Monday, November 11, 2013

Newsletter - Fall 2013

We are now starting to send out updates in a Newsletter format for distribution to various churches.  Please feel free to print some off and share them!  You can download the newsletter here.  (Right click the link and choose "save as" to download.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Church Service Locations

Some of our Sunday services this fall and winter are scheduled to be held in the Powassan Curling Club (same building as the arena, 433 Main Street Powassan, but use the entrance on the right) on the following dates:

September 22
October 6
October 13
January 12
January 19 
January 26

The rest of our worship services throughout the fall and winter are scheduled to be held upstairs in the Powassan Sporstplex as usual.  Check here for any changes in location that may arise due to other events.  

Fall Update

As we reflect on developments in the past year, we see many reminders that the Lord is “...merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)  Over the past months the church plant has gone from a small group to feeling more like a “church.”  There are now seven families, and we enjoy fellowship with a few  regular visitors.  We have also witnessed the baptism of two infants this year, our group now includes 13 children!  

Though the growth in numbers has been encouraging, we are most thankful for the spiritual work that that Lord has done.  We have been blessed with a a concern for growth in the fear and knowledge of the Lord and a growing sense of unity.  It has been heartening and humbling to see the Lord’s work among us.  We have been reminded how dependent we are on the work of the Holy Spirit, and encouraged when He has blessed the work of the ministry.  

We have begun efforts to bring the gospel to our community as well as ensure that people are aware of our church.  We had a book table at the Powassan Maple Syrup Festival in the spring, which was very well attended.  We have also set up a table at the local Saturday Farmer’s Market, and begun some door-to-door canvassing.  A website has been developed, and some targeted internet advertising has been used. Nevertheless, we have found that the personal invitations of church members have been the most effective means of bringing visitors to our services.  

There have been a number of people from other churches in the area who are interested in our Reformed faith and heritage.  The recent trend towards more “sovereign grace” preaching on the radio, internet, and in evangelical churches has fostered interest in Reformed churches.  Though many seem to appreciate Reformed doctrine and preaching, one challenge has been to introduce and acclimate visitors to Biblical views of the covenants, worship, and church structure.  Yet we are thankful to see that some are interested to learn more about the historic Christian faith.  We are uniquely positioned in the area as the nearest Reformed churches are 2-3 hours drive away and we are the only local church broadcasting on the Sermon Audio website.  

Summer has been a busy and profitable time, with many visitors from cottages and campgrounds in the area joining us for worship.  These visitors usually come from Reformed or Presbyterian churches in Southern Ontario.  We have been blessed by the edifying fellowship, discussions, and mutual encouragement that we have with our visitors.  Many have expressed their thankfulness that the Free Reformed churches have committed to supporting a work in this area.  If you are in the near north of Ontario for a vacation, please do make a point of joining us for worship!  

We do face a number of challenges as a church plant.  One issue that we face is finding an ideal facility for services and meetings.  Currently we use an upstairs hall at the local hockey arena.  This works well most of the time, but the stairs are a barrier to some and we get preempted by hockey tournaments at times.  It would be ideal to have a place that is available for mid-week meetings, as our group is getting too large for homes.  We are presently looking at some different options to deal with these concerns.  Please pray that the Lord would provide us with more suitable meeting place in his time.  

Perhaps the greatest visible challenge that we face as a church plant is the reality that our lifestyles, relationships, families, and labors at times fail to proclaim the holiness and grace of God.  Yet we rejoice at signs that the Lord is strengthening us despite our failures, rather than only in accordance with our efforts.  We covet your prayers that our group would grow in grace, in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the work of ministry among us would bear fruits.  Please pray for us, that the Lord would bless the ministry of the Word, and that He would continue to gather in our church family.

(This update was published in the September 2013 issue of The Messenger.)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Service

A Thanksgiving Day service will be held at 3:00 PM on Monday, October 14.  Please email or call 705-724-5070 for location information.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fall Fair Outreach Tent

An outreach tent was set up at the Powassan Fall Fair on Friday, August 30 to Saturday, August 31, 2013.

The focus of this outreach is a book table where we give away good Christian literature.  This offers us the opportunity to speak to people about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and invite them to learn more about our church.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Church Services

Through the summer, all Sunday services are scheduled to be held at the Powassan Sportsplex, 433 Main Street, at 11:00 AM & 2:30 PM with a potluck lunch between.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Communion and Baptism

On June 2nd we plan to celebrate the Lord's Supper in the morning service.  As a church we practice “close communion” meaning that the sacrament is open to confessing members of this congregation in good standing along with those visitors who have requested of the elders to attend.

We also look forward to witnessing the sacrament of Baptism administered to one of our youngest members in the afternoon service.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Sermons preached at the Nipissing FRC are now being uploaded to SermonAudio.  Check out our page at

Monday, April 1, 2013

Maple Syrup Festival Outreach

Our church is planning to set up a booth at the Powassan Maple Syrup Festival which will be held on April 27th from about 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  The festival is held along Main Street, with vendors, crafts, family events and food... and of course maple syrup.  

The focus of our outreach is a book table where we will be giving away good Christian literature.  This offers us the opportunity to speak to people about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and invite them to learn more about our church.  You are most welcome to come on out and meet us!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Good Friday Service

A Good Friday Service will be held at 10:00 AM at the Powassan Sportsplex, 433 Main Street, Powassan.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February Update

With thanksgiving to the Lord, we can report that He has blessed us and that things have gone well over the past few months.  We are now in the middle of the early phase of the church plant which involves assessment, preparation, and planning.  We are focused mainly in this stage on building a foundation for future work through prayer, preaching, and discussion of the direction we hope to take.

On Sunday mornings we are going through a series of what will likely be about a dozen sermons on 1st Timothy.   The theme of 1st Timothy can be summed up with 3:15, which says  “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”   1st Timothy has been a rich resource of gospel truth and practical instruction as we study, discuss, pray, and work towards hopefully becoming an established church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Sunday evenings we are going through the Heidelberg Catechism, this coming Sunday I plan to preach on Lord’s Day 14.  On Wednesday evenings we have prayer meeting, followed by a book study of What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile.  I am happy to report that there is a strong sense of unity and purpose amongst the existing membership.

We are also thankful that the Lord has added some new members to our group recently.  The Bouman family joined us from our Dundas congregation in November.  My wife and I were blessed with a daughter, Abigail Mae, on January 30th.  

We have had a number of visitors from the community, of whom a few drop in fairly regularly.  Some come from other local churches, but seem to have interest in our church.   Another often wanders in part way through the service, and stays for coffee.  I have been visiting with some of these visitors, and we are hopeful that we may be able to add them to our membership one day.   

In terms of evangelism, the winter season has been fairly quiet.  The bulk of my time and effort has been put into preparing sermons and visits.  We have been able to reach out to some neighbors and begin to build relationships at some local businesses.  We have also developed a new webpage and begun some internet advertising campaigns.  Soon it will be time for the local Maple Syrup festival, where we plan to set up a booth as a book table.  We are also planning to set up at a weekly local market and canvassing to ensure that the whole community is invited to our services.  

We have several requests for prayer.   Please pray for our church family, that we would grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord and that we would be enabled to walk worthy of Him.  Also for the various visitors that seeds of gospel would take root and grow in their hearts. Pray that the Lord would give opportunities to make inroads into a fairly tight community.   We also are praying for a more steady location.  The arena works well most of the time, but we have been getting shuffled to different locations by hockey tournaments recently.  Finally, please pray for me, that labors in preaching would be blessed, that the Lord would give strength, and would bless our growing family.

We would love to have you come and worship with us.  Please check out our website at for more information.  This update is from a report presented to the Brantford FRC Congregational meeting on February 20, 2013. - Pastor Rob VanDoodewaard

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Location Change

Sunday services for February 10th held at 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM at the South Himsworth Community Center, 7 Glendale Heights Drive, Powassan.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Location Change

Services held January 20th at 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM in the Curling Club at the Powassan Sportsplex.