Once more the undersigned is back in Loveland, Colorado, where he is laboring, and is ministering unto the spiritual needs of the Protestant Reformed Hope Church of Loveland, Colorado. Yesterday, Sunday, September 18, I might again teach Sunday School, and preach twice in their midst. And it was a real joy to preach the Word in their midst. And it was also received, as it truly is, the Word of God, by this congregation.
Since the last Sunday in May of this year, the undersigned has constantly been with this congregation personally, or in close contact with them. And it has been a great joy of heart for the undersigned to be with these brethren and sisters in the Lord.
The reason? Because they are fundamentally Reformed in faith, and desire to be such also in their walk and life.
When I say that they are “Reformed” I mean that they are such who hold to the teachings of Calvin and Ursinus, as this is laid down in the Heidelberg Catechism. And the truth of the Gospel concerning our only comfort in life and death is very precious to these brethren and sisters. Fact is, that they are very conversant with the content of the Catechism, and that, especially the older members, can recite the Catechism verbatim in the German language. And, what is very heartening, is that they insist that their children also memorize the Heidelberg Catechism. This is done in the English language. And these children do not come to their Catechism Class unprepared to recite.
Let me tell you, dear reader, something about this Catechism Class. There are about fifteen catechumens in this class, ages 6-13 years. They all learn the Heidelberg Catechism. And they are always present. And not only are the children present, but the parents and grandparents, and uncles and aunts too. The number present are about forty to fifty souls in catechism.
The same is true on Sunday morning when we conduct “Sunday School.” Then too these same fifteen children are present, but the entire congregation is present also. The undersigned makes ample use of the blackboard back of the pulpit in our “church,” which is a Lutheran church school building. These brethren and sisters enjoy this “Sunday school” very much. We are studying the book of Genesis. And the children memorize one stanza from the Psalter each week. The entire congregation is learning to sing from the Presbyterian Psalter which is ours. They affirm that they find these songs “sehr Schriftmassig,” very Scriptural. It is a joy of heart for me to hear the eldest elder, who is eighty years young, sing “The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want . . . .” So young and old are learning to sing the Psalters and they soon find their beautiful, German melodies among the collection of Psalms in our Psalter.
So all in all the undersigned enjoys a rather busy life here in Loveland. He may meet with the entire congregation the equivalent of four times per week.
Often these brethren and sisters voice the sentiment that they wish that those who cast them forth from their own church building here in Loveland might hear the sermons preached by the (5) ministers, ex-students of the Revs. Hoeksema and Ophoff. These five ministers are the Rev. Herman Mensch, Leola, South Dakota, Rev. C. Hanko of First Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rev. G. Lubbers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rev. H.H. Kuiper, Redlands, California, and Candidate-elect Herman Hanko of Grand Rapids, Michigan. What strikes them is that these men all are Reformed and they all alike hew to the line of Scripture and the Heidelberg Catechism. It is the same joyful sound in all of this preaching. Then too they have never met Rev. H. Hoeksema and Rev. G.M. Ophoff, yet they feel that they know these teachers from their hearing these ex-students preach. They have heard Rev. H. Hoeksema four different times from tape recordings taken in First Church. One brother remarked to me that the preaching of Rev. H. Hoeksema was clear and lucid, and that one certainly understood the text when this minister was finished with his sermon.
I believe that it will be a service to the congregation here in Loveland to hear more of our ministers and become acquainted with them.
Next time we shall try and tell something about the difficulties these brethren and sisters have been experiencing during the past year because they could not do ought else but cling to the faith of the fathers as they had learned to love it.