News From Our Churches

“We must derive our goal from our basis of Christian education: the covenant of God with believers and their children. The foundation determines the completed structure that stands on that foundation. On the foundation of a chicken coop you do not build the Sears Tower. Our aim in Christian education must be that contained in and expressed by the covenant-command of Jehovah to believing parents.” 

We hope the above tidbit taken from chapter five of the monograph, Reformed Education, written by Rev. Engelsma will serve to stimulate those of us who havecopies to reread it, and those who do not have it to obtain a copy. The monograph is a result of a “mini-course” taught by Rev. Engelsma to Protestant Reformed teachers back in 1975. For those who might be interested we include the chapter headings: 

1. “The Covenant-Basis of Christian Education” 

2. “Scripture in the Schools” 

3. “Reformed Education and Culture” 

4. “The Protestant Reformed Teacher” 

5. “The Goal of Reformed Education” 

The reason we include this information in the Standard Bearer news is to get the news out that this valuable monograph is once again available… thanks to the people who see to the publication of our young people’s magazine, the Beacon Lights. Copies can be obtained by sending $1.50 plus $.60 for postage and handling to: Reformed Education, 1490 Burton, S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. 

Incidentally, while you are sending to that address anyway, you might just as well send along another $1.50 plus another $.60 for more postage and handling and obtain the monograph by Rev. C. Hanko,Leaving Father and Mother. Hopefully the title gives away the subject of this one. 

About one of our calling churches we learn that, following Rev. Bekkering’s decline of their call, Isabel, South Dakota has extended a call to “come over and help us” to Rev. Houck, missionary pastor in Lansing, Michigan. 

Upon completion of their family visiting for the year, our Southeast Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan announced their thankfulness to God for the evidence of “a spirit of unity in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In that bulletin announcement they included this quote from John Calvin’s writings concerning our calling to endeavor to keep the unity of the church: “This means that no increase is of use which does not correspond to the whole body. That man is mistaken who desires his own separate growth. For what would it profit a leg or an arm if it grew to an enormous size, or for the mouth to be stretched wider? It would merely be afflicted with a harmful tumor; so if we wish to be considered in Christ, let no man be anything for himself, but let us all be whatever we are for others. This is accomplished by love; and where love does not reign, there is no edification of the church, but a mere scattering.” 

Further concerning house visiting, from the bulletins I receive it becomes clear that there are in our churches different ways of scheduling house visitation: while some conduct their visits for all their members in the fall of the year, others visit one fourth of the congregation just prior to each celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and still others seem to have it continuously. 

It’s too bad all of our readers do not have the opportunity to see the bulletins from around the country that are sent to me. Quite a treat it is to look them over and see what’s happening in our churches from New Jersey to California and from Edmonton, Canada, to Texas. Even some of the envelopes that the bulletins come in are interesting—like the one bearing the burden of four postage stamps (each of different value) that I recently received. Obviously some of us are finding it difficult to keep up with those postal rate increases.