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Exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  
—Jude 3

The Outlook is owned and published by Reformed Fellowship, Inc., a religious and strictly non-profit organization composed of a group of Christian believers who hold to the Biblical Reformed faith. Its purpose is to advocate and propagate this faith, to nurture those who seek to live in obedience to it, to give sharpened expression to it, to stimulate the doctrinal sensitivities of those who profess it, to promote the spiritual welfare and purity of the Reformed churches and to encourage Christian action.

Reformed Fellowship, Inc. was organized for this purpose on February 21, 1951.

The publishers of The Outlook express their adherence to the Calvinistic creeds as formulated in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Confession and Catechisms.

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Synod Wheaton 2018 
of the United Reformed Churches in North America

Synod Wheaton 2018, of the United Reformed Churches in North America, held on the campus of Wheaton College, was a historic event.  It was held concurrently with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church General Assembly.  On this occasion the two churches released the Trinity Psalter Hymnal which they produced together.  Opening and closing devotions were held together where some three hundred fifty male voices were raised in praise to God using selections from the new hymn book. Times of fellowship together were also provided during the meals.  Each body met individually to conduct the business of their churches.     

Appointed officers of the synod were Rev. Bradd Nymeyer, Chairman; Rev. John Bouwers, Vice Chairman; Rev. Doug Barnes, First Clerk; and Rev. Talman Wagenmaker, Second Clerk, assisted by Stated Clerk, Rev. Ralph Pontier.  Synod moved along smoothly under the leadership of these men, and completed earlier than anticipated.

Fellowship was also enjoyed with the fourteen fraternal delegates from churches with which the URCNA has ecumenical relations and ecclesiastical fellowship, who addressed the synod.  This included some from as far away as Africa, Hungary, Indonesia and New Zealand. These addresses always commend the church in keeping faithful to God's Word and provide encouragement to continue doing so. 

The URCNA will enter into Phase one with the Evangelical Reformed Church of Latvia, and into Phase two with the Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church.  It was with sadness that relationship with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Gkv) was discontinued.  In spite of many years of pleading with them, they have now allowed women to serve in all the offices of the church. 

Mission concerns took up much of the agenda.  It was decided not to appoint another Missions Coordinator, to allow for both a Domestic and a Foreign Missions Coordinator.  Each Classis is to appoint one more representative to the Missions Committee and attempt to appoint elders as well as ministers.  The present committee is made up of seven ministers and one elder.  The Missions Committee was mandated to investigate the current OPC model and the older CRC model to see if they are feasible for the URC to use for their missionary endeavors.  A recommendation to establish general missions funds was defeated.  Rev. Richard Bout was reappointed as the URCNA Missions Coordinator.

The Synodical Appeals Committee (SAC) was established, consisting of one appointee from each Classis, as a standing committee.  SAC is to receive and review appeals submitted to synods in assisting the convening Consistory of Synod concerning the admissibility of appeals submitted, and to make recommendations concerning the handling of appeals without making recommendations on the disposition of appeals.   

In opposition to the trends of the world, fourteen statements concerning the URCNA's stand on marriage were adopted.  This document, as the position of the URCNA, can also be used to protect ministers who refuse to conduct marriages opposed to God's ordinance.  

The previous Synod had adopted pastoral advice concerning how to deal with members who depart from a congregation.  This Synod adopted an overture to amend the Church Order accordingly.

Synod approved publishing a digital version of the new songbook and the liturgical forms, prayers, creeds, and confessions on the web, and developing a mobile app as well. 

The first evening, with the URCNA delegates and the OPC Commissioners meeting together, the history of the joint song book was given. The last two evenings were devoted to hearing reports on what the URCNA and the OPC are doing in missions at home and around the world.  The delegates and the commissioners went back home with a better understanding and appreciation for each other.

By Myron Rau

Reformed Fellowship, Inc. 
10857 W. Parmalee Rd. 
Middleville, MI 49333-8881

Phone: (877) 532-8510
            (616) 532-8510
office@reformedfellowship.net


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Current Issue: September/October 2018
Volume 68 Issue 5

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This lecture was given at the annual meeting of Reformed Fellowship held November 7, 2008, at Trinity United Reformed Church, 7350 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Caledonia MI.

 

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