On September 25, 2016, Jackie and I were privileged to attend the 20th Anniversary Service for New Life Christian Reformed Church in New Lenox, Illinois.
Jackie and I arrived in New Lenox with our then almost eight year old son, Joshua, and our then four month old daughter, Julianne on August 15, 1995. Over a year later, we began weekly worship services on September 29, 1996. I was privileged to be the founding church planter/pastor.
The 20th Anniversary Service was like a “family reunion” with celebration followed by a feast of food. We all wondered how 20 years had gone by so fast. They go by fast – one day at a time.
Jackie and I were privileged to be at that first service and see God build a church – one life at a time.
On September 7, 2016, we celebrated the beginning of our 141st year of ministry as Calvin Theological Seminary. The day was marked by a Convocation address by retiring Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary Librarian Rev. Lugene Schemper.
None of us were present the day Rev. Geert Egberts Boer began his ministry as the founding faculty member of Calvin Seminary. Rev. Boer was appointed to his position in February 1876 and was installed on March 15, 1876.
While we were not present on that day, we do know that Rev. Boer turned to the five students present at the conclusion of his Installation Address and said the following:
I now stand in a special, specific relation to you. This tie will be drawn ever tighter in a communion of true faith; henceforth I hope to work at your training and development; to point out to you your needs according to the requirements of the times, to warn you of dangerous shoals upon which you could easily be shipwrecked, to teach you and to pray with and for you – this is the task that awaits us.
I was privileged to read those words at this past Convocation as Calvin Theological Seminary reaffirmed our commitment to the students. The commitment remains the same as what was expressed by Rev. Boer. We have a special, specific relation to them. We are committed to their training and development. We are committed to pointing out to them their needs, according to the requirements of the times and we are also committed to warning them of the dangerous shoals that do exist in our culture and in the world.
At the end, we are still committed to teach and to pray. Thank you for joining us in making and keeping these commitments. We are a 141 years old and counting! Thanks be to God!