The 32nd Annual PRYP Convention is now a thing of the past, but for those of us who were privileged to attend it, it re­mains a happy memory.

The 1972 Convention was held in Estes Park, Colorado from July 24-28 and was sponsored by the Loveland PRYP Society. The theme chosen for the convention was “Come, Lord Jesus,” a very interesting and relevant theme for young people of this day and age, which was based on Revela­tion 22:20.

Monday morning, July 24, an airplane load of anxious excited young people ar­rived at the gigantic Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colorado — greeted by a huge sign reading “Welcome, Protestant Reformed Young People.”

The bus ride from Denver to Loveland’s beautiful Lakeside Park gave us but a glimpse of the splendor of the towering mountains that awaited us in Estes Park. Lunch was served when we arrived and joined those who had traveled out to Love­land by car, camper, and other ways from both West and East. After the congenial mothers of Loveland Church filled us up, we were able to register and find lodging for the night with members of the congrega­tion.

Monday evening we gathered at the Loveland High School cafeteria for a de­licious home cooked meal, courtesy of those busy Loveland mothers once again. Then we were encouraged to spend the rest of the evening exercising off the meal with such planned activities as volleyball, swim­ming, and basketball, and the opportunity to take on the state’s lightweight wrestling champ, also courtesy of Loveland Society.

Tuesday morning, July 25, everyone rose bright and early to enjoy delicious pan­cakes, sausage, juice and coffee made by the mothers at the traditional pancake breakfast. Shortly after breakfast, piles of luggage were once more loaded into pick­ups and busses and we were finally away to the mountains.

The short trip from Loveland to the camp was one that will long be remembered. For most of the young people the trip thru the beautiful Colorado mountains was one that was long overdue . . . and was too soon ended.

Upon our arrival at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies, a registration meeting was held at the Louis B. Dick Hall, lodging as­signments were received, directions were given and rules were put down concerning meal tickets, curfew, etc. Lunch was then served in the Ponderosa Hall, followed by the first business meeting.

After the delegate board finished their agenda, a bit of free time was given in which we were able to get settled in the large bunkrooms provided. Then, after de­votions were led by Rev. Engelsma, supper was served.

Tuesday evening everyone gathered in the L. Dick Hall, once again, to hear a very enlightening speech concerning “Jesus’ Quick Coming” made by Rev. Kuiper. We were then favored by a reading, sang the theme song and the opportunity to mingle over coffee and donuts with the members of the congregation who had “journeyed up” to the mass meeting, and with our fellow conventioneers.

Wednesday morning we woke up to an­other beautiful sunny day in the mountains. Some went their own separate ways to enjoy the many sports and activities made

available, while the “braver” ones ventured out to hike up a mountain and view the entire camp from it. This courageous group was led by a rather notarized climber, Rev. Engelsma.

After the hours of free time were spent, we gathered in groups about the camp to discuss our views concerning such timely topics as life after death, the new heavens and earth, and our glorified bodies. It was a discussion that was enjoyable and inspiring for all.

Following our discussions was lunch and then another meeting. This time Rev. Moore spoke. He gave a very edifying message concerning the Church’s outlook on the future.

For the next few hours we had at our disposal many and varied activities such as badminton, basketball, bowling, archery, tennis, shuffleboard, swimming, and horse­back riding, even though the scheduled ar­rival of rain kept most enthralled in the indoor type activities. Much to our hap­piness the rain did let up just long enough for us to enjoy a delicious chuck wagon sup­per followed by a good old fashioned camp­fire sing along, led by our youth coor­dinator, Pete Miedema.

Thursday morning, July 27, we were served breakfast and then attended another business meeting, ballots were passed, of­ficers for the Federation Board were elected and the last business was taken care of.

And then there were the annual East- West Games and what a great time was had. The girls alas, had only one game to play, softball. This time the West took over and emerged with a win. But it was the guys who took over the limelight with softball, basketball and football. Softball was taken by the East with little trouble, but basketball was another story. After playing two games, the guys decided that with Rev. Engelsma on the opposite team, there was little else to do but give up. Therefore Rev. Engelsma obligingly joined each side and brought each a win.

Thursday afternoon discussion groups met again. This time Bibles were opened and we enjoyed Christian fellowship while discussing portions of the Word of God dealing with Christ’s return.

Thursday evening was the highlight of the convention. In spite of a flooded shower room and the rain outdoors, everyone managed to get ready on time for the banquet held in the Walnut Room. Girls in formals and guys in suits gathered for a delicious meal of roast beef, salad, apple pie, and plenty of other good things to eat.

Then after dinner Rev. Decker gave the final speech of the Convention, “The Saints’ Life of Waiting for the Lord.” a speech which was applicable to each one of us and our lives and left us with much to think about.

After the theme song “Our Lord Jesus” was sung, retiring Fed. Board President Gary Bauwkamp introduced the newly elected President, Ken Koole, who in turn announced the site of the 1973 Convention, D.V., in Hope Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“God Be With You ’Til We Meet Again” was sung as it is traditionally to close the Convention and after prayer to God, the Convention was fittingly ended.

And surely we who were so privileged to attend the 32nd Annual Convention could say: “It was good for us to have been there.”

“Newborn infants are incapable of visual focus; their eyes are likely to move in any direction and their motion is not coordinated. Strong light causes discomfort. By the end of a month babies begin to focus momentarily on objects and during the next two months they gradually develop greater skill and begin to recognize objects; their eyes will follow a moving object.”
This definition of infant vision was taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Does it sound familiar? It does to me. Perhaps if you will allow me to itemize some of the similarities between the vision of the child of God and the vision of an infant, it will become more relevant to you.
Children of God have only the vision of an infant. This one, for example, has no visual focus at all; he has a Bible, but doesn’t take the time to read and study it for his own personal devotion. He attends church quite regularly, but for reasons other than to listen to what the minister has to say. His eyes tend to move in every direction, perhaps toward the girlfriend or boyfriend sitting next to him, or the hang nail on his third finger left hand, or that pesty bulletin sticking out of the psalter. And OH that bright light! It causes so much discomfort! “Why is it” he wonders to himself, “I can’t just sit here without always being reminded how sinful I am?” It’s true. The light that comes from the preaching of God’s work exposes the real state of sinfulness and brings into clear view the wicked deeds that the child of God so easily commits.
Momentary focus is one attribute of this child of God: He’s quite a pious young person; goes to society on Sunday afternoon and catechism during the week, but finds it very difficult to center his attention on that Word of God for any length of time. So he makes resolutions to study God’s Word more and to take a little more time for private devotion. Unfortunately, however, there are many other allurements which cause him to be drawn away from this very profitable endeavor. Activities such as the television, the newspaper or even homework can often hinder his study of God’s Word. This should not be. But once again we are reminded that he has only the vision of an infant.
In order to make my analogy between a child of God and an infant complete, I must now cite a few examples of those who recognize an object and follow it. One example is the prophet Isaiah, who in chapter 7, verse 14 foretold of the birth of the Christ, . . . Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” The apostle Paul; in his epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 12 exhorts, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” And still others, who eagerly await His second coming, ask in Matt. 24:3, “. . . when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” To this question, the blind scoffer replies (II Peter 3:4). “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
We must notice, of course, the distinct difference between total blindness and mere infant vision. Total blindness is complete and lasting. It offers no hope of any future sight. Infant vision, on the other hand, implies growth, development and hence eventual clear vision. This distinction is also true between the infant vision of a child of God that will one day be perfected in heavenly glory, and that blind ignorance of the child of this world that will finally receive damnation in Hell.
I’ve just pointed out the similarities between the vision of an infant, and that of the child of God; not only that, I’ve also alluded to the difference between the total blindness of the man of this world, and the infant vision of the child of God. . . . Did you recognize yourself?

Originally Published in:
Vol. 31 No. 2 April 1971

The Federation Board would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the young People’s Society of Hudsonville Church for the time and effort which they furnished in order to make this past convention a great success. We realize the responsibility as well as the great privilege it is for one society to sponsor a convention. – The fruits of your labors, as well as those of Rev. Woudenberg, Prof. Hanko and Rev. Engelsma, are evidenced by our confession…”It was good for us to have been there.”
We would also like to thank the retiring board members for their dedication throughout the past two years. We as young people do not always realize the hard work and diligence which it requires to be a member of the Federation Board. Therefore, on behalf of the young people, we would like you to know that we appreciate your efforts and we wish you God’s bless.
The Federation Board
Carol Dykstra, Sec’y

Pat Kamps Moods has served our young people and our Lord long and well as subscription manager of our magazine. Having left the staff to get married, we want to thank her sincerely for a job well done and wish her God’s fullest blessings in the future.
Thank you so much.
With Christian greetings,
The Federation Board
Karyn Kuiper, Sec’y

Originally Published in:
Vol. 30 No. 6 October 1970

Covenant Christian is not merely a “school,” a place of higher education for Christian young people. To me, Covenant Christian means Christian fellowship, understanding, unity, friendship; all of which, and more, stem from the very basic element — love. Not the kind of “love” where a person is required to wear a certain style of clothes in order to be in the “in crowd.” And it’s not the kind of “Christian love” where when you happen to leave your purse lying in the girl’s locker room for a few minutes, and return to find your wallet and six dollars missing. No, this is not the “love” to which I am referring. From a positive standpoint; Christian love is friendly hellos constantly interchanging throughout the day; understanding teachers, always willing and able to help out when the going gets rough, granting just a few extra days on that five-page composition, already due yesterday. And Christian love means sharing your lunch with someone who forgot his. One could site many passages from Scripture which plainly reveal how necessary it is to show forth that love which God has so bountifully shed abroad in our hearts. One example could be found in I John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God . .. He that loveth not knoweth not God . . .” And in Heb. 13:1 we read, “Let brotherly love continue”.

Another aspect about Covenant Christian High which drew my attention was the fact that everyone knows everyone else. There is no one attending Covenant about whom I could say, “well, I can’t remember ever meeting her” or “his name doesn’t seem to ring a bell.” We’re all friends.

Now although Covenant Christian is not “insurmountable” with respect to its athletic attempts, and it may never reach the title “Class A” as far as the student body is concerned, we have something far richer and far more rewarding. Of all the many schools which I have attended in my lifetime, Covenant Christian, with its student and administrative body is one of the very few which I can say holds true Christian love. … A blessing for which we can and should be truly thankful. Then let us be reminded of its importance by the 13th verse of I Cor. 13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading

Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

Continue reading