As pastor Drew Zylstra preached to the congregation of First Christian Reformed Church in Oostburg, Wisc., on Sept. 9, he noted three ways one could look at celebrating a 150th anniversary. A church could feel they are “really awesome and smart” to have made it this far; or feel they are “lucky to have made it this long”; or consider that “God has been faithful to his church.” Zylstra said the first two viewpoints create a lot of pressure and insecurity on the church but the third creates a feeling of freedom and security.
Using the theme “God’s Faithfulness,” First CRC held services and events over two September weekends honoring its 150-year history.
After services on the 9th, the following Saturday about 300 people gathered for an afternoon of fun, including a basketball game matching the youth group against past and current council members, followed by a shared meal. An anniversary committee had also planned a special service that included music by past and current members and historical reminiscences by former member James Schaap. Returning from his current home in Alton, Iowa, Schaap told of the beginnings of First CRC in stories and in pictures, connecting the past of the church to family and political histories.
On September 16, former pastors Les Kuiper and Tom Pettingway preached. Kuiper focused on Lamentations 3:19-27 and Jeremiah’s hope, which Oostburg can also have. Pettingway preached on Revelation 5. He laid out the idea of “celebrating the Lamb, prayer, and worship” as keys to lasting another 150 years.