Issue at Hand, November 2021: Convention Reflections

The month of November is a kind of turning point in the year. While the summer and early fall months are behind us and school is back in full swing along with its busy schedule of homework, catechism, and sports, there is much to look forward to in the coming holiday season. As we collectively adjust to busier schedules and cooler weather, a little reflection on memories made during the warm summer days of this past year is a welcome reminder of God’s goodness in our lives. But so too is the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, when we have additional opportunities to praise God for his providential care of us in this life and his provision of hope for the life to come through the birth of his Son. This month we look backward and forward, considering events of this past year and the Savior promised in Scripture.


In God’s providence, the regular Protestant Reformed Young Peoples convention, which would have included 500+ young people and dozens of chaperones, could not be held due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because smaller gatherings were permitted, a variety of mini conventions and retreats were held across the country in place of the usual denominational convention. Two of these events were hosted in the states of Indiana and Tennessee and were attended by the writers for this month’s feature articles. These articles include overviews of each retreat from the perspective of two young people who participated in them, as well as written versions of two speeches by ministers who attended the Indiana mini convention as chaperones. The clear message of these articles is that God has been good to his people, even amidst the disappointment of putting off the full denominational convention for another year.


Our regular rubrics for the month also have a seasonal theme in view, one looking back and the other forward. In Current Events we consider the worldview implications of the 2020 summer Olympics held a year later than originally scheduled in Tokyo, Japan. Readers are encouraged to consider this article alongside the editorial for this month, as both articles are intended to point out the patterns of thought swirling around our world and the danger they pose for young people. The Devotional for this month looks forward. Both the introductory article and Bible study plan focus on the first few chapters of the book of Luke, which point to the promised Messiah.


In addition to our regular rubrics and thematic feature articles for this month, we also include an interview with P. M. Kuiper, author of the recently published book Through Many Dangers. Perhaps readers have noticed the advertisement for this book on the back page of Beacon Lights over the past few months and have already gotten a copy from the RFPA. If not, we hope this interview piques your interest in reading a work of Christian historical fiction that is both exciting and edifying. As noted by the author, we could use more of this sort of material. Maybe reading it will inspire you to be the next youth author published by the RFPA!


Originally published Vol 80, No 11 November 2021