News From Our Churches

As a follow-up to our rather extensive list of trios and calls in the last issue, we can report the following: Rev. Van Baren has declined the call extended to him by the Redlands’ congregation, and the call from Grand Rapids’ Hope Church has gone to Rev. Decker, who, as you probably recall, is also considering the call from Randolph, Wisconsin.

There was a special “Announcement” in the December 1 issue of the Standard Bearer, to the effect that Seminarian Joostens has been “licensed to speak a word of edification in the Protestant Reformed Churches.” In connection with that, we could pass along the following little item from the November 28 bulletin of Southwest Church: “We welcome Prof. H. Hanko and Sem. M. Joostens to our pulpit today. We are especially happy that Seminarian Joostens, a member of our congregation, will deliver his first sermon to us. We pray that the Lord may continue to bless him (and all our students) as they study to attain this high and holy office of minister of the Word.”

We learn from Hull’s bulletin that the consistory of Rev. Kortering’s congregation has decided to increase its size by one elder and one deacon. Probably of even greater interest than thedecision, is one of the grounds, namely, that “the increase in the size of the congregation warrants it.”

In other news from Hull, the consistory there, at the request of the Hudsonville diaconate, took a collection to help defray expenses involved in shipping to Jamaica the used clothing collected in the recent drive. In glancing through the stack of bulletins received during the last several months of 1971, I was impressed by the variety of interesting topics for discussions and/or speeches in the various societies throughout our denomination. With the hope that you’ll find them as interesting as I did, I’ll mention a few, along with the name of the church in which they were considered. “Proper Sabbath Observance,” by a Hull society; “Separation of Church and State,” in Loveland; “Speaking in Tongues,” in Grand Rapids’ Hope Church; “Pentecostalism and NeoPentecostalism,” in Southeast; and three rather lengthy titles from Southwest, “If it is wrong for a Christian to let out a child for adoption, is it also wrong to adopt a child?”; “How must we evaluate the missionary work of those who are not Reformed?”; and “How does God reveal Himself in the animate and inanimate creation?” A couple of League Meeting topics were “An Evaluation of the Jesus’ Movement,” and “Campus Crusade and Modern Evangelism”; and, for an Office Bearers’ Conference, “Is it proper to use the office of the Deaconate to collect funds for various causes we represent, such as, the schools, theStandard Bearer, etc.”

Sunday bulletins from our Kalamazoo Church give, almost invariably, plenty of evidence of having been thoughtfully written, in order to make them thought provoking. Take, for example, the following item from the December 5 bulletin? “Last Thursday morning the pastor was again invited by Rev. H. Minnema, instructor in ‘Reformed Doctrine’ at KCHS, to speak at three of the morning classes. When the class in ‘Ref Dot’ gets to the lesson on ‘Common Grace,’ Rev. Minnema usually has the pastor over to debate ‘Grace Always Particular’ vs. ‘Common Grace.’ Very lively and good-spirited discussions took place in all three classes. Common Grace trends show that there is no more Kuyperian common grace, no more Berkhotian common grace. It is all Heynsian, thoroughly Arminian common grace now at KCHS.” 

The “pastor” is Rev. Harbach, of course.

We would like to thank the Standard Bearerbusiness manager for furnishing this column with the following interesting and most welcome report: 

“It might prove of interest to our readers to learn that more than 25 new subscriptions have been added to the mailing list of our STANDARD BEARER during the past three months. We are growing, and that’s a sign, a healthy sign, that much ‘good food’ for thought and study appears on the pages of our publication! 

“The majority of the new subscribers reside here in ‘the States.’ One of the exceptions is the following: A regular subscriber, residing in Nova Scotia, Canada, was sent his renewal notice a month or so ago. He (a Scotsman) promptly sent in his renewal payment of $7.00. He also included with his remittance an equal amount for a one year’s gift subscription to a person residing in The Netherlands. A transaction such as this creates a great deal of interest in the Business Office of our magazine. (If the subscriber in Canada reads this column, perhaps he would give our readers an explanation as to how this came about. We will be most happy to insert his answer in a future issue).”