Mr. Wigger is a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.
In June our churches celebrated their 75th anniversary as a denomination with a week-long celebration at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. For five days members of various of our churches in North America, as well as sister churches and friends from various mission fields, were able to enjoy each other’s company, and fellowship centered in God’s Word.
Neither my managing editor, Don Doezema, nor space, allow me to give a detailed review of that week (that appears elsewhere in this issue); but having spent the week at Calvin, I have a few observations to make about it all.
First, if you know any of those who served on any committee that had anything to do with the anniversary celebration and you have not thanked them for their efforts, it is not too late to do so. They all deserve our thanks. Although I am sure they would probably disagree, really what would you want to change about that week? It all seemed perfect to me.
Second, each day was filled with a nice balance of spiritual and physical activities for young and old alike. Devotions each morning in the chapel were really appreciated. The sectionals were wide ranging in scope, with many wondering how they could squeeze all 15 sectionals into just three mornings. The Bible School was a tremendous idea, with over 500 students, including those entering preschool through the 8th grade, in attendance. Bible lessons were from Ephesians, under the theme “The Armor of God,” with 31 teachers and 40 helpers giving God-centered instruction through teaching, singing, and crafts that carried through the theme.
The Historical Church Bus Tour was much appreciated, especially the visit to old First Church in Grand Rapids. Having grown up in First Church, I can say personally, it was like we were there just last Sunday. Nothing seemed to have changed, except that we were both a little older and in need of some minor repairs.
Each afternoon was also filled with a wide range of family activities. Children, their parents, and grandparents could be as busy as they wanted or they could find a convenient shade tree and visit with old and new friends alike.
Some activities that stand out in my mind have to be the “Anniversary Riddle.” Each morning during the week a different Scripture verse was posted. Adults had to try to figure out just where on campus the verses were pointing them. Each day they got a little closer, till at last a copy of the 75th anniversary June issue of this magazine was found in a planter near the chapel.
Another was the Creepy Crawler Contest. Imagine about 200 children swarming over the Calvin campus around 10:30 at night with flashlights and containers hoping to find the biggest, ugliest, scariest, and most colorful bug. Prizes were awarded after the judges, Revs. Bruinsma and Haak, made their somewhat questionable selections.
You might also be interested to know that one couple became engaged at the anniversary. They might sometime forget the date of their anniversary, but they will never forget when and where they became engaged.
And finally, the programs each night at Sunshine Community Church were a tremendous blessing. Words cannot express what it was like to sit under one roof with 2500 like-minded saints and sing praises to our God, or have the theme of our celebration, “Living Out of Our Heritage,” as based on Psalm 16, explained to us, or see the 500 children from Bible School sing for us, or hear the gasps in the audience when an old banner entitled “Faithful Today,” from a 1960 Young People’s Convention, which was found in the bell tower at First Church that week, brought out on the stage.
Truly it was a week that will not soon be forgotten. May the Lord use such a celebration as this for the unification and edification of the saints who were there and for the church universal.
On Friday, June 23, the last day of the celebration, everyone was invited to enjoy an evening of musical praise with certain PR musical groups. The Hope Heralds, the Instruments of Praise, Make a Joyful Noise, One in Him, and the Voices of Victory, performed for a full house at Grace Community Church in Hudsonville, MI.
In connection with that concert, you might be interested to know that the Instruments of Praise is a group of about twenty musicians, mostly from our churches. They have a good selection of instruments ranging from trumpet to bassoon, to provide a full sound. Their goal is to praise God with the God-given talent of music. They would like to share this music with you, so they have produced a CD/tape recording of 24 selections, 20 of which are the beloved Psalms and 4 are well-known hymns. Interested? Contact Paul Hoekstra, 1475 Riley St., Hudsonville, MI 49426; (616) 896-8681, e-mail email@example.com. The cost is $12 per CD, $6 per tape. Make checks payable to “Instruments of Praise.”