News From Our Churches

First Church in Grand Rapids has scheduled the installation of their new pastor, Rev. Meindert Joostens, for Sunday, April 16. Prof. Robert Decker will conduct the installation during the morning worship service. Rev. Joostens plans to preach his inaugural sermon that evening. Rev. and Mrs. Joostens recently received a precious gift in the form of a baby girl—born on a Sunday morning. The congregation of our Faith Church has been invited to extend their farewells to Rev. Joostens and his family at an open house on April 12. The congregation of First. Church has been invited to a welcome for Rev. Joostens and his family on April 17 with a short program followed by a social hour with refreshments. 

Faith Church has extended a call to Rev. James Slopsema of Edgerton, Minnesota. Their trio also included Rev. Arie den Hartog and Rev. David Engelsma. 

Rev. Slopsema and Elder D. Engelsma of Hope Church in Walker, Michigan, left for Singapore on March 14. They are taking this long trip at the request of the Foreign Mission Committee, which received a call for assistance from a sizable number of students in the city of Singapore. They expect to be gone for four to eight weeks. During Rev. Slopsema's absence, Rev. Hoeksema from Hull, Iowa, and Rev. Kamps from Doon, Iowa, will help to fill Rev. Slopsema's pulpit once each Sunday. 

Rev. Harbach, our home missionary now laboring in Victoria, British Columbia, is expanding his labors to include Abbotsford, B.C. Bible study classes have been scheduled for alternate Monday evenings at the Peace Lutheran Church. 

Our church in Pella, Iowa, has a duo consisting of Rev. Rodney Miersma now serving our church in Isabel, South Dakota, and Rev. Slopsema. Pella's present pastor, Rev. George Lubbers, plans to retire from the active ministry on May 1st. 

Our Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Houston, Texas, has purchased a church building and a parsonage. In connection with this purchase, a rather unusual note appeared in the Hull, Iowa, bulletin. They must build an addition to their parsonage. They are in need of an experienced contractor or carpenter to come and help them for a few weeks to guide their willing hands and are seeking this help from a member of another of our churches. 

The sale of our Southwest Church building was completed on March 5 to the Wyoming Church of God. The new owners will take possession of the building on April 2. Arrangements are being made to provide a place of worship for the Southwest congregation until their new building is completed. 

Rev. den Hartog, pastor of our Covenant Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey, recently sent in some newspaper clippings and a letter giving the good news-that Covenant had received final township approval of their proposed church building site plan. Rev. den Hartog writes that "perhaps for those who live in the land of wide open spaces this does not seem of such momentous significance. But we live in the midst of the greatest metropolis in the U.S. And this means that we have been battling for almost two years to get to this point. In recent months the Township of Wyckoff has received national attention and become rather infamous because of resident opposition to the building of houses of worship. Reasons given to oppose churches were: too many churches, lost taxes, detriment to prime residential areas, and too much traffic congestion. In the midst of a town divided and embroiled in bitter discussion and over against several neighbors that vehemently opposed us the Township Board approved our proposed site plan. What can we say to all of this but that it is the Lord's doing for which we give thanks and rejoice." Covenant plans to erect a 30' by 50' church building seating 120 people and provide parking for 43 cars on a five acre land parcel. 

Rev. den Hartog also wrote that Covenant has begun a Sunday evening discussion group similar to what some of our other churches have. They meet once per month after the evening worship service to discuss topics of current interest on matters of Christian living. Last time they considered the topic "The Christian and the Women's Liberation Movement." 

The young people of our churches in the Grand Rapids area gathered for an Easter Mass Meeting on Easter Sunday afternoon at Southwest Church. Prof. Robert Decker was the speaker. 

The annual Spring Lecture sponsored by our Michigan area churches is scheduled for April 27 at our Hudsonville Church. Prof. Herman Hanko will be the speaker. 

—KGV