Reformed Churches of New Zealand
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Reformed Churches of New Zealand
Reformed Churches of New Zealand
Reformed Churches of New Zealand logo.png
AbbreviationRCNZ
ClassificationProtestant
TheologyConfessional Calvinist
PolityPresbyterian
AssociationsInternational Conference of Reformed Churches
Origin1953
Congregations21
Members3,283
Ministers20
Official websitercnz.org.nz

Reformed Churches of New Zealand is a Calvinist denomination in New Zealand. The denomination is constituted of 21 member churches, the first seven of which were formed in 1953. Total membership as of 2020 stands at 3,283.[1]

Form of doctrine

The doctrine of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand is expressed in the four confessions of faith to which it subscribes. These are the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Belgic Confession (1566), Canons of Dort (1619) (known collectively as the Three Forms of Unity), and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646). Also recognised are the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed and Athanasian Creed, all of which summarise the churches' doctrines.

The Reformed Churches of New Zealand are one of the few Calvinist churhces internationally to subscribe to both the Three Forms of Unity (common among Reformed churches with origins in the European continent, especially the Netherlands) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (common among Reformed or Presbyterian churches with origins in the British Isles).

Form of governance

The Reformed Churches of New Zealand hold to the system of presbyterian church governance. Each church has a ruling Session composed of elders, one of whom is the church's minister (also known as the teaching elder). Churches which have no minister are said to be vacant. Each church also has deacons who are charged with maintaining the temporal well-being of church members and with alleviating social distress. In larger churches, deacons meet in their own Deacons' Courts, while in smaller churches they meet together with the rest of the session. Only men are eligible to serve in the offices of minister, elder and deacon.

These churches belong to one of three regional presbyteries which meet three times per year to discuss matters of common interest and to provide mutual oversight. They also meet in synod once every three years to discuss matters of joint interest and to manage activities pertaining to the denomination. Rights of appeal to presbytery and synod are available.

Constituent churches

Church Year
Formed
Current Minister
Auckland Presbytery
Reformed Church of Avondale[2] 1964 Andre Holtslag
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bucklands Beach[3] 1953 James Hyslop
Reformed Church of Hamilton[4] 1953 Vacant

Reformed Church of Hukanui[5] 2002 Leo de Vos
Reformed Church of the North Shore[6]
(including a congregation in Maungakaramea[7])
1980 Daniel Wilson
Reformed Church of Pukekohe[8] 1989 John Haverland, Graeme Zuidema
Wellington Presbytery
Reformed Church of Foxton[9] 1984 vacant
Reformed Church of Hastings[10] 1960 Peter Kloosterman
Reformed Church of Masterton[11] 1987 David Stares
Reformed Church of Palmerston North[12]
(including a congregation in New Plymouth[13])
1953 Aaron Warner
Joshua Flinn
Reformed Church of Silverstream[14] 1967 Paul Archbald
Reformed Church of Wainuiomata[15] 1975 Pieter van Huyssteen
Reformed Church of Wellington[16] 1953 Ben McDonald
Reformed Church of Whanganui[17] 2016 Nathaniel Rademaker
South Island Presbytery
Reformed Church of Bishopdale[18] 1982 Andrew de Vries, Reinier Noppers
Reformed Church of Christchurch[19] 1953 David Waldron
Reformed Church of Dovedale[20] 2001 vacant
Reformed Church of Dunedin[21] 1955 Erik Stolte
Reformed Church of Nelson[22] 1953 Braam Jansen van Rensburg
Reformed Church of Oamaru[23] 2013 Sjirk Bajema
Reformed Church of Rangiora[24] 2018 Albert Couperus

Ecumenical contacts

The Reformed Churches of New Zealand is a member of the International Conference of Reformed Churches. Sister-church relationships are held with churches abroad which hold to similar doctrine and practice.

History

Calvinist churches have their origins in the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. In the late 1940s a wave of migrants from the Netherlands settling in New Zealand expected to find their spiritual homes in existing churches of Calvinist persuasion. Instead, they found departures from Calvinist doctrine and practice that they could not overlook.[25] Discussions began in Auckland in 1951 with a view to establishing an indigenous Calvinist denominations. A minister from the Netherlands, Rev J W Deenick, arrived in 1952 to support the fledgling group. The official establishment of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand took place in 1953 at a synod in Wellington, with churches from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch represented. By the end of that year, further churches began meeting in Hamilton, Nelson and Palmerston North, and a former Presbyterian congregation from Howick (now Bucklands Beach) joined. A further 14 member-churches have since been formed.[26]

Worship

The churches hold worship services twice each Sunday and generally on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Ascension Day and New Year's Eve. Preaching from the Bible is the central element of worship. Preaching is by ordained ministers, or alternatively sermons written by an ordained minister may be read by a lay male session appointee when a minister is not available. Sung praise and corporate prayer are the next most significant elements of worship. The denominational psalter/hymnal, Sing to the Lord, is the main source of hymnody, in which the singing of the Psalms features strongly. Corporate confession of sin and the assurance of God's pardon are an integral part of Sunday morning worship, while in the second service one of the creeds is usually recited in unison.

The sacrament of the Lord's Supper (or Holy Communion) is celebrated at least three-monthly. The sacrament of baptism is administered to new converts and to the infant children of confessing church members.

List of synods

No. Year Venue Moderator and Vice Moderator First and Second Clerks Stated Clerk
1 1953 Wellington E Dijkstra, Wellington
J W Deenick, Auckland
A van Gelder
2 1953 Auckland J W Deenick, Auckland
E Dijkstra, Wellington
Th Althuis
3 1954 Wellington E Dijkstra, Wellington
J A Scarrow, Bucklands Beach
A van Gelder
F Channing
4 1955 Auckland B Boelens, Christchurch
J W Deenick, Auckland
F Channing
P G van Dam
5 1957 Hamilton J W Deenick, Auckland
E Dijkstra, Wellington
W In't Veld
J Kleinjan
F Channing
6 1959 Dunedin J A Scarrow, Bucklands Beach
R J Venema, Dunedin
H van der Pols
P G van Dam
F Channing
7 1961 Wellington R J Venema, Bucklands Beach
J W Deenick, Auckland
P G van Dam
W van Rij
R J Venema
8 1962 Wellington S Cooper, Christchurch
P H Pellicaan, Dunedin
D G Vanderpyl
R O Zorn, Hamilton
R O Zorn, Hamilton
9 1964 Wellington R O Zorn, Hamilton
P van der Schaaf, Christchurch
A I de Graaf, Wellington
F Channing, Nelson
R O Zorn, Hamilton
10 1965 Christchurch G I Williamson, Mangere
P H Pellicaan, Dunedin
A I de Graaf, Wellington
F Channing, Nelson
R O Zorn, Hamilton
11 1967 Avondale H L Hoving, Silverstream
R O Zorn, Hamilton
A I de Graaf, Wellington
T E Tyson, Bucklands Beach
C J Reitsma, Wellington
12 1969 Nelson C J Reitsma, Wellington
T E Tyson, Bucklands Beach
D G Vanderpyl
F Channing, Nelson
D G Vanderpyl
13 1971 Wellington H L Hoving, Silverstream/ Wainuiomata
A W Palmer, Mangere
W Wiersma, Christchurch
F W Kroon, Bucklands Beach
D G Vanderpyl
14 1974 Silverstream W Wiersma, Christchurch
W A Davies, Bucklands Beach
D G Vanderpyl
H L Hoving, Invercargill
D G Vanderpyl
15 1977 Hamilton G I Williamson, Silverstream
A W Palmer, Mangere
M Schwarz, Hamilton
L Reurich, Hastings
D G Vanderpyl
16 1980 Palmerston North M Schwarz, Hamilton
J Goris, Avondale
J C Williams, Nelson
L Reurich, Kerepehi/ Tokoroa
D G Vanderpyl
17 1983 Christchurch P D Stadt, Christchurch
J E de Graaf, Bishopdale
B U Kuipers, Palmerston North
C A R Larsen, Dunedin
D G Vanderpyl
18 1986 Mangere D J van Garderen, Bishopdale
P R Flinn, North Shore
B E Hoyt, Silverstream
L Draijer, Nelson
D G Vanderpyl
19 1989 Silverstream W Wiersma, Hamilton
B Kroon, Christchurch
J A Haverland, Bucklands Beach
D J van der Vecht, Avondale
D G Vanderpyl
20 1992 Bishopdale W Wiersma, Hamilton
J A Haverland, Bishopdale
M A Flinn, Pukekohe
B E Hoyt, Masterton
J Ploeg
21 1995 Avondale J A Haverland, Bishopdale
M A Flinn, Pukekohe
B E Hoyt, Hastings
W Walraven, Silverstream
J Ploeg
22 1998 Wainuiomata J A Haverland, Bishopdale
G H Milne, Wainuiomata
B E Hoyt, Hastings
M A Flinn, Pukekohe
B E Hoyt, Hastings
23 2001 Palmerston North M A Flinn, Dovedale
M A Capill, Bucklands Beach
S Bajema, Mangere
J van Rensburg, Bucklands Beach
B E Hoyt, Hastings
24 2002 Christchurch W Wiersma, Hamilton
J A Haverland, Bishopdale
B E Hoyt, Hastings
W Walraven, Silverstream
B E Hoyt, Hastings
25 2005 Hamilton J A Haverland, Pukekohe
M A Flinn, Dovedale
B E Hoyt, Hastings
R H de Vries, Christchurch
B E Hoyt, Hastings
26 2008 Hastings J H Rogers, North Shore
D J van Garderen, Bucklands Beach
P van der Wel, Hamilton
A Nugteren, Wellington
B E Hoyt, Hastings
27 2011 Bucklands Beach B E Hoyt, Dunedin/Oamaru
P S Kloosterman, Masterton
P van der Wel, Hamilton
M R Willemse, Hamilton
P van der Wel, Hamilton
28 2014 Bishopdale P S Kloosterman, Masterton
R J van Wichen, Bishopdale
J D van Dyk, Dunedin
M R Willemse, Hamilton
P van der Wel, Hamilton
29 2016 Pukekohe P S Kloosterman, Masterton
R J van Wichen, Bishopdale
J D van Dyk, Dunedin
M R Willemse, Hamilton
P van der Wel, Hamilton
30 2017 Palmerston North D A Waldron, Christchurch
J A Haverland, Pukekohe
P van der Wel, Hamilton
J D van Dyk, Dunedin
P van der Wel, Hamilton
31 2021 Hukanui

Latest synodical appointments

  • Standing committees
    • Church Extension Committee
    • Church Order Committee
    • Interchurch Relations Committee
    • Overseas Mission Board
    • National Diaconate Committee
    • National Publishing Committee
    • Remuneration Committee
    • Synodical Interim Committee
    • Hymnal Committee
  • Study committees
    • Vicariate Examinations Committee
  • Other appointments
    • Stated Clerk
    • Synodical Treasurer
    • Deputies for Students to the Ministry
    • Synodical Archivist
    • Year Book Editor
    • Synodical Liaison to Calvinist Cadet Corps
    • Webmaster

References

  1. ^ Yearbook 2020 of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, June 2020, ISSN 1173-0617
  2. ^ Reformed Church of Avondale website
  3. ^ Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bucklands Beach website
  4. ^ Reformed Church of Hamilton website
  5. ^ Reformed Church of Hukanui website
  6. ^ Reformed Church of the North Shore website
  7. ^ Maungakaramea Reformed Church website
  8. ^ Reformed Church of Pukekohe website
  9. ^ Reformed Church of Foxton website
  10. ^ Reformed Church of Hastings website
  11. ^ Reformed Church of Masterton website
  12. ^ Reformed Church of Palmerston north website
  13. ^ New Plymouth Reformed Church website
  14. ^ Reformed Church of Silverstream website
  15. ^ Reformed Church of Wainuiomata website
  16. ^ Reformed Church of Wellington website
  17. ^ Reformed Church of Whanganui website
  18. ^ Reformed Church of Bishopdale website
  19. ^ Reformed Church of Christchurch website
  20. ^ Reformed Church of Dovedale website
  21. ^ Reformed Church of Dunedin website
  22. ^ Reformed Church of Nelson website
  23. ^ Reformed Church of Oamaru website
  24. ^ Reformed Church of Rangiora website
  25. ^ "Our History". RCNZ. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ For more details, see Dick G Vanderpyl's article.

Further reading

  • Dirk Vanderpyl (ed) Trust and Obey: A History of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand: Hamilton: Calvinist Church Publishing Society: 1994.

External links


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