The ushers were showing us down the aisle of the beautiful little Church in Oak Lawn. The dimly lighted auditorium, the beautiful platform furnishings created a solemn air—impressive! Our unaccustomed eyes lingered here and there—on the flags, the costly candlesticks, the gold cross, the pictured windows, the pulpit on one end of the platform. Yet, we felt perfectly at home here in this Lutheran Church because all the young people with whom we had become acquainted during that day, and many others were there. The organ was playing our beautiful theme song, ‘‘Lead On, O King Eternal.” Our Federation president was standing in the pulpit and our own Rev. Hoeksema was calmly facing us from his chair on the platform, prepared to give us what we were waiting for.
Silence, except for the voice of the speaker, the silence of attentiveness, filled the room. It was good to be there, it was, indeed, an inspirational meeting. Our hearts were filled with the joy of knowing, that we were gathered together with God’s people and we were thrilled and inspired as we listened to the message, “Thoroughly Equipped.” God’s Word—brought to our attention with new force, new emphasis, filling us with renewed strength, renewed zeal.
Again the church was filled with music, “Lead On, O King Eternal, We follow not with fears, For gladness breaks like morning, Where e’er Thy Face appears.” And so we left the church on the first evening of our Convention. Impressed? Oh, yes! By walls and windows and decorations? Ah, no, much more. We carried with us the lasting impression of the words we had just heard and understood, written by God’s Grace in our hearts.
The following evening, the second and last night of our Convention, found us gathered again in the auditorium of the Lutheran Church, A whole-hearted song service, the call to dinner in the dining room, recess, and we were ready to settle down for the program: lecture, musical numbers, debate.
The debaters were seated on the platform. The audience was eager with anticipation. “Resolved: that principle is the only possible reason for affiliating with any denomination,” was an interesting subject to all of us. The team upholding the affirmative was Margaret Regnerus, Alice Veldman, Wilhelmina Rutgers, from the Oak Lawn Society, and the team of the negation consisted of Grace Miedema, Conrad Poortinga, and Peternella Poortinga from South Holland. The first speaker of the affirmation pointed out that Scripture does not permit any reason other than principle for affiliation with a certain denomination, while the second speaker of this same team made clear that in order to be consistent with the Truth as we profess it, it is necessary to assume a positive stand, instead of bringing up other, superficial reasons, and the third speaker emphasized that practical reasons, no matter how important they may seem, always fall short of the standard set for us in Scripture, and therefore may not be considered as valid reasons for affiliating with another denomination. The negative tried to show that Scripture allows other reasons than principle for affiliating with a certain denomination and they set out to prove that there are other good and valid reasons for doing so. By citing several cases and practical problems, they tried to defend the stand that necessity often demands that other reasons be considered. The negation, however, overthrew its own case and waived its rights to refute the arguments of its opponents. And as was said in the closing remarks, they knew they were wrong and they knew we all knew they were wrong. We were really glad about that. We are glad that we all knew, as well as the negation knew, that the affirmative was right. And so the banquet program came to a close and with it our third annual convention,
Does that mean that Federation activities are all over for another year? I should say not. Our Federation has other means of carrying out its purpose of uniting and edifying our Protestant Reformed Young People and to promote the welfare of our Protestant Reformed Churches. Besides an annual Convention, the Federation sponsors lectures for the benefit of all our people, old and young. And another thing, that with which we are now directly concerned, is our monthly publication, Beacon Lights. We would like everyone to become acquainted with Beacon Lights, so will tell you a little about it. Rev. C. Hanko has again been appointed Editor-in-Chief. Besides writing interesting and pertinent editorials, as he always does, he will have charge of a new department “Open Forum.” It is here that you may voice your opinion. Do it! We also have Rev. De Boer with us on the staff again. He has again consented to write the Bible Outlines for study in our Societies. This year these outlines will cover “The Parables of Our Lord.” Other departments of interest are Current Events, Nature Study, Digest of Articles, and Features. Book Previews and Articles of interest will appear alternately. The Editorial Staff is composed of ministers, teachers and others, all capable men and women. Some articles will be written by our young people. The first issue of Beacon Lights will appear October 1. The subscription price for eight issues running from October 1941, to May 1942, is $1.25.
As you will notice Beacon Lights is not only of interest to our Young People, but to everyone concerned with maintaining our Protestant Reformed Truth. If you have not already done so, send in your subscription now to Miss A. Reitsma, 706 Franklin St., S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The 1941 Convention, a big event in the life of our Federation, is over. The two nights about which I have written were enjoyable and instructive and beneficial. And now, Beacon Lights emits its rays; for your enjoyment, for your instruction and for your benefit. Many of you could not be present at the Convention, but all of you can avail yourselves of the opportunity to become more “Thoroughly Equipped” through Beacon Lights!