News From Our Churches

Rev. R.C. Harbach, of Lynden, has received a call from our Kalamazoo congregation.

Rev. G. Vanden Berg declined the call which came to him from Southwest Church. Their new trio consists of the Revs. H. Hanko, R.C. Harbach and. H. Veldman.

Rev. H. Hanko accepted the call to Doon, Iowa.

The Radio Committee of the Reformed Witness Hour hereby informs the listeners that the broadcasts of our Distinctively Reformed Radio Ministry can also be heard, the Lord willing, beginning Sunday, Feb. 3, over Station W.J.B.L. Holland, Michigan. This station broadcasts over both A.M. (1260 Kc) and F.M. (94.5 Mg) with 5,000 and 37,000 watts respectively, and primarily covers the shoreline from South Haven to North Muskegon and reaches listeners beyond Grand Rapids, and sometimes north to Cadillac. The time of the broadcast over W.J.B.L. has tentatively been scheduled for 3 p.m. The Radio Committee is anxious to hear from the radio audience in this area regarding its reaction relative to the reception over this station. Address your comments to The Reformed Witness Hour, P.O. Box 1230, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Hope’s last bulletin of the past year gave some statistics regarding membership gains and tabulated the results to be 141 communicants and 160 baptized members. Right under that paragraph Hope’s pastor, Rev. H. Hanko, reflected upon the blessings of the past year and (disregarding numerical growth) very soberly summed them up as follows: “As a year begins we have many tokens of the favor of God upon us. Especially has He kept us in His truth and given us a year of spiritual prosperity in the Lord. Let us commit to Him in faith the days that are yet to come; for He will continue to be our God and our Guide even unto the end.” Let us, in that same faith, apply this observation and heed this admonition in each of our congregations, that as a denomination we may confess at the end of this new year that we have enjoyed spiritual prosperity.

Smuggled in with Hope’s contribution of bulletins we found, to our joy, a printed copy of their Sunday School Christmas Program. Looking over the titles of the numbers rendered we observed that the children did not merely sing of the birth of the King, hue with the aid of several Psalter numbers they succeeded to end their rejoicing with “The Enthroned Christ” of No. 200. That program, too, might have been included in Rev. Hanko’s thanks for “spiritual prosperity.”

The Adams St. School Mothers’ Club began its 1963 season with a meeting featuring a speech by Rev. H. Hoeksema on “The Triple Alliance,” the three allies being, Church, Home and School. This certainly was an excellent way to begin a new year in the realization of the parents’ responsibility in the education of their children according to their vows spoken at baptism. Bringing these three sources into complete harmony should be “profitable” that “the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

The Christmastime Beacon Lights Hymn sing was held in First Church Dec. 23. Though the weather was wintry and stormy the young people welcomed a large crowd in First’s auditorium. Dave Ondersma led in opening prayer, and introduced Charles Westra, of Southeast Church, who led the singing of Christmas carols. Added features were, Arnold Dykstra singing “Birthday of the King” and “O come, O come, Immanuel”; and, Don Knoper and his trumpet who played a medley of three songs, including, “Christ Shall Have Dominion.” This last number was rendered with many golden grace notes running through the melody. Sharon Prince accompanied the trumpet solo at the piano. To bring the evening to a close Mr. Westra called for three Psalter numbers from the audience. Rev. C. Hanko led in closing prayer. If a “scheduled visit” kept you from this hymn sing we venture you were the loser, for what better way can one spend an hour after church than in the company of our singing young people.

First Church’s Sunday School Teachers were very happy with the rendition of their Christmas Program Dec. 25. The co-operation of the parents was evidenced by the fluency with which the children performed their parts in the program.

Lynden was the only church which printed a special Christmas Day bulletin. One half had the usual form for worship and sermon topic, with announcements of Old Year’s and New Year’s services. The other half carried the children’s Christmas program. The program also featured a young people’s class of confessing members who added to the Christmas praise.

At the same time that the Beacon Lights Hymn sing was held in First Church (allowing for the time differential) Redlands was also gathered for the same purpose, and their offering was also forBeacon Lights. The young people sponsored this event.

Although Randolph has no Sunday School, the consistory furnishes the parents with our Sunday School paper, “Our Guide,” for their children’s use at home.

Oak Lawn’s Ladies’ Society was invited to meet with the ladies of South Holland Dec. 12. Rev. Vanden Berg gave a talk which was discussed after recess.

. . . . see you in church.