News From Our Churches

Rev. Engelsma declined the call extended to him from our Redlands congregation. 

A glance through the bulletins leaves no doubt that this is an especially busy season for our ministers. In addition to the catechism classes and society meetings that are back in full swing, there seem to be numerous special public addresses that require their services as speakers. Following is a list in brief of some of these engagements: On October 1 Rev. DeVries spoke to the Men’s and Women’s League of the Grand Rapids area on the topic, “The Implications of our Personal Confession ‘I Believe.'”. Rev. C. Hanko spoke on October 10 to the Hope School P.T.A. of Walker, Michigan on the topic, “Teaching our Children to Pray.” “Religious Fervor: Why is it Waning?” was the title of Prof. Hanko’s address to the Mr. & Mrs. League on October 21. Reverends Van Overloop and Van Baren spoke at a Calvinistic Conference sponsored by our mission in Birmingham, Alabama on the evenings of October 20 and 21. Both ministers were scheduled to speak at both evening’s activities. A conference there with a similar format was reported some time ago by our former news editor. 

At that time he expressed concern for the audience since neither of the speakers at that conference, i.e. Rev. Van Overloop and Rev. Engelsma, “are noted for their brevity.” We will not speculate as to the need for a similar concern in this case. At the time of this writing (October 27) numerous speeches in keeping with the Reformation are planned, possibly prepared, but not yet delivered. Prof. Hoeksema and his wife have a busy weekend in store for them in Houston. On Friday, October 31, he will lecture on the topic “Wittenberg, Geneva and Dordt.” Their Saturday morning schedule includes a speech by Mrs. Hoeksema on the subject, “The Godly Discipline of Our Children,” and another lecture by Prof. Hoeksema, this one about the history of the Synod of Dordt. Their weekend is to be capped with the professor preaching for both services at our Trinity Protestant Reformed Church. Rev. R. Hanko will speak on October 31 at the United Methodist Church of Franklin Lakes in New Jersey on the topic “Remembering the Reformation.” “Reformed Yet Always Reforming” is Prof. Hanko’s topic for October 30 at Hudsonville Prot. Ref. Church. The Lansing, Michigan mission is sponsoring the lecture, “The Foolishness of Preaching,” on October 29 by Prof. Decker. Also on October 29, Rev. Kamps is scheduled to speak in Sioux Falls and Rev. Kortering at our Loveland Church. Rev. Van Overloop hasanother double dose: on October 27 at Illiana Chr. High School and on October 31 at Chicago Chr. High School, he plans to speak on the theme, “The Comfort of the Gospel of Grace.” Incidentally, a South Holland bulletin reports that, after preaching for their Nov. 2 services, Rev. Van Overloop will speak and answer questions from the audience concerning the work in Birmingham. 

Recently the Council of our South Holland Church decided to have their congregation confess the Apostles’ Creed aloud. Reasons given for the change were, “that confession with the mouth is part of Christian’s worship (Rom. 10:9, 10), and the confession of the Creed properly belongs to all the saints.” 

A bulletin from our church in New Jersey included the following announcement: “Our pastor will be going to Rutland, Vermont this week Tuesday to meet with a group of approximately seven families there who have expressed interest in the Reformed Faith as we teach it. They are of a Calvinistic Baptist background, but are not at present affiliated with any denomination.” Did the word Vermont, jump out at you the way it did me? If it didn’t, you were not careful enough in your reading of the news column of our last Standard Bearer. At that time we wrote about some people in the Plymouth, Vermont area who were looking for Standard Bearersubscribers in their area. A quick check in my Rand McNally Road Atlas places Plymouth only about 15 miles southeast of Rutland as a crow would fly over the Green Mountains. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Rev. R. Hanko went to contact none other than those of whom we wrote last time. Hopefully we will be able to confirm that at a later date. 

Although this news column does not usually concern itself with baptisms, a recent baptism on our Lansing mission field is worthy of note, I believe. The October 12 bulletin of our Hope Church in Walker, Michigan explained it this way: “Eric Douglas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hoeksema will receive the administration of baptism at the morning service in our Lansing, Mission, D.V. Elders Knott and Kooienga will be attending their services. The L. Garvelink family will also attend there where Mrs. Garvelink will play the organ for their morning service.” Though the Hoeksemas attend services at our Lansing Mission, they are communicant members of Hope. Clearly there are some advantages to having a calling church in close proximity to its mission field. While on the subject of the Lansing mission field we should mention that the Hope Congregation has a standing invitation to attend the 7:30 Wednesday evening meetings at the Lansing Mission located at The University Seventh Day Adventist Church, 149 Highland, East Lansing. I’m sure they will not object to my extending that invitation to all the readers of our S.B.