From the looks of this wonderful stack of news, we’re going to have to be selective again this time. Let’s begin with a couple of items most easily dated.
Rev. C. Hanko has declined the call from Doon, Iowa, as has Rev. G. VanBaren the call from Randolph, Wisconsin.
Those of you who place announcements in bulletins of other churches might be interested in knowing thatthe new “bulletin-maker” at our Hudsonville church is Mrs. Henry Bergman, 2005 Edson Drive, Hudsonville, Mich. 49426.
Another important address is that of Rev. Geo. C. Lubbers: Montego Bay, Jamaica, West Indies, General Delivery. His plans were to leave Grand Rapids September 9, at 7:00 A.M., and arrive in Jamaica at 2:20 P.M. So that he is not a “man without a country,” he has a U.S. office address—7501 Terrace Lane, Jenison, Mich. 49428.
On Sept. 4, before he left, Rev. Lubbers had a part in a “Jamaican Mission Emphasis Night” in our church in South Holland. Rev. Lubbers spoke and showed his slides. Rev. Elliott was also present, to address the audience. A similar program was held in Loveland, Colorado, on August 7. Rev. J. Heys was there at the time, and he also accompanied his address to the people with a showing of the slides which he took in Jamaica during his stay there last spring.
Because of the nature of the work, our missionary efforts in Jamaica are more obvious, at present, than is the church extension work which is being carried on by various individual congregations. That this important, though perhaps less glamorous, work is not being neglected, is evident from the bulletins and news sheets sent this way. In fact, it seems that this work is being carried on with increased tempo. We would like to quote from a news letter from Pella, Iowa.
“1.) We now have a pamphlet distributing committee which mails 250 pamphlets a week to the Pella and Oskaloosa areas. These pamphlets are written by Rev. Engelsma and myself, and printed by the Reformed Action Society. General subject: the Last Things. 2.) A summer series of seven lectures on the Letters to the Churches of Revelation 2 and Revelation 3 is well under way. The problems that confront the church are treated in the context of these letters. It is hoped that these lectures give counsel and encouragement to those within and without our congregation. The pastor gives these speeches alternate Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. 3.) Although growth is very slow, yet we found it necessary to expand our auditorium, so that now seating capacity is about 110. We still get a goodly number of visitors at the evening worship service.”
Our thanks for the above to Rev. D. Kuiper, pastor of the Pella congregation.
There are, still, several other churches about which we would like to give information concerning church extension activities—notably, the congregations of Loveland and Hope (Grand Rapids). But we’re going to have to wait a couple of weeks with that because there’s a recent event, the reporting of which ought to be more fun than anything this writer has ever handled in this column. That event is the ministers’ retreat, held August 25-27. Already in the May information sheet sent to ministers and their wives, there was a hint that this retreat would provide opportunity for both spiritual profit and refreshing relaxation and recreation. The letter made note of the fact that this would be an opportunity “for ministers to ‘let their hair down’ (if they had enough to do that).” Judging from reports, the ministers who attended had at least enough hair to let down.
According to Rev. Schipper, “the weather was perfect, and,” he added, between mouthfuls of his first meal back home after the retreat, “I’m still hungry.” We understand that at least one other minister enjoyed the food. Rev. Decker, it seems, has quite a capacity for pancakes. Rev. Heys, in counting those Rev. Decker was putting away, lost track after twelve. But Mrs. Hoeksema counted up to no less-than seventeen. Mrs. Hoeksema, by the way, brought several pies a-long. There was one piece of pie left, and, somehow or other, Rev. Decker managed to get that piece. But the two professors saw to it, personally, that though he had his pie, he didn’t have a chance to eat it, too.
We’re told that the Deckers, Engelsmas, and Hankos went out for a middle-of-the-night dip. Seems that, though trying to remain quiet, they disturbed the sleep of a couple of others. Next morning, it was discovered that Rev. Decker’s suitcase had mysteriously disappeared. The fact that Rev. and Mrs. Van Baren knew so little about this incident makes it rather difficult for one to believe that they were completely innocent in the case of the disappearing case.
Then there were the two-man rubber rafts. The object was to see to it that the other raft was empty of occupants as much as possible.
That our ministers had a well-deserved recreational outing, there is no doubt. But that they got together for more than that is equally beyond doubt. Topics for discussion included “The Pastor as Counselor and our Youth” led by Prof. Hoeksema, “Problems of the Jamaican Mission Field” by Rev. Elliott, “Suggested Methods for a More Active Home Mission” by Rev. D. Engelsma, and “Could We Improve Our Order of Worship—and if so, how?” by Prof. Hanko.
This news is too long. But after the editor-in-chief gets through with it, it’ll probably be down to the right size. (Editor’s note to. News Editor: cf. Judges 14:18.)