News From Our Churches

No reports have been received as yet on the proceedings of the meetings of Classis East and Classis West held last October. Perhaps they will arrive in time to present in the Christmas issue of the magazine. 

A picture postcard was received from Rev. John Heys who is now in far-off New Zealand. The card arrived in seven days. That’s not too bad for traveling half way around the world. Rev. Heys wrote to ask that Standard Bearer readers be advised of his address: 449 Halswell Rd., Christchurch 3, New Zealand. Rev. and Mrs. Heys welcome mail. Rev. Heys advises that airmail takes 10-14 days and surface mail a month or more. Rev. and Mrs. Heys have been very busy—and very well received by the Christchurch congregation. Rev. Heys is serving for about seven to nine months as “minister on loan” from our churches to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Christchurch. Judging from the postcard, Christchurch appears to be located in a valley with snow-capped mountain peaks in the background. A beautiful scene. 

Another of our ministers who would appreciate hearing from you is Rev. Robert Harbach. Rev. Harbach is serving as home missionary of our churches in Victoria. Rev. and Mrs. Harbach’s address is: 325 – 55 Bay Street, Victoria, B.C., Canada V9A 6X9.

Rev. Harbach writes that the Victoria group is now blessed with an open door to radio work. A fifteen-minute program called “Bible Truth Meditations,” produced by Rev. Harbach and sponsored by our Mission Committee, is broadcast from KARI, Blaine, Washington, every Saturday morning at 10:45. The very first broadcast was enthusiastically received by three persons in Nanaimo, some 80 miles “up island.” (That’s Vancouver Island, y’know!) 

The Victoria group had been singing the doxology, “May the Grace . . . ,” at the close of the Sunday afternoon services. But the group decided this would be more appropriate at other meetings, those not distinctively worship services. So it was replaced with the old doxology of Psalter # 197, “Now Blessed Be Jehovah God.” This was done out of the conviction that as much as possible, if not exclusively, Psalms should be sung in formal worship services. 

There is more news concerning denominational mission activities. From the Edmonton bulletin we learn that Rev. Marvin Kamps, pastor of our church in Doon, Iowa, has been asked to go to Singapore for six weeks. Rev. James Slopsema, pastor of our church in Edgerton, Minnesota, spent some time in Singapore earlier this year at the request of a group of young people who are interested in the Reformed truth. 

Rev. Mark Hoeksema, pastor of our church in Hull, Iowa, and Rev. Wayne Bekkering planned to leave on November 2 for Birmingham, Alabama. The Mission Committee received a letter from a group of interested families in Birmingham requesting the labors of a missionary from our churches on a permanent basis. The Committee asked Rev. Bekkering and Rev. Hoeksema to investigate this field by means of preaching and teaching, a work for which their respective consistories have sent them. 

There were several more special observances of Reformation Day beside those previously reported in Grand Rapids and South Holland. Rev. Harbach lectured in Victoria on Romans 8:29. His title was “The Fountain of Predestination.” The Redlands young people sponsored a Reformation Day Singspiration after the evening worship service on October 29. Our church in Loveland, Colorado commemorated the day with a lecture by their pastor, Rev. George Lanting, entitled “Preserving Our Reformation Heritage.” The Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Barker (Houston), Texas, sponsored a Reformation Day lecture given by their pastor. Rev. Bekkering spoke on “The Reformation—A Return to Preaching.” The young people in Hull, Iowa also sponsored a Reformation Singspiration on Sunday evening, October 29. The evening featured a brief speech by Rev. Slopsema and some special numbers. 

The Reformed Witness Committee of Iowa and Minnesota sponsored a lecture in the Sioux Center Community Building on October 11. Rev. Hoeksema spoke on the topic “Our Responsibility Toward Christ’s Church.”

A Fall Ladies League Meeting was scheduled in Hull .on October 26. Rev. Hoeksema was to speak on the topic, “Safety for such as trust in the Lord.” 

The October 22 Hull bulletin carried this note: “The offering this afternoon is for the Organ Fund. The deacons think that we could use a good collection for our Organ Fund, unless we like singing with the piano.” It sounds as if they have a “tired” organ in Hull.