudsonville, and Southwest Churches. “You won’t,” the announcements read, “find a better way to spend Easter Sunday evening with your family and friends.” Many agreed, apparently, for First’s large auditorium was filled from stem to stern. 

It’s not often that those 800 seats are filled, but it happened again a couple of weeks later, when, on May 10, Rev. Engelsma presented a lecture entitled, “Key 73—What Must We Say About It?” The start of the program was delayed for about ten minutes, while the ushers tried valiantly to find places for everyone—first in the 800 seats, then on 175 folding chairs which were set up as the church was filling, and finally, when those were filled, on the floor and in the coat racks. Rev. Van Baren, the chairman of the meeting, in his introductory remarks noted that, “the fact that you are here, and in such goodly numbers is evidence that the subject is of interest and concern to Reformed people. We trust,” he continued, “that you will be instructed, blessed, and guided by God’s Word with respect to this topic.” 

Tape and cassette recordings were made of that “instructive and powerful message,” and by week’s end, more than forty requests were received from individuals desiring to obtain a copy. That’s another evidence, it would seem, of that “interest and concern.” Copies of the recordings can still be obtained, incidentally, from Mr. Henry Vander Wal, whose address appears under “Business Office,” on the first page of this magazine. 

A couple of additional items from bulletins will probably run this column off the back page, but we’ll risk it. The first comes from Southeast’s April 29 bulletin: “The Lord willing; Rev. & Mrs. Schipper plan to leave Wednesday morning for Skowhegan, Me. There is a small Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Cornville, a short distance from Skowhegan, where Rev. Schipper will be preaching the four Sundays of May, and lecturing and visiting during the week.” 

The second is from South Holland (May 6): “Rev. R. Decker arrived in Patterson, New Jersey, Wednesday. He spent two evenings studying the Canons with fifteen adults from the Patterson area. Today, he plans to preach in the morning and in the evening and to conduct a Bible class in the afternoon. He also plans to begin Catechism class there studying the Heidelberg Catechism and Essentials of Reformed Doctrine. As he proclaims the truth of God’s Word in New Jersey, the Pastor covets the prayers of the congregation here in South Holland.” 

After a May 4 Congregational Meeting in Hope Church of Grand Rapids, a call to serve as home missionary to labor in the Philadelphia area was extended to Rev. Decker. 

I was right. This news is a little long. The Editor-in-Chief will please take note and adjust the length of his editorials accordingly.