This past month many of you had the opportunity to welcome into your churches and fellowship Rev. Ron Hanko, our churches’ missionary to the saints of the Covenant Reformed Fellowship in Northern Ireland, his wife and children, along with several members of the CRF who also traveled with the Hankos from Northern Ireland.
The Hanko family spent the first week of their much anticipated five week furlough with the family on the east coast of the U.S. While there, Rev. Hanko also gave a slide presentation of the field and work in Northern Ireland. This presentation was done as part of the evangelism outreach of the Covenant PRC in Wyckoff, NJ.
On July 5th, the Hankos arrived in west Michigan and moved into the vacant parsonage of the Byron Center, MI PRC. For the next two weeks Rev. Hanko expected to be busy with the promotion of the work in Ireland. He had meetings with both the Mission Committee of our churches and the Council of the Hudsonville, MI PRC, the calling church for the Northern Ireland field. Besides these meetings, Rev. Hanko was also scheduled to give slide programs similar to his presentation at Covenant PRC, first in Hudsonville on July 7, and the following week in South Holland, IL; Pella, IA; and Doon, IA.
No doubt one of the highest high points of this furlough was the anticipated confession of faith of Sarah and, Ryan Hanko. They were to make this confession shortly after arriving in Michigan before Hudsonville’s Council. Their public confession was to take place, the Lord willing, on July 23, with their grandfather, Prof. H. Hanko, conducting the service.
The following Lord’s Day, Rev. Hanko was also scheduled to lead Hudsonville’s congregation in an additional and longed-for communion service, the first communion the Hankos have taken part in since leaving for Northern Ireland some two and a half years ago.
On July 31, after spending a week with the family on the shores of Lake Michigan, Rev. Hanko, Nancy, and the younger children were scheduled to return to Northern Ireland while the older teenagers stayed behind to enjoy this year’s Young People’s Convention.
On July 5 Rev. and Mrs. R. Moore were able to travel to the First PRC in Edmonton, AB, Canada to present a slide program on the work of our Foreign Mission Committee in Ghana, Africa.
Once again this year the congregation of the Byron Center, MI PRC, through their Evangelism Committee, hosted a special Sunday service in which a special effort was made to invite and encourage the community of Byron Center to worship with them.
This year’s service, held on June 11, developed the theme of spiritual warfare as it is described in Ephesians 6:10-13. Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of the First PRC in Holland, MI, was the guest pastor that evening.
On Sunday morning, June 18, Rev. M. Joostens was installed as the fifth pastor of the Lynden PRC in Lynden, WA. Rev. R. Moore conducted the service. That evening Rev. Joostens preached his first sermon as Lynden’s pastor, basing it on I Corinthians 2:1-5. It was entitled, “My Preaching Among You.” The congregation had scheduled a welcome program for the following Friday.
Some old news, reported now before it gets any older: A group from the Netherlands Reformed Church has agreed to purchase the old church building of the Hull, IA PRC.
On June 4, the Choral Society of the Grandville, MI PRC presented their Spring Concert.
Rev. J. Mahtani, his wife, and his son Titus were able to spend about three weeks in Singapore in June. Rev. Mahtani had been invited to preach a couple of times in our sister churches in the ERCS and also to show slides of the work of the Lord in Houston.
We extend our congratulations to Rev. and Mrs. R. Cammenga of the Southwest PRC in Grandville, MI who were blessed with the birth of a son, Jared Matthew, born June 10.
Rev. J. Slopsema, of Hope PRC in Walker, MI, has accepted the call that he received from First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI.
The Consistory of the Byron Center, MI PRC formed a trio of Seminarian Doug Kuiper, Rev. Mitch Dick, and Rev. Audred Spriensma. A congregational meeting was scheduled for July 17.
Rev. Houck, pastor at the Peace PRC in Lynwood, IL, declined the call he had received from the Edgerton, MN PRC.
On July 6, the Grace PRC of Standale, MI was brought into existence with an organizational service at the Hope PRC in Walker, MI. She was organized with 23 families and nine individuals. Of this group of 107 members, 55 are communicant members and 52 are baptized members. Rev. Peter Breen, emeritus minister in our churches, preached the organizational sermon that night based on I Thessalonians 2:13, entitled, “Preaching as a Means of Grace.” Rev. J. Slopsema of Hope Church conducted the actual organizational meeting. For the time being, Grace’s services will continue to be held at the Grand Valley Orthodox Christian Reformed Church on the corner of Eighth Ave. and Lake Michigan Dr., at 1:00 and 7:00 P.M.
Food for Thought:
“You who have so many infirmities, should patiently bear with the infirmities of others.”