Rev. Dale Kuiper preached his farewell sermon in Pella on September 22. On September 25, he was installed into his new office of missionary minister of the Word, in a Divine Worship Service held in Hudsonville Church. The church was nearly filled on that occasion, as a goodly number of our people came to witness what First Church’s bulletin called, “this important event in the history of our churches.” The following week Rev. Kuiper moved with his family to Skowhegan, Maine, in order to begin his labors there as the second Home Missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches of America.
Two of our churches have, of course, been left vacant as a result of the recently accepted calls to the office of missionary. Both of those churches, Kalamazoo and Pella, have extended a call to Rev. J. Kortering.
On Tuesday, September 10, the congregation of Southwest Church held a farewell for then Pastor-elect James Slopsema and family. The following Tuesday evening the June graduate from our Seminary was ordained into the office of the ministry, in Edgerton, Minnesota. The congregation of Edgerton extended invitations to neighboring sister churches to join with them on that happy occasion Rev. Moore conducted the service.
An Open House was held in Hudsonville Church on September 21, in honor of Rev. C. Hanko, who at that time observed forty-five years in the ministry of God’s Word!
A couple of weeks earlier, on September 7, Rev. G. Lubbers observed the completion of forty years of faithful ministry, both as pastor and. missionary. It happened that he was in Skowhegan on that occasion and, thanks to the thoughtfulness of a faithful member of the group with which we are working there, we have an account of a special commemoration of that occasion. We quote the following from that much appreciated letter from the brother in Maine:
“After the church service on the evening of September 8, we gathered in his honor at a home.
“In recounting highlights of his ministry, Rev. Lubbers said that he and Mrs. Lubbers longed for the day when they could hear, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’
“Rev. Lubbers stated that many times he learned that God didn’t need him—that God doesn’t need anybody—but that nevertheless God was pleased to use him. He would be happy if God continued to use him for a few more years.
“In moments of trial Rev. Lubbers would remember often the words, ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling,’ and then add, ‘I can’t cling. Hold me Lord!’
“After his remarks, the group sang ‘Great is Thy faithfulness,’ ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ and a few others.
“We in Maine feel greatly blessed to have partaken of Rev. Lubbers’ ministry during his stay, and to have shared this momentous occasion with him.”
Another welcome contribution comes from our Business Manager. Mr. Vander Wal writes:
“Many items concerning our Protestant Reformed publications have been reported in this column. Letters received from the readers of our Standard Bearer, and from listeners and readers of our Reformed Witness Hour radio sermon, have been printed in our News Reports.
“This time, we are happy to give our readers a report on an entirely different facet of literature published by our Protestant Reformed Churches. We refer to the Catechism Booklets published by our Churches, for the catechetical instruction of our Covenant children. Recently an order for these books was received from Northampton, England! In part, the letter reads as follows:
“‘You asked about our use of your catechism materials—well, all I can say is that we in England find them really excellent, and we publish nothing like them here (only “Mark’s Sketchbook of Christ” by Helen Tenney, pub. by Banner of Truth Trust). I have a little girl aged 7.4 years and a little boy aged 1 year—I have been working through the first O.T. Workbook with her and also on the Junior and Beginners Catechisms (Bible Stories) during our daily family devotions. The folks at our Church are becoming quite keen on using them too. We would love to know of any other children’s materials or children’s reading books (fiction or non-fiction) that you can whole-heartedly recommend as Reformed, as it is so difficult to find any in England?'”