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RETROGRESSION!!

The following notice appeared in The Banner of November 9, 1945:

“Classis Kalamazoo takes great pleasure in announcing to the various churches of our denomination the union that has been affected between the Protesting First Christian Reformed Church and the Christian Reformed Church on the evening of November 1, 1945. We are deeply grateful to God that He has led this congregation to unite with us, in the bonds of Christian love and fellowship and on the basis of the Holy Scripture, our common confessional standards, and our church order. It is our sincere prayer that the union may redound to the honor and glory of God’s holy name, and to our mutual benefit. We further pray that the King of the Church will continue to bless this congregation and that He may speedily send them the man of His choice to shepherd them in the green pastures of His holy Word.

Permission has been granted the consistory to call a minister and the Rev. J. O. Bouwsma has been designated counselor. The church is located on Park St. in Kalamazoo, Mich., and consists of approximately 180 families.”

PROGRESS

The Mission Committee of our Churches received a mandate from our last held Synod which read as follows: “to investigate the possibility of establishing an outlet for Foreign Mission endeavor in the way of supporting some reputable Mission now, and, in case this proves to be impossible, that a fund be established for this work in order that when the opportunity presents itself, either to support some reputable mission or to establish our own Foreign Mission, we will be prepared to make use of it”.

Since that time the Mission Committee has been working to fulfill this rather large order of Synod. Investigations have been made of several existing Foreign Mission endeavors and the whole question has been discussed at great length both pro and con. At the last meeting of the Mission Committee, several important decisions were taken which we feel will be of interest to our readers. The following preliminary recommendations were approved by the committee: 1. That the Mission Committee goes on record as favoring the establishment of a fund with a view to seeking and establishing our own Foreign Mission endeavor. 2. That the Mission Committee feels that the minimum amount necessary for the establishment of this work is $10,000 and suggests that this is the initial amount to be raised. 8. That the Mission Committee advises that this fund, after its establishment, may be used to support some reputable existing Mission endeavor in case it becomes impossible to establish our own Foreign Mission activity.

There are, of course, many questions and difficulties still remaining. The questions of a field, missionaries and many other details remain. The Committee is continuing to work in this direction and is at present gathering information on China as a possible field. It is understood, of course, that all of this is but preliminary and has no binding value whatever. Even before Synod can act the Committee must refer its report and findings to the various Consistories of our Churches in order that they can study it. We believe, however, that it is at least a step in the right direction and should be encouraged. We hope our people will take genuine interest in whatever develops for we believe this to be the calling of the Church.

ANNIVERSARY CONGRATULATIONS!!

On Sunday, December 3, 1945 the Reformed Witness Hour will observe its 150th broadcast over the air. The program formerly known as the Protestant Reformed Hour, is the fruition of an idea born in the minds of a group of young men during a discussion of the decisions of the Synod and Classis East of the Protestant Reformed Churches in regard to Radio work. At that time, the new radio station, WLAV in Grand Rapids, had just begun to operate and agreed to carry a program for the Young Men’s Society of the First Church in Grand Rapids, who decided to sponsor the program. The first Protestant Reformed Hour was broadcast on Sunday, October 12, 1941, featuring the Rev. H. Hoeksema as speaker and the Protestant Reformed Radio Choir furnishing the music. The details and direction of the program were handled by a committee of the Society.

Since that time the program has continued under the sponsorship of the Young Men’s Society of Fuller Ave. through its Radio Committee. The program soon grew and is at present heard each Sunday over stations in Muskegon and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. The budget for the first year of broadcasting called for the expenditure of about $1,200 while present expenses are about $1,100 a month. Throughout its history the Rev. H. Hoeksema has been the featured speaker while the Choir has presented the bulk of the musical portion of the programs. The program originates from the Fuller Ave. Church auditorium.

A public celebration will commemorate the event of the 150th broadcast. On December 13, the present committee, is sponsoring a hostess supper which is open to anyone interested in the radio work. In view of the large crowd expected to attend, the Franklin Community House (in the park across from the First Church building) has been reserved to accommodate the gathering. Following the supper a public program will be presented in the Fuller Ave. auditorium. Special speakers have been secured and the Radio Choir will sing. Anyone interested in attending the supper is asked to contact the Radio Committee. No reservations are necessary for the program.

We congratulate the Young Men’s Society of Fuller Ave., the Radio Committee, and all who are or have been responsible for the success of this undertaking. Special mention should be made of the speaker, the Rev. H. Hoeksema, whose splendid Radio lectures have been published in Book form as a lasting Testimony and Reformed Witness.

SADDENINGLY INTERESTING

The following is an excerpt from a little paper called The Choir Leader and is a frank indication of what is called “Church” in our day. “I relate just a few of the activities of my own church—one of scores having the same sort of program. They always have overflow crowds and people who are eager to attend and contribute to their efforts.

The church is a down-town church in a bad neighborhood. A free picture show is given the underprivileged “juvenile delinquent” children each Saturday night in the Playhouse. Each Monday night the director of religious education keeps them busy building airplanes—because they do break windows.

A modern Playhouse has been built in the church. An expert member directs four plays each year. The cast is entirely different for each play and they run for a week to s.r.o. Artists from the church paint the scenery and build the sets. They publish their own paper called Back Stage. The editor is a member, as is the entire staff of the paper.

The ushers are changed every month. The Wacs, Waves, etc. do the job, as do the members of Congress and the Kiwanis Club, etc. And by the way, do not sell your member of Congress short. This group has always been No. 1 on the list for perfect attendance.

There is every type of recreation commonly found in all churches, but one should have special mention: The church rents an entire bowling alley each Saturday night and the minister bowls with the boys and girls and feels that it is as much his duty to be with them on Saturday night as it is to be in the pulpit on Sunday morning. He bowls a mean game too.

Each Wednesday is Church Night. Supper at six for 55 cents. Good too. Devotionals at seven, and departmental meetings at eight. Tables are always all filled.

Each Sunday night the young people eat at six. Service men free, others 15c. Seven o’clock their devotionals, and eight o’clock their church service. The young people have dances and parties nearly every night in the week. There are some two hundred meetings at the church in the course of a month.” Etc. etc.

Disgusting, isn’t it? Yet, we wonder how far we are removed from just that, when we begin to talk of recreation halls, youth centers and amusements for the young people?