Unity

The Canadian Reformed Churches take seriously the call of Christ with regard to the unity of the church. As mentioned in the page on our history, it was not our intention to institute another Reformed church federation in North America if this could have been avoided. The fact that membership in the Protestant Reformed Churches and the Christian Reformed Church proved impossible was a sad development.

Once the churches were established, attempts again were made to deal with the differences between ourselves and the Christian Reformed Church. Some progress was initially made, but as time went on, it became obvious that the Christian Reformed Church was not willing to sever its ties with the increasingly liberal Reformed Churches in Netherlands. It also became apparent that the thinking of this church on matters of biblical authority and church government was having a greater and greater influence on the Christian Reformed Church.

On a local level, there has been and continues to be contact with a number of other Reformed churches.

Federative unity with the United Reformed Churches of North America is currently being pursued; these churches having been recognized as true churches. There are also contacts with the Free Reformed Churches of North America.

Ecclesiastical Fellowship

We have a relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship (sister church) with:

What does a relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship encompass? Without going into all the specifics, it relates to helping each other remain true to the Reformed faith, keeping each other informed about major ecclesiastical decisions, accepting each other’s members, inviting delegates to each other’s assemblies or synods, allowing each other’s ministers to preach the Word, keeping each other informed about relations with other parties.

Rules for Ecclesiastical Fellowship

  1. The churches shall assist each other in the maintenance, defence and promotion of the Reformed faith in doctrine, church polity, discipline, and liturgy, and be watchful for deviations.
  2. The churches shall inform each other of the decisions taken by their broadest assemblies, if possible by sending each other their Acts or Minutes and otherwise, at least by sending the decisions relevant to the respective churches (if possible, in translation).
  3. The churches shall consult each other when entering into relations with third parties.
  4. The churches shall accept one another's attestations or certificates of good standing, which also means admitting members of the respective churches to the sacraments upon presentation of that attestation or certificate.
  5. The churches shall open their pulpits for each other's ministers in agreement with the rules adopted in the respective churches.

    In exercising these relations, the churches shall strive to implement also the following:

  6. When major changes or additions are being considered to the confessions, church government, or liturgy, the churches shall be informed in order that as much consultation can take place as possible before a final decision is taken.
  7. The churches shall receive each other's delegates at their broadest assemblies and invite them to participate as much as local regulations permits.

Memberships

As churches we are a member of the International Conference of Reformed Churches, an ecumenical organization that meets every four years in different parts of the world. Its purpose is to assist the member churches, to promote unity among the members and to advance the cause of the Reformed Christian faith in this world. Finally, as federation of Canadian Reformed Churches we are also a member of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council. The purpose of NAPARC is to facilitate consultation between member bodies on issues which they face in common; to promote the appointment of joint committees to study matters of common interest; and to exercise mutual concern in the propagation of the Reformed faith. NAPARC also promotes co-operation wherever feasible on the local and denominational level in such areas as missions, relief efforts, Christian schools, and church education.

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