Church News

2018 Report to the Congregation

By the Lord’s grace, we were blessed with another year of life together as a congregation. We celebrated milestone birthdays and anniversaries. We rejoiced in the birth of Preston Johnson and the arrival of a number of new regular visitors and we welcomed the Tarons into membership. We were encouraged by the LORD’s Word in the weekly worship services and special services which were held.

Gerald Epp was ordained as a deacon to serve in our congregation. Our pastor preached from the Gospel of Matthew, the Book of Psalms, and a whole host of other passages from Scripture. Pastor Norm’s series through the books of the Bible gave us an overview of how the various parts of scripture fit together and how we can profitably read from the various parts of God’s Word. Our elder Hugh Fraser preached a number of times from the book of Kings. We also had a number of guest preachers who filled in while our pastor was away including Rev. Tom Aicken, Rev. Cameron Fraser, Rev. Patrick McNeely, Rev. Fletcher Matandika, and Rev. Gary Zekveld.

We completed a study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and began to study the Heidelberg Catechism. We studied church history using the excellent video series by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey and we hosted seven nights of Christianity Explored as an outreach effort at the Cityview Church. We had visitors join us from the Philippines, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England, Malawi, the Netherlands, and Brazil along with an array of Canadians. We were blessed with a number of fellowship meals at the Frasers’ home and enjoyed a great summer picnic in Langley with the Brhanu family and others from the Chilliwack Heritage Reformed Church. Some of us hiked in Squamish and Seymour and some participated in several events at the Union Gospel Mission and the Ride for Refuge.

We were thankful for the relationship that we have with Cityview Church and for the ability we have to use their facility for our weekly services and for additional gatherings. The building itself is centrally located for our congregants and we have seen a number of visitors come who have been able to make use of the public transit system.

We purchased a hearing assistance system this year in order to make our services more accessible for those who are hearing impaired. We provided copies of the APC News, our denominational magazine, to our members and also made a number of purchases of quality Reformed literature for distribution in our congregation. We paid for study guides for the Church History video series and for the Christianity Explored materials. We provided a budget for our pastor to continue to build up his pastoral library and he didn’t find it difficult to spend it.

We covered the costs for our pastor to attend a conference and a refresher course at Westminster Seminary California in January 2018. He was also able to attend the March 2018 meeting of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA in Phoenix, AZ as an observer in order to learn more about the RPCNA and to witness the ordination exam of Rev. Patrick McNeely. We also sent our pastor to the Synod of the APC in Inverness, Scotland in May 2018.

We are thankful to the LORD for the sustained and generous giving that has been a continuing characteristic of our congregation. Donations, small and large, are instrumental in keeping our ministry in a healthy financial state. This allows us to be prepared for new initiatives when the need arises and it gives us capital to share with other like-minded ministry causes.

This year was another very good year for donations considering the size of our congregation. We thank the LORD for cheerful giving and pray that He would be glorified through the labours and charity of His people.

All in all, we were blessed to see the LORD’s hand of kindness upon us.

Finding Peace for Our Hearts in a Tumultuous World

Our hearts cry out that there is a gap between what we need to make us feel at peace and what our actual circumstances are.

This is the chasm that keeps us up at night – or brings us down during the day.

What we need to make us feel at peace seems at odds with what our actual circumstances are on any given day.

As Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down.”

The Lord Jesus Christ knows well that we are weighed down by anxieties and fears of many kinds. He speaks with Kingly authority and Shepherd-like tenderness in Matthew 6:24ff to teach us how to find peace in a tumultuous life.

Join us this Lord's Day as we meditate together on God's righteous care for His holy people.

On the Office of Deacon...

On the occasion of Mr. Gerald Epp's ordination as a deacon in our congregation (for which we give thanks!), we reflected together on 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and what the Lord says regarding the elders and deacons which are to serve in each congregation of Christ. We take this instruction very seriously and believe that churches which do not have elders or deacons (or worse, fail to have either office) will surely be weak. Why? Because this is to neglect the means that Christ Jesus has established for his church!

So what is the particular calling of the deacons?

In brief, they are to serve as stewards of the needy and caretakers of the church. 

Arising from the division of responsibilities in the book of Acts, chapter 6, the calling of the deacon is to be of service to those who are in need – first to the widows of the Greeks who were being overlooked in the distribution of bread to alleviate poverty – and through the history of the church as those who minister to the various needs of those who are beset by sickness or accidents or hardships of many kinds. 

The office of the deacon was established by Christ through his apostles so that the poor and distressed may be relieved and comforted, according to their needs.

We should see in the deacons the hand of mercy of our LORD and his recognition that the weak and weary, the hungry and poor, are so precious to Him that he prepares men with a particular calling to oversee and provide for their care. 

This doesn't alleviate you of any responsibility to the needy but rather it directs us to be responsibly giving to others and ensuring their well-being. 

Much more could be said about the hundreds of ways that the deacons can actively take up their service – for they are much more than just the offering collectors and bill-payers for the church. They are men of dignity and thoughtfulness – who hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. They are Christ Jesus' gift to the church and the church knows great blessing through the active ministry of the deacons!