Brad is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. He is the current treasurer of the Federation Board.
The purpose of the Federation Board is to guide and unite the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies in order that they may continue to grow in faith and doctrine. The members of the Federation Board meet on the first Sunday of each month, and often discuss means of pursuing this goal. I would like to share with you some of the matters the Federation Board has discussed throughout the last year.
One issue the Federation Board has discussed lately is the apparent decline in the age of young people active in their local society. It seems that through the organization of Young Adult’s Societies, many of the “older” young people (19-24 years of age) have become disassociated from the Young People’s Societies.
This is a concern of the Federation Board from a congregational, as well as a denominational point of view. The younger, high school age young people need the spiritual leadership and mature example that can be given them by those who are older and already out of high school.
The Federation Board members have offered some practical suggestions. One is to incorporate the Young Adult’s Societies into the Federation Board. A letter was sent out to the Young Adult’s Societies asking them to consider this; however, no responses were received. The Federation Board would appreciate responses to this suggestion, as well as other suggestions that could improve the current scenario.
Other suggestions have been given as well. These include having Young Adult’s Society members become involved in the Young People’s Society, either as leaders or mentors. Another suggestion was to have the Young Adult’s and Young People’s Societies have activities and outings together, providing both groups with fellowship essential to the Christian life.
Another issue the Federation Board has entertained is the possibility of purchasing property that could be used, among other things, as a permanent site for the PRYP Convention. This issue was brought to the table by a member of the Federation Board who has been asked by members of our denomination about the possibility of having our own camp. Driving the importance of this issue is the rising cost of conventions, as well as the difficulty of finding a camp suitable for the PRYP Convention each year.
A committee of Federation Board members, along with a few local businessmen, was assembled to take a detailed look at the possibility of having our own camp. The committee discussed a few scenarios—from purchasing land and buildings at full cost, to receiving a partial donation, to receiving a donation of property free and clear. Even if we owned the property free and clear, it was decided that we are still better off continuing to do our conventions the way we have been (renting a camp for a week), because the cost to run and maintain a camp would still be greater than the lodging expenses of the last few conventions.
The Federation Board is also busy with the annual duties of preparing for the upcoming Young People’s Convention. Although the steering committee of the host church does most of the planning, the Federation Board oversees the work and assists the steering committee whenever necessary. This year the convention is being hosted by Southwest Protestant Reformed Church, and will be held at Covenant Hills Camp in Otisville, Michigan from July 12-16, 2004. The theme for the convention is “Drawing Nearer to God.”
Other matters that the Federation Board has been busy with are: nominating new Federation Board members, collecting dues and fundraisers from the churches in our denomination to support the annual PRYP Convention, overseeing the work of the Beacon Lights and Scholarship Committee, and organizing Young People’s mass meetings and singspirations.
The Federation Board considers these issues to be of great importance. We hope you consider them to be equally important, and would ask that if any of the readers of the Beacon Lights have any questions, concerns, or ideas relating to the welfare of the Protestant Reformed Youth, that they feel free to write any of the members of the Federation Board (listed inside the front cover of this magazine). The Federation Board covets your prayers, and looks forward to hearing from you.