Convention time is again swiftly approaching. The high light of the society year is now but a few short weeks away. The date of the coming convention has been set at August 25, 26 & 27 and is to be held at Hope Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We, the host society, hope you will be on hand to enjoy the convention by renewing old acquaintances, making new friends and by participating in the activities we have planned. We are now working hard to make this convention an enjoyable experience for you, the conventioneer.
The success of this convention, as of any convention, depends not alone on the planning of the host society, but primarily on the attendance and enthusiasm of the conventioneer. Without conventioneers, needless to say, a convention could not be held. Therefore, your presence at the coming convention is our primary concern. We hope you will not let us down.
For your enlightenment, we would like to give you a brief preview of the 1964 convention. If you need encouragement, we hope this will encourage you. If you are uninterested, we hope this preview will stimulate your interest. If you do not intend at this time to attend the convention, we hope this will influence you to change your mind.
First of all, a few remarks about the regular events of the convention. We are planning, as usual, a mass meeting on Tuesday evening preceded by registration and concluded with a get acquainted hour. On Wednesday, an outing is being planned and on Thursday, of course, the breakfast and the banquet.
On Tuesday, when you arrive, you will be registered at Hope Church. Here you will receive your convention badges and your booklets. We have found that these make interesting souvenirs that help to bring back fond memories years later. Lodging also will be provided for those who arrive from out of town. Tuesday evening, the Rev. H. Hoeksema will speak on the theme “Be Ye Holy–Personally”; this is the first of a series of speeches to be delivered on the theme “Be Ye Holy”. After the speech by Rev. Hoeksema, a get acquainted hour will be conducted and refreshments will be served.
August 26, 1964, the second day of the convention, is the day of the outing. First of all a brief business meeting will be held after which lunch will be served at John Ball Park. Early in the afternoon, we plan to leave the Park and go to Townsend Park where the traditional ball game between East and West will be played. Those interested in swimming will be driven to Bostwick Lake. Wednesday night, the second speech of the convention will be delivered by Rev. H. Hanko. The theme of his speech will be “Be Ye Holy—With Friends”. This speech will mark the end of the second day.
The following morning breakfast will be served and those interested in seconds and even thirds will be catered to. After breakfast another business meeting will be held and Federation Board officers will be elected. Also, all unfinished business will be taken care of at this time by the delegate board. Following the business meeting a short debate will be given on a theme dealing with “Be Ye Holy”.
Thursday evening, formals, hair-dos, perfume and perhaps corsages will mark the girls and suits, ties, white shirts and after shaving lotion will distinguish the guys. This happen to be the night of the banquet. Those preparing the banquet wish to keep the theme of the banquet a secret. However, good food will be served and an interesting program has been prepared. After eating, the last speaker of the convention, Rev. David Engelsma, will speak on the topic “Be Ye Holy—In the World”. This will mark the first time that Rev. Engelsma, formerly the President of the Federation Board, will speak to us the young people in the capacity of minister of the Word of God.
The above has been a brief description of the regular features of the convention. However, we are also planning some irregular features or surprises. We intend to set up a number of eye-catching exhibits, show a motion picture entitled “Beacon Lights” and hold a debate followed by discussion groups.
Three exhibits are going to be set up. One will be a colorful display of all the convention badges. The first badge is dated 1939 and the last one will be dated 1964. This means that the first convention was held exactly twenty-five years ago. A second display will deal with the subject of convention booklets. Find out what was on the Agenda in 1945, where the convention was held in 1950, who was president of the board in 1955, the theme of the banquet in 1960 and many other interesting facts and figures. Finally the third exhibit will be a display of convention pictures. You, if you are a younger conventioneer, will be able to find your parents before they were married or older brothers and sisters or even yourself if you have attended previous conventions. We hope to have a complete collection of all badges, booklets and convention pictures by convention time.
The second surprise is a movie dealing with Beacon Lights. This magazine is published by you the young people through the Federation Board and the Beacon Lights Staff. Seeing that Beacon Lights is your magazine, we feel that you are entitled to know the problems involved in making Beacon Lights and the work that goes into publishing it each month. This will probably be shown Thursday evening after the speech by Rev. Engelsma. If you are at all interested in your magazine you will not want to miss this added attraction.
The third addition to this year’s activities is the formulation of discussion groups. We decided to take this step as a result of your reaction to the contest which we promoted in the early part of the year. Your interest and entries exceeded our highest expectations. A large number of essays were sent in and are presently in the process of being judged. We feel that we would perhaps be letting you down if we did no further follow up work, therefore, these discussion groups. Groups will be kept as small as possible in order to stimulate discussion and very able leaders have been selected to keep discussions moving in the proper direction.
Another reason we have decided on this venture is that conventions in the past have centered around social activities. Speeches are given, sure, but the conventioneer never becomes actively involved mentally. Hopefully, this step will increase conventioneer participation. Past conventions have been sadly lacking in this respect. This part of the program is being carefully planned and we anticipate a highly successful event. We hope that in this way the young person will be strengthened spiritually and go home from the convention experiencing that he or she has indeed increased in the knowledge about his misery, the exceeding greatness of God and what it means to be Holy.
The above has been but a brief glimpse of the 1964 convention. It should give you some indication as to what to expect. We hope you will all be able to attend the convention and join together in Christian fellowship with other young people of our denomination.
We, therefore, extend to all of you our warmest welcome and hope to see you at the 1964 convention.