PRC Archives – The 1970 PRYP’s Convention Hosted by Hudsonville PRC

Last week I hinted that I may do a follow-up to that post that featured a photo of a 1970s PR Young People’s Convention group. Today is that follow-up. I was able to find in the PRC archives the convention booklet that matched this group photo and do I have some great items for you!

1970 PTYPs Conv Booklet - Huds PRC sketch_Page_1

For those who may not have read the comments, this YP’s Convention was hosted by Hudsonville PRC in 1970, and the group picture was indeed taken in Unity Christian High gym. Keep in mind that Hudsonville PRC was still in its old building on School St. (The above sketch of it was done by Lil Lubbers. This building sat kiddie corner from where Trinity PRC now is.) and that Unity Christian High was near at hand (Covenant CHS did not yet have its own gym).

1970 PRYPs Conv Booklet-cover_Page_1

Now, when I pulled out the convention booklet for this year, it was immediately evident that this was indeed the outset of the 1970s – a decade that followed the tumultuous ’60s here in the U.S. The young people from Hudsonville PRC chose the convention theme carefully, with their eye on the age in which they were living – but also on the young people they were called to be in this age by their Savior and Lord. The theme was “Strangers in a Strange Land”, based on 1 Chron.29:15. When you see the cover here (designed by Rachel Lubbers), you will understand what I mean. Not an easy age in which to live. But they had their Reformed worldview in order. And the grace of God to strengthen and sustain them.

You really ought to see (as best we can!) and know the people who hosted this convention, so this page from the booklet gives you the Junior and Senior societies, along with their noble leaders. Fine-looking lasses and lads, don’t you think? Or maybe it’s a good thing for you that the pictures are as grainy as they are! 🙂

1970 PRYPs Conv Booklet - Hosts & welcome_Page_1

And who were the speakers and their topics, and what were some of the activities the young people participated in? This page from the booklet will help answer that. Looks like some fun stuff! Bring back memories for some of you?

1970 PRYPs Conv Booklet - Day Schedule_Page_1

Perhaps somewhat unique is the fact that this YP’s Convention ran from Wednesday to Monday that year (August 19-24). On Monday, according to the schedule, the young people spent that day at Tunnel Park in Holland, with the banquet and speech held that night (Rev.D.Engelsma was the speaker). Now, where was that banquet held? Help with that one, please!

“Just Dad” – Stories of Herman Hoeksema

For our first PRC archive post today we include this notice of a new book on noted Reformed pastor and theologian, Rev. Herman Hoeksema, one of the founders of the PRC.

Other biographies have been written on Hoeksema (Therefore Have I Spoken by Gertrude Hoeksema [out of print now] and Herman Hoeksema: A Theological Biography by Patrick Baskwell, e.g.), but this one is unique – it is penned by his youngest daughter, Lois Kregel, and is a personal, anecdotal history of the man and his family from the “inside”.

Just Dad - LKregel-2014This Reformed Free Publishing Association title is affectionately called Just Dad: Stories of Herman Hoeksema. The book covers Hoeksema’s life from his earliest days in the Netherlands and includes much of the history of his ministerial career as well as the controversies through which he lived and which served to define his labors and theology. But the book also covers the personal and family side of Hoeksema, taking us inside his home and showing him as husband and father, and that’s what makes it unique and special.

Adding to the value and interest of the book are the numerous pictures of Hoeksema and his family, as well as an appendix with several personal letters of Hoeksema written to his children when he took a trip to Europe in 1929. These will show you a side of Hoeksema not found elsewhere.

I am thankful that Mrs.Kregel could tell her story of her father, “just dad”. It is a story worth sharing. And I commend the RFPA for publishing this attractive little “gem” for the benefit of the PRC and the outside world.

Here’s a glimpse into Hoeksema’s personal side, relating to the Christmas season, as told by Lois:

Every year at Christmas, the Sunday school presented a program to the congregation. The Sunday school was large in those days. The youngest class (I think their ages were from four to six) would sing, and then Dad always had the privilege of chatting with them for a few minutes. They would tell him about their Christmas presents, and then Dad would tell them the Christmas story about the greatest Gift of all.

One Christmas he spotted a little tyke with curls, and on impulse he said, ‘You have pretty curls; could I have one for Christmas?’ After turning to find her mother, and getting her mother’s laughing permission, she nodded. Then he heard a chorus of voices, ‘You may have one of mine too.’ Dad said with a grin, ‘All right, if you send me a curl, I will put it in a frame and put it in my study.’ As the curls came in the mail that year, Dad put them in a large frame and hung them on his study wall (64-65).

For information on obtaining this book, visit the RFPA website.