The following notice has appeared in several of our church bulletins in the Grand Rapids area: “The Reformed Witness Hour is now open for membership from any of our area Prot. Ref. Churches.” The Reformed Witness Hour, as you may recall, had its origin in First Church of Grand Rapids, and is presently under the sponsorship of that church’s consistory. As one would expect, the composition of the Radio Committee has long been men and women who were members of First Church. As is evident from the advertisement just quoted, a decision has been made to change that. Not long ago, at the request of First Church, other churches began to assume some of the financial support of the Reformed Witness Hour. Other of our churches, then, are already playing an important part in the radio ministry. It was the feeling of the committee, apparently, that this share in the work ought to be extended to participation in the actual operation of this important project—hence, the invitation to members of area churches to contact the Radio Committee concerning possible membership.
Incidentally, that 45-minute program describing the work of the Reformed Witness Hour is still available for the asking. It includes slides and a tape-recording, presented by a member of the committee who will also be happy to answer any questions concerning the work. The program has been presented four times already, we are told, and has always been well-received. For society after-recess programs, that should be a real winner.
There’s something of a scarcity of news items for the news column in this issue of the Standard Bearer. That means that I’ll have to dip into my little box of material that’s reserved for emergencies—in which category this occasion assuredly belongs. The significance of the box, as long as there’s something in it, is roughly equivalent to that of the blanket of Charles Schulz’s Linus; so, ordinarily, it’s opened with some reluctance. But the fact is that I’m happy there’s sufficient space this time to include a rather lengthy item concerning the mission work of our little congregation in Lynden, Washington.
The diaconate of First Church in Grand Rapids recently received, from Lynden, a letter of appreciation for a gift from the congregation of First Church, in support of the “Studies in Biblical Doctrine” program of Lynden’s congregation. The letter included, also, a short account of the extent of Lynden’s efforts. The deacons of First Church felt, and, we think, properly, that the information would be of interest to our people generally. We thank them for supplying a copy to the News Editor.
After reading what follows, we’re sure you’ll understand why we decided to quote, in its entirety, the section of Rev. Woudenberg’s letter dealing with Lynden’s mission activities.
“The work which we are performing here seems to pass through various phases as time goes on. Originally our primary concern was to prepare and develop a program of doctrinal study which could be used both by our own people and by others through the mail. This we did with our study sheets and with tapes, and for a long time we were preoccupied with making contacts and broadening our distribution of these. After that we prepared a series of Bible studies to be translated for use in Indonesia, 50,000 of which are presently being distributed there. Presently, however, while continuing these other programs, we are focusing our attention more on our local area. Each week we are presenting a full hour long Bible Study of the Air on our local Radio station, with opportunity given for remarks and questions from the audience by means of the telephone. In turn, we are also presenting a bi-weekly discussion group for further consideration of these studies with a good number of people attending from various different churches. Also we are holding a weekly Bible study class with a group of young people up in Canada.
“Generally, what we would like to do is to become more and more identified as the voice of sound Reformed doctrine in this area, with a clear indication of the basis of these doctrines in the Scriptures for the sake of those who are unacquainted with them but who do have a loyalty to the Bible. Certainly, it is striking how many of the problems of our day can be dealt with by simply emphasizing one or another part of our doctrinal position while remaining free from the tensions, fears, and conflicts which have become so much a part of our present age. May God give to us the grace to continue to exercise our heritage in this direction.
“We would also like to remind you that, if there are any in your congregation who would like to receive our study sheets or tapes, they are available upon request simply by writing to us at:
Studies in Biblical Doctrine
8541 Depot Road Lynden,
In the service of sovereign grace,
Lynden Protestant Reformed Church
Studies in Biblical Doctrine program”