Dear Members and friends of the R.F.P.A.,
Our Faithful Covenant God, Who rules over all creation, has greatly blessed us in the past year. He has enabled us to publish the Standard Bearer for fifty-five years, so that His rich truths may be read by His people. We are thankful to-God in that 1900 copies of the Standard Bearer were printed for the August issue. Two hundred copies are kept for bound volumes. Last year 1660 copies were mailed out, while this year 1679 copies were mailed out. Although this increase is small, we are very grateful to God that He continues to bless us with new subscribers. Locally, in the Grand Rapids and West Michigan area, 769 copies are sent out. Outside of the G.R. and W. Michigan area 739 copies are mailed. Jenison, Hudsonville, and the Northwest area of G.R. continue to be the areas with the largest number of subscribers. Texas has had the greatest increase in new subscribers. Our foreign subscribers total 171, with copies going to such countries as Australia, Germany, Hungary, Jamaica, Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, and South Africa.
Our Treasurer reports that gifts this year totaled $9,584.45. Of this total amount, $4,892.82 was from church collections and $4,691.63 was from individual gifts. We greatly desire your continued generous gifts from the heart and your fervent prayers, in supporting this cause of God’s Kingdom.
The Finance Committee has been working on the aspect of increased costs of printing and mailing theStandard Bearer. To give you an idea of these increases consider these facts. A few years ago theStandard Bearer could be mailed for $10 per issue. Now the cost is $50 per issue. On a yearly basis we once mailed 21 issues for $210. Now we pay a postal expense of $1050 for 21 issues. A few years ago renewal notices could be mailed for a cost of $85. Now the cost is $250. The cost to send 20 copies of the Standard Bearer to New Zealand by Air Mail is $8.84. The cost to send one copy to Singapore or Australia by Air Mail is $1.28. These facts, plus the fact of a 10% increase in cost in all the facets of printing the Standard Bearer, have had our Finance Committee working hard to establish policies to compensate for these increases.
The Membership, Education, and Information R.F.P.A. Committee has been working on updating our subscription policies. We are still continuing the ten issues for two dollars program, and the program whereby each subscriber to the Standard Bearer, may with his renewal, send ten free issues to a new subscriber. We have also reminded our consistories of the practice to give one year subscriptions of theStandard Bearer to newly married couples of our Protestant Reformed Churches and new members from outside our Protestant Reformed Churches.
The Board has been considering the idea of centrally locating our many publications in a storage building At present, our printed materials and equipment are located in many different places over a wide area. The storage building would aid our people in having fast access to materials and equipment.
The committee handling the tax exemption letter to become a non-profit organization has run into difficulties in obtaining proper forms from the State of Michigan. We do report that our corporate existence has been extended another 30 years to the year 2010.
When we consider the wonderful truth that God has given us a faithful Editor-in-chief, who zealously defends the truth once given to the saints, and has given us many department editors who continue to write truly Reformed articles, issue after issue, we can only fall on our knees and thank God for them. God through them has given us a rich treasure of Reformed Truths.
Our business manager, Mr. Henry VanderWal, has for another year, by God’s grace, put forth much outstanding effort. Mr. VanderWal’s hard work is gratefully appreciated by all. Mr. VanderWal has requested the .important need of an assistant to learn the duties of business manager.
The Board has placed announcements for an assistant, with no results. The Board gratefully acknowledges the hard work of the following brethren over the past three years: Gerrit Holstege, Clare Kuiper (President), and Tom Reitsma. Thank you brethren for your sincere concern for the Standard Bearer.
The Staff and Board of the R.F.P.A. sincerely desire your unceasing prayers and faithful support.
Yours in the Lord
THE BOARD OF THE R.F.P.A.
Dave Harbach, Secretary