The Federation > Ecumenical Relations

The Canadian Reformed Churches take seriously the call of Christ with regard to the unity of the church. As mentioned in the page on our history, it was not our intention to institute another Reformed church federation in North America if this could have been avoided. The fact that membership in the Protestant Reformed Churches and the Christian Reformed Church proved impossible was a sad development.

Once the churches were established, attempts again were made to deal with the differences between ourselves and the Christian Reformed Church. Some progress was initially made, but as time went on, it became obvious that the Christian Reformed Church was not willing to sever its ties with the increasingly liberal Reformed Churches in Netherlands. It also became apparent that the thinking of this church on matters of biblical authority and church government was having a greater and greater influence on the Christian Reformed Church.

On a local level, there has been and continues to be contact with a number of other Reformed churches.

Federative unity with the United Reformed Churches of North America is currently being pursued; these churches having been recognized as true churches.

We have a relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship (sister church) with:

There are also contacts with the Free Reformed Churches of North America.

What does a relationship of ecclesiastical fellowship encompass? Without going into all the specifics, it relates to helping each other remain true to the Reformed faith, keeping each other informed about major ecclesiastical decisions, accepting each other’s members, inviting delegates to each other’s assemblies or synods, allowing each other’s ministers to preach the Word, keeping each other informed about relations with other parties.  Please click here to see the text of our Rules for Ecclesiastical Fellowship.

As churches we are a member of the International Conference of Reformed Churches, an ecumenical organization that meets every four years in different parts of the world. Its purpose is to assist the member churches, to promote unity among the members and to advance the cause of the Reformed Christian faith in this world. Finally, as federation of Canadian Reformed Churches we are also a member of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council.  The purpose of NAPARC is to facilitate consultation between member bodies on issues which they face in common; to promote the appointment of joint committees to study matters of common interest; and to exercise mutual concern in the propagation of the Reformed faith. NAPARC also promotes co-operation wherever feasible on the local and denominational level in such areas as missions, relief efforts, Christian schools, and church education.

The Federation