Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Contact with the FRCNA

The Clarion magazine issue of March 9, 2018, has a report about the recent meeting of the International Conference of Reformed Churches (ICRC) held in Jordan, Ontario. Among the many interesting things reported is a note about the four delegates of the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA) approaching the four Canadian Reformed (CanRC) delegates with the question why the FRCNA and the CanRC are no longer talking (at the level of synod and/or ecclesiastical committee). It led to the eight brothers having lunch together and agreeing that more formal effort should be put into connecting with each other. Talks petered out long ago and the eight brothers agreed it was time for them to be resumed.

This is great news. The FRCNA and the CanRC are both members of both the ICRC and the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) At the grass roots level we have come to know each other better through organizations such as ARPA and CARDUS. Hopefully we will, before long, officially recognize each other for what we surely are, sister churches. That will smooth the way for acknowledging one another's preaching, worship, and discipline as faithful to the Word of God.

We live in a post-Christian context where we increasingly need one another. We hope the brothers who met informally will be able to encourage our respective ecclesiastical contact committees to reach out to one another and to submit good recommendations to the two synods. May God bless the new talks and contact for the edification of the church of Christ!


Niki P said...

This is fantastic news! I was in the URC before I married and moved to my husband's church (FRC). I frequently get this question "why is the URC considered a sister church, but the FRC isn't?" and I have to shrug my shoulders and say that I don't know. This is a positive step in the right direction. And thank you, Pastor George, for recognizing that we are in fact sister churches - even if our respective federations have not yet made a formal declaration stating the obvious :)

George van Popta said...

Niki, I remember in my youth back in the 70s, that the CanRC and the FRC in BC had discussions, which fizzled out. Then we, again, had discussions during the 80s and 90s, which did not go anywhere. I think everyone realized and acknowledged that we were sisters, but, for some reason, the bridge was not crossed. I'm so thankful that, now, we are both members of the ICRC and of NAPARC. Perhaps this will help to spur the church bodies on to effect what should be inevitable. Inter-church marriages might help too! A bona fide grassroots movement! :-)

Niki P said...

Haha, happy to help ;)