ABOUT OUR CONGREGATION
The Reformed Church of Whanganui initially started as a home mission of the Reformed Church of Palmerston North in 1992. Since 1 April 2016 we are an independent instituted church and part of the federation of Reformed Churches of New Zealand.
The Church’s Task
The “Chief End of man is to worship God and Glorify Him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A 1) We place a very high emphasis on worship and therefore seek to worship the Triune God in spirit and truth. We believe that God wants to be worshiped only in the way He has prescribed in His Word, and so we strive for the simplicity of worship we see in the New Testament. Our worship consists of singing Psalms and Hymns, confession of sin, prayer, the reading of Scripture, the preaching of the Word of God, the administration of the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, and giving our tithes and offerings.
Nurture of Church Members
Expository preaching is a regular part of our worship in both our morning and afternoon services. We believe the Bible teaches us that the preaching of the Word of God is the primary means of grace and the way God speaks to us. For that reason we take the Bible seriously as the infallible Word of God. Expository preaching helps us to understand its message and its relevance for our lives. Reformed Churches, traditionally, have emphasized that the Christian life embraces all spheres of activity in the world. We believe that all of life is to be guided and directed by Holy Scripture.
Catechism for Young People
Catechism is an age-old “question and answer” way of explaining the Christian faith. Our young people, usually from the age of 11, begin catechism classes, usually taken by the minister. In this instruction over the years our children gain a good grasp of the teaching of the Bible and learn to apply it to their own lives.
We value the fellowship of fellow Christians and have regular Bible study and prayer where we can mutually encourage one another. Women’s and men’s fellowship groups also meet regularly for mutual encouragement and Bible study in an informal context in family homes or during events in public parks etc.
In Matthew 28:19&20 Jesus Christ gave the church the responsibility to go and make disciples of all nations. In obedience to that command we see evangelism as an important part of the church’s task. By word and by deed we desire to see men, women and children come to Christ and find true freedom and eternal life through Him. Our desire is to use the gifts God has given us as a congregation to reach out to others.
Works of mercy
An important task God has given the church is to show the mercy of God in practical ways especially to those in need just as Jesus did during His ministry on earth. He healed, fed and liberated many from enslavement and physical infirmity. We can’t miraculously heal, only God can do that but we can show the love of Christ in other practical ways. Consequently we have a deacon whose role is to act as the “hands and feet of Jesus”. We also support our National Diaconate which identifies particular needs around the world which our denomination is able to assist with as a whole. Recent National Diaconate projects have included financial assistance for a school in Zimbabwe for deaf children and a training center in India for disadvantaged women and children.
What we believe
The word ‘covenant’ is one of the important concepts we see in the Scriptures. We see ourselves in covenant with God, trusting in His promises and understand that our children also are embraced in God’s covenant love. For this reason they are baptized as infants just as the children of Israel were circumcised as infants. Yes, they also must express a personal faith in Christ and be born again, but the Bible gives us plain reasons to believe that God regards children as members of His church too. So we endeavor to train them in God’s ways and we pray that by God’s grace they will come to a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as they approach adulthood. This, of course, is our desire for all men everywhere.
We are a confessional church. By that we mean that we have accepted the great creedal statements of the church believing that they accurately reflect the teaching of Scripture, and that they are useful systematic summaries of the truth of God’s Word. The creeds and confessions are also used as teaching aids, to defend the Christian faith with and as a basis of unity for our federation of churches. However, they are what we call subordinate standards. Scripture is our highest authority and our first and last ‘court of appeal’ in determining what is true.
We consider membership of a local church an important part of the teaching of Scripture. In membership we commit ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ and to His people, and seek to do what we can, each with His own gifts, to serve the Lord – both evangelistically and practically – as we extend love to our neighbours.
For more information about our denomination please follow this link: http://www.rcnz.org.nz