News From Our Churches

The 1972 Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Convention is hardly recent enough to be considered “news.” Nor is it, strictly speaking, “from our churches.” But we’ll include it under the above caption, anyway, since information concerning it does not stale with age, and because the Convention concerns itself with something which is, for our churches, of no less importance than the instruction of children of God’s covenant. I have before me several school publications which devoted space to that convention. One is a newsletter from Adams. It reads as, follows: “The teachers spent an enjoyable and profitable two days in South Holland: last October. This convention was unique in the history of our schools in that there were no less than seven schools represented there. In addition to the four eastern schools, the faculties of Doon, Edgerton, and Loveland were also in attendance. Mr. Fred Hanko, in a little reminiscing, recalled that, at the first Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Convention, there were in attendance 12 teachers, from two schools. ‘We have indeed,’ he said, ‘been richly blest.'” 

The Polaris, Doon’s seasonal publication, included a rather complete coverage of the Convention. “Early Thursday morning, October 26,” the article began, “approximately forty-five Protestant Reformed Teachers met together in South Holland. Our two day convention began with the singing of several Psalter numbers. A thrill of joy and anticipation was experienced by all as the harmony of the song reminded us of our harmony of purpose in the high calling of instructing God’s covenant seed.” 

The Polaris then made mention of the keynote address, delivered by Rev. R. Decker. He spoke about the task of the Christian school teacher, from the point of view of Psalm 8. ‘The reality of the covenant of grace, he said, is the basis of the Christian school. We are the covenant people of Jehovah. The promise is to us and to our children; God says, therefore, to parents, “these are My children. Bring them up in My fear. Out of their mouths have I ordained strength.” And this is the task, also of teachers. The excellency of the name of Jehovah, which is revealed in all His works, must be brought to them, in all the subjects taught. God says to teachers, “It is your task to train My children to be soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ, in the battle of faith.” 

Topics of other meetings held throughout the day included “Teaching Bible,” “Basics of Elementary and Intermediate Science,” and “The Responsibility of a Teacher.” That evening, as we learn from Polaris, “all the teachers were fed a delicious meal by the South Holland Ladies’ Auxiliary and afterward were privileged to listen to Prof. H. Hanko as he spoke to us on “The Teacher as Counselor.”. . . 

“The next morning, the teachers again assembled together; this time to discuss the work of the summer workshop on ‘Writing.’ After a joint meeting in which many practical suggestions as to how to augment the basic plan of the workshop was presented, the teachers split up into three sectionals: one for elementary, one for intermediate and one for junior high and high school teachers. The sectionals provided many, practical suggestions as to how to augment the basic writing program of the summer workshop.”

After the sectionals, according to The Ledger, Loveland’s school paper, “the entire group again met in praise to God for the privilege of having been together to discuss the matter of covenant instruction and to fellowship with those who work for a common cause.” And, to return to Polaris, “after singing a few Psalter numbers, Mr. Fred Hanko, the new president of the Teachers’ Institute, closed the meeting with prayer. The 1972 Teachers’ Convention had ended and now the teachers dispersed again to their various fields of labor, thankful and happy for the opportunity to meet together in the unity of God’s Word.”

Then, we have another welcome contribution from our Business Manager. Read on: 

The members of the Radio Committee of our Reformed Witness Hour often wonder if many of the recipients of the printed copies of the radio messages take the time to read the printed sermons after they receive them. Is it worth the time, effort, and expense involved to print and distribute the printed copies? Well, excerpts from only two of the many responses received should set their minds at ease. It certainly ISworthwhile! 

First one comes from (of all places) Tasmania, Australia. Addressed to the Reformed Witness Hour it reads: (in part) as follows: 

“Dear Brethren, I want to say how much I have appreciated the sermons which have been sent to me in the past years. 

“The emphasis which is placed upon the Sovereignty of God is most refreshing in these times when, on all sides! God is represented as a pathetic being who is completely at the mercy and the will of the creature.” 

The writer of this letter then asks permission to reprint the copies for distribution to members of his church in their “humble” magazine. 

The second letter comes from an eastern state of our country. It reads (in part)—”Dear Friends, Herewith a small contribution to the Reformed Witness Hour. Unfortunately, we are not able to get the sermons over our radio station, but we do appreciate very much receiving the printed copies regularly. . . The sermons of the Witness Hour remind me of my dear father’s sermons, and I am so happy to receive them. I recently passed my 80th birthday. I also am happy to have theStandard Bearer, and I read it from cover to cover.”

The Radio committee welcomes all response, from both the listeners and the readers. We thank our God for the privilege of sending out these radio broadcasts and the printed pages.