We often read with interest the creativity of our vacant churches in providing the “lively preaching of the Word” for their congregations. With the number of vacancies in our churches, it is often a challenge to find supply for Sunday worship services, or the special services that come along throughout the year.
Such was the case at the Loveland, COPRC in March. They delayed their annual Prayer Day service two weeks to March 24, which allowed their newly installed pastor, Rev. S. Key, to provide the faithful Word of God.
The Hull, IA PRC, the church that Rev. Key left after ten years, scheduled their Good Friday service for Thursday, April 1, so that Rev. D. Overway, of neighboring Doon, IA, could fill their pulpit.
The Immanuel Fellowship Church of Kalamazoo, MI extended a cordial invitation to their community to join them for their annual Good Friday service, “The Seven Cross Words of Christ,” on April 2. Rev. A. Spriensma, pastor of the Kalamazoo PRC, was one of the seven speakers at this year’s service. Rev. Spriensma spoke on the 7th cross word: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
The Men’s Society of the Doon, IA PRC hosted a Combined Men’s Society Meeting on Monday evening, March 29. Discussion was taken from Revelation 21, and the Men’s Society of the Edgerton, MN PRC moderated an after-recess discussion on Rev. Doug Kuiper’s articles in recent issues of the Standard Bearer concerning women assisting the deacons.
With thanksgiving to the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, the congregation of the Loveland, COPRC witnessed the installation of Rev. S. Key as minister of the Word and sacraments. Rev. Key becomes the ninth pastor in the 52-year history of Loveland. Rev. A. Lanning, son-in-law of Rev. Key, led the March 21 service, preaching from God’s Word found in Jeremiah 1:9, 10, under the theme, “The Installation of Jeremiah the Prophet.” A welcome program was planned for after the evening worship service. The following Lord’s Day, Rev. Key preached his inaugural sermon, preaching from Ezekiel 30:1-14, on the theme, “Dry Bones.”
Our congregations in Loveland, CO; Faith in Jenison, MI; and Georgetown in Hudsonville, MI had the opportunity on March 28 to lift their voices together with choirs in thanksgiving and praise as their choirs commemorated the glory of the mighty resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in song after their evening worship services.
The Council of the Hope PRC in Redlands, CA recently reported to their congregation on their work in Tucson, AZ. During the month of March, Elder Steve Feenstra and Deacon Darin Gritters took turns accompanying Rev. VanderWal to Tucson to conduct a Bible study with the families there. The last meeting was attended by the four regular families and one new attendee. The Bible study is on the book of Hebrews. The discussions have been going very well, and everyone is well prepared and contributes. The volunteer drivers from Hope have been leaving at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning and arriving back in Redlands at 12:00 p.m. on Friday.
The Domestic Mission Committee of our denomination sponsored a seminar held at the Southwest PRC in Grandville, MI on March 23 and 24. The subject of the seminar was, “The challenges of bringing the gospel to those who have little or no knowledge of the truth.” Rev. A. den Hartog and Rev. R. VanOverloop each gave a presentation. Both speeches were followed by a panel discussion, with the goal to learn from one another. The panel included the two speakers, our two home missionaries (Rev. A. Brummel and Rev. W. Bruinsma), and Prof. B. Gritters, professor of missions at our Theological School.
While there, Rev. Bruinsma also conducted a class at the seminary on the subject of missions.
Young People’s Activities
About 250 young people from the west Michigan churches made their way to the Southeast PRC in Grand Rapids on Sunday afternoon, March 28, for their annual Easter Mass Meeting. Rev. W. Langerak, pastor of Southeast, spoke from I Corinthians 15:58 under the theme, “Abounding in the Work of the Lord.” The Young People’s Society of Southeast also sang for a special number.
The young people of First PRC in Holland, MI invited their congregation to stay after their Good Friday service for an ice cream social fundraiser.
Young Adult Activities
The members of the Loveland, COPRC extended a warm welcome to Prof. R. Dykstra and Rev. A. Lanning and the 49 young adults who attended this year’s Young Adults Retreat on March 15-18 held at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. The theme this year was “Receiving Wisdom from Elders,” from the book of Proverbs. Rev. Lanning spoke on “The Necessity of Seeking Wisdom from our Elders,” followed the next evening by Prof. Dykstra speaking on “Getting Wisdom from our Elders.”
Rev. M. VanderWal declined the call extended to him to serve as pastor of the Bethel PRC in Roselle, IL. Rev. J. Laning declined the call he received to serve as the next pastor of First PRC in Holland, MI.
Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI extended a call to Rev. C. Haak, pastor of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, to become their next pastor.
Rev. Doug Kuiper, serving our churches in Randolph, WI, received the call from the Hull, IA PRC.