Among the many bulletins which form the major source of news for this column, I have one, this time, of the Protestant Reformed Worship Services held in Memorial West Community Club, of Houston, Texas. Since it gives something of a picture of Rev. Harbach’s regular labors there, I’d like to pass along some of its contents. “Sunday School (For Children and Adults) 9:30 a.m. Today’s Lesson (No. 13) is in the Book of Joshua (1-4), on “The Crossing of the Jordan.” Next Sunday’s Lesson (No. 14), is in Josh. 5:10-15; 6-8 on “The Fall of, Jericho and Ai.” Parents are urged to use ‘Our Guide’ at home, going over the lesson and the memory verses with the children.
“Morning Service—10:30 a.m. Afternoon Service—3:30 p.m.
“Mid-week Meeting—Wednesday—7:30 p.m. At the home of.. . . Studying the Reformed Confession, we continue with Art. 26, on Christ’s Intercession, noting that it is exclusive, it is particular, it is compassionate, it is effectual, it is prevalent, it is perpetual . . . .
“Reformed Witness Hour, KFMK, 98 mg, Every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Amid the din of cults, Modernism and Arminianism, the preaching of true Calvinism may be heard.
“Catechism Classes, Saturday Morning, Pastor’s Apartment.”
Last time I passed along a few excerpts of letters from Rev. Harbach. For lack of space, I had to forego reference to some of their lighter parts. Perhaps I could insert a little of that here. In them, for example, he described, as only Rev. Harbach can, the Houston freeway traffic, with which he must frequently contend in the course of his work there. “Advanced far beyond ‘clover leafs,'” he writes, “we now have ‘spaghetti bowls’ merging into merges. . . . Cars mass over the winding strip of concrete like so many ants scrambling pell-mell over the serpentine coils of a monstrous fire-breathing dragon.” Visitors, he continues, would likely not see much of that “ominously buzzing, snapping, tail-lashing, fire-belching dragon.” It’s apparent, however, not only that Rev. Harbach finds it necessary to make frequent use of the Houston freeways, but that he’s never far from its sounds, because of the proximity of his residence. “Even in the quiet and relative safety of our beds,” he says, “the dragon’s roar is an ubiquitous witness that it never sleeps.”
In another letter Rev. Harbach made mention of the matter of becoming accustomed to the regional dialect. “The language barrier,” he reported, “is slowly being overcome. E.g., two Texas words learned: 1. har and 2. yawl, as in ‘Har yawl, podnuh?'”
From an October bulletin of First Church we read the following concerning our former missionary to Jamaica:
“During the time that Rev. G. Lubbers awaits God’s direction concerning his future labors, the consistory has requested of him to assist the pastor and elders in the visitation of the sick. This he has kindly consented to do. The pastor will continue his visits as here-to-fore, and the visits of Rev. Lubbers will be in addition to these.”
A couple of weeks later, incidentally, First’s bulletin rioted that Rev. Lubbers had received the call from Pella.
There have been a number of interesting beginning-of-the-season gatherings recently, at least if we’re able to judge from topics announced in various church bulletins. Among them are the following:
At the Convocation. Exercises of South Holland Protestant Reformed School, Rev. Engelsma spoke on “The Wisdom of an Ant.” At the Fall Mass Meeting of the Sunday School Association, Rev. C. Hanko spoke on “The Responsibilities of the Parents in Relation to the Sunday School.” At the Annual Reformation Day Lecture in the Grand Rapids’ area, held this year in Hudsonville Public School Auditorium, Rev. Van Baren spoke on “The Relevance of the Reformation and the Creeds.” At the Mr. and Mrs. League Meeting, held in Southeast Church, Rev. Van Overloop spoke on “Marriage: A Battlefield? A Blessed Union? Or Just Co-existence?” At the Men’s League Meeting, held in Hudsonville Church, Prof. R. Decker spoke on “The Church in Glory and the Continuation of History.” At the Ladies’ League Meeting, held in Southwest Church, Prof. Hanko spoke on “The Relationship of Mental Disturbance and Sin.” And Prof. Decker delivered a lecture in the Kalamazoo Christian High School auditorium, on the topic “The Foolishness of Preaching”—a lecture which he had delivered a week earlier in Randolph, Wisconsin.
On Monday, November 11, Prof. Hoeksema underwent ear surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He returned to his home on Wednesday, which was earlier than had been anticipated, and, at the time of this writing, was making a good recovery. He expected to be absent from his classes at the Seminary for a period of about two weeks.