We have several short items of interest with which we would like to begin this time. Our church in Redlands has extended a call to Rev. D. Engelsma, from a trio which included also Rev. R. Harbach and Rev. G. VanBaren.
The congregation at Redlands planned to hold a Farewell for Rev. and Mrs. Hanko and Alice on Friday, October 22.
On September 27 there was a congregational meeting in our South Holland church, for the purpose of considering “the council’s proposal for the plan and contractor’s bid for the new parsonage.”
And then we have a long item, also of interest, we trust. We indicated in the news column of the last issue of this magazine that there had been, this past summer, another workshop attended by a number of teachers in our Protestant Reformed Schools. Perhaps you would be interested in hearing a little about the efforts expended there.
We could say, first of all, that the session was attended by Mr. Harry Langerak and Miss Agatha Lubbers from Covenant, Mr. Fred Hanko and Mr. Darrel Huisken and Mr. Gerald Kuiper from Hope, and Miss Carol DeJong from Adams. Miss Beverly Hoekstra, from Loveland, attended part of the time. Mr. Lamm Lubbers, of South Holland, served as director of the workshop.
As you perhaps know, the workshop is sponsored by the Federation of Protestant Reformed School Societies, whose membership includes, at present, our Adams, Hope, and South Holland Protestant Reformed Schools. The stated goal, or purpose, of the Federation is, among other things, to “provide seminars to promote the- development, understanding, and presentation of distinctive Christian education.” To that end, the Federation has, for the past two summers, used funds raised by assessment of member school societies, to provide stipends for teachers who attend the summer workshop. And, judging by the fruit of the past two workshops, the money has been very well spent. The work of the 1970 workshop centered around the teaching of Literature. This past summer, some of our teachers again met together, this time in a two week session, and concentrated their attention on the teaching of Social Studies.
As in the previous workshop, the primary benefit was derived by the participants themselves. It’s beyond doubt that the participants are better equipped, as a result of attendance at the seminar, to provide education from a truly Protestant Reformed Christian perspective. The attending teachers spent some time developing and discussing a set of objectives for the teaching of Social Studies. Further, they reviewed the current Social Studies curricula in our schools and considered possible improvement. And, perhaps most importantly, they directed their attention to specific problems or concerns which arise repeatedly in the study of history. Each member volunteered to “undertake a study” of such a problem, to “search for Biblical directives,” and present a paper, which was then discussed and modified. Topics included the Biblical position with regard to war, revolution, economic systems, decline of nations, linguistic development, and the relationship between church and state.
The primary benefit, we said, belongs to the participants. But the intention of the Federation is that it not be limited to them. We trust, therefore, that, as was the case with the Literature Studies workshop, there will soon be a written product which will make it possible for other of our teachers to benefit from the labors of the 1971 “Summer Session for Social Studies.”