Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Installation & Inauguration Service of Rev. H.A. Bergsma as Pastor of the Free Reformed Church of London, Ontario

Written by P. Vanderelst
On Friday evening, September 6, 1996, Rev. Bergsma was installed as pastor of the London congregation. This service was held in the West London Alliance Church on Wonderland Road. Rev. H. Overduin of Chilliwack, B.C., led the installation service. After reading from 2 Corinthians 5:9-21, he chose as text for the sermon from Proverbs 13:17, the last section, Ò a faithful ambassador is health,Ó and then set forth four splendid evidences in support of this proverb. The solemn emphasis of this proverb is that a minister is called to be an ambassador of ÒAmens,Ó affirming and confirming what GodÕs Word says. In concluding his message, Rev. Overduin pointed to the encouragement found in this proverb.

After the reading of the Form of Ordination of the Ministers of GodÕs Word, Rev. Bergsma responded to the questions with ÒYes, truly, with all my heart, by the grace of God.Ó Then Psalter 246:3 was sung as a prayer: ÒThe work accomplished by our hand, establish Thou and make it stand; Yes, let our hopeful labour be, established ever more by Thee.Ó

Following the signing of the Form of Subscription, Rev. Bergsma made his way to the pulpit and led the assembly in the reading of Romans 1:1-16. He then led in prayer, beseeching the Lord to bless His Word, that it may be a word of hope, of encouragement and joy.

As text for his inaugural sermon, Rev. Bergsma took Romans 1:15 and 16, and delivered the message under the theme ÒPaulÕs Readiness to Preach the Gospel of Christ at Rome,Ó dividing it by the headings of Òthe readiness of the preacher,Ó and Òthe potential of the preaching.Ó Rev. Bergsma explained that the readiness of Paul was not rooted in himself, but on what the Lord had given him. The potential of preaching is to be found in the power of God. God Himself is pleased to use the preaching of the Gospel of Christ as a means to lead believers from sin unto salvation. Paul had his desires, hopes and ideals as Gospel preacher. It was to bring the Gospel to the Jews first, and also to the Greeks. This could be interpreted into todayÕs terms as to the covenant people first, but then also to those beyond the walls of the church. Rev. Bergsma explained that such similar desires are also laid in his heart, and that he would want to Òas much as in me isÓ to preach the Gospel to those in London. He concluded with the request that there would be much prayer in the congregation for the power of God in the preaching, and that he, as preacher, would never be ashamed of the Gospel.

After the sermon, addresses were given by elders W. Koopman on behalf of the consistory and congregation of London, by Rev. C. Pronk, pastor of Brantford, as counsellor of London and on behalf of the denomination, by elder S. VanderHeide on behalf of the Mitchell Free Reformed Church (Rev. BergsmaÕs former congregation) and by Rev. P. Vellinga on behalf of the Clinton Independent Reformed Church.

Rev. Bergsma concluded the service with acknowledging thanks to those attending, to Rev. Overduin for leading the installation service, to all who took part in preparing for and taking part in the service, to the West London Alliance Church for the use of their facilities, and above all, thanking the Lord for His continuing faithfulness and for allowing him to preach the Gospel. As closing remark Rev. Bergsma expressed his desire that God would be pleased to use him further to labour in His vineyard.

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