First Church in Grand Rapids is conducting Sunday worship services in Bradenton, Florida, as a church extension work. Professor Robert Decker was the first of our ministers to go there and preach. Prof. Decker preached there on three Sundays beginning on December 31, and on New Year’s Day. Prof. Decker reported in the First Church bulletin that the preaching of God’s Word was gladly received. Approximately twenty “Visitor’s cards” were filled in. On his last Sunday there, 47 attended the service. About half of those present were not Protestant Reformed. There appears to be a definite interest in starting a Protestant Reformed Church there. Rev. den Hartog, pastor of our church in New Jersey followed Prof. Decker. He also plans to preach in Bradenton for three Sundays.
Rev. Joostens and Mr. Clare Prince left for Jamaica on January 17. They spent ten days on the island as emissaries of the Mission Committee of our churches.
The Mission Committee is also working with our Kalamazoo Church in mission efforts in Charlotte, Michigan. Worship services began there on January 7. Our retired ministers are sharing the preaching load there. There are four interested families attending these services.
The congregation of our Hope Church in Walker, Michigan, has approved a number of significant proposals during the course of two recent congregational meetings. It was decided to include $10,000 in the church budget for Home Missions. This amount is in addition to that assessed each of our congregations by Synod for Home Mission work. These funds will be used to support Rev. Robert Harbach, home missionary, who is working under the direction of the Hope consistory and the Mission Committee in Victoria, British Columbia. Hope also approved a proposal to send a gift of $10,000 to our church in Wyckoff, New Jersey, to assist the congregation of our Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in its efforts to build a suitable building for worship services. Hope also is going ahead with some church remodeling of its own. The consistory room and small meeting room will be carpeted and paneled.
Hope Church has also taken on a project of note. It has come to their attention that Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Young of Christchurch, New Zealand, will be coming to the United States this spring so that Mr. Young can attend our seminary. Since the US Immigration Service does not allow foreign students or their wives to work while studying in this country, a committee has been formed in Hope Church and given the mandate “to seek to provide financial help for Mr. A. Young.” Information concerning this need was also given in the Report of Classis East in the last issue.
The Church Extension Committee of our congregation in Loveland, Colorado, recently mailed 850 copies of the pamphlet “The Fruit of Church Reformation.”
Also in Loveland, the Ladies’ Circle, which always seems to have an activity in progress, sponsored a Dessert Auction on January 26. The Ladies’ Society in Redlands, California is busy collecting for their “Bakeless bake sale.”
The Bible Society of our church in Isabel, South Dakota, decided to have a turkey dinner in the church basement on the evening of December 20. Being able to have such an activity as this certainly is an advantage a small congregation has over a large one.
Another severe snow storm disrupted activities in the midwest again this January. Several of our churches in the Grand Rapids area canceled worship services on Sunday, January 14. The big storm arrived 12 days earlier this year.
Faith Church in Jenison, Michigan, recently approved the purchase of an Allen 603 organ for their new church sanctuary and approved the construction of a parking lot. To finance some of the costs of these rather expensive projects, the church is scheduling a cash drive in the near future. Faith Church first scheduled worship services in their new sanctuary on December 10.
The Randolph, Wisconsin, bulletin carried the note that “The budget as adopted (1979) means that next year Randolph will be able to function without subsidy. We thank our God for giving us the financial means to be self-supporting.”
While in Edmonton to conduct the annual church visitation, Rev. George Lanting, pastor of our church in Loveland, lectured on the topic, “The Biblical Calling of Women in the Church.”
The Lecture Committee of our Michigan area churches placed bulletin announcements asking that the night of Wednesday, May 2, be reserved for the annual Spring Lecture. They hope to avoid conflicts with one or more weddings, banquets, school programs, or other gatherings.