In 2007 the Christian Reformed Church in North America will turn 150 years old, and churches across the denomination are getting ready for a year of celebrations.
Sixty-two teams in regions across the United States and Canada are planning regional events around the theme Grace Through Every Generation. Three seasons of celebration are planned, with the first part of the year dedicated to remembering, the middle part of the year emphasizing rejoicing, and the year’s end a season of rededication. The official anniversary song “God, We Sing Your Glorious Praises,” written by Bert Polman, encompasses all three seasons.
Graafschap CRC in Holland, Mich.—one of the first churches in the denomination —has dedicated the lower level of its new facility as a museum for artifacts of denominational history, incorporating beams from the original Graafschap building.
The painting commissioned for the 150th anniversary, by Chris Overvoorde, was unveiled at Synod 2006. It is now on display in the denominational building in Grand Rapids, Mich., and prints can be purchased.
A new book, Grace Through Every Generation: the Continuing Story of the Christian Reformed
Church, by Rev. Scott Hoezee, is being sent to every active pastor in the denomination and can be purchased through Faith Alive Christian Resources (www.faithaliveresources.org or 800-333-8300).
A book of worship resources, including sermon notes, music, bulletin announcements, and artwork will be mailed to every congregation to help churches plan their own celebrations of God’s faithfulness.
And on June 10, the synodical worship service will be a denominationwide service held in the 12,000-seat Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, which will also be broadcast live on the Internet.
A mass choir, anchored by the Rehoboth (N.M.) Christian School choir, will be directed by Anton Armstrong, director of the St. Olaf College choir. Armstrong was a music professor at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, for 10 years before moving to St. Olaf, a Lutheran school near Minneapolis.
John Varineau, associate conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and a member of Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, will lead a 150-piece orchestra.
Free tickets will be required for the event. Information about the anniversary celebrations and all the resources available can be found at www.crcna.org. Just click on the anniversary logo.
—Gayla R. Postma