Two Illinois churches celebrated significant birthdays in October 2012. Lombard Christian Reformed Church celebrated 100 years, while 20 miles away Calvin Christian Reformed Church (Oak Lawn) celebrated its 125th anniversary.
The choir is led by director Lois Ann Risinger.
Lombard CRC had an open house and banquet attended by nearly 200 people, followed by a combined morning worship service on Sunday. Just one week later, 140 friends and members gathered at Calvin CRC for a worship service and luncheon to commemorate their 125 years as a church.
“Our church has had ups and downs over the years,” said Al Diepstra, who chaired the event for Lombard CRC, “both in membership numbers and in searching for God’s will for the direction of our church. Throughout it all we have gotten stronger through our weaknesses and more determined than ever that we have God’s work to do in Lombard at this time.”
Diepstra was born and baptized into the church 63 years ago. He noted that the church was the first Christian Reformed church in the Chicago area to have worship services in English; in 1975 they moved to their current location in Lombard.
Marion Dykstra, who chaired the event for Calvin CRC, also knows about commitment and longevity. She was born into the church; her grandmother came to the church at age 7 in 1891.
“We went from a Dutch-speaking congregation that peaked at 415 families in the 1940s to perhaps 50-55 families today,” Dykstra said. “Today we are reaching out to our neighborhood, and many Sundays we see new faces. We are intentional about evangelism.”
The theme for Calvin CRC was Psalm 100:5; for Lombard CRC it was Ephesians 3:21.