Rev. G. VanBaren, of First Church in Grand Rapids, has declined the call he had from his home church, South Holland, IL.
The societies of some of our churches have begun meeting right after Labor Day. Doon’s bulletin announcement speaks for all of our churches when it says, “Once again our societies begin their weekly meetings. You are urged to take part in this wonderful privilege from week to week. Our prayer is that through the discussion of God’s Word, God will draw us closer to Himself and to each other in the bond of faith.” Did you notice that the “we urge you” was not an invitation, and the “wonderful privilege” was not an obligation? And, that the prayed-for result was not some sort of sociability but a “closer bond of faith“? If all of us were agreed to the principle underlying this announcement our societies would be better attended and appreciated.
Candidate Richard Moore and family arrived in Isabel, South Dakota Aug. 20, very anxious to see their new home and congregation. Several ladies of the church were at hand to make the parsonage ready for occupancy, but it needed little cleaning because it was new. The parsonage is a mobile home measuring 12 by 68 feet. The men of the congregation are going to build an addition of 10 by 44 feet to provide a study, utility room, and playroom with extra storage space. Even without this addition, Mrs. Moore writes, “Our new home is more spacious than one could believe possible, and is very comfortable.” The moving van was held up three days in Mayor Daley’s city, but finally arrived at 4 on Saturday afternoon, and the Moore family were again ensconced amid familiar surroundings. Candidate Moore did not have much time to rest, however, for his examination before Classis was to take place Sept. 4, and the matter of his Ordination and Installation also added to the excitement of those days. The Classical Examination was passed successfully, and the Ordination was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6. After an organ prelude by Carol Collmann, Rev. B. Woudenberg, of Lynden, Wash., led in opening devotions with prayer, and the reading of Scripture as recorded in Acts 20. Rev. C. Hanko, of Redlands, Calif., preached the sermon which was based on the 28th verse of that chapter, pointing out in a practical way the joys and responsibilities of a minister as an under-shepherd of the flock of Christ. Rev. G. Lanting, of Edgerton, Minn., conducted the ordination rites which were finalized with the “laying on of hands” and a prayer of thanksgiving. Thereupon Rev. Moore closed the service with an official pronouncement of the benediction. After the services those present were invited to the Isabel community building for a delicious lunch and hot coffee prepared by the ladies. On Sunday, Sept. 8, Rev. Moore preached his inaugural sermon, beginning a busy life of service in Isabel, with catechism classes and other meetings in the offing. It is reported that the gladness in the hearts of the people and in that of the new pastor was clearly evidenced. The readers of the Standard Bearer wish you well under the blessing of our Covenant God!
The Prot. Ref. Chr. School in Doon opened its doors this Fall with an enrollment of forty-five pupils. Mrs. Robert Decker has been appointed to teach the lower grades having twenty-five children under her tutelage. Mr. Fred Hanko, principal, administers the affairs of the school and teaches the twenty older children.
Adams St. School and our new Covenant High School have also opened their doors, but we have not yet received particulars attending these occasions. A special report of the High School opening (with pictures) may be expected in the next issue of our paper. A report from our Theological School Committee is scheduled to appear in an October issue of the Standard Bearer regarding the opening of our Seminary with an increased enrollment. So, “bide-a-wee” and ye shall know all.
In the monthly letter sent out by the church extension committee, Rev. VanBaren wrote about the Young Peoples’ Convention that his societies hosted. The pastor used the convention theme as a basis for his letter, treating it in an expository way, setting forth the truth of God’s greatness in His creation, and in the re-creation of His people; he also found therein a condemnation of the emphasis currently placed upon the “social gospel” which stresses an earthly utopia without God. The pastor ended his missive with this exultation, “Thanks be to God in these days of hippies and yippies, of open rebellion of youth against all authority, God still has covenant youth who can sing out in spiritual fervor, ‘How Great Thou Art’. To God be the glory.”
Hope School has begun its twenty second academic year under new management. Mr. John Buiter, one of their regular teachers, has been appointed administrator in the place of Miss A. Lubbers, who is now teaching in the High School. In the August issue of the “Highlights” the new principal wrote, “I hope, by the grace of God, to continue to serve you faithfully in the new responsibility you have entrusted to me. I will endeavor to continue the fine history of administration that our school has enjoyed for many years. To continue this fine reputation I desire your suggestions, your help, your co-operation, and, above all, your prayers.” Indeed, this school is off to a fine start!
. . . see you in church