Aetna Christian Reformed Church in Falmouth, Mich., marked 100 years of ministry this summer. Victoria Hiddinga, one of the anniversary committee members, said the occasion was celebrated with a weekend of worship and reminiscing.
“Many of the members who had moved away came (for the celebration),” Hiddinga said. The Sunday service “was followed by an enormous potluck luncheon and lots of smiles, hugs, handshakes, and ‘remember when’ stories.”
About 225 people attended the events Aug. 14 and 15. Former pastor Stephen Sietsma, who served Aetna CRC from 1972 to 1978, returned for the weekend. Hiddinga said his presence allowed guests to “revisit the old days and fill in details lost over time.”
A local gospel group, Pictures Of Grace, gave a concert Saturday, Hiddinga said. On Sunday, interim pastor Dave Adams shared the pulpit with Garth Pauley, who served the church as a summer ministry intern in 2016.
Pauley, now a professor of communications at Calvin University, said he preached the sermon and delivered the parting blessing while Adams led the rest of the service.
“The church has gone through some challenging times in recent years—and like many small rural churches, has struggled to find a full-time pastor. It was an honor to help lead such a committed group of Christians in worship on Aug. 15, as they celebrated the church’s 100th anniversary and looked forward to many more years of serving the Lord joyfully,” Pauley said.
Hiddinga said, “The weather could not have been better, and those of us on the committees were often heard saying ‘God is Good.’”
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