As Reformed churches we believe that the children of believers belong to the covenant of grace and therefore possess the promises of the gospel (Gen. 17:7, Acts 2:39). Those promises are signified and sealed to those children as soon as feasible after they are born or when their parents profess their faith in the gospel and are baptized (Acts 16:15, 1 Cor.1:16). At their baptism parents promise to instruct their children in the doctrine of God’s Word as soon as they are able to understand, and to have them instructed therein to the utmost of their power (Psalm 78:4, 2 Tim. 3:15).
Reformed churches have therefore emphasized the instruction of children in home, church and school where possible.
- Parents are expected to engage in devotions at home and to discuss the Bible and its application with their children (Deut. 6:7-9, Eph. 6:4).
- Parents are encouraged to take their children to the worship services as soon as possible. We should not underestimate the importance of including children in corporate worship. Besides the fact that the Lord wants all His people to meet Him in worship (Deut. 31:12, Col. 3:20). The church is also to give instruction in the doctrines of the gospel (John 21:19). This is called catechism instruction, from the Greek word “to instruct” (Luke 1:4). The Heidelberg Catechism was written precisely for instruction in the doctrines of the Bible in the Reformed churches. This catechism composed of questions and answers was written, as the name implies, in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1563. Instruction in the other confessions of the Canadian Reformed Churches is also included, as well as guidance in how to live as Christians in the world. Similar instruction is provided for those who desire to become members of the church.
- Reformed churches have always encouraged parental schools where the instruction given is in harmony with the Word of God as the church has summarized it in its confessions. In many areas of Canada parents of Reformed persuasion have therefore banded together and instituted Reformed schools based on the Bible as confessed in the Three Forms of Unity and even instituted the Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College in Hamilton, ON www.covenantteacherscollege.com
That we believe our children belong to the covenant of grace also means that they are under special covenant obligation to commit their hearts and lives to the triune God in true conversion and to serve Him. Hence the church cherishes the glorious expectation that these covenant children will in due time publicly profess their faith (1 Tim. 6:12) and commit themselves to be living members of Christ’s church. The hope and prayer is that God’s covenant promises and blessings will be carried through the generations. God gathers the church not only through mission (Matt. 28:19), but also through the generations (Ps. 90:1, Eph. 3:21).
CATECHISM INSTRUCTION DETAILS
Catechism classes take place every Wednesday evening at the church building.
Class 1 (12-14 years of age this year) – 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Class 2 (15-17 years of age this year) – 8:00 to 9:00 pm
Class 3 (18 and over and by request) – 9:00 to 10:00 pm