22 Oct GS 1989 art 101
GS 1989 ARTICLE 101
Rev. Drs. J. De Jong requests the floor of Synod to make an announcement. He speaks the following words.
It was eleven days ago that I received from you the official communication from the Board of Governors concerning my appointment as professor of Diaconiology and Ecclesiology. I was asked to make known to you my decision regarding this appointment in ten days. Yesterday being Sunday, this is the first opportunity I have of informing you concerning my decision.
In regard to this decision I can say that, in view of the way in which my life has been led by the LORD, I consider it my duty to accept the appointment that has been given me, in the hope that the LORD will also bless this decision and use it for the building of His Church. With respect to the ministry I can also say that I have always enjoyed serving as a minister in the churches, and I am immensely grateful that the Lord has counted me worthy to be one of the many ambassadors labouring in His vineyard. I think I will always miss the work of a minister.
At the same time, I realize that the inclination to further studies has always been with me, and that from the beginning of my work as a minister, my consistories have always encouraged further study and also made allowances for it. In my first congregation I was somewhat hesitant about completing the graduate program I began in Holland, and even when I first arrived in my second congregation I did not see this as a high priority. However, when through a number of events the way was opened for a more concentrated plan of further study, I gratefully took the opportunity, and I must say that both academically and personally this was a very meaningful experience; indeed, it affected us deeply as a family, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded us to live in Holland so that the program of study could be resumed again.
By now most if not all the brothers of Synod know that I have been appointed to teach subjects outside my immediate area of specialization. Once again I must become the beginner. But I think that in any field of academic study, and especially in the rich and variegated world of theology, one is always a ‘beginner’! I hardly know what awaits me, but I rely on the help of the God who promises that He will equip those whom He calls. I am also confident that I may count on the help and support of fellow workers in the College and the continuing prayers of the churches. With this knowledge I hope that I may be of service in training our future ministers concerning the rudiments of preaching and teaching, and the history and polity of the church of God.
Once again I wish to thank the churches for the confidence they have placed in me and I hope and pray that this decision may serve the building of the church, the coming of God’s kingdom, and the glory of His holy Name.
The chairman replies to Rev. Drs. J. De Jong with the following words:
I do not need to say much. On behalf of Synod I express gratitude, also to the Lord, that you have come to this decision. Although we did not expect otherwise, we understand that the congregation of Burlington South has also weighed heavily. We appreciate how you have expressed concern for this congregation.
You said that in the subjects you will teach you are a beginner. We pray that the Lord will bless this beginning so that you may be a blessing for the churches.