Christian Reformed Churches of Australia


Christian Reformed Churches of Australia
Christian Reformed Churches Of Australia
Christian Reformed Churches of Australia logo.png
Christian Reformed Churches Of Australia Logo
Geographical areas Australia
Origin 1951
Sydney NSW
Congregations 53
Official website http://www.crca.org.au

The Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA) is a Christian denomination established in Australia belonging to the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition.

Contents

Background

This denomination has its roots in the European Reformation of the 15th and 16th centuries, affirming the beliefs that God grants salvation by grace alone, in Christ alone and through faith alone.[1][2][3]

The denomination is part of the worldwide family of reformed churches which came into being at the time of the Reformation, and declared themselves reformed from the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church at that time. Whereas Martin Luther was the champion of the Reformation in Germany, John Calvin was the champion of the Reformation in Switzerland, Holland and northern Europe. It is John Calvin's understanding of the Bible, as spelled out in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, that forms the doctrinal basis of the various reformed churches.[1][2][3]

This doctrinal basis is further summarized in the three Confessions to which the continental reformed churches adhere:[1][2][3]

And by the Confession to which the Presbyterian churches adhere:[1][2][3]

  • Westminster Confession.

History

This denomination was established by post-World War II Dutch migrants in 1951. Many of the migrants had been members of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. They had no desire to start new congregations in their new home, and had been advised to seek the pastoral care of the Scottish Free Presbyterians upon their arrival in Australia[4]. The differences between the culture of the Australian-Scottish Presbyterians and the Reformed Netherlanders was a hindrance, but the real problem was the liturgical restrictions where no instrumental accompaniment was allowed and only psalms were sung. The Dutch migrants struggled to find churches in Australia which embraced and upheld Biblical and Reformed theology, with a national profile that could enfold these new settlers, and was governed according to reformed tradition.[5]. For these reasons, in December 1951, they to organise a separate denomination, initially composed of Reformed Churches in Sydney, Penguin and Melbourne[5]. The new denomination held their first Synod in June 1952. By 1955, some dozen congregations were formed in all Australian states, and the denomination, then named the Reformed Churches of Australia, grew to around 10,500 by the early 1990s, when it was renamed the Christian Reformed Churches Of Australia.

Currently there is an active membership of around 9000 [6] in over fifty churches spread throughout Australia. This steady decline is due to the desire to assimilate to their new country, welcome changes in the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches in some states bringing these denominations theologically closer, and certain aspects of generational change. Numerous South African immigrants in the last decade have slowed this trend, as have converts from other denominations. From exclusively Dutch beginnings, the CRCA is now a culturally diverse group, reflecting the character of Australian society, and is seeking to proclaim the Christian message in a contemporary and relevant way.[1][2][3]

The denomination has been instrumental in the establishment of many Christian schools, including the Illawarra Christian School, Sutherland Shire Christian School, Tyndale Christian School (New South Wales) and Covenant College situated in Gordon (ACT). It is actively engaged in Christian missions both within Australia and abroad. One of these is The NSW THING. They have established their own theological college, the Reformed Theological College in Geelong, Victoria. They also own Wedderburn Christian Campsite, a Christian campsite in the outskirts of Sydney. They also support SWIM Solomon Islands, which is a missionary outreach in the Solomon Islands.[1][2][3]. The CRCA also produces a denominational magazine titled "Trowel And Sword"[7]

Since 2000, the CRCA has adopted a fourfold mission statement to remind and empower its member churches to set and focus on their primary goal of equipping God's people for the service of God both within and beyond itself.[8] The four tasks are headed: Pray, Multiply, Train and Align.

Structure

The basic unit is the local church, which is governed by the local session as elected by the congregation. All sessions within a geographical area (typically on a state-basis) meet every three months as a classis.

Nationally, delegates meet every three years as a Synod. The synod deals only with issues raised by a classis. Therefore, all synodical issues were originally raised by a session, brought to a classis, before coming to the synod.[9] At synod, policies for the church are formulated, directions considered, and new ways forward explored. In between synodical meetings the financial commitments of the member churches are administered by a Synodical Board of Management, while all other matters affecting the church as a whole are looked after by the Synodical Interim Committee.[10]

Permanent committees of synod include:

Notable members

Senator Eric Abetz is a member of the Kingston Christian Reformed Church.[2]

Local congregations

The local congregations of this denomination are found in most states and territories of Australia, of which the following is an exhaustive list (May 2008):[1]

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

  • Blacktown Christian Reformed Church - Woodcroft
  • Christian Reformed Church of Blaxland - Blaxland
  • Christian Reformed Church of Dee Why - Dee Why
  • Christian Reformed Church of Hawkesbury - Richmond
  • Christian Reformed Church of MacArthur - Oran Park
  • Christian Reformed Church of Newcastle - Tanilba Bay and Glendale
  • Christian Reformed Church of St Marys - St Marys
  • Christian Reformed Church of Sutherland - Barden Ridge
  • Christian Reformed Church of Sydney - North Ryde
  • Christian Reformed Church of Wamberal - Wamberal
  • Christian Reformed Church of Wollongong - Fairy Meadow

Queensland

South Australia

  • Campbelltown Christian Reformed Church - Campbelltown
  • Christian Reformed Church of Elizabeth - Elizabeth Vale
  • Christian Reformed Church of Hallett Cove - Hallett Cove

Tasmania

  • Christian Reformed Church of Blackmans Bay - Blackmans Bay
  • Christian Reformed Church of Devonport - Devonport
  • Christian Reformed Church of Hobart - Howrah
  • Kingston Christian Reformed Church - Kingston
  • Christian Reformed Church of Launceston - Launceston
  • One Way Christian Community - Margate
  • Sanctuary Hill Christian Fellowship - Penguin
  • Christian Reformed Church of Ulverstone - Ulverstone
  • Redeemer Christian Church - Huonville

Victoria

  • Reformed Church of Casey - Narre Warren South
  • Wantirna Christian Community Church - Wantirna
  • Mount Evelyn Christian Reformed Church - Mount Evelyn
  • Narre Warren Christian Church - Narre Warren
  • Reformed Church of Box Hill - Box Hill
  • Reformed Church of Casey - Narre Warren South
  • Christian Reformed Church of Cobden - Cobden
  • Christian Reformed Church of Dandenong - Dandenong
  • Christian Chinese Reformed Church of Dandenong - Dandenong
  • Christian Reformed Church of Geelong - Geelong
  • Hope in the Hills - Tecoma
  • Christian Reformed Church of Langwarrin - Langwarrin
  • Narre Warren Christian Church - Narre Warren
  • Christian Reformed Church of South Barwon - Waurn Ponds
  • Christian Reformed Church of South Gippsland - Leongatha
  • Wonga Park Christian Reformed Church - Wonga Park

Western Australia

  • Christian Reformed Church of Australind - Australind
  • Christian Reformed Church of Gosnells - Gosnells
  • Christian Reformed Church of Kalgoorlie - Kalgoorlie
  • Christian Reformed Church of Perth - Victoria Park
  • Christian Reformed Church of Willetton - Willetton
  • Gateway Community Church - Yangebup
  • Grace Christian Reformed Church - North Beach

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Christian Reformed Churches of Australia - accessed 22 April 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f g A Church en Route: 40 Years Reformed Churches of Australia by J.W. Deenick (ed), Reformed Churches Publishing House, Geelong (Vic) 1991.
  3. ^ a b c d e f *Religious Bodies in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide (3rd ed) by Rowland Ward and Robert Humphreys, New Melbourne Press, Melbourne (Vic) 1995.
  4. ^ http://www.crcperth.org.au/HistCRCA.htm
  5. ^ a b http://www.crca.org.au/AboutUs/WhoWeAre/History
  6. ^ http://www.crca.org.au/AboutUs/WhoWeAre
  7. ^ http://www.trowelandsword.org.au/
  8. ^ http://ministryformation.com.au/the-four-fold-task.html
  9. ^ a b http://www.crcperth.org.au/Govt.htm
  10. ^ http://www.redlandscrc.org.au

External links


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