Statement of Faith and Assembly Practices

Statement of Faith

We believe:

- In God (three in one – Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the only true God. The Creator and Sustainer of all things material, spiritual, temporal and eternal.

- That man was created in God’s image, responsible to God, became totally depraved by the fall in the Garden of Eden, was judged guilty of sin and sinfulness by God, is by nature at enmity with God, who is the source of all light, life and love.

- In the virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, God the Son. He is God’s merciful provision for complete pardon, offered universally to men and realized individually by those who sincerely repent. They acknowledge the righteousness of God’s judgment against them, cast themselves upon God’s sovereign mercy, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour.

- In God the Holy Spirit who reveals all spiritual truth, makes God’s mercy applicable to the individual and indwells, sustains and empowers all true believers.

- In the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, personally and bodily, to receive His people to eternal glory. He will judge the world of unrighteousness, to establish His kingdom on earth, and to banish those who are not His people to eternal hell.

- In the unity of all true believers as members of the one universal church, the body of Christ, and it the autonomy of the local church which is responsible directly to the Lord Jesus Christ as its Head.

- The Bible, inspired by God in the original writings, as the sole and final authority in all matters spiritual, moral, doctrinal, and of Christian practice, and as the spiritual food for eternal life of the child of God.


Assembly Practices

Fellowship:

Those in fellowship in the assembly are those who:

a) Profess to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal saviour, in keeping with our Statement of Faith
b) Have been baptized as a declaration of their faith in Christ
c) Maintain lives consistent with the profession of faith
d) Meet regularly with other believers at the Lord’s Table and support the other meetings of the church (e.g. prayer and Bible study meetings, ministry meetings)
e) Submit to the authority of the Elders acting in concert in accordance with direction given in the Scriptures

The Elders interview all who wish to join our fellowship of believers.

Governance:

We pray for and expect the leading of the Holy Spirit of God in interpreting the Scriptures to us in questions of doctrine and practice. Men who have been prompted by the Holy Spirit, who have demonstrated their call through ministries of teaching and pastoring within the assembly, who are recognized by the believers as spiritual leaders, who meet the criteria set out in Scripture, who are willing to so serve and form “The Board of Elders.” They are responsible directly to the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, and will answer to Him at the future Judgment Seat of Christ relative to the leadership they have provided to the believers.

We do not have clergy; rather we have a “plurality of Elders” who are responsible for the spiritual teaching and the practical ministries of the fellowship.

We are totally autonomous and recognize no governing church body outside of the local assembly.

The Lord’s Table:

As a church fellowship, we meet on the first day of the week to commemorate the Lord’s death for us, to celebrate His ressurection and to anticipate His return. We do so in a service of communion in which the bread and the wine are shared by all of the believers. All of the men in fellowship are encouraged to lead in prayer, to request that certain hymns be sung, to minister from the Word of God, and to distribute the emblems. We trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit so that no programme of selected hymns and topical readings is prepared in advance. However, we do expect that the participation by the men will be the result of their private times of devotional communion with the Lord.

We ask that the women prepare themselves for the service through personal time with the Lord and His Word and that they be in attitude of worship. However, we ask they do not lead the service in any way and that they wear head-coverings at this meeting. We welcome visitors (preferably with letters of introduction from other church fellowships) who are believers and invite them to participate with us. We also welcome observers, but ask that they not participate.

Baptism:

We practice water baptism, by immersion, of true believers (in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). Each candidate is interviewed by at least two Elders, who confirm the profession of faith and examine the candidate’s declaration of faith in Christ prior to the baptismal service being conducted.

Bible Ministry Meetings:

We conduct meetings on Sunday for the purpose of preaching the Gospel and teaching the Scriptures. These are usually structured meetings, and may involve preaching by men from the assembly or by invited speakers.

Prayer and Bible Study Meetings:

Under the direction of the Elders, we conduct one or more meetings during the week where the Bible is studied and all believers are encouraged to participate in prayer. Usually these meetings are held at the chapel.

Other Ministries:

We have a Sunday school, young people’s meetings, and mid-week meetings for boys, ladies’ and mens’ meetings, and occasional breakfasts as a form of outreach. Other services that meet needs within the fellowship or that present the Gospel to those outside of Christ are conducted as we see the need and as the resources are made available to us by the Lord.

Wedding Services:

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman to the Biblical exclusion of all others.

A number of Elders are licensed by the province of Ontario to solemnize marriages. We require both parties be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and we ask that they complete a pre-marital counselling programme conducted by the Elders prior to the wedding. We will not solemnize a marriage that joins a believer and an unbeliever. As a service and witness to the community, we will solemize a marriage between unbelievers, provided they complete a pre-marital counselling programme conducted by the Elders.

Thanksgiving service for Children:

Should those fellowship so request, we will unite as an assembly in praying for the child and his/her parent(s) and offer thanksgiving at the Family Bible Hour.

The Elders will consider requests from the community on a case-by-case basis.

Taking of Offerings:

Offerings are recieved at the Lord’s Table and in the Sunday school. We make no public appeals and the offering plate is not passed at any other meeting. We teach, in keeping with the Scriptures, that God’s people should be generous in their giving in support of the work of the Gospel; records are kept only for the purpose of issuing income tax receipts. We do not accept offerings designated for any ministries not regularly supported by the assembly, unless the Elders have determined that there is a special attention.

Missionary Outreach:

We prayerfully and financially contribute to the support of a number of missionaries in this country and abroad.

Financial Accountability:

A monthly statement and an annual report, which includes a full account of all receipts and expenditures, are published. The books are internally audited on a regular basis. Annual returns are sent to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

Annual Meeting:

An annual meeting of the assembly provides an opportunity for those in the fellowship to recieve reports from the various departments, to review present directions and to unite before the Lord in anticipation of His leading in the future. This meeting usually takes place in April.