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The celebration of the 450th anniversary of The Reformation was held in First Church in Grand Rapids as scheduled. A large crowd came out to hear Prof. H.C. Hoeksema who spoke on, “Four Hundred Fifty Years, and Then. . .?” The lecture was, as might be expected, one which captivated the audience in quiet attention from beginning to the end. Rev. VanBaren led in the opening devotions; Rev. Lubbers, chairman of the steering committee, introduced the speaker, and Rev. Schipper led in closing prayer. The audience sang two numbers from the Psalter and Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” accompanied by the pipe organ with Mrs. C. Lubbers at the console. It was an evening of great value to our own people and those of other churches in attendance in that the speaker admonished us to watchfulness without which we will, in these days of “Ecumenism”, inevitably lose our Reformed heritage sparked by Luther, strengthened by Calvin and developed by our forefathers who were true children of the Reformation. Indeed, listening to this lecture one becomes acutely aware of the fact that an annual admonition of this nature is hardly adequate—the Reformed Church community is lamentably losing its distinctiveness. Will the 451st anniversary see the Reformed churches in joint services with Lutherans and Roman Catholics (as these did in Redlands this year) with choirs joining in song and members enjoying(?) the sermon and partaking(?) of the Mass?


An October 15 bulletin of Southeast Church expressed, “The Consistory wishes to take this opportunity to thank those responsible for the beautiful consistory room and its furnishings. We invite the entire congregation to view the magnificent improvement to our church edifice.” And a Redlands’ bulletin also carried a thank you note to one of its members for the surprise gift of a new piano, thereby diverting a growing “piano fund” to new consistory room furniture.


The Eastern Ladies League scheduled a Fall meeting to be held in First Church featuring Rev. J. Kortering as speaker. His speech was titled, “The Great Tribulation and the Freedom of Speech.”


The Young People’s Societies of Hope Church, in a recent meeting, heard and discussed an after recess paper by Larry Koole on, “Television.” Probably the evils of television will have to be recognized by the young people themselves and who will then insist on strict parental television supervision.


The Jamaican trip of Rev. Heys and Elder Zwak has caused reverberations in many places. Among others: The League of Mr. and Mrs. Societies and the Adams St. School Mothers’ Club were so entertained in their November meetings, without spoiling the anticipated Thanksgiving Day program scheduled for that evening in First Church which will be a different program with the latest pictures.


Rev. Woudenberg’s mail thanking him for his “Studies in Biblical Doctrine” is coming in from various quarters. Lately mail has come from Malibu, Calif.; Yucaipa, Calif.; Gaffney, S.C.; and one from one of the Professors in the Reformed Theological Seminary of Jackson, Miss., who asked for library copies, adding,” . . . I think this is an excellent idea to be supplying this type of study by mail. I find a great hunger on the part of many people for a better understanding of the doctrines of Scripture. I trust that God will bless your ministry in your church…..”


Hope’s Men’s Society visited Southeast’s Society Oct. 30 with Mr. Tilma, of the guest society, giving an after recess paper on, “Praying in the Spirit.” Hudsonville was host to First Church’s society recently and Mr. Meulenberg, of First, gave a paper on “Self Discipline,” relating especially to the area of allocating sufficient time for Bible study.


The Protestant Reformed High School Society’s financial report of this Fall revealed that the total financial value of the society is $66,463.55 with under $11,000 of that represented in the property and over $55,000 in cash.


Rev. C. Hanko, the new “professor” of the Jamaican Correspondence Course, is very happy to relate that his students are doing very well in their studies. On returning the tapes to their instructor they often record messages and parts of their services. On one of those tapes Rev. Hahko heard some of the children reciting,from memory, the first three articles of our Canons! He wonders if any of our children could duplicate that.


Sunday, Nov. 5, Rev. Harbach was scheduled for a Classical appointment in South Holland but he preached in Holland instead, exchanging pulpits at Rev. Heys’ request that he might officiate at his son’s public profession of faith in South Holland.


Loveland’s School’s “Ledger” of October featured an editorial by Rev. Engelsma on, “The Reformation and Christian Education”; and, The “Announcer” of the Adams St. School had the first installment of an editorial by Principal F. Block on, “Government Aid in Education”; and, South Holland’s “Reflector” carried an editorial by Principal L. Lubbers on the 450th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, with a cover design of the Castle Church of Wittenburg, Germany, by J. Kalsbeek.

…. see you in church.

—J.M.F.