In brief: Our congregation is part of the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA) which has its roots in the great European Reformation. The Reformed Churches were begun by Dutch migrants in 1951. Today the denomination has grown to include people from a wide range of cultures with about 9000 people in 50 congregations spread across Australia. You can locate the congregations at the CRCA website.
The CRCA has been instrumental in the establishment of many parent-controlled Christian schools. The main training place for those in ministry is at the Reformed Theological College in Geelong, Victoria. The denomination is actively engaged in missions, both within Australia and overseas. The denomination through its World Relief and Development team provides support in various areas of need in Australia and around the world.
Organization of the CRCA: The CRCA operates on three levels (or more accurately on in three broader circles)
The local congregation. As noted below the local congregation is guided by an elected Session (or Church Council). The local Session is the authority base in the CRCA
The Classis. This is the meeting together of all the Christian Reformed Churches in a particular state. In NSW thirteen churches meet together and work as a Classis once every three months (February, May, August and November). Each church delegates its minister and one elder to the meetings.
The Synod. This is a meeting of all six classes once every three years. At Synod policies for the church are formulated, directions are weighed up and new ways forward are explored. In between Synod meetings the financial commitments of the CRCA are administered by a Synodical Board of Management and other matters affecting the church as a whole are looked after by the Synodical Interim Committee.
Together as a whole denomination, usually through Synod, the churches seek to carry out the various tasks which we believe the Lord is calling us to do. Standing Committees are often formed to manage this work on Synod’s behalf. Other Synodical standing committees manage Long Service Leave, Superannuation, Pastor-Church Relations, Ecumenical Relations and so on.
Ecumenical Relations: The CRCA has Ecumenical Relationships with other Reformed/Presbyterian churches in Australia and around the world including South Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Church members migrating from those countries can often transfer their membership to a local CRCA congregation when they arrive in Australia.
Vision: The CRCA at its Synod in 2006 adopted the vision to be: “A Church Reforming to Reach the Lost for Christ.” A four fold task was agreed on to better reach out to the communities:
To call upon God for such an outpouring of his Spirit that his people will be assured of his love through his Word, seek to please the Saviour in all things, manifest the godly life and be filled with prayerful and sacrificial compassion for the lost in all the world.
To enable local churches to expand numerically, equip and nurture their members, and become the mother-churches of as many fellowships and congregations as possible; and also to take further initiatives to create fellowships by penetrating structures of society with the gospel.
To multiply the number of well-trained persons (ordained, non-ordained, full time, part time, voluntary) lovingly dedicated to the creation and development of such fellowships and congregations by proclaiming the gospel.
To reform continually the life of the denomination (including our church ethos, customs, church order, use of resources, denominational committees, support staff and agencies) to encourage and enable the fulfilment of the fundamental aim.