Report on the 1949 Annual Convention

Paul DeKoning

From the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 1 (May 1949): 1-2.

The third annual convention of the American Scientific Affiliation was held at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 1, 2, and 3.

It was a source of real pleasure and genuine profit for those who attended this year's convo to renew old acquaintances and make new ones among the men and women whose purpose it is to honor the Lord in their scientific achievements. As in the two year's past, it was splendid to have fellowship with those of "like precious faith" who are engaged with teaching and research work in various fields of science.

I'm certain that I speak for everyone on the program committee as well as for those of our membership who attended, when I say that we appreciated very much the fine hospitality shown us by the faculty and staff of Calvin College. Every courtesy was extended to us, and we were all made to feel right at home in the splendid dormitory where a number of us stayed during the conference. We extend our thanks to the local arrangements committee, Mr. Mart Karsten and Dr. Edwin Monsma. Especially do we thank the good wives of these two gentlemen for preparing the fine lunch for us during the evening of our arrival. Thanks must also be extended again to the other members of the College who made our stay so pleasant.

As was the custom at our other conventions, we began our day's activity with a devotional period each morning. The singing of hymns, the brief expositions of the Word, and the fellowship in prayer were all stimulating, and continually reminded us that our first responsibility was to seek the Lord. We can attribute every successful part of our program to the fact that we did seek to serve the Lord in all that we did.. One thing that stands out clearly in this year's convention which was also evident in the others, was the spirit of earnestness and keeness in seeking knowledge, not for its own sake, but for the glory of the Lord. This was especially noticed in the kindly and charitable attitude among us as we carried on our various discussions. This surely must have been the result of much prayer on the part of all the members prior to the convo, and during our time together. For this I am sure everyone was grateful.

Those of us at the conference this year witnessed the successful culmination of several years work in the issuing of the Student Handbook, "Modern Science and The Christian Faith." This book was received with favor, and many copies were distributed to members and also to the public during the meetings.

This year we attempted to provide for more complete coverage of the discussions and remarks concerning the various papers presented, by employing a court stenographer. This gentleman took down all remarks with the stenotype machine, making it possible for the first time for us to have an accurate record of all the convention transactions. Thus we can share with those who did not attend the meetings all the interesting things which transpired.

Subject matter of the papers presented was of a varied nature. It was gratifying to see how everyone was vitally concerned with the material given, as was noticed by the lively discussions which followed every paper, and continued oven after the various sessions were over. More than this, it was clearly evident that the members of the ASA were earnestly trying to face the scientific problems of the day, and were not merely interested in advocating some pet theory of their own. Considerable disagreement among us on some problems demonstrated this. Again it can be truthfully said that in all of our agreements and apparent disagreements, there was displayed a remarkable Christian spirit, by all in their remarks during and after the meetings.

The two public meetings which were held in the evening as before, were very well attended. The college auditorium was well filled on both evenings. Dr. Allan MacRae presented some very interesting material on archaeological matters the first night, and at the second public meeting the now film "Voice of the Deep" was shown. In addition to this, our President Mr. Everest spoke briefly along with Dr. Marion Barnes, concerning the work of ASA. It was felt that this was an excellent opportunity to publicize the activities of ASA.

A special feature of our convention this year was the visit made to the Psychopathic Hospital at Cutlerville. Our tour was conducted by Dr. Gelmer Van Noord, chief of staff for the hospital, and proved to be very interesting. We were able to see first hand the fine work being done by this outstanding institution in an effort to help the mentally ill.

In conclusion, I would like to say that it was a pleasure to have been able to work on the details of the program for the 1948 convention. Any success which we may, have had can be attributed to the goodness of the Lord in supplying the willing workers who presented the papers, and led the discussions.