ERQ
ERQ


Our Structure

How are we organised?

1. Jesus certainly doesn't desire that the Church be lacking in organisation and direction. Although we do not find a detailed reference to this subject in the Bible, we can nevertheless extract a broad outline from it.

a) Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the Church and no one else has the right to take this position. The Bible is the only infallible and decisive rule for the life of the Church. Through it, Jesus speaks to His people. Other rules established by Church tradition may be useful and even important, but must always be evaluated and, if necessary, reformed in the light of the Bible's revelation.

b) The Church of Jesus Christ is made up of all those who with their children are called by Him and who answer this call with a living faith.

c) Jesus Christ groups His own together on a local and regional level, and He directs His Church on these levels through the elders. The council of elders has the right to pass judgement in the name of Jesus Christ.

d) The Church also recognises the ministry of deacons.

2. Out of these few biblical principles, the Reformed Church of Quebec has drawn rules for functioning, also called "an ecclesiastical order and discipline" - permitting its members and leaders to commit themselves together faithfully to the vocation to which God has called them. These rules are subject to change if the situation within the Reformed Church of Quebec so requires, providing that such a change be in accordance with the Bible. The rules contain sections on the following subjects: the Church, official duties of elders and of deacons, the special ministries of the pastors and evangelists local and regional councils as well as members and spiritual discipline.

3. The Church is composed of all the faithful, the living and the dead and has Jesus Christ as its real and living Head. In space and time this Church takes on a visible form: where the Word of God is faithfully proclaimed and heeded, where the Lord's sacraments are legitimately administered and received and where biblical discipline is maintained and respected. The Church trusts itself to the Holy Spirit who gives it life and enables it to fulfil its vocation in granting necessary gifts and talents to forward its mission. The Reformed Church of Quebec is a part of this visible Church, composed of French-speaking Christian communities situated in North America, mainly in Quebec.

4. In the Reformed Church of Quebec we recognise two official functions of elders and deacons. Elders are called and ordained to guide the local Church according to Scripture. They form the local council, which is composed of at least three elders including the pastor. The council of elders exercises the ministries of preaching, administering the Sacraments in worship services, Christian education and the administration of the Church's business. The elders provide pastoral aid for church members. They work towards harmony in relationships between members and encourage the latter to involvement in church growth. At least once a year the local council calls a general meeting of members to oversee church business together. The elders also officially represent the Church. They are chosen and ordained by the local church with the approval of the regional council.

5. The deacons are called and ordained for service to the local church and to the outside world in the name of the Lord according to Scripture. Through their ministry, Christ's love is demonstrated and made visible particularly to the needy and to those suffering materially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The deacons serve the church by their commitment and by their example. A deacon is a model stimulating members to commit themselves faithfully to their particular service. The deacons are chosen and ordained by the local church.

6. Within the Church one also finds special ministries in which certain people are dedicated entirely to studying and teaching God's Word, and prayer: the historic and non-renewable ministries of apostle and prophet and the present day ministries of evangelist and pastor. The evangelist is an elder of the local church, called to this task by that same church. The principal duty of the evangelist is to form and to organise new local churches. Consequently, he must be able to evangelise, to bring people to Jesus Christ, to preach and teach the Word, to preside over worships services, to administer the sacraments, to provide basic training for children and adults, to exercise discipline and to manage the affairs of the new Church. The Pastor is also an elder of the local Church. His duty consists mainly in the edification of the already established local Church, providing the preaching and teaching of the Word, the administration of the Sacraments and pastoral aid. The supervision and remuneration of the evangelist as of the pastor are the responsibility of the local council that calls them. The Regional council is responsible for their spiritual, personal and professional training.

7. The Regional Council of Synod is a regional assembly of elders delegated by the local churches. Each local council delegates its pastor plus one elder to this council. The regional council meets periodically to oversee the Reformed Church of Quebec's business matters and questions brought forward by the local councils. Subjects discussed and decisions made especially concern doctrine, mission, worship services, and the organisation of the Church. The regional council is also responsible for the training of pastors, evangelists and elders, and it supervises their ordination.

8. It should also be emphasised that the Reformed Church of Quebec benefits from the services of missionaries from the Christian Reformed Church of North America, The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Presbyterian Church of America who exercise their ministries in the Reformed Church of Quebec as evangelists and pastors. These missionaries have collaborated in the establishment of the Reformed Church of Quebec of which they are also co-founders.

9. The Reformed Church of Quebec is composed of members which freely join the local church in their vicinity. Communicant members are believers in Jesus Christ, having been baptised, having made a public profession of their faith before the elders and before the Church congregation and who are then fully accepted into the communion of the Church. Communicant members' children are likewise baptised because they participate in God's covenant. They are considered to be non-communicant members of the Church. To prepare them to enter fully into communion with the Church through their own profession of Christian faith, they are educated in that faith.

10. The communicant members benefit from the privileges and participate in the responsibilities of this covenant with God. They contribute to the well-being of the Church in giving voluntarily of their time, money and abilities. They attend the worship services and meetings of the congregation. They receive the support and encouragement of this spiritual family of which they are a part. The members of the church have been baptised to form one Body through God's Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches the members of the Body and leads them to love one another, to help each other and to carry one another's burdens, thus obeying Christ's law. Unity and harmony in God's family are sought as ways to honour God. These members also are witnesses to God's Grace, and they live with their children in love and respect for the Lord. In society, they seek honesty and peace with all; they seek to be useful to others. They study God's Word, pray one for the other and for society as a whole, and participate in the Church's mission that others may be won to Christ and that God's kingdom be propagated.

 

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