Previewing the 18th Annual Convention

Do you think it’s a little early to think about the Convention? It isn’t! It’s just two months away; it’s just two months until the Eighteenth Annual Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention.

As with all conventions, we too have chosen a unifying theme which is taken from Revelation 3:11, “Hold Fast What Thou Hast.” The speakers who will develop this theme are the Reverends Herman Hoeksema, Gise Van Baren, and George Lanting. Rev. Hoeksema will address the mass meeting under the theme, “Holding Fast The Truth,” Rev. Van Baren, our past federation president, will give the second speech, “Fighting The Battle Of Faith,” and Rev. Lanting will highlight the banquet with his speech, “Standing Unto The Day Of Christ.” Especially, in the light of the world turmoil and the ever‑present struggle of the church in maintaining the truth, we felt that this theme would be most timely.

Let’s go back to last August when all this started. Each year the Federation Board has the difficult task of choosing the next host society from the invitations received. After the usual delaying, our president Tom Newhof, announced that next year host would the the societies of Creston and Hope. Although we didn’t start working on the convention immediately, our societies had their first combined meeting in November for the purpose of forming committees. At that time Dave Engelsma was chosen to be our convention chairman. Under his able leadership we are planning a convention that will fulfill the purpose for which they have been organized.

Rev. C. Hanko, back in 1954, wrote this concerning undesirable trends in our conventions: “…we would make a very serious mistake if we assumed an attitude of having attained our goal. Complacency is always wrong and very dangerous. Stagnation is the ruin of any organization… We shall always welcome `bigger and better’ conventions as long as they serve their purpose of edifying, solidifying and unifying our Protestant Reformed youth in the principles of truth God has entrusted to us as our peculiar heritage. We shall bitterly bemoan the day if and when this purpose lost from sight.”

ORIGINALITY, we decided, could be the key to a successful convention. Rearrangement of the speeches, additional activities, and a well planned schedule of events have been combined to make this convention the best ever, So, look at the coming convention for –

  1. a Mass Meeting under the stars, or, under cover if rain is imminent.
  2. a Get-Acquainted Hour that is entirely different and more than a get‑used-to-the strangers hour.
  3. a badge end booklet that you’ll be proud to show and to keep.
  4. an Outing with a treasure hunt and group games as well as volley ball and softball.
  5. swimming for social and for real swimmers.
  6. an interesting Fellowship Hour at the outing with a singspiration, a debate, and maybe a late lunch.
  7. a change! Rev. Van Baren will speak in the morning to a fresh [I hope] audience.

Say, why am I telling you this, why don’t you just come and see the convention we have planned?

We are sure that with your help this convention can exceed the best of the past conventions. That former conventions have been rewarding, we know by the impressions written by enthusiastic conventioneers.

About speeches –

“I think that our conventions give the young people an opportunity to become better acquainted and also give us a chance to hear speeches by ministers whom we might not otherwise hear.”

About the banquet –

As with other conventions the banquet was again the highlight. It seems as though all the spirit, all the fun, all the serious thoughts come to a climax around the banquet tables. When we think back we see men with loaded trays following their wives, plates piled high with ham, young people leaning back with satisfied looks, and moments of concentrated thought on the speech and music. And now we look forward in expectation to the next convention.”

About Christian fellowship –

“I was very much impressed by the convention. May I express it in this way: For me it was a new and different experience. Perhaps it is the feeling of an unsurpassed satisfaction that one gets from Christian fellowship.”

In closing, in the name of the societies of Hope and Creston, I wish to extend an invitation to all interested young people.