The winter’s grip on the nation was felt in Iowa Dec. 22 when all church services were cancelled and the evening Christmas program was postponed. This winter’s grippe was also in evidence in all our churches, leaving many seats vacant, and in one instance, Southeast Church, the pulpit had to be occupied by an elder on Sunday evening and Christmas morning when Rev. Schipper was laid low by its bug.
Our Protestant Reformed Christian School Teachers Convention was held in South Holland Nov. 7 and 8. The Thursday morning lecture on, “Distinctive Christian Education” was given by Dr. Calvin Seerveld, while the afternoon program featured Prof. H. Hanko who spoke “General Revelation and Christian Instruction” Friday morning they attended the Midwest Chr. Teachers Ass’n Sectionals in Chicago, and toured the Museum of Science and Industry in the afternoon. Their reporter, Mr. John Kalsbeek, said, “The exchange of ideas, the Christian fellowship and the unity of thought and purpose shall never be forgotten. New ideas to try, new thoughts to think and new energy to face the responsibility of instructing Covenant children; these ingredients contributed much to the success of the convention.
Hope’s Choral Society rendered a Christmas concert consisting of some ten numbers, with an accordion solo and a piano-organ duet to give variance to the program.
Prof. H.C. Hoeksema and family vacationed in Florida during the Christmas-between-semesters-vacation, and Prof. H. Hanko and family were quartered in Hull’s parsonage with the Professor ministering to the congregation’s needs in the interim.
On Dec. 20 Hope School rendered their Christmas program and had invited their parents and the staff and pupils of Covenant High School to share it with them. The first grades sang and recited Luke 2; the junior and senior choirs, under the direction of H. Langerak, sang some numbers; Prof. Hanko gave a short talk on, “He was made poor that we might be rich”; the High School choir, under the direction of R. Petersen, sang three numbers which, according to our reporter, “made chills run up and down my spine”. It was announced that Hope’s children had contributed $200.00 as their Christmas gift to the children of Jamaica.
Loveland’s ‘School Christmas’ program included audience participation in two ways: the giving of an offering and the singing of two songs, one of which was sung in German, the language of their forefathers.
A ninety-year-old lady from Mineral, Va. wrote Rev. Woudenberg to thank him for his study sheets which she regularly enjoys, adding, “I agree with all your doctrinal statements.”
The young people of Redlands sponsored a pre-Christmas hymn sing which was reported to be, “enthusiastic and inspiring.”
Among the many benefits to be had as a member of a Prot. Ref. Church one cannot find one that affords a low budget payment. Isabel adopted a 1969 budget that calls for a weekly gift of $9.10 (is this the highest?), and that does not include the many other needs that must be met in the name of Christian Charity. But the very fact that we can adopt such a budget is a proof that we can say, “Our cup runneth over.”
Looking over the printed programs of our schools and churches we noted that Kalamazoo’s was a bit different from the usual run. The congregation was asked to sing a number of Christmas carols interspersing the reading of choice scripture portions by the Sunday School children. A violin solo by Mary Klop and a reading taken from Spurgeon, which was read by Phil Harbach, completed the interesting program.
Our most recent Theological Journal, Vol. II, No. 1, contains a paper on “The Organic Development of Dogma”, by Prof. H. Hanko; and the second half of the journal is taken up by a reprint of a paper authored by the late Rev. H. Hoeksema which was found in his effects. The title of the paper is, “On the Theory of Common Grace”. The Editor wrote, “While it has in it much Greek and Hebrew, our readers who have no acquaintance with the original languages of Scripture need not be deterred from reading it. The article will be of considerable value. And, though written some years ago, will be very relevant to the present.” It is thought to have been written about 1920 and was read at a minister’s conference of some kind. And even when we ignore the Greek and the Hebrew we found it very interesting to note that the author’s thinking had developed, but was not changed in regard to the entire issue at that time.
Kalamazoo’s Dec. 29 bulletin carried a thank you from the Pastor and his family for the generous purse given them by the congregation Christmas Day.
. . . see you in church