Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Ordination/Inauguration Service of Eric Moerdyk

Written by Jeff Coolen
On Friday February 28, 2003 we gathered together for a special worship service. Candidate Eric Moerdyk was ordained to the ministry and installed as pastor of the Zion Free Reformed Church. Rev. J. Westerink of The Netherlands conducted the ordination service and led us in the inauguration service. Candidate Moerdyk stayed at the home of Rev. Westerink and his wife while he was studying in Holland.

Rev. Westerink read from Isaiah 40:1-8 and focused his message on verses 6-8. Here the messenger is instructed to cry, but feels inadequate. There are many times in the ministry when humanly speaking a pastor can be lost for words. What words can he speak in tragic and painful situations? The key word is ÷but." "But the word of our God shall stand forever." This word acts like a hinge, opening the door from a dark room to a room of light. Here we have the answer to the question, "What shall I cry?" It is to proclaim the word of God in all its fullness.

After that, the form of ordination was read and Candidate Moerdyk responded affirmatively to the questions, indicating his acceptance of the office of ministry. During the formal ordination several Free Reformed Ministers came forward for the laying on of hands and each exhorted Candidate Moerdyk with a text. During this time brother Moerdyk was kneeling under an open Bible held by three elders of the Zion Free Reformed Church, and his father.

After the exhortation from the Ordination Form was read, this part of the service was ended with a prayer of thanksgiving. Now it was Rev. Moerdyk's turn to be at the pulpit. The Scripture reading for the inauguration service was from Isaiah 40 verses 9-11. The focus of the sermon was "Behold your God: the Message of God's herald". The three points considered were: 1) magnificent message, 2) saving message, 3) encouraging message. Throughout his ministry Pastor Moerdyk hopes to hold out this message, "Behold thy God". Behold, here is a God who is a saving God and a mighty God. Behold, a God who looks after his people as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Behold, a God who is tender and compassionate, gathering His sheep in His arms, carrying them tight to His chest and gently leading them.

Following the service, addresses were given by Mr. Henry Otten on behalf of Zion FRC, who extended a hearty welcome to Pastor Moerdyk and his wife, Lisette; Dr G. Bilkes representing the Seminary; Rev. VanderMeyden on behalf of Vineland FRC; Rev. Procee on behalf of the denomination; Rev. Elshout representing Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Jordan and representing Pastor MoerdykÕs family, as his uncle, and Rev. Dykstra representing Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Moerdyk responded to all who had addressed him and thanked them for their encouraging and edifying words. Letters of congratulations were received from several ministers and a number of our congregations.

It truly was a blessed evening. As members of Zion FRC we feel humbled by God's many provisions. It was approximately two years ago that we began as a preaching station. Last year, Synod approval was given for us to be instituted as a church. And now already God has heard our prayers and provided us with a man of His choosing to lead us. We look forward to being under the ministry of the Word from week to week. We pray that God would richly bless our new pastor as he opens the Gospel and preaches to us the richness of God's Word.

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