News From Our Churches

Mr. Wigger is an elder of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.

Denominational Activities

You may remember that our February lst installment of the "News" included an item concerning the conference held in mid- January between our churches and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia. This conference, held in Australia, was attended by Prof. H. Hanko and Rev. R. VanOverloop, two members of our denomination's Committee for Contact. Eight lectures were given on four main issues: The Regulative Principle of Worship, The Relation between Church and State, Divorce and Remarriage, and Eternal Justification. Prof. Hanko and Rev. VanOverloop each presented two lectures, and four of the EPC ministers lectured on their view of these issues. The open discussion which followed was deemed profitable by all. The delegates believe that, as a result of these discussions, a more fruitful relationship can be established between the EPC and the PRC. Let us all remember this cause in our prayers. 

On Wednesday, January 22, Rev. Herman Veldman, at the age of 88, was taken by his Lord out of his earthly pilgrimage of his eternal reward. He served in nine of our congregations during his 46 years of active ministry. In the last weeks he had been in a nursing home due to failing health. Those of us who knew him know of his love for the PR churches and his zeal for the precious, distinctive Reformed faith God has given us. We remember him as a warrior for the truth of the gospel. May God give us all such zeal. We remember Mrs. Veldman and her family to Him who alone is able to comfort us in our time of need.

Congregational Activities

From our Byron Center PRC we find that the collections taken this past year during their Sunday School season enabled them to send 100 Bibles to Cheah Fook Meng for use in Singapore. 

The consistory of the Loveland, CO PRC decided that catechism collections taken, this year will be given to the Books for Needy Servants fund administered by Rev. J. Kortering in Singapore.You may remember that this fund purchases and distributes books to needy pastors in India and Myanmar. Also under consideration is the translating of various Reformed materials into the native language. 

On Friday evening, January 31, and Saturday morning, February 1, members of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI took part in their second annual Winter Worship Conference. This year's event was held at Camp Geneva, on the shore of Lake Michigan, just a few miles north of Holland. Everyone high school age and above was invited to attend, and 117 did come out on Friday night to hear Prof. R. Dykstra speak on the topic, "The Communion of the Saints." 

Of those 117 members, 60 hearty souls stayed at the camp overnight, while the rest returned home and came out again the next morning. Prof. R. Dykstra spoke to the group again that morning. Not only was the group able to hear two lectures by Prof. Dykstra, but, between those lectures, they were able to separate into smaller groups for discussion. 

The committee in charge of this year's Retreat put together packets of information on the topic, some of it taken from articles from past issues of this magazine, and some added by Rev. R. VanOverloop from his own sources. 

Way back in September of last year, the consistory of the Hope PRC in Redlands, CA was happy to report to their congregation that the last payments for outstanding notes, on their church building were made in August. This means that their building is now free of all debt. We bring this up now because, soon after that announcement, the consistory of Hope brought a proposal to their congregation to expand the social hall of their church. It was an ambitious plan, one that included a proposed additional women's restroom, additional classrooms for Sunday School and other church functions, a large soundproof meeting room for societies, and an enlarged capacity for social functions such as banquets and wedding receptions. 

Essentially, because Hope was now debt-free, the consistory felt the time was right to address these needs. This proposal was then brought to the annual congregational meeting in December for approval. However, for various reasons Hope's congregation turned this proposal down. So, for the present anyway, Hope remains debt-free. 

The consistory of the Grace PRC in Standale, MI decided that when parents come the first time and make a request to have their children baptized, the pamphlet, "The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers," and the book, Reformed Education, be given to the parent.

School Activities

In the February issue of a "Closer Look," the newsletter of the Hudsonville, MI PRC, Rev. B. Gritters asks his congregation the question, "Who Will Teach the Children?" And he uses that question to address a situation that perhaps you have noticed as well. Our church bulletins these days are full of requests for teachers. By Rev. Gritters' count, "there are at least nine teachers that are needed to fill vacancies in our schools in the coming year. Who will teach them? How many college students are graduating this year ready to take these positions? What about you, young people? Does the Lord call you to this important calling?"