Friday Brats with a Little Culture

bratfestDuring the PRC Seminary’s school year, we enjoy a bratfest each Friday for lunch, with each of us taking turns supplying brats, chips, and other items to satisfy our hunger. The students do the grilling (usually, that is – if I schedule them a free 4th hour on Friday, which I try to do – otherwise I have to do the grilling!) and all pitch in to help set up the room for our special lunch. As you might guess, this is something we look forward to each week.

I might also add here, that Mrs. Judi Doezema spoils us each week (usually Friday – and this week twice – on opening day too!) with a special snack. She is a terrific baker and we so enjoy her wide variety of goodies! And now that Rev. Josh Engelsma is gone, we can have nuts on the top of the treats again! :)

What deserves special notice today, however, is the extra special lunch hour we enjoyed today. Last year Prof. B.Gritters initiated a “cultural experience” during this lunch time, and so from time to time (if we remember!) we also enjoy a special cultural treat. Today, for our first bratfest of the new school year, we had one again – a very special one. Prof.R. Cammenga arranged for his nephew, Brennen Cammenga, an 8th grader at Heritage Christian School in Hudsonville, and son of Tom and Cherie Cammenga (members of Faith PRC), to come and play the piano for us (As an aside but still noteworthy is the fact that Brennen’s piano teacher is Mrs. Lori Gritters, Prof.’s wife.).

And what a fine job he did! A variety of music was played by him and enjoyed by us – from special Psalter arrangements to hymns to contemporary piano pieces. I took a short video of part of his performance for us and with his parents’ permission, post it here for your enjoyment too.

Thanks, Brennen, for sharing your gift and love of good music with us! It truly was an extra special bratfest today.

Here are the two places you may watch the video:

Published in: on September 4, 2015 at 3:33 PM  Comments (1)  

PRC Archives – Edgerton PRC YP’s Convention, 1963

One of the items Bob Drnek and I recently found in the material from Mr. Henry Huisken, long-time member of Edgerton, MN PRC, was the 23rd annual PRC Young People’s Convention booklet – sponsored by Edgerton PRC!

Turns out we did have this convention booklet already, but that’s ok; I like duplicates, because I get to bring it to my office and use for featuring on this blog for PRC archives day! Or lay out on the Seminary library table for others to browse. Besides, I know a certain church history teacher in the area who collects these and might be interested in the “extra” copy. :)

So, today we feature the 23th annual PRC YP’s Convention. I have scanned a number of pages and present them here for your viewing and recollecting pleasure. Of course, most of you just want the pictures anyway – always a treat! Enjoy this trip to SW Minnesota and all the activities of that August in ’63!

Cover of the 1963 PRYP's Convention Booklet

Cover of the 1963 PRYP’s Convention Booklet

The host society - Edgerton PRC young people

The host society – Edgerton PRC young people

Message from the Fed Board President and picture of the Board

Message from the Fed Board President and picture of the Board

Schedule of activities and speaker #1

Schedule of activities and speaker #1

Day 2 activities and speaker #2

Day 2 activities and speaker #2


Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 3:58 PM  Comments (3)  

PRC Archives – 1968 PRYP’s Convention

Today for our PRC archives feature we post some items relating to the 1968 PR Young People’s Convention. They all are found in the August-September issue of the Beacon Lights, our PRYP’s magazine, which you may also find on their website. This was the annual convention issue, which included reports on the convention, the printed speeches, and a few pictures – all focused on the theme – “How Great Thou Art.”

Who was the host of this ’68 Convention? Where was it held? What events and activities took place? Who were the speakers? All those questions, and more, are answered below, so keep reading and viewing!

I have scanned five (5) items from this issue, beginning with the cover. Enjoy! And be on the lookout for some familiar faces! Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Aug-Sept-1968-BL Cover_Page_1

1968 BL YPsConv Report-DL_Page_1

BL Fed Board Pics-1968_Page_1

BL 1968 YPsConv Pics-1_Page_1

BL 1968 YPsConv Pics-2_Page_1

Memories of Grundy Center (Iowa) Library – John J. Timmerman

Through a Glass Lightly-TimmermanContinuing some readings in John J. Timmerman’s “semi-autobiography”, Through a Glass Lightly (Eerdmans, 1987),  I read another chapter last evening. “Out of the Shell” describes Timmerman’s years in Grundy Center, Iowa (1916-20), when his father (CRC minister) took a call to begin a preparatory school (seminary) to train pastors to serve in Classis Ostfriesland.

This was another fascinating description of his early life among the Germans and Dutch (a few) in this community (as well as the Scotch and Irish). One of the paragraphs that intrigued me – and which I post here – is his reference to the Grundy Center library and the books and magazines to which he was exposed as a young boy. You will be able to judge rather quickly why this section of the chapter grabbed my attention and made me smile – but also frown with sadness (keep reading!).

The Grundy Center library was a good one for a town of its size, especially in two respects: an abundance of children’s books and a gracious, unforgettable librarian, Mrs. Holden. She knew books boys would like, and in my world at least, fortunately unfamiliar with radio and television, books were the frigate to take me lands away. I fought the Indians in Altsheler’s fine boys’ books [so have I!], the British redcoats in Tomlinson’s stories, lived in the woods with E.T. Seton’s superb “Rolfe in the Woods” and “The Young Savages”, had fun with “Penrod and Sam” by Tarkington, and, best of all, romped with “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn.”

My parents also gave me books, the “Rover Boys” series, one after the other. These books and the excellent boys’ magazines of the time, “St. Nicholas Magazine”, which was not a Christmas magazine, “Boy’s Life,” and “American Boy”, brought a stir of adventure into my boyhood, where games, a rare fire, a runaway horse, or the drama of disease and death were about the only excitement around. These were the magazines of high quality and published stories by gifted authors, some of them famous in American literature.

The stories were rooted in human experience and human history, from drama in a small town to adventures in the forest, the frontier, the windswept coast, the buffeted ships, and the endless plains. The central characters were usually youngsters who dramatized virtues such as honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and simple decency in a harsh world. They were moral without sentimental stuffing and pompous lessons.  They were healthy books. When I think of the sexually sick world that I, as well as many little children, now see on the television screen, I am enraged at what our culture has done to the innocence a child deserves and needs (14-15).

Special Seminary Guests: Heritage CS 4th Graders (Group 2)

As mentioned here last Wednesday, we had our annual 4th-grader visit from Heritage Christian School last week and again today – Miss Van Drunen’s last week and Mrs. Jane Woudenberg’s today.  It was another wonderful group of well-behaved, respectful, and interested students (Did I mention energetic?!).



They listened attentively to Prof.B.Gritters’ talk about the Seminary, followed diligently as he gave them the tour of the main floor (library, classrooms, etc.) and basement (They might let you in on the only Seminary PE class!), willingly joined the students and faculty for devotions (what a sound of singing came out of the chapel room today!), and then happily devoured their snacks as they mingled with the students and professors.


Another blessed and encouraging visit for the Seminary. We thank you too, Mrs.Woudenberg, for taking the time to come see what goes on here and to sow seeds of future ministry in the minds and hearts of some young lads. But besides that, we pray for you and trust you will do the same for us.


Here are a few pictures I took of this 4th grade visit. We hope you children enjoyed this visit too. Together we will say, “Come again!”





The 1950 PR Young People’s Convention and 25th Anniversary PRC Field Day

Last week several old issues of the Beacon Lights, the magazine “for Protestant Reformed Youth” were put away in the PRC archives. Bob Drnek  brought a few of them into my office because two of these were PR Young People Convention issues (1950 and 1968) and had some good pictures in them.

So I scanned a few pages from the August, 1950 “BL”, since this also included a report on the PRC Field Day held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of our denomination – an event that drew 2700 to Spring Grove in Jamestown! We post these today, though some of the pictures are quite dark. But I hope you will recognize a few folks and enjoy another ride down “memory lane” – at least for some of you, since others of us didn’t come along until 1958!

Come along! Here we go! [As always, you may click on the picture to enlarge it.]

1950 BL Cover_Page_1


1950 Fed Board_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0005_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0006_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0001_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0002_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0003_Page_1

1950 PRYPs Conv-2nd PRC_0004_Page_1

Special Seminary Guests: Heritage CS 4th Graders (Group 1)

This morning the Seminary was privileged to host the 4th grade class of Ms. Elizabeth Van Drunen from Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI). We have had these special guests for some years now, and we are always grateful for the interest the 4th grade teachers take in the Seminary (next week Wednesday Mrs. J.Woudenberg’s class comes!) and for the excitement of these nine-year-olds as they enter the building.

I have taken some pictures again and share them with you here. Prof.Gritters introduced the work of the Seminary to the class and then gave them the tour. Following that, they enjoyed with us the snacks they had taken along for coffee time. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.













Once again, we say, Thanks for coming, 4th graders and Ms.Van Drunen! We are truly thankful for your interest in and support of our Seminary by means of this visit. And we hope that some of you boys will start thinking about whether God is calling you to the highest calling on earth (beside that of mother – and that’s for you girls!) – minister of the Word. It’s never too early to start thinking about this. :)


PRC Archives: Snapshots of the Second YP’s Convention, 1940

Today for our PRC archives post, I am going to keep my comments to a minimum and let the pictures (and their accompanying words) do the talking.

These six (6) images are scanned from the 1940 PR Young People’s Convention booklet (second annual!), sponsored by and held at First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI from August 21-22, under the theme “Christian Attitudes.”

Enjoy! And note how different these early conventions were from those held now. Need I point out they didn’t have (need?) all the “fun”! Speeches and discussion were the focus. Plus, I have thought for some time that those debates ought to be revived. As usual, click on the images to enlarge them.

1940 PRYPs Conv-1_Page_1

1940 PRYPs Conv-2_Page_1

1940 PRYPs Conv-3_Page_1

1940 PRYPs Conv-4_Page_1

1940 PRYPs Conv-5_Page_1

1940 PRYPs Conv-6_Page_1

Respecting and Learning from the Aged Members of Christ’s Flock – Mrs.M.Laning

The February 1, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer has been published and is arriving in the mail. Ours came this past Saturday, and today I would like to begin this month by highlighting a few articles in this issue.


I might start by saying that there is a fine variety of edifying content in this “SB” – see the image of the front cover here for details (click to enlarge); but one article that I call your special attention to in this post is that penned by Mrs. Margaret Laning (wife of Rev.James Laning, Hull IA PRC). She is a contributor to the rubric “When Thou Sittest in Thine House”, and this time she has written a wonderful piece about the value of the elderly saints in the church, and how the younger members – especially teenagers – would benefit from paying attention to them.

Here is one such paragraph of sound advice from her article “Renewed in Old Age”:

The younger will greatly benefit from the older saints’ wisdom. Many years have they prayerfully studied God’s Word and applied its principles to everyday life. The older saints have experience. By God’s grace they have learned from toil and sweat, from relationships, from good decisions and bad, from the grief of sin and the ‘hard knocks’ that follow, and from the liberating path of repentance. They are skilled problem-solvers and graced with contentment with the unsolvable, trusting in the Lord’s perfect will. It is good to bring this out to our children: listen to the older saints and learn. Put away your texting and entertainment, and fellowship with them. Show them your love, respect, and express why they are valuable to you (209).

I believe there’s wisdom in that advice, don’t you, young people? When was the last time you stopped to greet and talk with an older member of your congregation after the service? Did you ever go with your friends to a nursing home and visit with a widow or widower? Have you made an effort to spend time with your own grandparents lately?

These are things for all of us in the church to think about. I know Mrs. Laning’s article made me think about my own attention to the aged saints in my church. Do we really count them valuable? Then let’s show them.

PRC Archives – 36th Annual YP’s Convention

For our PRC Archive item this week we feature some pages from the 36th annual PR Young People’s Convention booklet – a duplicate of which was discovered in the archives yesterday while continuing to sort through Rev.G.Van Baren’s material.

1976 PRYPs Conv - Booklet Cover_Page_1

This a familiar convention to me (and will be to many of you!), because it was held in 1976 – the year my wife and I graduated from high school – and was hosted by Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI), who planned a wonderful few days (Aug.24-27) at Camp Geneva in Holland, MI.

1976 PRYPs Conv-inside-3_Page_1

I hate torturing fellow church members and former classmates with old pictures, but reality is what it is. Yes, this convention is only one year away from being 40 years ago! So, my apologies for the “70s” look. But we thought it was cool back then, right? (And Mr.Jim Schipper? He hits it out of the park with his plaids and abbreviated tie! :) Enjoy! And if you have memories to share, feel free to leave a comment.

1976 PRYPs Conv-inside pics-1_Page_1


And this last photo, well, let’s just say it’s “priceless”!1976 PRYPs Conv-inside-2_Page_1


O, one more thing that I could not help noticing and calling attention to: the opening speech by Rev.Herman Veldman was titled “Shining in Our Reading and Speaking.” Yes, in our reading! Are we?


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