News From Our Churches

Candidates Tom Miersma and Jon Smith have received and accepted calls from our Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Edgerton, Minnesota congregations, respectively. Before the news of candidate Miersma’s answer to the call from Edmonton reached South Holland, Illinois their bulletin announced: “Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches has been postponed to Tuesday, September 21, so that one, or possibly two candidates may also be examined at this Classis.” The result of all this could be a very unusual situation for the Protestant Reformed Churches in America: a time in which none of the parsonages of our churches are vacant. Though my memory of the statistics may be deficient, to my recollection at least, this is something new for our churches.

“We thank the Lord our Covenant God that soon He will allow us to open the doors of Christian education.” By the time you read this column those words written by Rev. Joostens, pastor of First Church in Grand Rapids, to his congregation would sound better in thepast rather than future tense of the verb. Nevertheless, it is fitting at this time that we consider the faithfulness of our Covenant God with respect to our schools. Nearly all of the grade school children in our congregation have available to them instruction in our own parental schools. In addition, in the Grand Rapids, Michigan and Lynden, Washington areas a Protestant Reformed high school education is also available. Further, steps are being taken in other areas toward the establishment of parentally operated Protestant Reformed schools: 

1) The Society for Protestant Reformed Education of Houston, Texas has been busy working on a constitution for a parental school.

2) Recent bulletin announcements from our Randolph, Wisconsin congregation reveal that the school society, there continues to labor toward a school of their own. 

3) A society and board for secondary education continues to labor in South Holland, Illinois.

4) Although the plans for the building of a Hope Satellite School in Hudsonville, Michigan have been placed on hold, it seems only a matter of time before this project will be reactivated. 

The life of our schools continues to be enhanced by the work of an organization called the Federation of Protestant Reformed School Societies. One of the purposes of this organization is to, “promote the development, understanding, and presentation of distinctive Christian education.” In keeping with that purpose a summer mini-course with the general theme, Teaching Our Children Scriptural Values, was planned and held at the Southwest Protestant Reformed Church of Grandville, Michigan in August. Rev. Heys, pastor emeritus of our Holland, Michigan church, presented three lectures on the aforementioned theme: 1) “The Covenant Child, A Divinely Privileged Child”; 2) “The Christian School’s Calling Because of this Privilege”; 3) “Cultivating Thankfulness in the Divinely Privileged Child.” It would be impossible for me to review those lectures in this column, so I urge those who are interested to obtain the magazine in which these lectures will be printed, i.e., Perspectives in Covenant Education. Send to: Perspectives, Protestant Reformed Teachers’ Institute, c/o Covenant Christian High School, 1401 Ferndale Ave., SW., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504. 

One final school-related item yet: A back-to-school thought from an August 3 1, 1980 Pella, Iowa bulletin: “Discipline in the school is only effective if it is reinforced at home. The old rule of, ‘If you get a whooping at school, you’ll get another one when you get home’ is valid. If the parents are lax regarding discipline, then no amount of strict discipline at school will (humanly speaking) really change the child’s life.” From The Bible Educator, July, 1980.

This is the last issue of volume 58 of the Standard Bearer, and it will be the last in which the letters CK will conclude it. Many thanks to those who have so faithfully sent bulletins and other church and school related materials my way. Please keep up the good work; but now send it to the address of my successor: 

Mr. David Harbach 

4930 Ivanrest Ave. Apt. B 

Grandville, Michigan 49418