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Worship Services

On every Lord’s Day two worship services are held in each local church. They take place mostly in the morning and afternoon.

The liturgy in these services is based on biblical practice and principle. The result is that the opening blessing and greeting are taken from the Word. The songs that are sung are taken either from the Psalms or from other parts of Scripture that have been put to music. The prayers contain praise to God, confession of sin, pleas for pardon and blessing, as well as requests for help, healing and guidance. The heart of the service centers around the reading and proclamation of God’s Word. An offering is held and is either for the work done by the deacons among the needy or for some other worthy cause in God’s church and kingdom. The service concludes with a closing benediction which is also taken from the Word.

In one of the services, usually the afternoon service, the Heidelberg Catechism is used as a guideline for the preaching. This means that the minister reads the appropriate Lord’s day and has a sermon on the particular point of Scriptural teaching summarized by the Catechism.

The sacraments of baptism and Lord’s Supper are administered in the worship services. As soon as it is feasible, parents request to have their newborn child baptized in the assembly of God’s people. As for the Lord’s Supper, it is celebrated every two or three months. The frequency and manner of this celebration is determined by each local church council.

Instruction

The young people in each local church attend classes in which they are taught about the doctrine of the church. These classes begin most often at the age of twelve years and continue until such a time as these young members express a desire to publicly profess their faith and be admitted to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

In these classes the Heidelberg Catechism is used as the teaching guide. Once the students are sufficiently at home in the Scriptures and the Catechism, attention often shifts to the other confessions and to the history of the church.

These classes are usually taught by the local minister. If the local church is quite large, the minister may be assisted by an elder or by other able church members.

In many churches, courses for adult instruction are also offered.

Bible Studies

The study of God’s Word by all members is an ongoing activity in each local church. It begins in the early Fall, continues throughout the Winter months and concludes in late Spring. During this time a book of the Bible is usually studied in an indepth manner. From time to time, certain Bible themes, different ethical topics, current issues, or the confessions of the church may also be dealt with in a systematic way.

The method of study varies from the inductive approach which begins with the text of the Bible and forms conclusions from it, to the deductive approach which begins with an introduction by one of the participants. The purpose of an introduction is to draw out the central themes contained in a Bible passage and to stimulate discussion on it.

This program of study is often aided by resources found in the library of the church.

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