News From Our Churches

The installation of Rev. Wayne Bekkering as the first pastor of our newest congregation, the Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Houston, Texas, took place on Thursday evening, August 18. Rev. George Lubbers of Pella, Iowa, conducted the service. This must have been a special occasion for Rev. Lubbers, as he had spent a number of years working in Houston as home missionary. 

There is quite a little more news concerning ministerial calls than has been seen in this column in some time. Rev. Ronald VanOverloop declined the call extended to him by Randolph, Wisconsin, Rev. Bekkering’s former charge. Rev. James Slopsema declined the call from our Hudsonville church. From a trio consisting of Rev. Gise VanBaren, Rev; Meindert Joostens, and Candidate Kenneth Koole, Hudsonville church has extended a call to Rev. VanBaren of First Church. Rev. Joostens has received a call from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Christchurch, New Zealand. 

The annual Convocation to mark the opening of our Seminary was scheduled for September 7 in Southwest Church. Prof. Decker spoke on the topic “Buying the Truth.”

Toward the end of August, Rev. J. Kortering of our church in Redlands, California, left for a few weeks of work in Birmingham, Alabama. This work is being carried out under the direction of the “Western Branch” of our denominational Mission Committee. Meanwhile, Rev. Harbach was waiting to hear from the Canadian Consulate relative to his application for a Canadian work permit which he must have in order to begin a period of labor as home missionary in Victoria, British Columbia. Rev. Harbach’s work is under the direction of the “Eastern Branch” of the Mission Committee. 

Some additional information concerning the window drapery installed in our Hope Church, Walker, Michigan was received from the.Hope Church building committee. These drapes are designed to reduce the glare which sometimes proved to be rather strong—in the minister’s face. These drapes were a gift from a generous donor in the congregation. The committee further reported that “sun glasses were available for emergency conditions, but they were never used.” 

The annual Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention was held the week of August 21 at Camp Geneva, just north of Holland, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The major speeches under the general theme of “Seek Ye the Lord” were as follows: “In Our Spiritual Activities,” by Rev. Mark Hoeksema, “In Our Decisions in Life,” by Rev. Richard Moore, and “In Our Daily Walk,” by Rev. Bernard Woudenberg.

A special congregational meeting was held in Redlands on July 25 to consider questions concerning a new church building there. The consistory was authorized to work through the steering committee to prepare plans for the new building with a view to beginning the construction in 1978. Each family is to contribute at least $10 per month for the new church building. 

Another special congregational meeting was held to consider plans for a new church building—this time at Southwest Church. Approval was given for a Phase I building program to construct a one story “Fellowship Wing” including fellowship room, society rooms, class rooms, Council room, storage room, mechanical room, kitchen, rest rooms, and a narthex. The fellowship room will be used as a temporary Sanctuary with a temporary chancel at one end. The basic design of the new building is similar to the new building recently occupied by our Hudsonville congregation. To pay for this new building, the present Southwest Church building will be put up for sale, the budget raised $4 to $16.50 per family per week, and a cash drive held, with the goal of obtaining $250 from each family in the congregation to begin the building program. This new facility is estimated to cost between $155,000 and $170,000. Three churches now have building plans for 1978—Faith, Redlands, and Southwest. 

As a matter of interest, our Standard Bearer business manager likes to keep track of the states, provinces, countries, and continents to which the publication is sent. He recently received a subscription from the Republic of Nauru. When he inquired at the Post Office as to the rate for Nauru, the Post. Office Officials were unable to locate this country.Of course, our business manager does not give up quickly. After considerable detective work, he ‘pinpointed’ the location on the globe. Can you? Answer next month.