The Convention of 1961

With the Convention of 1961, the Federation of Protestant Reformed youth took a giant stride forward. This occurred as the result of unified little steps on the part of individual young people. The Federation advanced when young people conducted themselves with wisdom and decorum. The Federation advanced when young people greeted their fellows with sincerity and eagerness. And the Federation advanced long-leggedly when young people conducted their business affairs with diligence, warmth, and foresight.

In all, over 120 young people attended the Loveland venture. And I am sure that the unanimous judgment would be that the beauty of the Colorado landscape is surpassed only by the excellence of the Loveland peoplescape. The perseverance and zeal of those who refused to let the Federation buckle after the decimation of ‘53 worked through to obvious and desired results in 1961. It is the opportunity of Hudsonville to continue the progress in 1962.

Any “spirit” of a group is hard to explain, much more to define. There was a “spirit” or “general feeling” which permeated the Convention. Certain events and circumstances roused it to high activity at the Convention, but the more-or-less latent principle existed before. The principle which each carried to the Convention was a knowledge and conviction that he stood with others of his own age and experience on a solid confession of the truth. Convention addresses quickened that conviction into conscious, if unspoken, reaffirmation. Actual, face-to-face relationships revealed the underlying unity, and the deeply earnest conversations that spring up so easily away from home grounded the conversationalists more firmly. And the “spirit” of the Convention became a corporate thing, a feeling no longer possessed by and one because it possessed all. By the final day, not a person remained ignorance of that “spirit.” Not all recognized it equally as clearly but the comments of all breathed the same “spirit”: the joy of confessing together the truth of God in love for Him and for each other. Only a few, perhaps this year none, sang “God Be With You” from the larynx alone.

The “Spirit of Convention ‘61” found expression in the business meetings. These well-attended and lively (as a description of certain discussions, “lively” is a euphemism) sessions produced the following decisions.

Immediately, the advice of the Federation Board that dues be $8.00 per member was rejected by the Delegate Board. Unanimously, the delegates voted to raise dues for the 1961-1962 society year to $10.00 per member. $6.00 will meet Convention expenses; the remainder is to be divided between Beacon Lights and the scholarship fund.

Oak Lawn was granted a resignation because of the dearth of eligible members.
Redlands, also, was granted its requested resignation. Then the Delegate Board adopted and sent a letter to Redlands urging the society to reaffiliate with the Federation.

Upon completion of the study of Revelation, the societies decided to concentrate upon the book of Genesis.

The delegates adopted the constitution of the scholarship fund (cf. May 1961 issue of Beacon Lights) after making three changes. Since the majority of delegates believed that memorials should not be established, in any case, to anyone but God, the name of the committee became the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Fund Committee. Article VII, 8, which denied married students the right to apply, was deleted. And to Article VIII, which deals with amendments, the sentence was added, “Article VIII can not be amended.”

All those proposed by the Federation Board to compose the first Committee, received ratification from the Delegate Board. In accordance with the stipulations of Article VI, I of the Constitution, the members are James Veldman (4 years), Rev. H. Hanko (6 years) Lam Lubbers (2 years), David Engelsma (6 years), John Kalsbeek Jr. (4 years), and Dave Ondersma (2 years).
There were no executive sessions.