Niagara Reformed Bible Conference 2015 on the 25th and 26th

Niagara Reformed Bible Conference 2015:  Are you a Happy Christian? Join us September  25, 26 Friday evening and Saturday morning  at Immanuel URC Jordan as Dr. David Murray speaks to us on “10 Ways to be a  Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World”.

As a preview of what to expect, here's a snippet from Dr. Murray's blog:


God can make you happy in any circumstances. Without him nothing can.” Andrew Bonar
— *Rev. Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of The Robert Murray McCheyne, (Dundee: Hamilton Adams and Co. 1847), 381.

There are two difficult things to believe in this quote. The first is that God can make you happy in any circumstances. The second is the claim that without God nothing can make you happy.

Let me take the “easiest” of these difficulties first, which is the second. “Without God, nothing can make you happy.”

No God, No Happiness

This does not mean that you cannot have any happiness without God. You can, but it’s too shallow and too brief to really satisfy, to really deserve the name “happiness.”

Sure, you can have a few moments of happiness at a football match – until they lose. You can have a few moments of happiness at a party – until you wake up the next day. You can have a few days of happiness with your new car, until the first scratch, or until the neighbor gets an even better one.

Because these happinesses are separated from the source of all happiness, they cannot go deep or last long. If you doubt  that, read Ecclesiastes.

With God, All Happy

“God can make you happy in any circumstances.” This is even harder to believe. It’s not saying that in the midst of the most painful providences – like a cancer diagnosis or a bereavement – we can expect Christians to be immediately full of joy.

Not at all. Christians weep and sorrow too. However, the Christian battles against that sadness by faith, and gradually and slowly begins to win the victory, to see the good hand of God, to sense the father’s love, to experience the Savior’s sympathy, and to enjoy the Spirit’s comfort.

As faith strengthens, so does joy, so that even in hard providences there is a deep and stable and substantial joy. It doesn’t remove the sorrow, but it counter-balances it and hopefully, eventually, even outweighs it.

“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Phil 4:11)

Taken from:

Men's Bible Study Starts on the 22nd

This September a new men’s Bible study for those 21 years of age or older will be starting.  It will take place twice a month, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM with the first meeting scheduled for September 22nd.  Depending on the number of participants, we plan on meeting in the Council room. Our study will be on the book of Mark and we will be using Sinclair B. Ferguson’s Let’s Study Mark.  Cost of material is $20.  If interested, please write your name on the sign-up sheet outside the gym or send an email to by August 30th so that we can get the books ordered in time.

"How People Change" Class Starts on the 16th

Only the grace of God takes [change] out of the realm of hopeless self-reformation into that of great confidence that we can be transformed people
— Ed Welch

All Adoration members 20 years and older are welcome to join a class using the How People Change: How Christ Changes Us By His Grace textbook, study guide and DVDs, by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane.  We'll meet at the church on Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm, beginning September 16 and finishing in December.  The class size will be limited to 10 participants.  You can expect about an hour of homework each week and you're strongly advised not to miss more than two evenings of class.  Faithful attendance is necessary for your own understanding of the material and because "God's work of personal transformation is intended to take place within the community of God's people" (from the study guide). Each participant will receive a textbook and a study guide, which total $32.  If you have questions or would like to join the class, please contact Caroline V. 

Our Pastor's Ordination Service

On April 10, 2013, we ordained our first pastor, Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman, and began the next chapter of our growth and development as a congregation. Pastor Norm began serving our congregation as a pastoral intern in December and was then extended a call as to serve our church as our pastor in February. 

Joining us in the ordination service were a number of pastors who participated in the ordination service including, from left to right, Rev. Rand Lankheet, Rev. Chris Gordon, Rev. Christo Heiberg, Rev. Ray Sikkema, Rev. John Bouwers, and Rev. Donald McClure.