A sure sign that summer is about over is that this column will have to be written twice a month again from now on. Certainly was nice while it lasted.
By the time this appears in print, the 1970 Young People’s Convention will be a thing of the past. But at the time of its writing, we have only a couple of advance notices. Take this one, for example: “Celeryland Convention: Where? Hudsonville. When? August 19-24. Participants.7 All Protestant Reformed Young People!” Their theme is “Strangers in a Strange Land,” from I Chron. 29:15; and the speakers—Rev. D. Engelsma, Prof. H. Hanko, and Rev. B. Woudenberg.
A couple of our ministers have received calls from their old congregations. Rev. G. VanBaren, presently pastor at First Church of Grand Rapids, has received the call from Randolph, which congregation he served from 1962 to 1965. The call from Hull, Iowa, has gone to Rev. J. Kortering who served that congregation during the first six years of his ministry. Rev. C. Hanko has received the call from the congregation of Southwest, which will be left without a pastor after Rev. Lubbers leaves for Jamaica.
Rev. Lubbers, our Missionary to Jamaica, “will be installed into that office,” according to the bulletin of the calling church, “Wednesday evening, Sept. 2, D.V. Rev. Schipper will preach the sermon and Rev. Van Baren will read the Form for Installation. Sunday, Sept. 6, Rev. Lubbers will conduct both services in our church, and a short program will follow the service in which we will bid him God-speed. Rev. VanBaren will address the new Missionary in the name of the calling church and of our denomination.”
Rev. C.J. Elliott of Islington, Jamaica, finally arrived in our country on Monday, July 20, after several delays because of red tape involved in obtaining a passport. He stayed, during his visit to the United States, at the home of Rev. and Mrs. Lubbers. According to bulletins of our churches in the Grand Rapids area, Rev. Elliott is making the rounds. On July 26 he attended the evening service at First Church, after which service he spoke a few words of greeting from the Protestant Reformed Churches in Jamaica, and of appreciation for the work which we have done for the churches there. On August 23 he was to do the same after the morning service in Holland. On August 2 he met with the Sunday School and the congregation of Hudsonville Church, after the morning service. He spoke about the children and Sunday School of Jamaica. On August 16, he planned to do the same at Southeast Church, after its morning service.
The visit of Rev. Elliott constituted, perhaps, the feature attraction at that program at Southeast. But it wasn’t the only part of the program. Besides a few numbers by the Sunday School, there was also a performance by what Southeast calls its Summer Choir. This choir originated just this summer, and, according to reports, is enjoyed immensely by those who participate. Every Sunday, immediately after the 5:00 evening service, interested members of the congregation get together for an hour of singing. They sang under the direction of Mr. C. Westra and, later, his daughter Beth, a college music major.
Incidentally, that meeting of the Sunday School at Southeast Church will be the last held in the summer. They were a little better than half way through their first season of summer Sunday School on a trial basis. It took about that long to determine that absenteeism was a problem to such an extent that it would be in the interest of wisdom to make an immediate change back to winter Sunday School.
It seems that the seminary students have spent a rather profitable summer—at least, if we may judge from this quote from the bulletin of Randolph: “The consistory received the following letter from student R. VanOverloop: I would like to thank you for the privilege given to me to preach in your church for six weeks. I believe that it was of great assistance to me in my training for the ministry. . . . May the Lord bless you spiritually and soon give you a pastor of your own if it is His will.”
We notice that the Reformed Witness Hour has discontinued Stations WNAX in Yankton, North Dakota, and KLOV-FM in Loveland, Colorado. And on July 19 it began to broadcast from KBBI-FM in Lamirada, California, which covers the territory around Redlands, Bellflower, and Los Angeles.
Again, there’s an excess of news, thanks to those churches who so faithfully send bulletins. On occasion, even, a minister has sent a “news sheet” of his own. That that’s appreciated by the news-editor goes without saying. But it’s also of great value for all the Standard Bearer readers, many of whom, no doubt, find this their only source of information concerning what’s happening in the distant churches. So, to all senders of news—thanks!