News From Our Churches

Since a news editor merely writes about events that happen and does not make them happen, the news in our November 15 column concerning the newly elected members of the Reformed Free Publishing Association Board is of no effect. John N. Dykstra, Cornelius Pastoor, and Robert Garvelink are theretiring board members rather than the newly-elected ones as was erroneously reported. My apologies to you gentlemen, and to the following real newly-elected board members of the R.F.P.A.: Gerard Bylsma, William Corson, and Arnold Dykstra. 

Concerning our calling churches we learn, that Rev. Houck, who is presently home missionary in East Lansing, Michigan has declined the call of Isabel, South Dakota; and from a trio of Reverends Bruinsma, Kamps, and Kuiper, Redlands, California extended a call to Rev. Bruinsma of our Faith Congregation in Jenison, Michigan. 

Recent bulletins indicate that the annual process of selecting new office bearers is again in full swing. While in most of our churches this means replacing the retiring office bearers with an equal number of men, from a bulletin of our Trinity Church Houston, Texas we learn that: “The Consistory has decided to add a third elder to aid in our time of adjustment and assimilation.” What is referred to here is, of course, the large increase in their membership which we reported in our November 1 news. 

Apparently quite a large number of the membership of our churches participate in what is called “Discussion Groups.” For the most part this activity takes place on a once-a-month basis with those involved gathering in homes in small groups after the evening worship service to fellowship with one another by means of a discussion on a predetermined topic. The informal setting lends itself to lively, spiritually uplifting discussions on a variety of worthwhile topics, e.g. “The Signs of Christ’s Return,” “Christian Giving,” “Singing as part of our Worship,” “Bible Translations,” “Prayer, ” “The Sabbath Day and Its Observance and Preparation,” “Christmas Observance,” “Church Extension, ” “Self Examination,” “Discipline in the Home and School,” and countless others. Some groups have also discussed various pamphlets and books. 

In the school news department we learn that, prior to the beginning of 1981-82 school year, our Hull, Iowa school held a “Teachers Welcome.” Apparently more than teachers were welcome, however, because the bulletin announcement concerning this activity concluded by saying: “Everyone (emphasis mine, C.K.) is welcome to come and enjoy an evening of fellowship.” 

On November 18 our Adams Street Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan invited parents, grandparents, and friends to attend a Visit Adams Day. 

Our Hope School in Walker, Michigan presented an all-school program in our Hudsonville Church on the evening of November 20. The theme of their program was, “Thanks be to God.” 

The Twenty-Seventh Annual Convention of The Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Institute was held at Covenant Christian High School of Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 5 and 6. Schools from Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Texas were represented. Those interested in a detailed account—with pictures—of that activity should be sure to obtain a copy of the winter edition of Perspectives in Covenant Education(a publication of the P.R. Teachers’ Institute). 

While attending the above-mentioned convention, a discussion with Mr. Sugg of the Houston, Texas school confirmed what Rev. Bekkering had written on a bulletin which he sent to me a few months ago, namely, that due to an increase in student enrollment, Miss Anita De Jong from South Holland, Illinois is now helping with kindergarten and 1st grade.” Rev. Bekkering also wrote that, “the little house in the pasture is rapidly taking form as the future school house.” Apparently additional students have made plant expansion necessary as well. Pictures that Mr.Sugg brought to the teachers’ convention verified that it is indeed a “house in the pasture.” According to Mr. Sugg, one feature of their new school is a built-in—or should we say, live-in—school entrance test: all students must be able to get past the cow to attend school. 

We conclude this column with some wonderful news: Our brothers and sisters in Singapore plan to organize as an earthly manifestation of the Body of Christ on December 27. We rejoice with them!