News From Our Churches

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

Mission Activities

Our readers may remember that, back in the summer of 1997, questions arose concerning our churches' possible work in Ghana. At that time our Foreign Mission Committee learned that the Ghanaian government had changed their procedure for the immigration of our missionary to Ghana. Because of these changes, and the many implications of them for our work, it was necessary for the FMC to investigate whether there was a biblical and ethical way for us to send a missionary to Ghana without compromising the truth that we would bring. While these questions were being answered, our FMC also advised the Hull, IA PRC, the calling church for a missionary to Ghana, to delay calling one to serve in Ghana.

Now, thankfully, the FMC has been able to come to a determination regarding this whole matter. After a lengthy investigation of the questions of sponsorship and of entering Ghana independently, they have decided to advise Hull PRC to resume calling a missionary to Ghana with a view to entering there independently as synod of 1996 initially decided. Soon after this decision, Hull's council concurred with that advice of the FMC and immediately formed a trio of the Revs. M. Dick, R. Moore, and A. Spriensma. Hull was to call, the Lord willing, on January 25. We ask that you remember the FMC, our Hull PRC, and the pastor to whom a call is extended, that they all might be guided by the Spirit to discern God's will for this field. 

The Adult Bible Society of the Doon, IA PRC hosted a slide presentation on January 10 by their pastor, Rev. R. Smit, of his and Rev. A. denHartog's recent trip to the Philippines on behalf of our churches' FMC.

Young People's Activities

Looking over recent bulletins, I was reminded of some unusual and interesting topics for discussion considered by several of our churches' Young People's Societies. One considered, "How do I handle a sinning friend?" Another looked at "Should Christian young people witness to their faith by wearing WWJD and FROG bracelets?" And yet another society looked at the topic of "Christian College vs. Public University."

We have also seen several church bulletins in the Chicago, IL area ask young people if they are interested in inexpensive airfares to Ontario, California for this summer's Young People's Convention. Doesn't warm sunny California sound good about now?

Speaking of this summer's convention reminds me that the young people of Hope PRC, this year's host society in Redlands, CA, recently organized a sub-sandwich fund-raiser for that convention. More than six hundred subs were sold, which means, if our 1998 Yearbook is correct, that they made enough subs for each man, woman, and child in their congregation to have three.

On December 28 the post-high young adults in the Grand Rapids, MI area invited family and friends alike to join them for an evening at the Sports Exchange. Included were pizza, swimming, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and mini-golf. Proceeds were to benefit the young adults' retreat this year in Loveland, CO.

Evangelism Activities

The Evangelism Committee of the Loveland, CO PRC continues to get a good response from their web page on the Internet. A recent contact wrote Loveland to ask some very thought-provoking questions concerning the Reformed faith. The writer asked if the Bible says "that God hated Adam after his sin or does it say that God hated Adam's sin." He also asked if God created some men to damn them to hell. He also wondered if God could have created a totally depraved man capable of turning to Him, and finally what Jesus means when He says, "I stand at the door and knock." All good questions, and Rev. G. VanBaren, pastor at Loveland, evidently thought so too, because he asked his Essentials Catechism class to answer those questions. Besides that, he also invited anyone else in his congregation to do likewise. He promised to put the best answers in up-coming bulletins. So consider, how would you answer those questions?

Denomination Activities

On Sunday evening, January 17, an overflow crowd gathered at the First PRC in Holland, MI to hear what I believe was the first public program by the quartet "One in Hymn," a group of four young ladies, Holly and Amanda Ondersma, Lindsey Pipe, and Michelle Streyle, accompanied on the piano by Mary Velthouse. Also accompanying them on one song and providing a couple of special numbers was a Brass Quartet. All in all, it was a very nice way to bring a Lord's Day to a proper God-centered conclusion. I hope we hear from them again in the future.

Minister Activities

In early January, Rev. G. VanBaren submitted to his consistory in Loveland, CO a request for honorable emeritation as of August 31, 1999. This request has been forwarded to Classis West, which meets in Redlands, CA on March 3, then on to synod, which meets at First PRC in Holland, MI in early June.