Dr. Lynn M. Japinga, a scholar and associate professor of religion at Hope College, will present the address "The Rain of God: RCA Growth and Decline in Historical Perspective" at Hope on Tuesday, April 20, at 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The lecture is sponsored by the A.C. Van Raalte Institute, a historical research center at Hope focusing on Dutch-American immigration history of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Japinga is a visiting research fellow affiliated with the Van Raalte Institute this year. She has a long-standing interest in the history of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), especially since 1945. She is interested in oral history and has conducted numerous interviews with retired clergy, missionaries, elders, and laypersons.

She is currently a member of the RCA Commission on History, and has served on the RCA Commission on Theology and on committees related to Lutheran-Reformed Dialogue. She published an article in 1992 in "Concord Makes Strength: Essays in Reformed Ecumenism," a volume in the Historical Series of the RCA. She has also had articles in the "Reformed Review," the "Church Herald," and in three books based on international conferences. In 1999 she published "Feminism and Christianity: An Essential Guide" with Abingdon Press.A 1981 Hope graduate, Japinga was awarded an M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1984 and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 1992.

The Herrick Room is on the southwest corner of the second floor of the DeWitt Center, which is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Refreshments will be available prior to the lecture, beginning at 3:45 p.m.