Our calling churches (Redlands, California and Isabel, South Dakota) continue to call undershepherds to come over and help them. From a trio of Reverends Engelsma, Kamps, and Kuiper, Redlands extended a call to Rev. Kamps, pastor of our Doon, Iowa congregation. Since that call was extended, Rev. Kamps has requested a two-week extension in his consideration of it. Isabel has called Rev. Moore of our Edmonton, Alberta congregation from a trio also including Reverends Kamps and Kortering. (Since the initial writing of this column, we have learned that Rev. Moore has accepted the call to Isabel.)
The following three unrelated news items come our way via Hudsonville, Michigan bulletins of December and January: First, “Radio: The consistory expects to begin broadcasting one of our sermons each Saturday at 9 p.m., beginning March 14, over W.J.B.L., F.M. Tell others about this coming broadcast.” Since this news column should reach our west Michigan readers before March 14, I. take this opportunity to pass that information along to all our readers within the WJBL listening area.
Second, “Visitors: We expect to have with us this evening the Rev. Tom Reid and his wife from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. The Rev. Reid is a U.S. citizen who is married to a young lady from France and serves a congregation in the Republic, of Ireland. They have one young daughter who claims citizenship in three countries. We welcome this brother into our midst and pray God’s blessing also upon them as they return this week to Ireland.” If you would like to refresh your memory concerning the Association for Christian Education in Ireland of which Rev. Reid is treasurer, you should reread the September 15, 1981 S.B. news. Due to this association’s interest in establishing parental schools in the Republic of Ireland, Rev. Reid arranged to meet with a number of Protestant Reformed teachers during his visit to the states. At that time he mentioned that the organization of which he is a part plans, the Lord willing, to open a school in the fall of 1983.
Third, “Writing? For those wishing to write a card or note to our missionaries during this season (or anytime, parenthesis mine C.K.), their addresses are: Rev. Arie den Hartog, 22N Block D, Pacific Mansion, River Valley Close, Singapore 0923. Rev. Steven Houck, 5737 Pine Ridge, Haslett, MI 48840. Rev. Ronald Van Overloop, 6875 Sunny Dell Dr., Hueytown, AL 35023. Rev. C. Hanko, 400 20th East, Apt. 2, Bradenton, FL 33505.”
If I may, I’d like to add to that list Rev. & Mrs. Lubbers and Rev. & Mrs. Heys, Savanna La-Mar, Jamaica, West Indies.
If you check this column of the past few Standard Bearers, you will find that the hottest news item in recent issues has been information leading up to the organization of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore. And now that they are organized we have some more news of interest, this time concerning those organizational activities in Singapore on January 24. For that special occasion a booklet entitled, “Institution of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore” was printed. In that booklet is found a lengthy history of the organization, he last two paragraphs of which read as follows:
When one views the history of the ERCS until her institution, one cannot but confess that it is all of Sovereign Grace. From the beginning, God planted the seed which initially appeared as an ugly shoot. Trials and toil, hope and joy were the portion of this young band as they trod the pilgrim way together. As the tree began to take shape, God introduced the Reformed Faith at first in a trickle and then in its soul-overwhelming torrents. God had prepared a vessel of unworthy clay to bear the treasures of His truth.
On the day of institution, 24th January 1982, the members of the ERCS will read the Resolution of Membership together from their hearts, a unified confession of their calling to be formed into the Church of Jesus Christ. All that they declare, they shall endeavor to do, not by their own frail strength but by the Grace of God. God has led them thus far, who can doubt that God will lead them on until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.
Also in that booklet is a “Founder Membership List of ERCS” which numbers 101 persons (a Hope of Walker, Michigan bulletin says 102), 12 of whom are married. These members read at their organizational service the “Resolution of Membership” referred to in the above quotation. Following are the first two paragraphs of that resolution:
We, who in times past were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world are now made nigh, only by the blood of Christ; such that we who were once not a people are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. We confess according to the Holy Scriptures as from the depth of our own hearts that it is not of ourselves that we are thus, for we were dead, but of God Who by His Holy Spirit made us alive. Our boast is in God alone for it is by grace that we are saved, not of works; not of the power of our own will, but of God.
Seeing therefore that God Who chose us from before the foundation of the world is pleased to gather us as a Church, built upon the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets contained in the Holy Scriptures with Christ as the cornerstone, we seek to be joined to the same. I believe in holy catholic church.