Come and Worship!
We warmly welcome you to worship with our Reformed faith community, meeting in the town of Powassan just south of North Bay, Ontario, Canada. We are a church grounded in Scripture, evangelically Christ-centered in faith, Biblically orthodox in worship, and historically Protestant in origin. We are a congregation of the Free Reformed Churches of North America.
Services are held at the following times:
|Potluck Fellowship Meal:||Suspended – COVID|
Sunday worship services are held at various locations in and around Powassan. For up-to-date location information check the Updates & News section.
What to Expect
If you come to join us for worship, you will notice that our services are simple, predictable, and focused on the Bible. We follow the patterns that we do in worship because we believe that these have always been the patterns of the worship of historic and orthodox churches, and that these orderly elements of worship are pleasing to God.
About 400 years before Christ was born, Jerusalem was conquered and Solomon’s temple was destroyed. The remnants of the nation of Israel were forced to leave their land and scattered across the world. Jewish worship moved to smaller local gatherings, called Synagogue services. In these services, an order of worship, called a liturgy, was followed.
It was this type and pattern of worship that shaped the worship of the New Testament local church. As many as 40 times, the gospels speak of the Lord Jesus Christ worshipping in and teaching in Synagogues, and 19 times in Acts we read of the apostles ministering in the Synagogues. Parallels between passages such as James 2:2 and Luke 11:43 also show a link between New Testament church worship and the synagogue.
We believe that the reason the New Testament speaks relatively little about New Testament church patterns is not to give a broad license for worship styles and elements, but rather because the simple and biblical elements of synagogue liturgy were used. The elements of worship mentioned in the New Testament, being: prayer, Psalm singing, offerings, and preaching, form the basis for true Christian worship. The following texts are some of those that form the boundaries of what we believe is this God honouring, simple, and timeless approach:
“Let all things be done decently and in order.”– 1 Corinthians 14:40
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”– 1 Timothy 2:1
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”– Colossians 3:16
“… give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”– 1 Timothy 4:13–14
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…”– Hebrews 10:24-25
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper…”– 1 Corinthians 16:1–2
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…”– Acts 20:7
Ancient writings from the first centuries of the church, even some from enemies of the church, describe and confirm the use of a liturgy in Sunday morning and evening worship that was very similar to the one we use today. These “timeless” liturgies of the ancient church included opening salutations, Psalms, reading of the ten commandments, prayers, opportunities to give offerings, scripture reading, preaching, and the blessing.
Understanding our Order of Worship
The liturgy should be seen as a conversation between God and His people, led by the pastor yet participated in by the church. The pulpit is the centre of our Reformed worship. This should not focus your attention on the pastor, but rather it is the pastor’s calling to focus hearts and minds on the Word of God as it is read and delivered, and to offer prayers to God for the congregation.
- Contemplation – We prepare for worship with a time of quiet contemplation and prayer just prior to the service. This is a time to consider the Great and Holy God who we approach together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Call to Worship – One of the elders will call the congregation to worship the Lord using a passage from His Word.
- Silent Prayer – The congregation will pause for a moment of silent prayer in preparation for worship, asking for God’s blessing on the service.
- Votum – An opening pledge or vow. The pastor, on behalf of the congregation, speaks from Psalm 124:8, “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” This begins our worship by expressing our complete dependence on God.
- Salutation – The pastor speaks God’s word of greeting to the congregation, “Grace, mercy, and peace be with, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior… through the work of the Holy Spirit.” This greeting is based on the greeting at the beginning of many of the books of the New Testament.
- Opening Psalm – The congregation begins worship together by singing a Psalm of praise, which expresses thanks to God in response to His greeting, confirms their dependence on Him, and calls on others to join in praise and worship.
- Reading of the Law – (Morning) – The Pastor reads the Ten Commandments, and at times, other related portions of scripture that emphasizes God’s holy demands for all people. This reminds us of our fallen nature and our need for forgiveness through the work of Jesus Christ.
- Psalm of Confession – (Morning) The congregation responds to God’s law or the confession with the singing of a relevant Psalm of confession.
- Scripture Reading – Scripture selections are read through which God speaks to His people. This reading will be the central theme of the service.
- Confession of Faith – (Evening) – The congregation recites the Apostle’s Creed (or one of the other historic creeds) which is an ancient summary of Bible truth focusing on God’s redemptive work done on our behalf.
- Congregational Prayer – The pastor or an elder leads the congregation in prayer, bringing praise to God, confessions of sin, thanksgivings, and requests before God on behalf of the church.
- Offering – A collection for the ministry of the church is taken. Visitors should not feel obligated to give to this.
- Preaching of the Word – The pastor teaches, explains, and applies the scripture reading. In Reformed churches we understand preaching, when properly done and consistent with the Bible, to be God’s Word for the church. Listeners are called first to think about, examine, and then apply the sermon to their hearts and minds. We do not, however, believe that our preaching is perfect or flawless, so if you have any questions about the preaching, the pastor or others will be available after the service to discuss them with you.
- Thanksgiving Prayer – The pastor leads in a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings of God’s Word.
- Psalm of Response – A Psalm relevant to the Bible passage is sung in response to God’s Word.
- Blessing – In closing the pastor pronounces God’s blessing on the congregation from Numbers 6:24-25 or 2nd Corinthians 13:14.
- Doxology – The congregation sings a song of praise to God in response to His blessing, expressing their desire to continue in worship in all of their life as they move forward.
If you come to join us, and you have questions about why we worship the way we do, or about the meaning of any part of the worship, please feel free to ask the pastor or one of the elders.