Our Orange City congregation is again in the possession of a pastor of its own in the person of Rev. S. Cammenga.
We were vacant for six months following the departure of the Rev. J. Blankespoor who left us to serve our congregation at Doon, Iowa.
After we had attempted repeatedly to call one of God’s servants, we were finally gladdened by the news that Cand. S. Cammenga, to whom we had extended a call on August 2, would come over and help us.
Having no parsonage of our own in which our pastor-elect could live, we immediately made work of finding a house. Due to a scarcity of homes suitable for a parsonage, we were finally obliged to rent, at least for the winter months, the downstairs of a house across the street from our church building. This house, however, would not be ready for occupancy until October first. Arrangements were made with our sister church at Edgerton, Minn., to have our minister-elect remain there for two more Sundays since he was living in their parsonage at that time.
Arrangements were also made to install our pastor, together with those for a reception to be held on him and his wife upon arrival.
On the afternoon of September 23, Rev. Cammenga was asked to take charge of the Holland Ladies’ Aid. After the meeting he and his wife were informed concerning the reception to be held for them in the evening. Supper was prepared for them at the home of one of our members, and at 8:00 the congregation gathered in the church auditorium.
It was a comparatively small number which had gathered, ’tis true, however; great was the zeal and enthusiasm which was shown by this body of believers. There was rejoicing, for the Lord had again provided us with an under-shepherd to go in and out among us.
A miscellaneous program, in which the entire congregation took part, was well rendered. Rev. M. Gritters, our faithful counselor, presided. After the program, Cand. Cammenga was requested to speak a few words to the congregation and to close with thanksgiving. Refreshments were then served, and opportunity was given everyone to make acquaintance with the new pastor.
On the following evening, September 24th, the always impressive installation service took place. Rev. Vis of Rock Valley, had charge of the preliminaries, Rev. Blankespoor of Doon, offered the customary “long prayer,” and Rev. Gritters of Sioux Center, preached the sermon on the fitting words of.
The Rev. chose for his theme: “The Attentive Minister,” emphasizing first of all that he should be attentive with diligence. He should first of all take heed to himself. This was necessary, because of the natural character and inclinations of the minister. Much sooner would he be tempted to heed others only, forgetting himself and his own conversation. On the other hand, the minister should diligently take heed to his doctrine or teaching, lest any false winds of doctrine arise, and make their way into the church. Here it was emphasized that the only way the minister could heed this admonition was by faithfully applying himself to his work in his study, and by preaching only the pure Word of God.
Secondly, the attentive minister would be attentive continually. Unconditionally and constantly he should be faithful in his calling. He should have no secular labor whatsoever that he would engage in in addition to his work as minister of the Word of God. It was strongly stressed in this connection that anyone could plow land, and anyone could pick corn, but that there was only one in the congregation that could preach, and that was the minister.
Finally, the attentive minister would also find that his labors then produced rich fruit, for he would both save himself and them that hear him. Himself he would save by heeding this admonition, for then the anger of God would not be kindled against him for neglecting his solemn duty. Then too, accomplishing his task faithfully, those who hear him would be admonished and instructed in the right way to faithfully fulfill their calling in the midst of the world to God’s glory.
Following the sermon, Rev. A. Cammenga of Hull, read the form for the installation of ministers of the Word. After the proper ceremonies had been completed, the congregation sang the Holland. The charge to the congregation was then read, after which Rev. Cammenga, our newly ordained minister, pronounced the benediction upon the congregation.
On the following Sabbath Rev. Cammenga preached his inaugural sermon from the Word of God as it is found inand chose for his theme: ‘“Always Putting You in Remembrance.”
In the first place he called our attention to the idea of what we must be put in remembrance. It then became evident, we must first of all be reminded constantly to make our calling and election sure, for by so doing we would never stumble, and then too, abundantly we would be given an entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was stressed that this Kingdom was an eternal Kingdom, and therefore secure and steadfast.
Secondly, in respect to the question whose task it was to put the congregation in remembrance, it was made plain that it was the task of the minister of the Word to do so, just because he was minister of the WORD OF GOD. With it only was he to come to the congregation, to not only remind them to make their calling and election sure, but also to live in the Christian graces mentioned in the entire first chapter of second Peter.
This the minister was to do always, but especially on the Lord’s Day in the divine services as well as in the catechism class, in family visitation, and in all the duties given him to do in the midst of the church. Never should this important work be neglected.
Finally, we were reminded that the church was the one which was to be put in remembrance. For, the church is the body of Christ, and must reveal herself as the holy people of Jehovah, showing forth His praises. And because the church is yet in the midst of this world with her own flesh and an evil world surrounding her on every side, it is the calling of the minister to always put her and himself, in remembrance of her calling, lest she become remiss in her duty as church of Jesus Christ.
Thus, once again, the Lord has provided for us by giving us a minister. Catechism classes have begun, the Young People’s Society has again resumed its meetings each alternate Sunday evening, and the Ladies’ Aid meets each Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
May the King of His church richly bless our pastor together with the congregation, and may we, by the grace of God, remain faithful to our high calling to show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.