News From Our Churches

The last in a series of lectures in the Grand Rapids area was held in First Church on April 9. Rev. G. Lubbers, the chairman of the meeting, mentioned that the committee was happy with the subject chosen. We find ourselves living in the last hour—that is, between the cross and the return of Christ. Since we are a church of hope, the topic, “The Return of the Glorified Christ,” is of utmost importance and of very real interest to us. Rev. Lubbers also mentioned that the committee was happy to have as a speaker, Rev. G. VanBaren. That these feelings were justified was made abundantly clear in the course of the speech. Rev. VanBaren tried to impress on the minds of his listeners an awareness of the nearness of the end. We, too, are often so involved with worldly affairs that we ignore the fact that it won’t be long before Christ returns—possibly, even likely, in the lifetime of some of us. All the signs of the times point to the fact that the end is rapidly approaching. The Word of God emphasizes in connection with all these signs to watch, and in watching, to look up, for our deliverance is at hand. 

Since we’re dealing with church extension work, anyway, we could quote this from Hudsonville’s bulletin: “The congregation is urged to cooperate with the consistory in submitting names for the distribution of Protestant Reformed Literature. The church has no other calling than to preach the gospel. All our members must be led by the desire that the truth we love reach others. Again, the congregation is urged to submit names.” 

Along these same lines we find that in First Church of Grand Rapids a “mimeographed bulletin is available on the table at the front entrance. This is entitled ‘The Inspiration of Scripture’. This, too, can be used as a means of showing others what we confess to be the truth of God’s Word.” 

The Sunday School Pamphlet racks in this same church are going to have to be replaced. The old ones don’t have enough compartments. The three latest additions are pamphlets on labor unions, creation, and ecumenicity by Revs. Heys, VanBaren, and H. Hanko respectively. Requests for these pamphlets come from as far away as England and Australia!

Concerning our missionary efforts in Jamaica which have obviously captured the interest of the young people: On Friday evening, April 24, the Young People’s Society of Southwest Church planned to sponsor a program featuring Rev. Lubbers and his pictures of his recent labors in Jamaica. And on April 26 the Holland Young People’s Society planned a “Welcome Home” Singspiration for their pastor, Rev. J. Heys. Rev. Heys was due to arrive home about April 21. He writes that even though there have been, understandably, some disappointments and griefs, “it has been an enjoyable stay here.”

It seems that First Church of Grand Rapids was finding it rather difficult to continue financing a large share of the radio broadcasting of our denomination. When that became apparent, plenty of help was immediately forthcoming from other churches. We find proof of that in Hudsonville’s bulletin which contained a note of appreciation received from the consistory of First Church. It was an expression of “joy and gratitude” for the generous gift to “help us carry out our program of Radio Broadcasting.” It also noted that this gift, “plus the promised collections to be taken in our other churches, will quite likely care for the deficit in our budget for this work.” It’s noteworthy that there’s seldom, in our churches, a lack of support when a real need exists.

This note, yet, from Rev. R. Decker and family to the South Holland congregation, as found in that church’s bulletin. “We take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all of you for the warm reception we have received. We appreciate, too, our parsonage and the work that has been done to make it a comfortable home. The Christian hospitality and kindness of the congregation have made us feel a part of the congregation. Under the blessing of our Covenant God we look forward to a fruitful pastorate in your fellowship.” This bespeaks an already warm relationship between Pastor Decker and his new congregation.