Post Convention Review

The 1975 Young People’s Convention is now history. In the minds of many, it was the most fun-filled as well as spiritually-filled ever planned. “God’s Covenant Faithfulness,” the theme of the convention, is very appropriate in that God has graciously given us the time and place to meet as Covenant Young People and to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our churches.

A pre-convention singspiration was held in First Church Sunday night (Aug. 3). Many people from our western churches were in Grand Rapids which helped fill the church to capacity.

On Monday afternoon, registration took place at Calvin College. After supper, the convention picture was taken in the fieldhouse and the remainder of the night was enjoyed with swimming, volleyball, and basketball. Many were glad to hit the sack at curfew time, but a select number of boys, as well as girls, had plenty of energy left to fill the outside air with boisterous communications and keep the chaperones on their feet.

Tuesday morning, our spirits were dimmed by the sight of rain outside our dorms. After breakfast, lively discussion groups on “Personal Devotions and Proper Bible Study,” and a business meeting, buses left for North Shore Park on Lake Michigan. Upon arrival, the sun was shining and a hearty dinner had been prepared for us. Soon the beach was filled with sunbathers and excited swimmers. Back on the campus, after supper, a mass meeting was planned. Prof. H. C. Hoeksema spoke on “God’s Covenant Faithfulness – Its Idea”. Gym activities filled the rest of the night.

Words fail me to describe all the events and activities that took place on Wednesday. All the conventioneers, after breakfast and discussion groups on “Dating Practices and Marriage,” gathered with Protestant Reformed people from all parts of the United States at Douglas Walker Park in Byron Center, Michigan to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our Protestant Reformed Churches. By God’s will, people as far west as Redlands, California; as far east as Prospect Park, New Jersey; as far north as Edmonton, Canada; and as far south as Houston, Texas came to the park. Miscellaneous games were played in the afternoon. Rev. C. Hanko spoke on “recollections of the Past.” A delicious chicken supper was catered in from a nearby town. Rev. D. Engelsma then spoke on “God’s Covenant Faithfulness – The Historical Realization.” After singing a few songs, it was announced that over 1800 people had gathered, having hashed over memories with friends and relatives. Many knew they wouldn’t see each other for a long time, but were happy and thankful to God for making this day a huge success.

Thursday morning after breakfast, discussion groups were held on “Common Grace”. A business meeting to elect new federation board members followed. After dinner, East and West met in the traditional softball game. The banquet, with its theme “Our Dutch Heritage,” was also a big success. The menu included baked ham and roast beef. Following the banquet, in the Fine Arts Auditorium, Prof. H. Hanko spoke on “God’s Covenant Faithfulness – Its Future Manifestation.” Refreshments were served to everyone afterwards.

Friday morning, we ate our last meal on campus, and everybody packed up, ready to head home. Some said goodbye for only a few days while others knew they wouldn’t see their friends until next year.

Finally, I, along with all the other conventioneers, would like to again express a word of thanks to Rev. Van Baren and Rev. Van Overloop, Mr. Ophoff, Mr. Schipper and their wives, to the Federation Board, the Steering Committee, the host societies, and above all to our Covenant God for letting this convention take place. The Lord willing, we’ll see you next year in South Holland, Illinois.