News From Our Churches

Randolph’s congregation called Rev. R.C. Harbach of Lynden, from a trio which included the Revs. C. Hanko and M. Scmpper.

The Prot. Ref. Men’s Chorus rendered their Christmas Program on Christmas Day, after, the evening service, in First Church. The Chorus opened the program with two prayers, “Let Thy Holy Presence” and “O Jesus, Grant Me Hope And Comfort.” A few intricate numbers such as, “By Babylon’s Wave,” “Listen To The Lambs,” and the final number, “With A Voice Of Singing” demonstrated the Chorus’ ability. Familiar Christmas Carols brightened the program in unfamiliar arrangements for male voices. The Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Ronald Petersen, and accompanied by Jim Jonker, pleased the large audience gathered in the auditorium (some for the fourth time that day) and fittingly brought to a close a day set aside for the praise of the King born in Bethlehem’s cattle stall. The men were assisted by a soprano soloist, Mrs. Walter Decker, of First Church, and by a brass quintet from Adams St. School. Two visitors to the concert, Mr. and Mrs. I. Korhorn, of Hope Church, were struck by a car as they were crossing the street to the church. Mrs. Korhorn received bruises, and her husband suffered a broken hip in the accident. The police ambulance answering the call was operated by Officer George Ophoff, Jr., member of First Church, on ambulance duty that evening. 

Rev. C. Hanko was granted a two week leave of absence from his duties at First Church to labor in Manhattan, Montana, at the request of the Mission Committee. The request originated in an urgent appeal to the Mission Committee for someone to guide a remnant of the congregation there who are opposed to the direction taken by their brethren as to their denominational affiliation. During his colleague’s absence the Rev. H. Hoeksema took up the full burden of pulpit supply for New Year’s Eve and the two New Year’s Day services. 

Well, Christmas programs are over for another year; does that mean we have to wait another year for a Christmas sermon? 

Mr. Peter Kooistra, member of First Church and the oldest member of the entire denomination, celebrated his 96th birthday anniversary Christmas Day. That day’s bulletin read, “With him we rejoice in all the blessings of the Lord that he might experience through these many years, and together we are gratified that he can still be active in and about his home as he witnesses of the faithfulness of his God.” 

Holland’s consistory has decided to call the congregation to worship at 9:30 Sunday mornings, instead of at 10 o’ clock.

Hudsonville’s Christmas Day bulletin carried this paragraph: “The second collection next Sunday is for the Gideons who place Bibles in hotels, motels, prisons, etc., all over the world, and which is a wonderful assist to pure mission work. Today’s bulletin cover is provided by the Gideons, so that we may learn what they do.” 

Do you agree—that because Christmas Day fell on Sunday this year, the world was not quite so successful as other years in robbing us of our church holiday? 

We learn from Oak Lawn’s bulletin that Rev. A. Mulder, of Kalamazoo, was scheduled to lecture in South Holland, Jan. 6, the topic of the lecture being, “Gog and Magog.” The announcement advertising the lecture posed this question, “Do you know what Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 20 mean for us today?” 

The South Holland-Oak Lawn Choral Society meets regularly every Wednesday evening at South Holland. They are preparing for a public concert at some future date, tentatively set for April 9. 

Southeast Church was the meeting place for the Office Bearers’ Conference held Jan. 3. The occasion drew one of the largest gatherings of office bearers in the history of the Conference. Rev. H. Hanko, of Hope Church, was the speaker, and his assigned topic was of initial importance, answering two questions, “What is our calling towards those who left us in ’53?”; and, “What should we require of them for their re-admittance?” The speaker mourned the fact that our experience knows no analogy in the history of the church, and therefore the Church Order does not provide us with a clear-cut answer to the problem. Article No. 75 speaks of sinners who are still members of the church, and Article No. 78 deals with the reconciliation of an excommunicated person. The Reverend nevertheless drew from these Articles the broad principles that the returning sinner must come back by way of reconciliation; that said reconciliation be effected by confession of sin, thereby giving evidence of the sincerity of his repentance; and, that said confession must be made in the consistory against which he sinned, that that which caused the breach may be removed. The speaker further contended that, maintaining our position as the historical continuation of the Protestant Reformed Churches, it is our calling to place them before their obligation to join the purest manifestation of the Body of Christ on earth. After recess questions were raised and answered, and opinions were aired, providing guidance for the consistories represented by the office bearers present. 

A call to all consistory clerks: Please send us the names of Clerks and Treasurers, if other than listed in the Year Book, that we may report this information to our people by way of this page. 

. . . . see you in church. 

—J.M.F.