Thursday morning, October 2, eleven catechism students (8th – 11th grade, 8 young men and 3 young ladies) of Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI, along with their pastor, Rev. R. Kleyn, visited our seminary. These students had the day off from school because of the annual teachers’ convention. The students and Rev. Kleyn got to the seminary around 9 a.m. Rev. Kleyn began the visit by giving them a tour of the seminary building and premises, followed by a visit to a couple of professors in their offices. Then at 9:45 they joined the professors and students for the daily period of devotions for 10 minutes and then had morning coffee with them for 15 minutes. After this they all sat in on two hours of classes. In the first hour, 4 visited Prof. R. Decker’s NT History class, and the other 7 sat through an hour of Hebrew grammar with Prof. D. Engelsma. He was lecturing on the Hebrew prepositions and conjunctions and how these are joined to the different Hebrew nouns. The students will remember forever the Hebrew word for the preposition “from.” Prof. Engelsma even threatened to ask them should he bump into them sometime in the future. After this they all sat through an hour of Dogmatics with Prof. Engelsma lecturing on Christology and the Divinity of Christ. This class ended around noon, and then the professors treated their guests to pizza for lunch. While sitting and eating with the professors and the students, Rev. Kleyn had opportunity to tell the young people about some of his days in the seminary, and his experiences in “practice preaching,” and some of the fun he and his classmates had back then. Both the professors and students at the seminary appreciated Trinity’s visit very much, even complaining (a little) that not enough of our church members make an effort to visit the seminary. They liked the exposure. According to Rev. Kleyn, Trinity was treated royally, the professors even making an effort in the lectures to compensate a little for their younger audience. All of the young people enjoyed the morning thoroughly and left with a greater appreciation for what goes into the preparation of ministers, both on the part of professors and students. Rev. Kleyn is planning sometime in the future to try to do the same for interested adults in his congregation who have expressed a desire for it. Rev. Kleyn concludes his note to me by adding three things he hoped to accomplish in this visit: 1) to help these young people know what we are praying for when we pray for our seminary; 2) to encourage the professors and seminary students; and 3) perhaps, if the Lord wills, to perk the interest of some of the young men to consider more seriously the gospel ministry. Rev. Kleyn and those 11 young people from Trinity would recommend such an outing to any and all members of our churches.
Our two PR Christian schools in Iowa, Hull PR Christian School and Northwest Iowa PR Christian School in Doon, hosted the 49th annual Teachers Convention October 2 and 3 at Hull PR Christian School. There were two speeches given that were open to the public. The first was the convention’s keynote address, given by Rev. D. Kleyn, Thursday morning, October 2 at Hull PR Church entitled, “Laborers Made Steadfast in the Lord,” and the second given that evening in our Doon PR Church by Rev. R. Smit entitled, “Be Steadfast in Watching.”
The evening of October 9, Prof. R. Dykstra spoke at the annual fall PTA meeting of Hope PR Christian School in Grand Rapids, MI. He spoke on the theme, “Two Different Covenants, Two Different Schools,” a subject which considered how the covenant view that is maintained will necessarily affect the school.
An outing for band students of Heritage Christian School in Hudsonville, MI was planned for Saturday, October 18. Plans called for a bus trip to a Central Michigan University Marching Band performance, with a football game included before and after half time.
Rev. W. Bruinsma has declined the call he received to serve as the next pastor of the Hudsonville, MI PRC. Rev. R. Miersma has been led by our Lord to accept the call extended to him to serve our churches as missionary to Ghana, West Africa, along with Rev. W. Bekkering. The council of Faith PRC in Jenison, MI presented a duo of Rev. A. Brummel and Rev. S. Key to their congregation for a call to serve as their next pastor.
The Cornerstone PRC in St. John, IN sponsored, in their church on October 7, a video presentation of the debate that was recently held in Grand Rapids, MI between Dr. R. Mouw and Prof. D. Engelsma on the question of common grace. Cornerstone PRC also recently started a “Women’s Coffee Break.” These meetings are scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Wednesday mornings of each month and will study the book “Nurturing a Heart of Humility,” a study of Mary by Elizabeth George.
Friday evening, October 17, and then again on Saturday morning, October 18, a good number of visitors gathered in the auditorium of Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, MI to be part of a marriage seminar entitled “Godly Living in Marriage,” sponsored by the Evangelism Committee of Trinity. This conference, by coincidence, was held during “Marriage Protection Week,” October 12-18, as designated by President George W. Bush. Friday Prof. B. Gritters spoke on “Priorities in Marriage,” followed by Rev. W. Bruinsma speaking on “Resolving Conflict in Marriage.” On Saturday morning Rev. R. VanOverloop spoke first on “The Man’s Role as Husband and Father,” followed by Rev. J. Slopsema speaking on “The Woman’s Role as Wife and Mother.”