Rev. J. Slopsema has received the call to be pastor of our church in Randolph, Wisconsin. Randolph’s trio also included Candidate Kenneth Koole and Rev. Rodney Miersma. Rev. M. Joostens of our Faith Church has declined the call to be pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Christchurch, New Zealand. Rev. Gise Van Baren has accepted the call to serve as pastor of our Hudsonville Church. Rev. Van Baren has served First Church in Grand Rapids for about 12 years.
Several bulletins have carried news concerning the work of our missionary pastor, Rev. Robert Harbach. The Faith Church bulletin carried the following from one of Rev. Harbach’s letters “After about 2,532 miles from Grand Rapids, we arrived safely in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia on August 30. We immediately began regular church services in a Holyrood House in the city, preaching the Gospel to a small group of just over a dozen. . . . We are thankful to the Lord and happy in Him to be back in the field and busily serving Him in the cause of the Gospel. . . . Weather is beautiful and warm. Roses and fall flowers are much in evidence. We enjoy God’s glorious handiwork in creation. Most of all His presence and promises are ever faithful, ever sure. Sincerely in our Sovereign God. . . .” Apparently, all the ‘red tape’ involved in granting Rev. Harbach a work permit in Canada is not quite accomplished as yet. Such things as Medical Clearances and the like must be rubber stamped, examined, and slowly passed from office to office. Meanwhile, Rev. and Mrs. Harbach are ‘moteling’ it.
Rev. Bekkering sent in some news to end the news “blackout” from Houston, as he put it. The Bekkerings have been rather busy getting situated in their new home and in a new congregation—The Trinity Protestant Reformed Church of Houston, Texas. Plans are being put in place to hold a Reformation Day Lecture in Houston. The new Trinity congregation has “already experienced the communion of saints that we have with the other members of our denomination in that Rev. Miersma saw to it that Houston received part of the communion service that formerly belonged to our Forbes, North Dakota, congregation. That, sort of, keeps it in the family,” Rev. Bekkering also writes that he and his congregation are looking forward to having visitors from the North come and worship with them as they enjoy the mild Houston winters. As most of our churches have, Houston has begun catechism classes for the children. In addition to classes for the various age groups, Rev. Bekkering scheduled 15 minutes of singing between classes, for “all the children together.” Candidate Koole preached for the Houston congregation during the months of July and August until Rev. Bekkering arrived.
And, speaking of Candidate Koole, he and his wife rejoice in the birth of a son, Justin Michael on September 10.
Faith Church in Jenison, Michigan, is making good progress toward completing a final set of plans for the building of their new sanctuary. The first of these blue prints was on display for the congregation.
Rev. Herman Veldman marked two rather special anniversaries during the month of September—one of which also involved Mrs. Veldman. Not only did Rev. and Mrs. Veldman celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, but Rev. Veldman also marked the 45th anniversary of his ordination to the ministry of the Gospel.
The Council of our Southwest Church sent their pastor, Rev. Veldman, to Skowhegan, Maine, to investigate a report of increased interest there. Rev. and Mrs. Veldman planned to be gone for three weeks.
Southwest Council scheduled a special congregational meeting on October 6 to adopt the final plans for the new church building they plan to build soon. The recently completed drive in the Southwest congregation resulted in $14,505 in cash and pledges for their construction program.
The congregation of our church in South Holland, Illinois, was canvassed recently for orders for the recently announced book by Rev. H. Hoeksema, When I Survey. . . . fifty-eight orders were placed for the book—a very good response.
Last month, you may recall, we made mention of the fact that the Standard Bearer had added a new reader in the Republic of Nauru, a place which the U. S. Postal Service did not seem to know anything about. After some research, our business manager located Nauru in the central Pacific Ocean, just south of the equator at long. 166º, 56º E. The island’s population is about 7,000 on a land area of about 8.2 sq. miles. The Nauruans have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, due to rich phosphate deposits on the island.