Our host, the Young People’s Society of the Protestant Reformed Church of Oak Lawn, may be assured that, as they wished, all of us enjoyed our stay among them and that we left the Convention being spiritually edified and the more “thoroughly equipped” unto our task and calling in life. We may truly say that the Convention was a grand success.
I was strongly impressed by the genuine spirit of unity. Whomever I met, and wherever I went, I realized that we were all members of one large Protestant Reformed family gathered together from far and near to become more “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” and to bring back the messages and instruction, the enthusiasm and good spirit to those members of our societies who were unable to attend the Convention. What an encouragement it was for our cause to see some of our young people gladly travel from as far away as Manhattan to attend our Convention! Yet, I was somewhat disappointed that more of our young people from out West could not attend the Convention. I hope that plans can be formulated whereby they will also become members of our Federation, thus uniting all Protestant Reformed Young People; for in unity there is strength.
The people who received us into their homes not only provided for us a place to eat and sleep, but also received us into their family circles. They were interested in our problems and activities. To be sure, they did their utmost to make our stay in their midst a most pleasant one. I cannot express my gratitude enough, but I do hope that I may welcome them in like manner in years to come.
Furthermore, I was thoroughly pleased to see so many ministers interested in our activities. Whereas only two were our advisors, nevertheless, many others enthusiastically attended our meetings and expressed their opinions freely at all times.
How smoothly and completely the Convention theme “Thoroughly Equipped” was carried out! How appropriate was the theme song “Lead On, O King Eternal!” The introductory address of Rev. Hoeksema, “Thoroughly Equipped,” opened the field of discussion in general. The following speeches, “Defending the Truth,” “Our Christian Isolation” and “Watchful Confidence in Our Peculiar Times,” carefully treated the theme from more specific points of view. How fittingly such a theme adapted itself to the militaristic spirit of “our peculiar times.” By applying these talks to ourselves, we were able to say that we left the Convention “more thoroughly equipped” to perform the duties which lay before us in this world of sin and destruction.
I felt that the business and general procedures of the Convention were well organized and planned. Our officers managed the affairs very efficiently and skillfully, for it certainly was no small task to accomplish as much as was done in the time allotted. A few things might have been improved somewhat, but these were scarcely remedial, consequently such matters will remain a problem for future Conventions which will probably be expanding into many other fields of activity. I did feel, however, that Rev. De Jong’s address, “Our Christian Isolation” was somewhat slighted because of lack of time. I realized that these thought-provoking speeches provide such fertile soil for general discussion that consequently sufficient time is hardly available for all of them. Also, because of limited time, much business which was comparatively new and strange to many of us, seemed to be conducted rather rapidly without much time for proper consideration. Our president often wondered why more delegates did not speak up, but most were very busy trying to digest all what was being said so promptly by others, who were better acquainted with the matters in question. Again I say, this is a very difficult situation to be remedied.
How fittingly the banquet closed the activities of the Convention! The peppy song-service, the animated debate (on an undebatable issue), the entertaining musical selections, the supper itself, and the most interesting address of Rev. Doezema rounded out the activities to a spirited climax.
After all was over, I was indeed happy to have attended the Convention, but I was sorry that it was finished this year. I would have liked to have the Convention last a week, although I felt that we had crammed a week’s activities into those two days, and it would have been too much work for a host society to have us all for a whole week. I am patiently, yet hopefully waiting, the Lord willing, to attend next year’s Convention at Roosevelt Park.