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Celebrations Wrap Up CRC’s 150th Anniversary Year

As 2007 wound down, regions across the United States held celebrations marking the end of the 150th anniversary of the Christian Reformed Church.

In Lynden, Wash., area churches came together in a joint service at the local public high school gymnasium. About 1,800 people attended the celebratory morning service led by Rev. Clayton Libolt.

The rest of the day included a worship service held in Dutch; a service that included the music, liturgy, and format of the older, blue Psalter Hymnal; a blended service that reflected the practice of most of the churches today; and a contemporary service that included lively music and testimonies.

On the other side of the country, churches in New Jersey held their 150th anniversary service at Midland Park (N.J.) CRC, the oldest Christian Reformed church in New Jersey. During the service Pioneer Awards were presented to the founding pastors or charter members of five metro New York/New Jersey churches that have helped create an “all nations” denomination.

What’s a celebration without cake? For members of four western Illinois churches, the denomination’s anniversary included a delight for the taste buds. A combined service on Sept. 30 concluded with a cake contest. Herb Carlson of Bethel CRC took first place in the decorating category with his 150th CRC theme logo cake.

About 1,500 Classis Pella worshipers marked the CRC’s 150th birthday Oct. 28 at the Global Pavilion in Pella, Iowa. Calvin Theological Seminary president Rev. Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and Rev. Kris Voss of Crossroads Community Church in Schererville, Ind., served as featured speakers. The event included three choirs, a praise team, a 29-piece brass ensemble, and a display of vintage church clothing from the 1850s to the 1980s.

A capacity crowd of 3,500 worshipers packed Western Christian High School’s gym in Hull, Iowa, Oct. 28 for a service led by Rev. Howard Vanderwell. The service included a combined choir from Western Christian, Unity Christian High School in Orange City, Iowa, and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. “God’s storehouse of grace is unlimited and will continue to be unlimited,” said Marion VanSoelen of Hull’s Hope CRC.

New England Christian Reformed churches held a 150th anniversary celebration at Pleasant Street CRC in Whitinsville, Mass. Pleasant Street, the oldest Christian Reformed church in New England, dates back to 1895. The celebration service included “The Strings” from Whitinsville Christian School; a praise team from New England Chapel in Franklin, Mass.; a youth choir from The River CRC in Sutton, Mass.; and a youth choir from the Indonesian Christian Reformed Fellowship in Dover, N.H., playing angklungs.

—Calvin Hulstein, Heidi Wicker, Sherry Kooiker, Lisa Thomson, Paul Delger

About the Author

Paul Delger is a freelance writer.

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