News From Our Churches

While our Pella and our Hope, Michigan churches rejoice in the recent installations of their’ new pastors, Reverends Lanting and Flikkema respectively, our Redlands congregation has extended another call, this one to Rev. Koole, who currently serves in our church of Randolph, Wisconsin. 

Our “retired” ministers continue to supply the Redlands pulpit as they continue to wait upon the Lord for an undershepherd. Rev. H. Veldman, who has been preaching catechism sermons for our Hope, Michigan congregation during their year and a half vacancy, plans, the Lord willing, to preach for Redlands following Rev. Heys’ “tour of duty” there. Whether or not these plans are carried out, however, may hinge on Rev. Koole’s answer to the Redlands call. 

Prior to his work in Redlands Rev. Heys preached at the Bradenton Christian School in Bradenton, Florida on four consecutive Sundays. A report of that work from the consistory of our First Church in Grand Rapids informs us of a considerable amount of interest there “in distinctively Reformed preaching and dissatisfaction with what is presented in other churches in the area. . . .” 

Still in the realm of our “retired” ministers, we find that Rev. and Mrs. Lubbers have again been sent to Skowhegan, Maine under the auspices of our Pella consistory. You may recall that Rev. Lubbers spent a few months in Skowhegan last fall. If you would like to correspond with them—which I’m sure they would greatly appreciate-send your letters to: 47 Main Street, Skowhegan, Maine 04976. 

How carefully do you read the Standard Bearer? Do you remember reading an article of Rev. Heys in which he alluded to the desirability of having the S.B. and other worthwhile materials available on cassette tape for the benefit of those who because of the infirmities of the flesh have difficulty reading? Well, it now appears that that desire may become a reality. Our Southeast Church in Grand Rapids is experimenting with and checking into the feasibility of an S.B. taping project. At this writing the February 15 issue has already been taped, and is nearly ready for distribution. The committee in charge of this project is eager to get these tapes in the hands—or should I say cassette recorders—of those who would find them helpful. They ask all who would like to receive these tapes for themselves or another to contact immediately Mr. Michael Engelsma, 2720 Madison Blvd. S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507. Those who receive the tapes might like to know that the voice they hear is that of Mr. Gary VanDerSchaaf, member of Southeast Church and teacher at Adams St. Protestant Reformed Christian School. 

Four consecutive Kalamazoo bulletins make reference to the recent occupation of their new church edifice. In the February 8 bulletin we read: “Today with thankfulness to God we begin our services in our new building. It is the answer to many prayers and efforts; and we can only pray that God will bless us as we worship here together and give glory to His Name.” A dedication service is planned for the evening of March 6 with Prof. H.C. Hoeksema scheduled to speak. 

In our February 15 news we wrote concerning the emissaries sent to Jamaica by First Church. More recent information reveals that the emissaries, “attended the Classis meeting of our Jamaican Churches, worshiped with each of the seven congregations, met with the ministers and officebearers, and dealt with the many needs they found among the people. The emissaries bring greetings from our brethren and sisters in Jamaica to our congregation and churches.” I count it a special privilege to pass these Jamaican greetings on to our churches. 

More greetings I am privileged to extend to our churches: these from Barnsley, England. A little background in this case might be helpful. It begins with Prof. H. Hanko who has for some time corresponded with a certain Pastor Rawson of the Measbro Dyke Evangelical Church. When Prof. Hanko heard that Mr. and Mrs. C. Kregel and Mr. and Mrs. J. Swart, members of First Church, planned to go to England, he suggested they visit Barnsley. Well, they did visit Barnsley, thoroughly enjoyed their stay there, and have since had contact with Pastor Rawson via letters and tapes. One of those tapes to the Kregels contained a recording of their New Year’s Day service. In the course of the service the pastor reminded his congregation of the Lord’s blessing in giving them opportunity to visit with the Kregels and Swarts a few months earlier. He went on to say, “Will you join me this morning in sending greetings to the Protestant Reformed Churches of the United States of America.” 

I wonder if I would be overstepping my bounds were I to send our greetings to Jamaica and Barnsley in return? Certainly these last few news items remind us of our confession: “I believe an holy catholic church.”