Mr. Wigger is a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.
Rev. C. Hanko, one of our churches’ emeriti pastors, was able to return to his home in Hudsonville, MI in early February after a short stay in Brookcrest Nursing Home in Grandville, MI. His blood counts are back to normal and he feels much better.
Rev. M. VanderWal, pastor of the Covenant PRC in Wyckoff, NJ, slipped on some ice and injured his back. As a result, he was not able to preach for his congregation on February 6. Hopefully he suffered no lasting injury and by now has once again taken up his labors.
At a prayer-breakfast in mid-November, the leaders of the Evangelical Reformed Churches in Singapore discussed their concern for meeting the spiritual needs of the Chinese-speaking population in Singapore. Adding to the urgency of this matter is the fact that these people are the older members of the community in Singapore. Some 20 years ago, when our sister churches had their beginning as mostly young people, their concerns revolved mostly around church, marriages, and families, but now as the members become older, their attention naturally is directed towards their aged parents who still hold to their Chinese religion and superstitions. Unless the ERCS has a Chinese ministry for them, they will have to be referred to other churches if and when God is pleased to work salvation in them.
One of the difficulties facing the ERCS in this task is that none of their “preachers” is trained in the Scriptures in the area of sermon making. Looking at this problem they quite naturally asked the question whether Prof. Hanko could be of some help in this area, just as he had helped in Myanmar. So out of that prayer-breakfast discussion evolved the idea that he teach a brief course on sermon making for those who are involved in the Chinese ministry. This was planned for a number of Saturday afternoons in January and February, and was open to anyone who wanted to learn more about teaching the Bible in any setting—Sunday School, pastoral visits, or formal messages.
Rev. R. Moore, our missionary to Ghana, reports that the subject of the sovereignty of God in salvation is increasingly appreciated by those with whom he is working, in a culture which emphasizes that man merits the whole of salvation. They are learning the doctrine from the Scriptures, as they study each passage in its entirety. And the result, the missionary says, is that the lives of the saints there are also lifted up.
Rev. J. Mahtani, our missionary to Pittsburgh, PA, was in Grand Rapids, MI the weekend of February 11-13 in order to have a quarterly visit with the subcommittees of the council of Southwest PRC and the Domestic Mission Committee. He was also able to preach once for Southwest. After the evening service he gave a public report on the progress of the mission work in Pittsburgh and the eastern US.
The Reformed Witness Committee of the Hope PRC in Walker, MI sponsored two lectures on the theme, “The Distinctively Reformed Doctrine of the Covenant.” On February 17 Rev. G. VanBaren spoke on that theme as it applies to “The Rearing of the Children of Believers,” and on March 16 Prof. R. Decker is scheduled to speak on that theme as it applies to “Missions.” Both lectures were held at Hope Church.
On January 21 and 22 about 140 members of the Georgetown PRC met for what has become their annual Winter Retreat. This year, as in the past, the retreat was held at Camp Geneva, on the shore of icy cold Lake Michigan. Rev. N. Brummel, pastor of the Cornerstone PRC in Schereville, IN, was the guest speaker for the conference. He spoke on the subject, “Exercising Unto Godliness,” with a focus on witnessing.
The Choral Society of the South Holland, IL PRC presented a concert of sacred music on Sunday evening, February 10.
The council of the Loveland, CO PRC has decided that on the third Sunday of each month (September through May), beginning February 20, there will be a song service immediately following their evening worship service. Plans call for the congregation to be seated following the benediction and those with children in nursery bringing them into the sanctuary. The service would last 10-15 minutes and consist of the singing of Psalter numbers.
This year the council of the Grace PRC in Standale, MI appointed a committee to edit and prepare material each month for an informational newsletter. This newsletter was entitled, appropriately, “Grace Notes.”
The weekend of February 11-12 the Young People’s Societies of the First PRC in Holland, MI and the Kalamazoo, MI PRC met together for a retreat at Camp Manitou-Lin on Barlow Lake, approximately half way between the two churches. On Saturday they went skiing at Bittersweet near Allegan. Rev. W. Bruinsma and Rev. C. Terpstra both spoke on the subject of parental authority in young people’s lives.