At the upcoming young people’s convention, delegates representing each young people’s society will elect new members to the Young People’s Federation Board. The Federation Board is responsible for making decisions regarding upcoming conventions and singspirations and scholarship applications for future teachers and ministers. It is responsible for organizing young people’s mass meetings held in the Grand Rapids area, and it also oversees the publication of the Beacon Lights magazine. Each new member voted in this year will serve a two year term beginning in September. The board is localized in the Grand Rapids area and meets once a month, making it necessary that all its members are from the West Michigan area churches. In order that all of the delegates from all our congregations may know a little about whom they are voting for, I have asked the nominees to tell us a little about themselves and most importantly their goals for the Federation Board if elected.

The nominees for Vice-president are Dale Schipper and Matt Deboer. Dale is a member of our Southwest congregation. He is an analytical chemist and works in research and development for Amway. As a member of the Fed Board he would like to maintain a high level of interest and attendance for Federation Board activities like mass meetings, sinspirations, and the convention. Dale would like to encourage more young people to read and write for Beacon Lights and to read other Reformed literature (such as the Standard Bearer and other RFPA publications).

Matt Deboer attends Hudsonville PRC. He recently graduated from Calvin College and plans to attend the Seminary next Fall. He is currently working for Superior Groundcover. Matt feels, by the grace of God, a desire to serve the church. He sees the Federation Board as a great opportunity for him to do this because he can serve the young people who are the future of God’s church on this earth.

Those nominated for Vice Secretary this year are Paula Kuiper and Lynette Kleyn. Paula is a member of Southwest PRC. She just finished her fourth year at Calvin College here in Grand Rapids. She plans on taking classes this summer and, Lord willing, will be student teaching at a local Christian middle school next fall. Her goal for the Federation Board is that it will continue to maintain its function as coordinator between the Young People’s Societies and that it encourages Christian fellowship and conversation between the members of these societies. Paula believes it is good for our young people to experience the communion of the body of Christ in their home congregations, but also with other young people who share their faith.  As a member of the Federation Board she feels she would have a special opportunity to promote the unity of the body through its work.

Lynette attends Grace PRC in Standale, Michigan. She works as a medical assistant for Grand Rapids Women’s Health, an OB/GYN office located in downtown Grand Rapids. Lynette’s goal as a prospective member of the Federation Board would be to help her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in a special way, bringing them God’s word and knowledge of his love through the Beacon Lights, young people’s conventions, and other means that the Federation Board uses. In ways like these we can grow closer to our God and encourage others to as well.

The two nominees for Vice Treasurer of the Federation Board are Brad Ophoff and Steve Ophoff. Brad attends our Southeast congregation. He works at Summit Landscaping and attends Grand Valley State University hoping to become a physician’s assistant. If voted to the Federation Board, Brad hopes to bring the young people together in less formal ways and promote things like Young Calvinists (a sub-committee of the Federation Board whose goal it is further to assist the young people of our churches as they grow spiritually through its internet blog and organized events).

Steve is a member of our First PR congregation. He works at Watermark Country Club. His goals as a member of the Federation Board would be to build his group work ability and create successful young people’s events, as well as create an interest in the young people.

Nominees for the office of Librarian are Hannah Westra and Lydia Koole. Hannah attends Southwest PRC. She is currently a full-time student at GVSU and has a part-time internship. Her goal as a member of the board would be to serve the young people of the PRC by helping to unite them in the truth of God’s word and in the fellowship of the saints.

Lydia is a member of Hope PRC. She works as a medical assistant for Grand Rapids Women’s Health. Her goal for the Federation Board would be to help make decisions on behalf of the young people for their spiritual benefit.

The two nominees for Spiritual Advisor are Rev. Heath Bleyenberg and Rev. William Langerak. Rev. Bleyenberg is the minister of our Providence congregation. His goal and duty as spiritual advisor would be to encourage and promote godliness, humility, and a Christian love among our young people, and that through activities, speeches, conventions, etc. our young people may always “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecc. 12:1).

Rev. Langerak, is minister of our Southeast congregation. His goal would be to provide the Federation Board with sound, biblical advice in order to facilitate their calling to promote the unity and spiritual growth of the Protestant Reformed young people to the honor and glory of God.

As present members of the Federation Board, we ask the delegates, along with the young people’s societies they represent, prayerfully to consider these nominees in order that our Federation Board can continue to serve them. We hope that all the conventioneers are looking forward to the upcoming convention. What a wonderful means of fellowship with dear brothers and sisters in the Lord!

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

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