News From Our Churches

From our South Holland church we have received an interesting news item which we should pass along through this column. The church extension committee has completed arrangements to make a broadcast of one of the church services over WLNR-FM. This is a Lansing, Illinois, station which, because of its location in the Chicago area, can reach a listening audience numbering, likely, in the millions. The broadcast will not be live, but will be made, rather, from a taped recording of a church service (the Scripture reading and sermon). The church extension committee: will provide a tape each week, for a broadcast from 5:30 to 6:30 on Sunday afternoon, beginning June 13. The pastor, Rev. Decker, as well as the committee, is looking forward eagerly to this opportunity to reach those who would not be likely to attend the services but who are, nevertheless, interested because of their concern about the departure from the truth so evident in our day.

We could note, also, that there’s been a recent change in the order of worship in our South Holland church. There has, for one thing, been a change to a “silent offering.” The Consistory and Council considered this to be more appropriate than a collection taken during the singing of a Psalter number, because, as mentioned in their Sunday bulletin, “the congregational singing and the giving of our gifts are each a distinct part of worship.” 

The second change involves the reading of Scripture. In the past, South Holland’s “Order of Worship” called for congregational singing between the reading of Scripture and the sermon. As a result of the change in the order, the number which had, in the past, been sung immediately prior to the sermon is now sung after the salutation at the beginning of the worship service. The ground for this change was that “the song between the sermon and the scripture reading caused an unnatural break between the reading of God’s Word and the preaching of it.” This change should also be a good thing for the radio broadcast. The tape, remember, will include the reading of Scripture and the sermon. The transition from the one to the other should be more natural under the altered order.

The Doon congregation has extended a call to Rev. Lanting, pastor in Edgerton. Rev. Van Baren, pastor at Grand Rapids’ First Church, has declined the call for Hudsonville.

A couple of months ago the board of Covenant Christian High School conducted what they called a “Ten to Twenty Drive.” The supporters, were encouraged to “set aside your relatively small but vital ten to twenty dollar gift, to be collected next Sunday.” Two weeks later, bulletins announced that the drive was a success. As usual, when the need is made known, those interested in the cause of Protestant Reformed education, respond.

Another item that’s about two months late is this one from Hudsonville. The congregation there held a “coffee-grocery shower for two of our seminary sons of our church; Marv Kamps and Ron Van Overloop.” The bulletin announcement added that “their busy work schedule does not give them much time to support themselves.” The following Sunday’s bulletin included a note of appreciation from the two students.

Then there’s some two-month old news from the schools. If you get the idea that we keep a little storehouse of “news” to be used in emergencies, you’re absolutely right. This one has to do with Spring Programs. The students of Hope School presented an all-school program in First Church on April 2. Our people in the Grand Rapids’ area were encouraged to “share with them in song and speech the wonderful truths of ‘Our Catholic, Undoubted Christian Faith.'” On April 16, another school program was rendered in First Church. This time it was Adams’ turn. The program, centered around the theme, Peace, included a very fine number presented by a choir on the platform and an echo choir in the balcony, under the direction of Mrs. H. C. Hoeksema. A third program was one given on the other side of the continent, in the Loveland church, by the Loveland school students. Children there in grades five through eight presented a public talent program on April 18.

Since we’re on school news anyway, we could note this from a not very recent (February) Hull bulletin: “Chapel exercises of the N.W. Iowa P.R. Chr. School will be tomorrow at 9 A.M. at the Doon Prot. Ref. Church. Rev. C. Hanko has consented to lead. There will be special numbers by the school children. Refreshments will be served in school. Parents, children, and friends are welcome.” One week later, the following information appeared in Isabel’s bulletin: “While in Doon for Classis, our minister had the unexpected pleasure of addressing the school children of our Northwest Iowa school at a chapel service. Rev. C. Hanko was unable to give this address and Rev. Moore was called upon to fill in.” A bit more recent bulletin (April 25), this one from Hull, gave information concerning another chapel service held in Doon Church. In that one, “the children of Edgerton school will also participate. Rev. Kortering will speak. All parents and friends are invited to attend.”

A meeting of a little different nature was described by Mr. Henry Hoekstra, board secretary, in the quarterly newsletter of our school in Doon. He described the “inspirational meeting” which was arranged by the board. “Rev. Kortering brought us a very worthwhile message on ‘Parental Values.’ The crowd was not large, but I think I can speak for all those in attendance, that it was good for us to have been there. The message brought to mind our parental responsibilities in regard to the instruction of our covenant children.”

We would like to squeeze in one more item, yet. TheStandard Bearer board recently received a letter from a man in England. It’s a letter that certainly must be a source of encouragement to those who work hard to publish this magazine and to those who do the writing between the covers. It reads as follows: “I am a Methodist Lay Preacher and Bible Study Leader, and have been told your Magazine the ‘Standard Bearer’ is a very great help to preachers. I don’t have a lot of money but if you could let me have some old copies I could make good use of them—we need in the Church to get back to the Bible as the Word of God—all of it not just a part! I hope you can help me to ‘preach the Word.'”