Rev. David Engelsma, pastor of our church in South Holland, Illinois, declined the call extended to him by our new congregation in Houston, Texas.
Rev. and Mrs. Robert Harbach planned to move to the Grand Rapids area by the 1st of May. Rev. Harbach spent the last couple of years in Houston, where the Lord graciously brought a positive fruit upon his labors as Home Missionary with the formation of a congregation. Rev. Harbach’s new address will be: 2879 Taft Apt. D, Wyoming, Michigan 49509. Rev. Harbach will stay in Grand Rapids until he can be sent to a new area to take up his labors anew.
At a special congregational meeting on April 13, the congregation of our Hope Church in Walker, Michigan decided to assume payment for the salary of our home missionary beginning in April for the rest of 1977. If some procedural questions can be worked out, this may become a continuing part of Hope’s regular budget.
Faith Church in Jenison, Michigan, also held a special congregational meeting, this one on May 9. A proposal to build a sanctuary for the congregation was approved.
Yet another special congregational meeting was held this spring—this one in South Holland. In South Holland the proposals of the Council to purchase a new mimeograph machine and a high speed tape cassette copy machine were approved. One would assume that the mimeograph will be used to produce such things as the church bulletin and perhaps some church extension materials. The tape copy machine will be used to make cassette recordings of sermons and lectures for shut-ins within the congregation and to fill tape orders which have come in as a result of various radio broadcasting activities South Holland has undertaken.
The Consistories in our churches in Hull, Iowa, Loveland, Colorado, and Randolph, Wisconsin have recently made changes in their worship services. As a result of questions that were asked on family visitation, the Hull consistory has decided to change the time of the second Sunday service to 7 P.M. starting the first of July and continuing through the ,month of ‘August. These two months will constitute a trial period for evening worship, on the basis of which the consistory and congregation can later decide whether this change for the summer months should be made permanent. At present, Hull schedules their second service at 1:30 P.M. Beginning on Sunday, April 10, the consistory of Loveland asked the congregation to stand for the prayer, the congregational singing, the doxology, and the benediction following the sermon. In past years, the Loveland congregation has been accustomed to standing for prayers and sitting during the singing of most songs. In Randolph, the consistory has decided to add to the reading of the law the New Testament summary of the law found in Matthew 22:37-40.
This time of year many social and fund-raising activities are scheduled in our churches across the land. There have been breakfasts, lunches, dinners, coffees, baked goods sales, car washes, auctions, and more. The various ladies’ societies and young people’s societies seem to be most active in these activities. The following from the Southeast bulletin in Grand Rapids will give an indication of how hectic the scheduling of these events can be. “The date for the Casserole Supper, sponsored by the Young People’s Societies of First Church at First Church, has been changed to Thursday, May 26th, instead of Wednesday, May 11th. There is evidently a conflict in dates, for the Young People of Southeast plan a pot-luck supper on the same night. Hopefully this conflict will be straightened out.” The first schedule change was also made to avoid a conflict with another dinner.
Another dinner was scheduled in the basement of our South Holland Church on April 28. The minimum donation to attend was set at $25.00 per couple. This would seem to substantiate rumors about the high cost of living in the Chicago area. The real reason for this amount and for the dinner was to raise money for our South Holland Christian School.
This is the time of year when many of our number plan a summer vacation trip. You would do well to include in your plans a stop in one of the cities across the land where one of our congregations is located. You will be blessed by worshipping with fellow saints—and they will be pleased to make your acquaintance. I am sure that Prospect Park, NJ, and Houston, TX and Redlands, CA, and Linden, WA, and Edmonton, Alberta, and all the churches in between would welcome summer visitors.