At a congregational meeting held at Hope Church (Grand Rapids), on April 26, the decision was made to extend a call to Rev: Engelsma. He was elected from a trio which included also the Reverends J. Heys and G. Lanting.
Rev. B. Woudenberg has asked for, and been granted, an extension for his consideration of the call to serve as home missionary. We can now expect his response three weeks after the conclusion of this year’s gathering of Synod.
Rev. D. Engelsma, Stated Clerk of Classis West, notes that an error has appeared in the Classis Report in the April 1 issue of the Standard Bearer. The name of Rev. D. Kuiper, as a secundus minister delegate to Synod, was omitted.
On March 29 the final lecture in a series on “The Christian’s Witness” was held in our church in Hull. Rev. Kortering spoke on the subject, “The Activity of Witnessing,” in which he offered an evaluation of the lay witness movement, Campus Crusade, and the Jesus movement; The series consisted of three lectures, planned by the Reformed Witness Committee of Doon, Edgerton, and Hull. Prior to the presentation in Pella, the series had been delivered, also, in Doon. The first lecture, by Rev. Lanting, was entitled, “The Calling to Witness. The second, “The Power to Witness,” was delivered by Rev. Moore. According to Pella’s bulletin, special invitation cards were prepared and placed in the bulletin rack, and the members of the congregation were encouraged to “distribute them to interested people either personally or by sending them through the mail.” “May God’s blessing,” the announcement concluded, “rest upon this effort to witness to our community concerning the truth of our calling to witness.”
Of more than passing interest is an announcement, also from a Hull bulletin, that an informal meeting of the members of that congregation was going to be held to discuss the possibility of the erection of their own school. According to the bulletin, it was the concern of various members, expressed during family visitation, which prompted the consistory to call the meeting. The paragraph concluded with the remark, “Let’s all be there to discuss the possibility of providing Protestant. Reformed education for all our children.” We’ll certainly be interested in learning of developments.
In connection with that last item, perhaps, we could mention that each of our Protestant Reformed Schools has contracted its entire staff for the 1972-1973 school year. The fact that Boards had completed that task by May 1 is a reflection, already, of the current teacher supply. But we can add to that, that there were actually moreapplicants, this spring, than there were openings for next school year. That must be a first in the history of our schools. Education Committees, we suspect, are beginning to breathe more easily.
In dipping into “the box,” I discovered another school news item which, though recent by no stretch of the imagination, is, nevertheless, not old as far as interest is concerned. Joint chapel exercises, attended by the students of our Doon and Edgerton schools (fifty-five miles apart, if the Editor-in-chief’s odometer is more accurate than the news editor’s meter stick), is not the only instance of fellowship experienced by our western schools. Teachers of those two schools met in Colorado; in convention, last November, with the teachers of our Loveland school; We can appreciate the fact that, since the schools are quite small, the teachers really enjoy the opportunity to meet together. Evidence of that gratitude we find in the Ledger. Miss Beverly Hoekstra, principal at Loveland, wrote, “We are thankful to God for giving us some time together to be instructed and to share one another’s problems and opinions in discussions.”
Interestingly, the eastern schools were not entirely “left out” of that convention. Part of the program consisted of a “taped speech by Prof. Hanko, given at the Teachers’ Convention in Grand Rapids.”
The highlight of the convention seems to have been the speech by the principal of our Edgerton school. According to Mr. John Kalsbeek, in the Polaris, from Doon, “not only the teachers but also the Loveland congregation, met together and listened to an excellent speech by Mr. Tom DeVries on ‘Discipline in the Christian Home and School.'” That speech has, subsequently, appeared, as you know, in the Standard Bearer, and, subsequent to that, has been used as the basis for discussion in one of the monthly Sunday evening discussion group meetings, attended by various members of First Church.
The convention, apparently, was a very worthwhile thing. Miss Hoekstra expressed the confidence that “God uses this as a means for the upbuilding of the teachers to further instruct in the fear of His Holy, Name.” And, according to Mr. Kalsbeek, “we were again brought face to face with our” overwhelming responsibilities of instructing and correcting His children. He directed us to acknowledge our total inability of fulfilling this difficult task in our own strength.”