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The Salt Shakers Committee
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Welcome to the 47th issue of Salt Shakers!
Dear readers, we have spent the last several issues considering our Reformed heritage, both in CERC and also in God’s universal church. Now we turn to the practical living out of that calling. The theme for the next three issues is “Be Ye Holy”, in line with CERC’s ongoing church theme. Let us exhort one another to walk worthy of God, who has called us unto His kingdom and glory! Let us pray for the gift of holiness, being confident that the work that God has begun in us, He will also finish.
The year 2018 has come – a new year that brings new beginnings, and us one year nearer to the return of our Lord. CERC begins a new chapter of its history as Rev. Lanning returns to Michigan, answering the call of Byron Centre PRC. Rev. Lanning has faithfully shepherded the flock of CERC these past five years, and though we are deeply saddened to bid him and his beloved family farewell, we pray for God’s richest blessings on his ministry in his new congregation! God has greatly prospered CERC under his preaching and dedicated work here. Our congregation now faces a period of vacancy as we submit to our Father’s divine and perfect will.
But while vacancy comes with its difficulties and trials, these are exciting times! When I first visited CERC in 2012, we were also vacant. Many of us will fondly remember during that period of vacancy, many different ministers came in to help out with the pulpit supply, and the church – especially the youth – did everything to show them great hospitality. At times, something extra was being organized almost every week! God powerfully used those activities to draw the church closer together, strengthen friendships and forge lifelong bonds among the members. As a visitor back then, I was struck by the amazing vibrancy and warm congregational life of CERC. On a side note, hearing the same voice of our risen Lord through many different and faithful ministers on the pulpit was also helpful to remind us that we follow the doctrine of Christ, not any individual man.
Having an installed minister is a great blessing, but certainly vacancy has its own unique characteristics. Rather than face the future with fear, we believe that God is able and willing to turn all things to our profit. Indeed, we can sing in all of life’s uncertainty: “Who shall my soul affright, or cause my heart to fear? While God my strength, my life sustains, secure from fear my soul remains.”
There will be differences between the present time and 2012, of course. For one, those who were youth back in 2012 are now in adulthood with its accompanying commitments, but we are all deeply encouraged to see a new generation ready to step up and take the reins to lead the activities of the youth and show hospitality to our visitors. Through you, Christ inestimably enriches the life of the church. Treasure this time! For many of you, it could be the foundation that the Lord uses to root and build up your lives in the church, and establish your lifelong Christian friendships.
This month, we warmly welcome Candidate Dave Noorman and his wife Carisa into our midst, as well as Rev. and Mrs. Den Hartog. In the meantime, let us strive with zeal to live holy lives of thankfulness unto Christ who has redeemed us; may this new edition of Salt Shakers help encourage us along this path!
This issue also features a riddle written by a mystery contributor. See if you can figure it out! Remember to pass the salt!
In Christ’s service,