Woody Nook
An Introduction
to our
Community Life
Topics
Summary of Faith and Practice
Woody Nook: Our Common Testimony
Woody Nook: Our Story
Woody Nook: Living Together In...
A Summary of Faith and Practice
Finding Home, Finding Rest
Basic Confession
Q. What is your only comfort in life and
in death?
A. That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in...
He has fully paid for all my sins with his
precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of
the devil.
He also watc...
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and
re...
The Parable Prodigal:
It’s all about coming home
There is a place we call home
Longing for the another life: leaving home
...
God’s Story and Your Story
God’s Story
“Let us make…”
The sorrow of God
The waiting of God
The Seeking God
The Forgiving G...
God’s Story
“Let us make…”
Image and likeness
Stewards of creation
Genesis 1, 2
Your Story
Created like God
and God said:
...
God’s Story
The Sorrow of God
Genesis 3: the Fall
Genesis 6: and God
grieved
Luke 15
Your Story
Walking away from
God
“did...
God’s Story
“the Waiting of God”
The book of Judges
The Prodigal Father
Your Story
Life Away from God
Other gods
Who is Fi...
God’s Story
The Seeking God
Your Story
Facing ourselves,
facing our World
God’s Story
The Forgiving God
Your Story
Turning to God:
confession and faith
God’s Story
The empowering
God
Your Story
Walking with God:
faith, hope and love
God’s Story
The God who makes
a future
Your Story
Our destiny in God
How we get to know God
Through Creation
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of hi...
How we get to know God
Through the Word
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and
is useful for teaching, rebuki...
How we get to know God
Through the Work of the Spirit
Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our
spirit that we are...
Our Central Text: The Bible
• Written over time: from Moses (approximately 1400BC) to
Revelation (around 100AD)
• Contains...
Our Central Text: The Bible
We hear the voice of God
We see the action of God
We learn about the character of God
We get t...
The Christian Worldview:
Key Questions
Who am I?
What is the good life?
What is worth striving for?
The Christian Worldview:
Key Questions
What is my North Star (orientating
star)?
What is my responsibility to others?
How ...
The Christian Worldview
Our identity is found in Jesus
Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him
before the creation of the wor...
The Christian Worldview
God wants us to bear fruit
John 15:4-8 Remain in me, and I will
remain in you. No branch can bear ...
The Christian Worldview
God wants us to live in love
John 15:14-17 14 You are my friends if you
do what I command. 15 I no...
The Christian Worldview
God wants us to be responsible for creation
Genesis 1:27-28 27 So God created man in his own image...
God wants us to seek the Kingdom of God
Matthew 6:31-34 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall
we eat?' or 'What shall we...
How do I become a Christian?
Admit that God has not been first in
your life.
Ask God to forgive you.
Believe that Jesus di...
Why Confessions?
Confessions are invitations to unity
Confessions embrace a history of understanding
the Bible and the goo...
Our Confessional History: the List
• Nicene Creed – 325AD
• Athanasian Creed – 6th century
• Apostles Creed – 4th century ...
The Apostles’Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only...
The Athanasian
Creed
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold
to the catholic faith.
Anyone who does not keep it ...
The Nicene
Creed
he Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement
of the orthodox faith o...
The Nicene
Creed
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the vir...
The Heidelberg
Catechism
The Heidelberg Catechism was composed in
Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III,
who ...
The Belgic
Confession
During the sixteenth century the churches in this country
were exposed to the most terrible persecut...
The Canons
of Dort
The Synod of Dort was held in order to settle a serious
controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by ...
The Contemporary
Testimony
6. We rejoice in the goodness of God,
renounce the works of darkness,
and dedicate ourselves to...
The Belhar
Confession
that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an
obligation for the church of Jesus Christ;
that through...
Why Confessions? Again...
A Confession is a Statement of our common faith
Confessions are part of a story
Confessions aris...
Baptism: A Sacrament of Grace
A Sign of Christ’s death and resurrection
A Sign of the washing away of our sins and our
new...
Why should I be baptised?
•Christ’s command:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of...
About Baptism: For Children?
God’s Plan includes children
Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for
all w...
About Lord’s Supper,
Communion
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 23 ¶ For I received from the Lord what I
also passed on to you: The ...
The Lord’s Supper: A meal
A meal
A wedding banquet
A place of fellowship
The Lord’s Supper: A Reminder
A reminder
Tells the story of Jesus
This story is part of our story: never forget
The Lord’s Supper:
A Sign & Seal
A sign & seal
Body and blood of Christ is our salvation
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the ...
The Lord’s Supper:
a Proclamation
Proclaim until he comes
We confess that our life is hidden in the life of
Christ
We conf...
WOODY NOOK
Our story: from immigration to a community serving Lacombe County
Woody Nook
In the Beginning
Leaving a country but not a
faith
Need for support
Desire to Live in faith
Woody Nook
Building a New Life of Faith
A life with neighbours
A church community
A school community
Woody Nook
Adapting to Changing Times
Changing Worship Styles
Ministry to Children & Youth
Global Christians/ increasing
e...
Woody Nook
Everyone has a story of becoming
Born into Woody Nook
Moved into the area
Married a member
Found fellowship
Bec...
Woody Nook
Your Story/ My Story
When did you become aware of God’s presence in your life?
What happened in your life to ma...
WOODY NOOK: LIVING TOGETHER IN
CHRIST
Vision, Mission, Values, Beliefs
The Church: Its About God –
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
The church is God’s Story- what Jesus continues to
do (Acts 1)
The...
A Picture of a Vision
Revelation 21:1-7 hen I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first
heaven and the first earth h...
A Picture of a Vision
Beautiful for God
Where the new comes to life
Where the old order loses power and the new
order reig...
Our Christian Vocation
Called to make disciples
Matthew 28:18-19 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to m...
Living Together: Shared Family
Values
Philippians 2:1-16 f you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if an...
Living Together: Shared Family
Values
Worship in which we
express our devotion to God,
re-story ourselves in God’s story,
...
Living Together: Shared Family
Values
Stewardship in which we
use time, money and abilities to honour God
use the gifts of...
Living Together: Shared Family
Values
Nurture faith
in all members
by sharing our faith with our neighbours
by continually...
Living Together: Shared Family Values
Service in which we
serve the needs of our neighbours – near and far
develop and use...
As a Community we desire
That you have peace with your past (forgiven)
That you know you are loved as a member of the
fami...
WOODY NOOK: THE ORGANIZATION
Structure, Denomination
A People, A Community
The church is a fellowship of God
The church is a family of God
The church is the body of Christ
Not...
As a people we
Have ministries to build up the body
Have an organization that helps the people of
God serve the purposes o...
Our Organizational Structure
An organizational structure is the road map for
How the core faith and values are maintained
...
Full Council
Administration
Board
Pastoral
Elders
Deacons
Full Council:
1. Focuses on Mission/
Vision of the Church
2. App...
Pastoral Elders
Visitation Small Group
Stephen’s
Ministry
Supervise the
Preaching
Supervise the
Sacraments
Approve
Members...
Deacons
Volunteer
Link
Diaconal
Ministry
Meals from
the Heart
SERVE
Collection
Schedule
Refugees
Assist our community in
b...
Ministries
Youth Ministry
Cadets & GEMS
Worship
Children: Nursery & Sunday School
Small Groups
Outreach Ministries
Library...
What
Pastors Do
Pastor Harv:
Pastoral Ministry
Stephen’s Ministry
Caring Touch
Small Groups
Pastor Neil:
Works with Ad Boa...
What members do: in the church
Support and encourage one another through
prayer and sharing
Participate in the ministries ...
What members do: beyond the
church programs
Go and make disciples
Participate in the community in schools and
volunteer op...
Relationship to the
Denomination
Other
Denominations
Synod: Christian
Reformed Church
of North America
Classis Alberta
Nor...
Being a member means
To share its expressions of faith
To share in its mission for God and God’s
Kingdom
To be accountable...
Why Become a Member?
A response to Christ’s love for his church
Being part of the body – with its responsibilities, joys
a...
What is expected of Me as a
Member?
I will protect the unity of the church
By acting in love toward each other
By not goss...
I will serve the ministry of the church
By discovering and using my gifts
By developing the servant heart
By taking part i...
I will seek ways to serve God in community
By serving in the community organizations
By supporting fellow Christians
By gi...
What you can expect from the
church and for which you can hold
the church accountable
To pray for you
To support you as yo...
Woody Nook 101
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  • Ask someone who has grown up in the Reformed Tradition, you will often find the words of Lord’s Day #1 resonate in his/her heart. They are a confession of the church that speaks not only of our common belief but also teaches us personal faith. Many times I have heard those who are dying reveal their deepest faith by reciting these words.
    A few characteristics stand out.
    The personal side of the story – the language uses “I”. Every person needs to experience the “I too” quality of the Christian life. Yes, we are talking about doctrine. Yes we are talking about a community of faith. But whatever else is part of the story, we need to experience this personally. Jesus has come into the world, but Jesus has also come to me personally.
    The use of the word “comfort”. This is not speaking of being comfortable or at ease, but a source of reassurance, security, and well-being in the midst of a life that can be and often is filled with troubles and distress.
  • It of what Christ has done on the cross. This is the way of redemption.
    It speaks of the freedom we find in Jesus. No longer in the clutches of Satan, or any other powers of this world but in the freedom of the Kingdom of God.
    It speaks of the providential care of our Father in Heaven. This can give us good confidence that in all the circumstances of our lives we will never be separated from the Love of God.
  • The assurance of faith: this assurance is rooted in the love of Christ and not in my work or feeling at the moment.
    The desire to serve our faithful Saviour and Lord.
    The role of the Spirit: my assurance and my willing service do not come from my personal strength but from the power of the Spirit who takes all the redemptive ways of Jesus Christ and makes them real in my life.
  • The Story of the Prodigal Son has been used by the church as a vehicle for understanding our place in the story of salvation. We find this story in Luke 15.

    Read the story together.

    This story has many layers and we can not do justice to them all. What we need to understand is that we find in this story the story of humanity.
    Humanity starts at home with God (garden of eden): there is a home.
    Sin separates us from God (the Father): we leave home and somehow come to believe that we do not need God or are independent of God.
    The reality of life apart from God (life lived in selfishness or in the gutter): the deceptions, the disappointments
    It’s time to come home: confession (I need you Lord, forgive my disregard and disobedience) on lips, the welcome of God – come, I will give you rest

    This can become our story. While the drama of the gutter may be too strong for our personal experiences, we need to reflect on the God’s welcoming us and taking us back into the family of God.

    The next slide allows us to walk alongside
  • We can tell the story from two points of view.

    On the one side we see God and what God is doing (this is not necessarily sequential, but lists some actions of God in terms of the story of the Prodigal). On the otherside we can tell the story from our experience of God’s work in my life.

    God made humanity and each of us: (Genesis 1,2; Psalm 8, Psalm 139) on the other side: I am created in the image and likeness of God.
    God grieved – the attitude to sin, to the breakage (not just about judgement) on the other side: I am walking in the ways of sin
    God waits – God does not necessarily rush in and try to redirect our path immediately. Sometimes God lets us get to the depths so that we cry out to God. Think of the time of the judges. on the other side: I am living apart from God – what does this look like. Perhaps words like “selfish”, “things aren’t going well”, “breaking of the commands”, “careless”, “partying”, “broken relationships”, “loneliness” might help describe the situation. Personal stories are useful.
    God seeks While the parable does not describe it this way, it is important to remember that Jesus came to seek the lost. God does not say I will let them figure it out on their own, he goes out searching for us. Meanwhile I need to face myself. Look in the mirror to see myself as I really am. The prodigal son has a talk with himself. And we need to see our personal story in the worlds story of being apart from God. The world is a mess. What’s wrong with the world? “I am”
    God Forgives: this is the story of Jesus, the one who atones for our sins. I need to repent (turn away from sin and toward God), trusting in God alone for my salvation.
    God empowers: God sends us the Holy Spirit so that we might believe and live for God, he enables us. I respond by living for God and being a witness to what God has done and is doing by my faith, hope and love.
    God gives a future. Eternal life, life with God now, a promise. I hope in the unseen promise (examine Hebrews 11)
  • God made humanity and each of us: (Genesis 1,2;) Take time to read these passages. It is critically important to consider the
    on the other side: I am created in the image and likeness of God. (Psalm 8, Psalm 139).
  • God grieved – God’s attitude to sin, includes anger, judgement and sorrow. Anger because of the violation of his love. Judgment because justice demands a response to the violation of the command in order to set things right. And sorrow because of love’s loss. In the story of the prodigal the Father lets the son go, but if he is as the fathers I know tears would have been his companion.

    on the other side: I am walking in the ways of sin. In a variety of ways we can see sin in us: “did what is right in our own eyes” - a phrase that comes from the book of judges. Instead of listening to God’s way we go our own. We do wrong. (stealing, lying, etc). We have desires that lead us in wrong paths. Our hearts are directed away from God. In many ways we can say we were captured by the grip of sin in our lives.
  • God waits – God does not necessarily rush in and try to redirect our path immediately. Sometimes God lets us get to the depths so that we cry out to God. Think of the time of the Judges. It is when the people cry out that God responds. In Peter we hear about the patience of God.

    on the other side: I am living apart from God – what does this look like. What is worth pursuing? Who is worth emulating? Who is First? What is the vision of the good life worth pursuing? For what will you sacrifice?

    Perhaps words like “selfish”, “things aren’t going well”, “breaking of the commands”, “careless”, “partying”, “broken relationships”, “loneliness” might help describe the situation. Personal stories are useful.
  • God seeks While the parable does not describe it this way, it is important to remember that Jesus came to seek the lost. God does not say I will let them figure it out on their own, he goes out searching for us. Meanwhile I need to face myself. Look in the mirror to see myself as I really am. The prodigal son has a talk with himself. And we need to see our personal story in the worlds story of being apart from God. The world is a mess. What’s wrong with the world? “I am”
  • God made humanity and each of us: (Genesis 1,2; Psalm 8, Psalm 139) on the other side: I am created in the image and likeness of God.
    God Forgives: this is the story of Jesus, the one who atones for our sins. I need to repent (turn away from sin and toward God), trusting in God alone for my salvation.
  • God made humanity and each of us: (Genesis 1,2; Psalm 8, Psalm 139) on the other side: I am created in the image and likeness of God.
    God empowers: God sends us the Holy Spirit so that we might believe and live for God, he enables us. I respond by living for God and being a witness to what God has done and is doing by my faith, hope and love.
  • God made humanity and each of us: (Genesis 1,2; Psalm 8, Psalm 139) on the other side: I am created in the image and likeness of God.
    God gives a future. Eternal life, life with God now, a promise. I hope in the unseen promise (examine Hebrews 11)

  • How do we get to know God? This is a typical question in our time. Our response has been threefold
    First we get to know God through creation. When we say this our mind usually travels to the majestic qualities of mountains and lakes, the stillness and the greatness that leaves us in awe. (Psalm 19) That is good. But there is more, God’s invisible qualities could include such things as justice which everyone desires as a quality of what is good, beauty which everyone recognizes as a transcending human experience. You could add more – like patience, spirituality, love, - qualities we find in creation and call good. These point to God. Moreover if every human being is a “image bearer” of God there is no doubt that seeing a “human” means being able to understand something of God. At the same time as these are revealed we recognize that our ability to see these qualities in creation is compromised by our sinfulness.
  • Therefore we speak of special revelation which includes Jesus (the Word made flesh) and Scripture (the written Word). We will look at Scripture in a couple of slides.
    In Jesus (the Word made flesh), we see God. Because the Father and the Son are one, we know that when we see Jesus better we get to know the heart of God. To know Jesus is not just a matter of theological awareness it is a matter of developing a relationship with the master of the Universe.
  • Finally, we get to know God through the work of the Holy Spirit. We are affirmed as Children of God. We live with the mindset of the Spirit.
  • Some basic information:

    Written by numerous authors over a long period of time: even if we believe that final drafts of the text are later in time, there is significant parts of the text that are rooted in oral stories from the days of Abraham. The dating of Revelations is debated, but for our purposes here that is not relevant. The long period of time reveals that God’s story is ongoing and the connections between passages are not merely the artefact of clever prophets, but work of God’s ongoing presence with his people.
    The books (66) are considered to be inspired… that is, the Holy Spirit came to reveal and direct the human beings in such a way that we receive the words of God faithfully.
    Written in a variety of styles – each requires its own set of interpretative principles. A poem in the psalms is not the same a story in the gospels or the letter of Paul. Everyone interprets. Interpretation is a way of listening to what we hear. We make judgments about what we hear: is this person pulling my leg or telling me important information? Is this person exaggerating or understating an event? We interpret what we hear. Understanding the style and language of the text helps us understand what we are hearing.
    The heart of the bible is the story of God (primary actor) as God is involved in human affairs to redeem us in Jesus and bring us to the new creation.
    The main movements are Creation, Fall, Redemption
    The centre is the story of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.
  • Some basic information:

    In Scripture we hear the voice of God. Sometimes this is clear, as in a prophetic voice. At other times it is less clear as in the retelling of the history or the writing of the psalmists expression of devotion to God. But in each case we see revealed to us the presence and mission and love of God.
    We see God act and in God’s action we begin to understand what God is about. Judgement on sin, care for his people, reveal the heart of God.
    God is true to himself - so as we hear the story we discover the character of God, patient, loving, judging sin, forgiving, powerful, etc. By paying attention we discover how God will be faithfully present in our life. God does not change – God is not a chameleon.
    Jesus is revealed… and when Jesus is revealed we know what we ought to be like. We are created by God to bear the image of Christ.
  • Christian World view.

    World view answers some basic questions like these on this and the next slide. (some of these are part of the grade 8 social studies unit – Alberta Curriculum)


  • Christian World view.

    World view answers some basic questions. (some of these are part of the grade 8 social studies unit)

    We can ask other questions. Where is your treasure? What is your legacy?

    (the North Star has been used by sailors to navigate across seas. It is a way to orientate oneself by a fixed point. The question is what is our fixed point – the answer ought to be centred on Jesus – a question used by Stephen Covey. )



  • Christian World view. Some Parts of our answer


    some basic answers.

  • Christian World view. Some Parts of our answer


    some basic answers.

  • Christian World view. Some Parts of our answer


    some basic answers.

  • The disciples told the people on the first day what we read “repent and be baptised” . A definition is attached. Notice the words “abhor” “sorrow” and determined to enter a better course” (LD 32,33, Heidelberg Catechism is useful here)

    Repentance involves the steps on the right hand side.

    Remember this is a free gift. (nothing I bring, it is gift – pure and simple)

    Here is an opportunity to say the prayer.
  • Why Confessions?

    Confessions are invitations to unity: While many times the suggestions is that confessions divide, they are written as a way to live in unity. Christianity is not the same as hinduism, or any other religion. At the centre of our faith is what we believe about Jesus, as the Son of God come in the flesh who died and rose. What we believe distinguishes us from others, but more importantly binds us together in our common faith.

    Confessions embrace an interpretative history. All through the ages people looked to Scripture as the inspired word, but not all have read it the same way. In the history of the church, some interpretations were debated and rejected as incompatible with the good news of Jesus, others were embraced as legitimate understanding that honoured the salvation we have in Jesus. Confessions are embrace those interpretations we believe are rooted in the gospel.

    Confessions are ways the church has sought to be faithful in its own time and place. Every age has its own unique challenges. Every age finds ways to undermine the good news. Confessions are attempts to give people solid direction amid the challenges of our cultures.

    What confessions are not:
    Perfect documents – they are human and need to be understood as time-bound reflections usually in reponse to a particular need or circumstance.
    The end of the discussion: we continue to reflect on the matters raised in the confessions and have from time to time made additions, subtractions, and added footnotes to reflect the ongoing conversations.
  • The Creeds – Apostles Creed was frequently used at Adult baptism as a way to declare our faith (look it up at the back of the Psalter Hymnal)

    The Creeds are part of a story: for instance read the introduction to the Belgic Confession or the Athanasian Creed.

    The creeds defend and articulate what we believe (Belgic confession was a testimony to political leaders, The Heidelberg Catechism was a way of teaching a community the fundamentals of faith. )

    The creeds are ways to be faithful: (canons of Dordt as a defense of our faith against wrong teaching, Nicene Creed as a defense of our faith in the Trinity)

    The Contemporary Testimony and the Belhar Confession are wonderful expressions of faith dealing with issues of our time: war, earth care, racism, etc.

    Creeds as a way of sharing: we say this together… and become a community of faith

    While our creeds distinguish us (set us apart from others), they also become a way to explore with each other and those who are from other Christian communities our common faith. Many times we discover that we enrich the each other by such sharing.
  • Apostles creed: often used as a simple ecumencial expression of faith. Sometimes used as a baptismal confession.
  • Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.
    Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
    Now this is the catholic faith:
        That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,     neither blending their persons     nor dividing their essence.         For the person of the Father is a distinct person,         the person of the Son is another,         and that of the Holy Spirit still another.         But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,         their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
        What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.         The Father is uncreated,         the Son is uncreated,         the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
            The Father is immeasurable,         the Son is immeasurable,         the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
            The Father is eternal,         the Son is eternal,         the Holy Spirit is eternal.
                And yet there are not three eternal beings;             there is but one eternal being.             So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;             there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
        Similarly, the Father is almighty,         the Son is almighty,         the Holy Spirit is almighty.             Yet there are not three almighty beings;             there is but one almighty being.
            Thus the Father is God,         the Son is God,         the Holy Spirit is God.             Yet there are not three gods;             there is but one God.
            Thus the Father is Lord,         the Son is Lord,         the Holy Spirit is Lord.             Yet there are not three lords;             there is but one Lord.
        Just as Christian truth compels us     to confess each person individually     as both God and Lord,     so catholic religion forbids us     to say that there are three gods or lords.
        The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.     The Son was neither made nor created;     he was begotten from the Father alone.     The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;     he proceeds from the Father and the Son.
        Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;     there is one Son, not three sons;     there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
        Nothing in this trinity is before or after,     nothing is greater or smaller;     in their entirety the three persons     are coeternal and coequal with each other.
        So in everything, as was said earlier,     we must worship their trinity in their unity     and their unity in their trinity.
    Anyone then who desires to be saved should think thus about the trinity.
    But it is necessary for eternal salvation that one also believe in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
    Now this is the true faith:
        That we believe and confess     that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son,     is both God and human, equally.
         He is God from the essence of the Father,     begotten before time;     and he is human from the essence of his mother,     born in time;     completely God, completely human,     with a rational soul and human flesh;     equal to the Father as regards divinity,     less than the Father as regards humanity.
        Although he is God and human,     yet Christ is not two, but one.     He is one, however,     not by his divinity being turned into flesh,     but by God's taking humanity to himself.     He is one,     certainly not by the blending of his essence,     but by the unity of his person.     For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,     so too the one Christ is both God and human.
        He suffered for our salvation;     he descended to hell;     he arose from the dead;     he ascended to heaven;     he is seated at the Father's right hand;     from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.     At his coming all people will arise bodily     and give an accounting of their own deeds.     Those who have done good will enter eternal life,     and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
    This is the catholic faith: one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
  • Historically this creeed has often been used in communion liturgies.

    We believe in one God,       the Father almighty,       maker of heaven and earth,       of all things visible and invisible.
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ,       the only Son of God,       begotten from the Father before all ages,            God from God,            Light from Light,            true God from true God,       begotten, not made;       of the same essence as the Father.       Through him all things were made.       For us and for our salvation            he came down from heaven;            he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,            and was made human.            He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;            he suffered and was buried.            The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.            He ascended to heaven            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.            He will come again with glory            to judge the living and the dead.            His kingdom will never end.
    And we believe in the Holy Spirit,       the Lord, the giver of life.       He proceeds from the Father and the Son,       and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.       He spoke through the prophets.       We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.       We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.       We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,       and to life in the world to come. Amen.

  • It would be useful to take a Psalter Hymnal and show the participants of the course where the catechism is in the back. (along with other materials – confessions, liturgies, contemporary testimony, etc.) If you do not have one available and can connect online to the crcna site, showing where the catechism is and looking up and reading Q&A 1, 21, 28, 86, 116.

    The Heidelberg Catechism was composed in Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the Palatinate, an influential German province, from 1559 to 1576. An old tradition credits Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus with being coauthors of the new catechism. Both were certainly involved in its composition, although one of them may have had primary responsibility. All we know for sure is reported by the Elector in his preface of January 19, 1563. It was, he writes, "with the advice and cooperation of our entire theological faculty in this place, and of all superintendents and distinguished servants of the church" that he secured the preparation of the Heidelberg Catechism. The catechism was approved by a synod in Heidelberg in January 1563. A second and third German edition, each with small additions, as well as a Latin translation were published the same year in Heidelberg. Soon the catechism was divided into fifty-two sections so that one Lord's Day could be explained in preaching each Sunday of the year.
    The Synod of Dort in 1618-1619 approved the Heidelberg Catechism, and it soon became the most ecumenical of the Reformed catechisms and confessions. The catechism has been translated into many European, Asian, and African languages and is the most widely used and most warmly praised catechism of the Reformation period.
  • Again look it up: Check out Article 2, 5, 16, 29 (article 29 would also be a good time to ask the question about other indications of a true church for example love)


    The oldest of the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church is the Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, following the seventeenth-century Latin designation "Confessio Belgica." "Belgica" referred to the whole of the Netherlands, both north and south, which today is divided into the Netherlands and Belgium. The confession's chief author was Guido de Bres, a preacher of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, who died a martyr to the faith in the year 1567. During the sixteenth century the churches in this country were exposed to the most terrible persecution by the Roman Catholic government. To protest against this cruel oppression, and to prove to the persecutors that the adherents of the Reformed faith were not rebels, as was laid to their charge, but law-abiding citizens who professed the true Christian doctrine according to the Holy Scriptures, de Bres prepared this confession in the year 1561. In the following year a copy was sent to King Philip II, together with an address in which the petitioners declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would "offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to the fire," rather than deny the truth expressed in this confession.
    Although the immediate purpose of securing freedom from persecution was not attained, and de Bres himself fell as one of the many thousands who sealed their faith with their lives, his work has endured and will continue to endure.
  • This is the least familiar of the confessions. Many have never read it. It is certainly a product of the theological debates of the time. Many find the language difficult. This is not a time to get into all the in and outs of this debate. It is important to hear this document in the light of the conversations at the time.

    The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands is popularly known as the Canons of Dort. It consists of statements of doctrine adopted by the great Synod of Dort which met in the city of Dordrecht in 1618-19. Although this was a national synod of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, it had an international character, since it was composed not only of Dutch delegates but also of twenty-six delegates from eight foreign countries.
    The Synod of Dort was held in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism. Jacob Arminius, a theological professor at Leiden University, questioned the teaching of Calvin and his followers on a number of important points. After Arminius's death, his own followers presented their views on five of these points in the Remonstrance of 1610. In this document or in later more explicit writings, the Arminians taught election based on foreseen faith, universal atonement, partial depravity, resistible grace, and the possibility of a lapse from grace. In the Canons the Synod of Dort rejected these views and set forth the Reformed doctrine on these points, namely, unconditional election, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of saints.
    The Canons have a special character because of their original purpose as a judicial decision on the doctrinal points in dispute during the Arminian controversy. 
  • This was recently brought to the churches for their consideration and reflection. It is helpful as a way of discussing how the gospel impacts issues like apartheid, peace, justice, etc.
  • The Creeds – Apostles Creed was frequently used at Adult baptism as a way to declare our faith (look it up at the back of the Psalter Hymnal)

    The Creeds are part of a story: for instance read the introduction to the Belgic Confession or the Athanasian Creed.

    The creeds defend and articulate what we believe (Belgic confession was a testimony to political leaders, The Heidelberg Catechism was a way of teaching a community the fundamentals of faith. )

    The creeds are ways to be faithful: (canons of Dordt as a defense of our faith against wrong teaching, Nicene Creed as a defense of our faith in the Trinity)

    The Contemporary Testimony and the Belhar Confession are wonderful expressions of faith dealing with issues of our time: war, earth care, racism, etc.

    Creeds as a way of sharing: we say this together… and become a community of faith

    While our creeds distinguish us (set us apart from others), they also become a way to explore with each other and those who are from other Christian communities our common faith. Many times we discover that we enrich the each other by such sharing.
  • There are two sacraments (Communion & Baptism): (the Roman Catholics have seven – they include ordination, conformation, penance, marriage and last rites (sacrament of the sick) – what makes these sacraments is that usually in the rite of communion is celebrated)

    A sign - points to the great mystery of the faith that we are saved in Jesus Christ. But it does more – it seals this truth into our lives. Sacraments are guarantees of the promise and presence of God. In the sacrament we receive a gift from God.

    Baptism: a sign that speaks of Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus died and enter the judgment of God, Jesus rose to life.
    Baptism: we died with Christ and are raised with Christ (Romans 6)
    Baptism: a seal of the promise of God to redeem us: the notion of a seal is like the times lawyers or institutions put their seal on a document. It is a strongest guarantee. God gives us baptism to say as surely as the water touches your body, so my redemption will save you and you will enter the kingdom. God knows our need and provides us with a gift.
    So we say Baptism is a sign and seal of God’s promise.


    The promise is the fullness of salvation – read Hebrews 11.
  • This slide defends baptism of children in the context of the Baptist claim about the need for mature faith. In essence we believe that baptism is about what God is doing, not what I am doing, it is about children belonging to Jesus even when they can not articulate their faith.
  • The second sacrament is the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Eucharist. Different traditions call it by different names but typically there are a few matters everyone deals with:
    The words of institution (I Corinthians 11:23-26) . We do this because we received it from Christ through the Apostles. As a gift of Christ for our faith, we ought not treat it as anything less than holy and necessary for our walk with God. The belgic confession says: But to maintain the spiritual and heavenly life that belongs to believers he has sent a living bread that came down from heaven: namely Jesus Christ,       who nourishes and maintains       the spiritual life of believers       when eaten—       that is, when appropriated       and received spiritually       by faith.
    How Jesus is present in the sacrament: What does it mean that Jesus says :this is my body, my blood. Different traditions have come to differing ways of understanding how the bread and the wine are Jesus body and blood. We don’t know. What we do know is what Jesus says in John 6: 35-59. The belgic confessioon says Yet we do not go wrong when we say that what is eaten is Christ's own natural body and what is drunk is his own blood— but the manner in which we eat it is not by the mouth but by the Spirit, through faith.
    The liturgy which fleshes out the theological/ spiritual significance of the celebration. Every tradition has a liturgy (words and songs around communion that help us grab hold of the experience of Communion.

    There are many banquet references in Scripture – everyone of them speaks of celebration, welcome, belonging, participation in the new creation party with God.
  • There are many banquet references in Scripture. Read Matthew 22:1-14

    For our purposes we would note the following:
    The table is a place of welcome, a place to which we are invited and received. Jesus says “come…” We come on the same basis, we come responding to the same invitation, we submit ourselves to the same nourishment. Equal before God.
    It is a place of nourishment. Food for the hungry.
    It is a place of fellowship. We are a people who eat together not because we have chosen who sits at the table but because Christ has chosen.
    Our fellowship is with God and those whom God has chosen in Christ.

  • Communion is a reminder:
    Tells us the story of Jesus dying so that we could have life, giving himself on our behalf. We remember Jesus and glorify God for this great gift.
    We also remember: this is who we are – those redeemed in Jesus Christ. We confess that in the day to day of life we forget who we are: we reduce ourselves to employee, spouse, parent, --- here Jesus affirms our fundamental identity: we belong to Jesus – nothing can separate us from his love.
  • Sign – points to Christ, the cross, the sacrificial death
    Seal: a guarantee that what Jesus says he will do.
  • Join together in declaring our common faith in the good news of the gospel till the day Jesus returns.
  • Add a Timeline
  • The beginnings of Woody Nook CRC are in an immigrant community that began to farm and work in the Lacombe area in the late 1920’s. Many felt isolated. Communication was difficult and fellowship in their native language was important. In the late twenties people began to worship in homes and small halls. Mutual support and encouragement were a great blessing. Their faith and common life sustained them through very difficult times.

    (50th anniversary book/ the 75th annivesary book are helpful) Remember everyone has their own sotry of how they became part of this community. Some have deep roots in history, many are more recent and have histories that include other faith communities, locations and diverse ethnic origins: this section is intended to help us share our stories and reshape our stories so that we are one in Christ. We tell some of the history of the congregation so that some of the stories are shared by all, at the same time we want to make sure we include the faith and life of all who are becoming part of our story as a congregation.)
  • As they became more comfortable – owning land, knowing some English, getting to know neighbours – they began to get involved in new ways:
    They become more involved with their neighbours – even though they went to different churches many had shared bible studies, participate in community halls.
    They built the first Christian School having a vision for Christian education (all of life belongs to God, schooling needs to be disciplined by the word of God)
    They built new churches as more people came over and spread out in Central Alberta. Bethel, Wolf Creek, Rocky, Red Deer, Ponoka, Rimby
  • Changing Worship: From Organ to Praise Teams, from Clergy only to a vibrant ministry of the laity, from hymns to variety in song styles.

    Concern for youth: it has always been there, that’s one reason for Christian schools. But with the rise of the 70’s we along with many others concentrated efforts on ministry with youth.

    Global Christians: many have served mission work around the world Prins in Sierra Leone and Bangladesh with CRWRC, short term missions from Africa, the central America, Philippines, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba… etc

    More Ecumenical participation: Food Grains, VolunteerLink, Loaves and Fishes, Meals on Wheels
  • Varieties of ways that people become members of Woody Nook.

  • Lots of questions to just become very personal.
  • By presenting vision in this way, we get a sense that what we are stretches beyond our immediate circumstance. Here are four characteristics of the church that we wish to embrace:
  • The Christian vocation is what God calls us to do. Here are three fundamental calls to which every member of the church (woodynook and every other congregation of Christ) must respond. We may have differing emphasis, differing gifts, differing personalities – but the voice of God reaches to us with these calls.
  • This passage gives us the way / attitude in which we exercise our call. Servanthood rather than bosses.
  • These shared family values come from a variety of sources in the church documents and seeks to embrace some of the conversation we have had as a congregation over time. While we could add, sometimes we may which to give differing emphasis, sometimes we may want to put the values in a different format, the intention is to name some aspects of our life together.
  • The images are important metaphors that help us see how we relate to each other: in each one we can ask: so how does this image help us describe how a person is to relate to another person in the community.

    By differentiating the church from business, etc – we can further help each other develop an idea about the uniqueness of the church.
  • It is important to say that the church is the people, not the organization. The people in Jesus Christ (church) have an organization (the institutional church) that helps us in our life with God in the world. God gives us the institutional church with all its organizational qualities but as a people there is more than institutional/ organizational relationships.
  • This slide is an opportunity to share various activities that
  • Woody Nook 101

    1. 1. Woody Nook An Introduction to our Community Life
    2. 2. Topics Summary of Faith and Practice Woody Nook: Our Common Testimony Woody Nook: Our Story Woody Nook: Living Together In Christ Woody Nook: The Organization Belonging To Woody Nook
    3. 3. A Summary of Faith and Practice Finding Home, Finding Rest
    4. 4. Basic Confession Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death? A. That I am not my own, but belong— body and soul, in life and in death— to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
    5. 5. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
    6. 6. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
    7. 7. The Parable Prodigal: It’s all about coming home There is a place we call home Longing for the another life: leaving home The deceptions of life, the disappointments Confession and Homecoming: it’s better with God
    8. 8. God’s Story and Your Story God’s Story “Let us make…” The sorrow of God The waiting of God The Seeking God The Forgiving God The Empowering God The God who makes the future come Your Story Created Like God Walking away from God Life away from God Facing ourselves, facing our world Turning to God: confession and faith Living with God: faith, hope and love Our destiny with God
    9. 9. God’s Story “Let us make…” Image and likeness Stewards of creation Genesis 1, 2 Your Story Created like God and God said: “good” Psalm 8, 139
    10. 10. God’s Story The Sorrow of God Genesis 3: the Fall Genesis 6: and God grieved Luke 15 Your Story Walking away from God “did what was right in his own eyes” lived a “prodigal life” –party life Did not listen -
    11. 11. God’s Story “the Waiting of God” The book of Judges The Prodigal Father Your Story Life Away from God Other gods Who is First? What is good? The Brokenness that does not go away
    12. 12. God’s Story The Seeking God Your Story Facing ourselves, facing our World
    13. 13. God’s Story The Forgiving God Your Story Turning to God: confession and faith
    14. 14. God’s Story The empowering God Your Story Walking with God: faith, hope and love
    15. 15. God’s Story The God who makes a future Your Story Our destiny in God
    16. 16. How we get to know God Through Creation Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
    17. 17. How we get to know God Through the Word 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    18. 18. How we get to know God Through the Work of the Spirit Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
    19. 19. Our Central Text: The Bible • Written over time: from Moses (approximately 1400BC) to Revelation (around 100AD) • Contains 66 books – it is a library of books the church believes is inspired. (otherwise known as the Canon) • Contains a variety of literature: poetry, prophetic works, law, history, letter, gospel, wisdom, apocalyptic. • Scripture reveals the great story of the relationship of God to earth and its people. • Creation, Fall, Redemption • Central part of the story is Jesus’ death and resurrection.
    20. 20. Our Central Text: The Bible We hear the voice of God We see the action of God We learn about the character of God We get to know Jesus, the Son of God, whose image we bear.
    21. 21. The Christian Worldview: Key Questions Who am I? What is the good life? What is worth striving for?
    22. 22. The Christian Worldview: Key Questions What is my North Star (orientating star)? What is my responsibility to others? How should I see others? What is my responsibility to nature?
    23. 23. The Christian Worldview Our identity is found in Jesus Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    24. 24. The Christian Worldview God wants us to bear fruit John 15:4-8 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing … 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
    25. 25. The Christian Worldview God wants us to live in love John 15:14-17 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. … 17 This is my command: Love each other.
    26. 26. The Christian Worldview God wants us to be responsible for creation Genesis 1:27-28 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Psalm 8:3-9 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
    27. 27. God wants us to seek the Kingdom of God Matthew 6:31-34 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 ¶ Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The Christian Worldview
    28. 28. How do I become a Christian? Admit that God has not been first in your life. Ask God to forgive you. Believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins and Jesus rose to give you life Accept God’s free gift of salvation Confess the you are the “servant of the Lord Jesus”. Let the Lord Jesus rule you by His Word and Spirit. Repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38) “the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds” Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for making and loving me, even when I ignored you and went my own way. I need you in my life. Forgive my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. By your Spirit make me a new person. I want to follow you. Help me grow in faith and understanding. Lead me by your Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.
    29. 29. Why Confessions? Confessions are invitations to unity Confessions embrace a history of understanding the Bible and the good news of Jesus Confessions are a way of seeking to be faithful By embracing a confession we stand together in our faith
    30. 30. Our Confessional History: the List • Nicene Creed – 325AD • Athanasian Creed – 6th century • Apostles Creed – 4th century & earlier • Belgic Confession – 1566AD • Heidelberg Catechism – 1563AD • Canons of Dordt – 1618-19AD • Our World Belongs to God -a Contemporary Testimony – 1986AD • the Belhar Confession – 1986AD (presently being studied)
    31. 31. The Apostles’Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. This creed is called the Apostles' Creed not because it was produced by the apostles themselves but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine "in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity." In its present form it is dated no later than the fourth century. More than any other Christian creed, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith. This translation of the Latin text was approved by the CRC Synod of 1988.
    32. 32. The Athanasian Creed Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith. Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally. Now this is the catholic faith: That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence…. But it is necessary for eternal salvation that one also believe in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully. Now this is the true faith: That we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and human, equally. This creed is named after Athanasius (A.D. 293-373), the champion of orthodoxy against Arian attacks on the doctrine of the trinity. Although Athanasius did not write this creed and it is improperly named after him, the name persists because until the seventeenth century it was commonly ascribed to him. It is not from Greek (Eastern), but from Latin (Western) origin, and is not recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church today. Apart from the opening and closing sentences, this creed consists of two parts, the first setting forth the orthodox doctrine of the trinity, and the second dealing chiefly with the incarnation and the two-natures doctrine.
    33. 33. The Nicene Creed he Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies, which disturbed the church during the fourth century, concerned the doctrine of the trinity and of the person of Christ. Both the Greek (Eastern) and the Latin (Western) church held this creed in honor, though with one important difference: the Western church insisted on the inclusion of the phrase "and the Son" (known as the "filioque") in the article on the procession of the Holy Spirit; this phrase still is repudiated by the Eastern Orthodox church. In its present form this creed goes back partially to the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) with additions by the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381). It was accepted in its present form at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, but the "filioque" phrase was not added until 589. However, the creed is in substance an accurate and majestic formulation of the Nicene faith.
    34. 34. The Nicene Creed For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen. We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made.
    35. 35. The Heidelberg Catechism The Heidelberg Catechism was composed in Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the Palatinate, an influential German province, from 1559 to 1576. An old tradition credits Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus with being coauthors of the new catechism. Both were certainly involved in its composition, although one of them may have had primary responsibility… The catechism was approved by a synod in Heidelberg in January 1563… Soon the catechism was divided into fifty-two sections so that one Lord's Day could be explained in preaching each Sunday of the year. The Synod of Dort in 1618-1619 approved the Heidelberg Catechism, and it soon became the most ecumenical of the Reformed catechisms and confessions. The catechism has been translated into many European, Asian, and African languages and is the most widely used and most warmly praised catechism of the Reformation period.
    36. 36. The Belgic Confession During the sixteenth century the churches in this country were exposed to the most terrible persecution by the Roman Catholic government. To protest against this cruel oppression, and to prove to the persecutors that the adherents of the Reformed faith were not rebels, as was laid to their charge, but law-abiding citizens who professed the true Christian doctrine according to the Holy Scriptures, de Bres prepared this confession in the year 1561. In the following year a copy was sent to King Philip II, together with an address in which the petitioners declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, but that they would "offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to the fire," rather than deny the truth expressed in this confession. Although the immediate purpose of securing freedom from persecution was not attained, and de Bres himself fell as one of the many thousands who sealed their faith with their lives, his work has endured and will continue to endure. The oldest of the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church is the Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, following the seventeenth-century Latin designation "Confessio Belgica." "Belgica" referred to the whole of the Netherlands, both north and south, which today is divided into the Netherlands and Belgium. The confession's chief author was Guido de Bres, a preacher of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, who died a martyr to the faith in the year 1567.
    37. 37. The Canons of Dort The Synod of Dort was held in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism. Jacob Arminius, a theological professor at Leiden University, questioned the teaching of Calvin and his followers on a number of important points. After Arminius's death, his own followers presented their views on five of these points in the Remonstrance of 1610. In this document or in later more explicit writings, the Arminians taught election based on foreseen faith, universal atonement, partial depravity, resistible grace, and the possibility of a lapse from grace. In the Canons the Synod of Dort rejected these views and set forth the Reformed doctrine on these points, namely, unconditional election, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of saints. The Canons have a special character because of their original purpose as a judicial decision on the doctrinal points in dispute during the Arminian controversy. The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands is popularly known as the Canons of Dort. It consists of statements of doctrine adopted by the great Synod of Dort which met in the city of Dordrecht in 1618-19. Although this was a national synod of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, it had an international character, since it was composed not only of Dutch delegates but also of twenty-six delegates from eight foreign countries.
    38. 38. The Contemporary Testimony 6. We rejoice in the goodness of God, renounce the works of darkness, and dedicate ourselves to holy living. As covenant partners, set free for joyful obedience, we offer our hearts and lives to do God’s work in the world. With tempered impatience, eager to see injustice ended, we expect the Day of the Lord. We are confident that the light which shines in the present darkness will fill the earth when Christ appears. Come, Lord Jesus. Our world belongs to you. This was adopted as a testimony of our faith in the light of contemporary concerns in the culture. It testifies to our Christian stance in this world. Many find the language engaging and helpful as they address their context.
    39. 39. The Belhar Confession that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain (Eph. 4:1-16); -- that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted (John 17:20-23); Since Scripture is the only rule of faith and practice, our confessions are and must be historic and faithful witnesses to Scripture. Synod observes that the Belhar Confession truly expresses the biblical goals of unity, reconciliation, and justice; the church’s commitment to these goals; and the fact that “true faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition for membership of this church" (The Belhar Confession, Article 2).
    40. 40. Why Confessions? Again... A Confession is a Statement of our common faith Confessions are part of a story Confessions arise to defend and articulate what we believe Confessions are ways the church sought to be faithful in the challenges of the time Sharing these confessions are a way for us to stand with a community of believing people
    41. 41. Baptism: A Sacrament of Grace A Sign of Christ’s death and resurrection A Sign of the washing away of our sins and our new birth in Christ A seal of God’s gift and promise A Sign and a Seal
    42. 42. Why should I be baptised? •Christ’s command: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19) •As a sign of your story in Christ: For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. Colossians 2:12 •As a seal of the promise What God said applies to you Q. What is true faith? A. True faith is … a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.
    43. 43. About Baptism: For Children? God’s Plan includes children Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God will call." Jesus loves children Mark 10:14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. God purpose is to embrace children 1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. Baptism is not about what we do, but about what God does. God gives us salvation. God acts in our life. God gives promises. God’s promises are for children as well.
    44. 44. About Lord’s Supper, Communion 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 23 ¶ For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
    45. 45. The Lord’s Supper: A meal A meal A wedding banquet A place of fellowship
    46. 46. The Lord’s Supper: A Reminder A reminder Tells the story of Jesus This story is part of our story: never forget
    47. 47. The Lord’s Supper: A Sign & Seal A sign & seal Body and blood of Christ is our salvation 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
    48. 48. The Lord’s Supper: a Proclamation Proclaim until he comes We confess that our life is hidden in the life of Christ We confess that Jesus will come again We testify to our hope
    49. 49. WOODY NOOK Our story: from immigration to a community serving Lacombe County
    50. 50. Woody Nook In the Beginning Leaving a country but not a faith Need for support Desire to Live in faith
    51. 51. Woody Nook Building a New Life of Faith A life with neighbours A church community A school community
    52. 52. Woody Nook Adapting to Changing Times Changing Worship Styles Ministry to Children & Youth Global Christians/ increasing ethnic diversity Working with Other Churches
    53. 53. Woody Nook Everyone has a story of becoming Born into Woody Nook Moved into the area Married a member Found fellowship Became a believer among these people
    54. 54. Woody Nook Your Story/ My Story When did you become aware of God’s presence in your life? What happened in your life to make your faith more “personal”? Was there a time when you placed your life in God’s hands? What and who influenced your faith journey? How do you plan on deepening and strengthening your relationship to God? We are to live in faith, hope and love. How do see evidence “faith, hope, and love” in your life? How do you serve Jesus – your Lord?
    55. 55. WOODY NOOK: LIVING TOGETHER IN CHRIST Vision, Mission, Values, Beliefs
    56. 56. The Church: Its About God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit The church is God’s Story- what Jesus continues to do (Acts 1) The church is built on one foundation: Christ The church is the “temple of the Living God”: holy to the Lord The church is the “body of Christ” It’s Not About You
    57. 57. A Picture of a Vision Revelation 21:1-7 hen I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 5 ¶ He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
    58. 58. A Picture of a Vision Beautiful for God Where the new comes to life Where the old order loses power and the new order reigns Where there is “water for life” for all
    59. 59. Our Christian Vocation Called to make disciples Matthew 28:18-19 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, Called to love Mark 12:30-31 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Called to serve the King Matthew 6:33 seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
    60. 60. Living Together: Shared Family Values Philippians 2:1-16 f you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 ¶ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 ¶ Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life-
    61. 61. Living Together: Shared Family Values Worship in which we express our devotion to God, re-story ourselves in God’s story, listen to the voice of God, and express our needs to the Lord Care for one another by Providing encouragement Nurturing faith Honouring each other Praying for each other
    62. 62. Living Together: Shared Family Values Stewardship in which we use time, money and abilities to honour God use the gifts of God to build the Kingdom of God develop the gifts we are given care for the environment and gifts we have received
    63. 63. Living Together: Shared Family Values Nurture faith in all members by sharing our faith with our neighbours by continually learning the “ways of God” Prayer in which we celebrate with thanks the gifts of God lift up the needs for our service for God lift up the needs & concerns of our members seek the peace of our community & its leaders Just talk to God
    64. 64. Living Together: Shared Family Values Service in which we serve the needs of our neighbours – near and far develop and use our gifts promote justice at home and abroad Seek Unity By protecting the “oneness” of the congregation By seeking relationships with other Christians locally By participating in denominational activities By developing relationships with Christian around the globe
    65. 65. As a Community we desire That you have peace with your past (forgiven) That you know you are loved as a member of the family (welcomed and accepted by God) That you can serve the Lord faithfully (sharing your abilities, resources and time to develop the kingdom of God) That you develop a spirituality for the long haul (persistence through hope)
    66. 66. WOODY NOOK: THE ORGANIZATION Structure, Denomination
    67. 67. A People, A Community The church is a fellowship of God The church is a family of God The church is the body of Christ Not a business Not a social agency Not a political body Not a program Not a retail outlet
    68. 68. As a people we Have ministries to build up the body Have an organization that helps the people of God serve the purposes of God. Have a building and staff to help the people of God live faithfully, serving the Lord
    69. 69. Our Organizational Structure An organizational structure is the road map for How the core faith and values are maintained How decisions are made How accountability is managed How policies are developed How ministries are created and maintained
    70. 70. Full Council Administration Board Pastoral Elders Deacons Full Council: 1. Focuses on Mission/ Vision of the Church 2. Approves Policy 3. Approves Budget 4. Holds all accountable 5. Approves Major Initiatives •Council is nominated by congregation and chosen by lot •All budgets and major initiatives are approved by the congregation
    71. 71. Pastoral Elders Visitation Small Group Stephen’s Ministry Supervise the Preaching Supervise the Sacraments Approve Membership Caring Touch Central Task: to nurture the spiritual growth of members, to provide “soul- care”, and encourage the work of the pastors Other tasks include pulpit supply, prayer ministry, marriage visits
    72. 72. Deacons Volunteer Link Diaconal Ministry Meals from the Heart SERVE Collection Schedule Refugees Assist our community in being the hands and feet of Christ by being a link between people with needs and people with resources Other tasks in counting committee, social justice, stewardship training, community service
    73. 73. Ministries Youth Ministry Cadets & GEMS Worship Children: Nursery & Sunday School Small Groups Outreach Ministries Library Finance/ Maintenance
    74. 74. What Pastors Do Pastor Harv: Pastoral Ministry Stephen’s Ministry Caring Touch Small Groups Pastor Neil: Works with Ad Board Preaches and Teaches Engages in pastoral care Worship Committee CATCH Pastor Rick Youth Ministry Preaching and Teaching Evangelism
    75. 75. What members do: in the church Support and encourage one another through prayer and sharing Participate in the ministries according to their gifts and resources Steward their time, abilities and resources for God’s glory Participate in the ‘business’ of the church
    76. 76. What members do: beyond the church programs Go and make disciples Participate in the community in schools and volunteer opportunities Being “light” in their workplace; a holy life in the world
    77. 77. Relationship to the Denomination Other Denominations Synod: Christian Reformed Church of North America Classis Alberta North Woody Nook Classis is a organization of neighbouring CRC congregations who work together in common ministry, support each other, and seek to grow the church within our boundaries Synod is the overseeing body of the denomination and guides its policy and mission. Ministries of the denomination include CRWRC, World Missions, Back to God Ministries, Home Missions, etc. We participate with other denominations to further our common concern for the gospel, deepen our commitments to our faith, and minister to the needs of the world
    78. 78. Being a member means To share its expressions of faith To share in its mission for God and God’s Kingdom To be accountable for my walk with Christ To care for the people of the congregation To take legal responsibility according to the laws of the land
    79. 79. Why Become a Member? A response to Christ’s love for his church Being part of the body – with its responsibilities, joys and sorrows – requires a full commitment While our society calls us a “volunteer” organization, God does not. Growth happens in the context of faithful commitments Membership means taking responsibility for the organization
    80. 80. What is expected of Me as a Member? I will protect the unity of the church By acting in love toward each other By not gossiping By following the leadership I will share the responsibility of my church By praying for its growth By inviting the unchurched to attend By warmly welcoming those who come
    81. 81. I will serve the ministry of the church By discovering and using my gifts By developing the servant heart By taking part in ministry opportunities I will support the testimony of the church By attending faithfully By living a godly life By giving regularly
    82. 82. I will seek ways to serve God in community By serving in the community organizations By supporting fellow Christians By giving godly input into non-Christian business and social organizations By caring for my neighbours I will seek to grow in my faith
    83. 83. What you can expect from the church and for which you can hold the church accountable To pray for you To support you as you seek to grow in faith To be open and accountable for the ministry To care for you in time of need To provide opportunities to share in ministry To discern the way of God among us

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