A significant piece of current news is that the Standard Bearer News Editor, Mr. Ben Wigger, who has served for the last twenty-eight years, has stepped aside after his column in the September 15 issue. Twenty-eight years means a great number of deadlines met, and many, many dedicated readers. A sincere “Thank You” Ben, for all your work and enjoyable articles! Any readers who have opportunity to thank Ben personally, please be sure to do that.
The congregation of Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD invited the other four Siouxland area congregations (Calvary, Doon, Edgerton and Hull) to join them in a day of fun at Wild Water West, a water park on the west edge of Sioux Falls. A good turnout resulted, with activities such as water slides, wave pool, lazy river, and Pirate’s Cove keeping the attendees cool. The nearby go-carts, mini golf, and batting cages were also great fun for the young and young at heart.
Sister Church Activities
In early August seven young people from the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore made the trip to metro Manila in the Philippines to visit some of the young people there. They attended the Thursday evening Essentials class in the Provident Christian Church in Marikina and a time of games and fellowship transpired on Saturday. The visitors worshiped the morning of Sunday, August 3 in the Protestant Reformed Church in Bulacan. After a time of visiting and refreshments they braved the Manila traffic to worship later that day in the Berean PRC, concluding the day with supper at the Smit residence. During their stay in the Philippines the seven stayed with Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn in their home. You might wonder if the guests tried to converse in Tagalog or if the youth of the Manila area tried to learn a Singaporean dialect? No sir, they all resorted to English and did just fine! That works for the youth in Manila but not so well for many of the adults.
Minister and Candidate Activities
The lone 2014 graduate of the Theological School of the PRCA, Joshua Engelsma, sustained his Synodical examination in June and became a candidate for the ministry in our churches and eligible to receive calls on July 12. On July 13 he received three calls from PRCA churches to be their pastor; Doon PRC in Doon, IA, Faith PRC in Jenison, MI, and First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI. After considering these calls for approximately six weeks, the Lord led Candidate Engelsma to accept the call of the Protestant Reformed Church of Doon, IA. By the time you read this, Classis West of the PRCA will have convened September 24 in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL, D.V. Pastor-elect Engelsma will have preached his examination sermon and submitted to the peremptior or “decisive” oral examination according to Article 4 of the Church Order. Upon successful completion of this examination his ordination will take place in Doon. The anticipated date for this service, to be led by Prof. David Engelsma, is October 3. Pastor-elect Engelsma and his wife, Courtney, along with their children Calvin, Charlotte, and Noah planned to move to Doon sometime in September.
A retirement program for Rev. James Slopsema was held the evening of August 24 after the worship service of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI. Later the same evening an open house for the other area congregations took place, so that many could express appreciation to Rev. Slopsema and thanksgiving to God for his many years of faithful service.
On Thursday, August 21 Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn invited the members of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina to their home in the subdivision of Antipolo for a day outing. About twenty-five people joined the Smits and Kleyns in Psalter singing, indoor and outdoor games, a hike to “Second Floor” (the hill that overlooks Manila) and a delicious meal. They were also treated to some tunes on the saw by Rev. Kleyn. In addition, many books were sold from the PRCA bookstore in the Kleyns’ home. A delightful occasion of the communion of the saints was enjoyed!
Families and supporters of the Northwest Iowa Protestant Reformed School in Doon enjoyed the school “Kick–off Campout” at Newton Hills State Park, just over the South Dakota border to the west. This activity has been an annual event for decades and is enjoyed by many. On Thursday evening the pot provision supper for the whole congregation took place under the big white tent, followed by the traditional Psalter sing around the campfire. Other activities included climbing the lookout tower, bicycling, hiking, geocaching, visiting, and many spirited games of Kubb (a lawn game combination of bowling and horseshoes). An enjoyable time was had as always, with the young children sad to see the time end, already looking forward to next year’s camp-out.
All thirteen Protestant Reformed grade schools and four Protestant Reformed high schools, as well as our own seminary (beginning its 90th year), are off and running into the 2014-2015 school year. We thank God for these schools and those who teach, imparting not only knowledge, but also wisdom to our youth.
A new and interesting undertaking at Trinity Christian High School in Hull, IA is the one-to-one computer arrangement, supplying each of the sixty-nine students in the school with their own laptop computer.
Classis East (sixteen congregations) was scheduled to meet September 10 in the Grandville, MI PRC while Classis West (fifteen congregations) planned to convene September 24 in Peace PRC, Lansing, IL.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).