From the September 24 bulletin of First Church comes the following news concerning our missionary:
“Rev. G. Lubbers reports from Jamaica that he has again begun teaching students: in English, the Canons of Dordt, and Church History. He opened school with a devotional on Ps. 78:1-8. He continues also to preach in the churches. At present Rev. C. Hanko is working with him for a period of three weeks. We pray God’s continued blessing upon them in these labors of kingdom work.”
The students of Loveland Protestant Reformed School had an unscheduled day of vacation recently. According to Loveland’s bulletin, “vandals broke into our school Friday evening and made a mess of the classrooms. For this reason, school is canceled tomorrow. The Board asks that all who can help, come out to school tomorrow to clean up the rooms.”
On Wednesday evening, September 27, the congregation of First Church commemorated “with Rev. VanBaren seven years of faithful service in his calling to proclaim the glorious Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ in our congregation.” In his “remarks of appreciation,” Mr. J.M. Faber noted that Rev. VanBaren had preached in this congregation over 600 sermons, which were not shaken out of his sleeve, but “generated in his study with the open Bible at his side.” And, Mr. Faber added, if with those sermons “he has stepped on our toes (and he has), it’s because our toes were in front of our feet which were walking on forbidden paths.”
Rev. VanBaren was acknowledged as “God’s gift to us.” Fitting it is, certainly, that each of our churches with undershepherds thank the Lord for providing us with faithful servants. Some of our ministers have served faithfully for many years. We learn from a Southwest Church bulletin that the Consistory there arranged a program, which was to be given on October 6, to celebrate the forty years of Rev. H. Veldman’s ministry.
For the remainder of our news column, we would like to pass on a little information concerning last summer’s workshop for teachers, sponsored by the Federation of Protestant Reformed School Societies. We glean this information from the Federation secretary’s report to the member school boards.
The workshop, which dealt with “Written Communication Skills,” was held at Hope School during the weeks of June 19 and June 25. The workshop, directed by Mr. Darrel Huisken, was attended by two teachers from Hope, one from South Holland, three from Covenant, and one from Loveland. Some idea of what transpired during those two weeks, and of the value of what was accomplished there, can be gained from evaluations written by the participants themselves. One of the teachers had this to say:
“I believe that the work that we did this summer—the distinctive Christian principles that we set down, the course outlines that we suggested, and the ideas for teaching writing that we accumulated—can be an effective impetus for further development and enrichment of the writing programs in all of our schools.”
From another participant’s letter we quote the following: “I was able to participate in the third consecutive workshop of this kind and once again the experience was profitable and exhilarating. The two previous workshops were experiences which cannot be replaced by any other experience in the field of teacher education. The years which I spent as a student in the classroom being prepared for the teaching profession were valuable, but the summers spent in workshops were the kind of experiences which one who has been working as a teacher needs so that he may be refueled and refortified for the arduous work of teaching the many areas in the teaching profession.”
Concerning the rather lengthy written product which has come out of the workshop, a third individual submitted that, “Undoubtedly, the most distinctive feature of the workshop product is its statement of philosophy and its list of objectives. This is unique; no patch-up job on somebody else’s list, but one based on Scripture and our peculiar view of God and man. . . . We have begun with these workshops to spread our professional wings and produce material ourselves which is educationally sound and distinctive and which we can be proud to claim and defend.”
And for an evaluation of workshops in general, we take the following excerpt from the director’s report to the Committee for Teacher Educational Development:
“Workshops are a success because they do what really little else can do effectively. Workshops draw together teachers of like mind, spirit, and devotion. The mind of Christ, the Spirit of our Lord, and the devotion of God characterize these people. They are drawn together, they work together, and they learn together for one purpose: to better equip the covenant youth to take its rightful place in the kingdom of God here on earth.”