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It is time once again for your Federation Board to give its annual report concerning its activities.

Among our early activities was the composing of a visitation schedule, which purposed to bring together more often in Christian fellowship the young people of our various churches. We were happy to be able to add the Holland Society to the schedule this year.

A Reformation Mass Meeting was held October 27, 1964 in Southwest Church. Rev. Heys spoke on “Ecumenical Attitudes toward the Reformation”. After refreshments, Miss Karlene Oomkes and Miss Christine Faber showed their slides of Europe.

One of the larger efforts of the board has been in connection with the Study Committee on Goals of Conventions. The report of this committee was printed in Beacon Lights and sent to each society. We are thankful for the response and enthusiasm which was evident in the letters received from the societies.

The board has also been active in the operation of Beacon Lights. This year as involved several new appointments: Darrel Huisken-Editor, replacing Robert Decker; Don Jonker-Finance Manager, replacing Nancy Heemstra; Hilda Grace Meelker-alternate writer for “Critique”; Tim Pipe-Public Relations Staff; Ruth Kuiper-Clerk, replacing Helen Flikkema. Also, for fundraising and promotion, a public relations committee for the Scholarship Fund has been appointed consisting of John Kalsbeek, Carol Van Putten and Randy Meyer. It is our hope and strongest desire that this magazine may continue to satisfy our spiritual thirst, giving positive instruction in our glorious truth.

The annual Spring Banquet was held May 11 at First Church. A large audience enjoyed the speaker, Rev. G. Vos, as he spoke on “Our Ailing Conventions”. He described the disease, diagnosed the cause and prescribed the cure for the ailment. Our thanks to an excellent committee who planning this edifying and entirely worthwhile evening.

The 1965 Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention will be held in South Holland, Illinois on August 24, 25, 26. The board has been working with the host society on convention details. We have a bus committee at work which will publish information concerning transportation from Grand Rapids to Illinois. Also in connection with the coming convention, the board has drawn up and sent out an agenda.

We are grateful to God who has guided us in our offices this past year. Our prayer is that He may continue to bless us all. We anticipate seeing you all at the 1965 convention.

The Federation Board
Ruth Kuiper, Librarian

Our Young People’s Society has enjoyed two major events in this past half year. They were the Christmas singspiration and an outing.

We sponsored a Christmas singspiration on the evening of Dec. 22, following the church service. The group sang several carols and psalters. As a special number, lona Mantel sang a solo, “The New-born King” accompanied by her sister Mary Ann. The Ladies’ Aid trio also gave a number called “Silent Night.” The men’s quartet favored us with the number, “Fairest Lord Jesus.” The group singing was led by Mr. E. Gritters. Everyone enjoyed the evening very much.

The Young People also had an outing on the evening of December 19. We went up in the mountains to a place called Blue Jay, where there is an ice skating rink. We fell quite often since it was the first time on skates for many of us. But we all enjoyed the evening, playing various games. After we were rather tired, we went down the mountain and had refreshments. Our president, Mr. K. Feenstra, and his wife accompanied us.

Our Society meets every Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock. We are studying the book of Hebrews, chapter 3 at present. Not having our own church building we meet at the homes of the various members.

Originally published in:

Vol. 18 No. 2 March 1958

A television set in itself is not wrong, but the trash which we see on it, in fact, half of the programs we see on television, are the same films you would see in a theater. We don’t go to theaters, so we shouldn’t watch films on television either.

When children watch western movies, they get the wrong idea of what cowboys really are, and they want to play with guns, too. When a child’s favorite program doesn’t come on, or if he is not around when it comes on, he gets stubborn and cries and blames the parents, for not seeing it.

Television also keeps adults and children from doing things they should. They should study for school, society, catechism, or study Sunday School lessons. T.V. keeps children and adults up late at night, and then the children get bad marks in school and the teacher always gets the blame. When adults stay up late to see T.V., they sleep in church, when they should listen to the sermon.

Television is just as much of a temptation to those who haven’t got a television set, as it is to those who have got television sets; because they go to other places to watch it, and the people in whose homes they go to, probably don’t care what they watch; so the people who go there, watch bad programs also. This is especially true for children.

When boys and girls are asked to babysit for somebody, they ask if there is a television set. If so, they babysit; but if not they make up an excuse to stay away. When they do babysit, they put the children to bed, turn on the television, and watch it. Then, if the baby cries, they don’t even hear it, because they get so interested in the program they are watching.

I think that television, with the help of radios, movies, and comic books, is one of the main causes of Juvenile Delinquency. Television, with all its crime and horror programs, make children afraid and nervous; and finally they are afraid to go to bed alone. Television in itself is not the cause for emotional disturbances, but if a child’s mental hygiene isn’t just right, and he watches crime and horror programs, the loud noises and the gun battles and strange photography may all create an emotional disturbance.

There should be more current events, science and geography or history programs, instead of crime and horror programs.

If you do have a television set, I think the parents should pick out the programs which we may watch, and have the others off at all times, instead of watching them themselves. The children would be less apt to turn it on, even if the parents are not at home, but even then I still think everybody would be better off if he did not have television, or if he didn’t go to other places to watch it. Instead of watching television, it is better to stay home, and read church papers, study different lessons, or discuss catechism, Sunday School, or any other lessons, with their children. This helps the children a whole lot more than watching the programs which are seen on television.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Judah: A Story of Redemption

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021.   The story of Judah is one of the most beautiful in the Bible. We often overlook this history because it is nestled in the middle of the story of Joseph. All the […]

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Author Interview: “Through Many Dangers”

M. Kuiper, Through Many Dangers (Jenison: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2021)   Through Many Dangers is a work of Christian, historical fiction that has just been released this summer by the RFPA. The book is written especially for young people and details the story of a group of Dutch Reformed boys who serve in the […]

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