Church & World October 1995

Successful Premier Kyrie Convention Centers on Lordship of Christ

A resounding success-that is an apt description of the Kyrie ‘95 youth convention held July 10–13 at Kettunen Center in Tustin, Ml.

Over 160 people (120 young people, 33 sponsors/youth leaders and eight ministers) attended the four-day event which featured as its theme, “The Lordship of Jesus Christ.”

A total of 20 churches (primarily independent Reformed churches but also some Christian Reformed churches) were represented at the conference which was sponsored and initiated by Seventh Reformed Church.

“I thought the whole conference exemplified the Lordship of Jesus Christ—from the speaking to the workshops to the singing to the recreation,” said Andrew VanderMaas, Kyrie ‘95 chairman.

“It met our initial vision of bringing young people of similar convictions together to confront and challenge them with the Lordship of Jesus Christ,” added VanderMaas, who is Seventh Reformed’s youth director. “We are thankful to God for making it all possible.”

Although this year’s convention drew from primarily the midwestern United States, conference organizers are hopeful that Kyrie ‘96 will draw young people and leaders from the entire U.S.A. and Canada. Students who are presently in grades 9–12 are eligible to attend next summer’s event which is scheduled for July 8–12 at the same site as last year.

Dr. Mark Ross, the pastor of teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, was the main speaker at Kyrie ‘95. Ross, who spoke five times to the assembled group, urged everyone to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives. He stressed the importance of breaking the pattern of self-seeking ambition and giving one’s life to Christ.

“If any man would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me,” said Ross, quoting from Mark 8:34.

“You can’t be truly happy without being holy, and you can’t be holy without Jesus Christ in your life,” added Ross. “Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ brings everlasting happiness. Discover the joy of serving the Lord.” In addition to the mass meetings, Kyrie ‘95 also featured several small groups that fostered more discussion about the event’s theme. Devotionals were the focus of the morning Alpha groups which consisted of eight to ten students from different churches and were led by two sponsors/leaders. In the evening Omega groups, individual churches’ youth groups met to discuss the day’s activities and what the young people had learned and enjoyed. Eight workshops, led by area pastors and VanderMaas, were offered during the convention. They examined the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the areas of personal devotions, dating, popular culture, career ministry, family, sports, clothing and friendship.

Each student was required to attend three workshops.

A water carnival, talent show, volleyball tournament, sponsors roundtable and trip to Michigan’s Adventure water park were also features of the first-ever Kyrie convention.

Youth sponsors/leaders and young people jointly voiced approval of the event.

“We came because we thought it was important for our kids to be with like-minded kids,” said Betsy Bultema, a youth leader at Lynwood CRC Independent church in Illinois. “It was a very good experience for all of us. I felt our relationship with our kids got a lot closer and I really enjoyed it.”

“The highlight for us was the quality of Dr. Ross,” added her husband, Pete Bultema. “He was exceptional. We really enjoyed him.”

Anita Zylstra, from Lansing, IL, said that she appreciated “the more conservative views” of the Kyrie convention.

“I was more interested in this convention because it was geared more to reformed churches,” the 17-year-old Zylstra said.

“I was looking for a summer getaway where I could enjoy Christian fellowship and I found it here,” commented Ken Boer of South Holland, !L.

Boer, who performed his original composition “Lord Jesus” at the talent show, added that he would “highly recommend Kyrie ‘95 to anyone next year.”

“We came because we thought it would be a good thing for the kids and we were looking for something that would be a good experience for them,” said youth leader Bryan Kooiman of Wyoming, MY.

“I would definitely recommend it,” added Kooiman, who cited the talent show as one of the highlights of the convention.

Four girls from Cornerstone Orthodox Reformed Church in Sanborn, lA, said that the 14-hour trip to northern Michigan was worth it.

“I would recommend it, yes, definitely,” commented Angela Brower who said she came to Kyrie ‘95 to learn more about Christ and herself, as well as to meet other people.

Joni Anema whose brother, Rev. Ken Anema, and parents, John and Karen Anema, also attended the event, echoed those sentiments.

“I came to learn more about God and see where I am in relationship to God,” said the 15-year-old Iowan. “Of course, I would recommend Kyrie.”

Carrie Brower, who performed a beautiful rendition of “Jesus in Your Heart” at the talent show, and Heather Kreykes also made the long distance excursion and were rewarded with giant Hershey candy bars by the convention committee.

Grand Rapids Gets Third Dutch Reformed Seminary

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. URNS – Grand Rapids may not always deserve its reputation as the “New Jerusalem” of the Dutch Reformed world, but it surely must be the only American city to have three Dutch Reformed seminaries.

Known since 1876 as the home of Calvin Theological Seminary, the official denominational school for training Christian Reformed ministers, Grand Rapids has also played host since the 1920’s to the Protestant Reformed Seminary. On August 7, the city gained a third Dutch Reformed theological institution: the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, operated by the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations (HNRC).

The president and founder of the new seminary is Dr. Joel Beeke, pastor of the Grand Rapids Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation.

“Our goal is to tie training for the ministry very dose to the church and to give it a truly pastoral, experiential and evangelistic flavor,” said Beeke. “Our goal is not simply to mimic the Puritans but to take their principles and apply them to our modern situation.”

Beeke, who received his doctorate in history from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, pastors a congregation of almost a thousand members, and edits his denominational periodical. However, he is better known in other Reformed and Presbyterian circles for his role as a conference speaker for Banner of Truth and his leading role in arranging for the editing, translation, or republication of a number of English and Dutch Puritan works through such publishers as Banner of Truth and Solo Deo Gloria.

This attention to Dutch Puritanism will be reflected in the instruction at the new seminary. According to Beeke, the new seminary will focus not only on the better-known distinctives of English and Scottish Puritanism but also on that of the Dutch Second Reformation.

Otherwise known as the “Nadere Reformatie,” this reform movement in the Dutch state church of the 1700’s eventually led to the Afscheiding, an 1834 secession from the Dutch state church. Most of the Afscheiding churches eventually federated in 1869 to become the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk, the majority of whose churches merged in 1892 with a second secession movement to become the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, the “mother church” of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The churches which refused to merge in 1892 still exist in the Netherlands under the CGKN name; their counterpart in North America was once known as the “Free Christian Reformed Church” or “Old Christian Reformed Church” but is now known as the “Free Reformed Church.” Beeke comes from a tradition of churches which never merged in 1867 or 1892, and retains doctrine and piety much like that of the original Afschieding churches. Known in the Netherlands as the Gereformeerde Gemeenten, this tradition’s American wing split in 1993 into two denominations, the 8000-member Netherlands Reformed Congregations and the 1600-member Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations.

Despite its strongly conservative background, Beeke’s new seminary is already exhibiting an unusually high degree of cooperation for the conservative Reformed world. Although Beeke will serve as president, and fellow HNRC minister, Rev. James Greendyk, will serve as vice-president, most of the other instruction will be from non-HNRC sources. The seminary’s third regular faculty member teaching Greek, Hebrew and Latin will be Rev. Charles Krahe, the retired pastor of Seventh Reformed Church, a strongly conservative congregation in Grand Rapids which was recently expelled from the Reformed Church in America for refusing to pay denominational financial assessments.

While admission of students from other denominations will be under consideration, for now, all four students at the seminary are members of the HNRC and entered under an extremely strict program of admission to ministerial training. Candidates for ministerial studies in the HNRC must meet very high personal standards and exhibit clear testimony of their conversion and call to Christian service.

Darrell Todd Maurina, Press Officer United Reformed News Service

Obituary for Rev. Grossmann

Rev. Peter Bernard Grossmann was born on November 15, 1935, at Eureka, SD, the first child of Rev. Walter and Dorothy (Meuller) Grossmann. Rev. Walter Grossmann was then serving the Hosmer charge. Peter was a third generation Reformed Church (RCUS) minister; his grandfather, Rev. John Grossmann, had served RCUS charges from the time of his immigration to the United States in 1910.

Rev. Peter Grossmann received his early education in the Hosmer, SD schools and graduated from Shafter High School at Shafter, CA in 1953. Rev. Grossmann’s education continued at Bakersfield Junior College, Bakersfield, CA and at the University of California in Berkeley, from which he graduated in 1957. During his college years Rev. Grossmann served in the California National Guard. FollowingcoUege, Rev. Grossmann attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from there in 1960.

Rev. Grossmann was ordained to the Christian ministry on June 20, 1960 at Hosmer, SD. He served the charge of Hope Reformed Church at Sutton, NE from 1960 to 1967 and the Eureka Reformed Church, Eureka, SD from 1967 to 1969. Rev. Grossmann served on the cabinet of Governor Frank Farrar as South Dakota Director of Welfare from 1969 to 1970. He then worked with the South Dakota Attorney General’s office in drug enforcement for several years. Following this he served as an  executive with Mountain Plains Vocational Training Corporation in South Dakota and Montana for several years before becoming the executive director for the South Dakota Association of Private Colleges.

In 1986 Rev. Grossmann returned to the full-time ministry of the gospel, serving Grace Reformed Church at Mitchell, SO until moving to his final charge at Emmanuel Reformed Church of Sutton, NE in February of 1988.

During his years in the ministry, Rev. Grossmann served as the stated clerk of the Eureka Classis from 1963 to 1966 and as the editor of the Reformed Herald from 1989 until the time of his death. He also served as an advisory member of the Dordt College Board of Directors from 1989 until 1995.

Rev. Grossmann experienced cardiac problems since 1985 and suffered a heart attack in May of this year. He had returned to his pulpit and other duties for a few weeks before suddenly passing from this life on July 12, 1995, 3:30 P.M. at his home in the parsonage of Emmanuel Reformed Church. Rev. Grossmann was an enthusiastic preacher and pastor who lived his work, his church, and above all, his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The exercise of his many gifts among us will indeed be missed, but we rejoice with him that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

A Vision in India for India

“In India, two out of three people cannot read,” reports Rev. Sundra Rajan who is the director of PRM International’s work there. This is confirmed in “The Ethnologue” of the summer Institute of Linguistics (a sister organization of the Wydiffe Bible Translators) which says that the literacy rate in India is 36%. These people who cannot read, speak literally hundreds of languages! For them, faith in Jesus can only come by hearing, not by reading.

God has given us in our generation a new way to enable people who cannot read, to hear Scripture in their own language. It is the audio cassette. Sundara and his staff have recorded the New Testament in more than 60 languages of India and distributed over 300,000 Scripture cassettes along with some 5,300 players. Now they are asking for our help.

Their vision is to place 10,000 New Testaments on cassettes with players in 10,000 villages of India. These will be entrusted to trained, responsible persons in each village. This person will ensure the use and care of the equipment and provide feedback on its use.

A pilot project was started in cooperation with other organizations in 10 Lambadi speaking villages. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the pilot project has been successful. For example, from Oodhorpalli village comes this report from a man named Mr. C. Venkatswamy: “I am a very poor literate and can read only the Bible very slowly. This player and NT set are like a big brother for me. He reads, reads, and rereads for me and I am able to memorize some texts and learn properly.”

“When I go to the nearby villages for evangelistic work, I take this set with me, and before I speak, I allow my big brother to talk to them. After listening to my brother, they easily understand when I explain the Scripture to them. In the past, I was not so respected by my own contacts, converts. Now-because of my big brother—I am able to preach and quote the verses in a better way.”

Mr. R.V. Prasak of Palyakear village wrote, “Though I have a zeal for my Lord, due to my limited knowledge, I couldn’t communicate effectively with the people. But after getting this set, I attract the attention of the village people by using it.”

Mr. Manohara in another village wrote, “In my lane nobody has TV or any players. The player and the cassettes you gave me are a boon to me and to my whole community. Every evening all the people, after returning from their fields, will sit near my house and I will play the Bible reading cassettes for them. They are all very happy to listen to the Word of God.”

Who will adopt one or more villages in India? Each village adopted will receive one cassette player, one New Testament on cassette tapes, one solar panel, and the training of a local person in its use. The cost for each village is only $85.00. Sponsors will receive reports! Contributions should be sent to PRM International, 760 Waverly Road, Holland MI 49423. They are to be marked, “Adopt a Village.”

For the staff of PRM International Lloyd Wolters