Survey of the Psalms at Covenant

psalmsThis autumn we will be doing a series on the Psalms.  God gave us this part of His Word to train us, especially in our every emotion to walk through every circumstance of life finding true blessing and happiness with Him.  Please take the time to fill out the following survey on the Psalms, even if you just write in what a meaningful Psalm has been for you and why.  A printed version will also be available in the foyer of the church.

PSALMS SURVEY: Survey Can be Found HERE

Please take the time to fill out this survey as Pastor Harry prepares to preach on selected Psalms.  The last 10 questions are part of an online survey that gives you the answers at:


Missions Update

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Highlights from Around the World

Many members of a group of teachers were making a return trip when they visited a nearby cathedral as part of an Educational Care workshop, yet almost all of them left with a greater appreciation for the landmark after leaving.

“Although they had visited before, not many of the teachers really read the descriptions or thought about the building’s connection to history,” says Al Persenaire. Al serves with CRWM’s Educational Care program, recently led a training in the Dominican Republic for 16 Christian school teachers. He says this trip to the cathedral was among the highlights of the training.

Al challenged each of the participants to learn something new while perusing the ancient building. He also asked them to come up with ways that they could use this experience to educate their students.
“When we talked the next day they were full of life, started gelling with one another, and had a meaningful conversations.” Al’s recent experience in the Dominican Republic is just one of many highlights from visits to the field. Here are a few more from CRWM’s regional leaders.

West Africa: Although CRWM has no missionaries on the field in Liberia and the grants that we provide are modest, God reaffirmed the importance of long-term commitment to ministry here to Ron Geerlings when he visited for a country evaluation. This included a visit to a Christian school in a Muslim town.

Philippines: On a visit to the Philippines, Paul Yu met the international students who are attending Asia
Theological Seminary. He introduced them to Timothy Leadership Training and Educational Care and the students were excited about the idea of bringing these tools to their home countries of India, Korea, Brundi, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

Germany: Steve Van Zanen traveled to Germany to lay the groundwork for CRWM’s new position in Germany. Among his highlight was meeting members of Berliner Stadtmission, the main organization with which CRWM will be partnering in its work with refugees.

Mustard Seed Growth

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed—one of the world’s smallest seeds that produces one of the largest trees. This parable reminds us that the work of missions is often slow, but with God as our gardener, He creates amazing results.

This month’s Missions Advocate shares a few highlights from around the world that reminds us of this mustard seed growth. Seemingly small acts like going on a field trip in the Dominican Republic, giving a small grant to Liberians, or adopting a missions strategy in a Canadian church are already bearing much fruit.

This video from Moving Works (found or by clicking the image below) reminds us of the importance of the mustard seed in missions. Share it with your church or missions council.

The Accessible Gospel: Connecting Universal Worship Design Principles with all Church Ministries.

Saturday, Sept. 17 • Immanuel CRC, Brampton

Begin the fall season by energizing and engaging your ministry leadership team at The Accessible Gospel:  Connecting Universal Worship Design Principles with all Church Ministries. For more information email –

This one day gathering takes place Saturday, September 17 from 9:00-3:30 at Immanuel CRC, Brampton, ON.  Examine significant ways that worship and various ministry streams interface, inform and support each other. Following a time of opening worship, you can choose from the following informative sessions and discussions:


Prayer That’s Not in the Liturgy

Join Erick Schuringa in exploring how to use your prayer teams and a variety of prayers and prayer experiences before, during and after worship.

Worship with the Mission in Mind:  Welcoming the Neighbourhood in Christ  

Christian worship participates in the rhythm of gathering God’s people from the world and sending them into the world. Each local church gathers and sends in its community. There are, however, powerful forces of fragmentation at work, eroding our sense of community: the automobile, media, and consumer thinking, to name a few. Join Marian Lensink and Tom van Milligen to consider ways in which our worship can be shaped as we engage our parish.

Exploring Ideas and Practices for Worship

Ruth Ann Schuringa will lead this conversation for the encouragement and support of worship staff, volunteers, leaders and planners. Share your best (or worst) ideas, and what you learned from it, as well as tools, books, resources, songs, and anything else relating to your worship ministry.

Children IN Worship

One of the leading predictors of youth remaining engaged in the life of faith is their involvement in corporate worship.  Lesli van Milligen will explore how Universal Design can help congregations engage children of all ages in the worship service and will look at specific topics of Pray Stations, Children’s Messages and Kinesthetic Worship.

10 Ways to Move Toward Inter-Generational

“Intergenerational Ministry” is the “in” phrase these days, and the youth ministry world is beginning to explore ways to get out of its silo and find its place within the intergenerational faith formation of the entire congregation. Facilitator Syd Hielema will explore 10 specific practices that will serve both youth ministry and the intergenerational church in strengthening their faith formation work.


Imaging the Word

Listen and see how one church has made visual art an integral part of its church experience. Anita Van Zeumeren will get you inspired with lots of ideas of how a visual arts ministry can work. You don’t need to be an artist, but you do need an imagination and passion!!

Worship with the Mission in Mind:  Sending the Worshiper with Christ

As we consider worship that gathers God’s people, what does it mean to be a people sent into our neighbourhood? Given our changing context and culture, how does a worshiping community go with Christ into the neighbourhood? Tom van Milligen and Marian Lensink invite you to join them as together we consider a new parish model of missional engagement.

Planning Collaborative Intergenerational Worship

Marja Fledderus will share practical ways to explore new ideas while maintaining the beauty and richness of tradition, and the bonds of respect and love. We will look at some successful examples, and create a working timeline for trying it out.

Children and Worship

Join Diane Dykgraaf in discussing the benefits and blessings of worshiping with children in the Worship Centre and also in the church. We’ll take a look at how the principles of Universal Design are already included or can be incorporated into the Children and Worship program. How can we tweak our programs for children to make sure there is space for each child to experience God’s love and grow in their faith?

Exploring Universal Design

Join Lesli van Milligen as we look at Barbara Newman’s Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship. We will consider how implementing a Universal Worship Design can positively impact the worship experience for all those in worship, while experiencing first hand some of the author’s practical suggestions.

Parenting Book – Faith that Lasts

faith that lastsParenting Book:

Last spring we hosted two nights of the teenage years, one for teens and one for parents.  As a way to continue in this topic, I am suggesting parents read and discuss a book.  Jon Nielson has spent ten years in student ministry leadership and gives some gospel-centred realistic advice about Christian parenting.  If you are interested in reading this with some other parents and would like to order a copy, please email Pastor Harry at To read the first chapter go to Westminster Books at:

War, Peace and Prayer


The Lord willing, on September 4th, a member of ours will be deployed for six months to a peacekeeping mission with our Armed Forces.   This is part of our nations ongoing commitment with other UN nations to bring stability and maintain peace in this part of the world.  Please pray for this mission, this member and this family.  We are thankful for this service with our Armed Forces and pledge our support and prayer.  As a denomination we have a well thought out approach to this that you may like to read below:

CRCNA Position

All wars are the result of sin, and although God may use war in his judgment on nations, it is his purpose to make all wars to cease. Christians are called to do all in their power to promote peace and understanding between nations and the resolution of differences without recourse to war, but they must also at times perform the solemn duty of defending their nations against aggressors. A just war is one in which the object is not to destroy or annihilate but to deter the lawless and overpower the enemy state in order to assign it to its rightful place in the family of nations. Its goal is to establish a lasting peace on the foundation of justice and a stable and righteous political order, in which human society can flourish.

The church must warn against glorification of war for its own sake, but pacifism that causes people to refuse to bear arms under any conditions is also unacceptable. Conscientious objection is discouraged except among those who believe that a given war is unjust and therefore cannot morally justify their participation in that war, being convinced of their duty to obey God rather than humans. The church must extend Christian love and concern to those who take up arms and to those who choose selective conscientious objection. Such choices must be made in the context of the Christian community and must be subject to the due process of law and even to the penalty of the law which has been conscientiously broken.

Synod 2006 adopted a comprehensive report by the synodical Committee to Study War and Peace (see Agenda for Synod 2006, pp. 381-452; Acts of Synod 2006, pp. 670-77; urging the “agencies and members of the CRC to promote and actively engage in international initiatives for building peace with justice” (p. 672). Synod also urges the CRC to call for government procedures “wherein those who object to selective conflicts on the basis of just-war criteria are honorably discharged” (p. 674).


The CRC formed its position on war in the 1930s, when the threat of the Second World War loomed and pacifism was a controversial issue. The basic statement adopted by Synod 1939 has not changed, but it has been affirmed, supplemented, and nuanced to fit more recent situations such as the Vietnam conflict and the Cold War. The issues of conscientious objection, amnesty, and nuclear disarmament became important in the 1970s and 1980s and were dealt with by the synods of 1977 and 1982. For a comprehensive Study of War and Peace adopted by the CRC, see Acts of Synod 2006, pp. 381-452, 670-77;

Newsletter – Fall 2016

newWe’ve broken up the Fall Newsletter into several posts….below the topics on Home Visitation and Book Recommendations –


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As our consistory begins our annual home visits of each member, this season we have chosen the theme of “Eternal Destinies: Heaven, Hell, and Assurance”.  While elders are called to contact and encourage our membership in many informal ways, and while certain concerns or needs may require special visit, the purpose of the home-visit, is to encourage each member in their Christian walk and service.  If this is a first visit, getting to know each other is very important well.  We must know the God’s sheep, before we can really care for God’s sheep, before we can encourage, feed and protect God’s sheep.  This year elders may choose to use Scriptures regarding the life-here-after in the visit to help us all in the area of assurance of our salvation.  The after-life and whether we are really accepted by God often bring many questions, doubts, and uncertainties.  While we will not fall into speculation, we will seek to shine the light of Scripture on our experience.  Questions before the visit will be distributed for your reflection prior to your visit.



Another closely related topic that many have questions about is not about our own personal destination, but the world’s!  People wonder:  How will it all end?  In Christian theology this is called eschatology – the doctrines of Last Things.  A member recently asked me to go through some books he has found helpful and would like to make available to you in our library.  I’ve agreed to promote some of those in our news brief:

What Does the Future Hold?  Exploring Various Views on the End Times.  Pate.  Good survey.

Nearing Home:  Billy Graham.  Personal Christian reflection on aging, life, death, and life after life.

The Bible on the Life Hereafter.  W. Hendriksen. 

The Bible and the Future.  Anthony Hoekema.  Both of these books do a good job of explaining the intermediate state between our death and Christ’s Return.  Both also cover the signs and timing of events leading up to the end times.  They explain different view of the millennial reign of Christ, and of  the ‘rapture’.  The strength of these two books is the strength of the Reformed tradition.  We let Scripture help interpret Scripture.  The Old Testament teaching is used in connection with Christ’s teaching and the rest of the New Testament’s teaching.

The Last Days According to Jesus. R.C. Sproul.  Thought provoking look at Jesus’ words about the signs and time of the end.  R.C. asks how much prophesy has been fulfilled in Christ’s first coming and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and how much is yet to be fulfilled.

The Last Things:  Hope for this World & the Next.  Herman Bavinck.  This is the best single volume work on the topic.  Fascinating discussion regrading Israel as an ethnic people and as a nation state.  I have lent it out to someone in our congregation.  If you are done with it, kindly bring it to the library so others may benefit from it too!

“Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” –   C.H. Spurgeon