Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

40th Anniversary Worship Service Mitchell, Ontario

Written by Rev. H.Overduin
Wednesday, July 13, 1994 was a special day for the Mitchell congregation. On that day the congregation had a special service and program commemorating its fortieth anniversary as Free Reformed Church of Mitchell. The eveningÕs celebration began appropriately with a worship service conducted by Rev. H. Bergsma, the pastor of the congregation.

The text chosen for the occasion was Deuteronomy 8:7, where GodÕs Word says: ÒAnd thou shalt remember all the ways which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no.Ó Rev. Bergsma emphasized how on such an occasion as this we do not reflect with thanksgiving on the work of man, but the faithfulness of God in spite of our sinfulness over the last forty years. The theme of Rev. BergsmaÕs message was ÒAn Exhortation to Remember.Ó The three points he developed under that theme were 1) the LordÕs leading; 2) His purpose; 3) and the fruit. The Lord humbles us in the wilderness so that we might learn to live in submission, faith and obedience before Him. Was this the fruit in the congregation, individually and corporately, over these forty years?

Following the special worship service was a short program which included singing by the Sunday School children, the choir, and some speeches. Elder Stuart DeVries gave an interesting and instructive summary of some of the highlights of the history of the congregation. Rev. C. Schouls, a former pastor of the congregation, spoke a few words of congratulations. Rev. H. Overduin gave greetings and expressed congratulations on behalf of the denomination.

Following the program there was time for refreshments and fellowship. It was a joyful evening with many people present, including many children and young people.

The congregation has made a Pictorial Directory in celebration of their fortieth anniversary. This is a handy booklet and a special keepsake in memory of this special event.

The Lord led the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years. Did He stop leading them after that? No; we know from Scripture that He continued His faithfulness to them also as they established themselves in Canaan. Again and again the Israelites were unfaithful. That story is told us Òto warn and restrain,Ó Psalter 213:4 states. May God bless and prosper the Mitchell congregation and all our churches, so that we may truly and increasingly be churches who proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ and reflect Him in our day and age.

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