As mentioned under the heading ‘Church Locations’ we would now like to introduce to you the first of the congregations. The congregation of [b]Amersfoort[b].
This congregation is one of the eleven congregations of The Reformed Churches (restored) of the Netherlands. The venue of worship is located in Amersfoort, a city in the province of Utrecht, right in the middle of the country. After the Liberation of 2003, the first location of worship was in Veenendaal, a city, just south east of Amersfoort.
After a number of years it became clear that the majority of members were living in area surrounding Amersfoort. In Amersfoort it was also possible to hold the worship services in a ‘proper’ church building, so we decided to change venue.
At present the congregation of Amersfoort has about seventy members. Unlike most other churches we have a rather large number of elderly members. There are only ten baptismal members. We are looking forward to the birth of two babies due soon.
We have two services each Sunday. In most worship services sermons are read. These were written by now deceased ministers. Sometimes Rev. de Marie or Rev. van Gurp lead the worship services. Four times a year we celebrate Holy Supper, usually Rev. de Marie leads these services. It is a pity that we do not have a minister of our own; nevertheless, there is a wealth of beautiful sermons available for reading. These sermons are Scripturally sound and that is exactly what many of us lacked during the last years preceding the liberation of 2003.

Our congregation is quite small and the number of communicant male members ‘suitable’ to be nominated for ‘office bearer’ is very limited (as most male members are really ‘getting on in years’). For this reason we requested the classis to be ‘housed under the supervision’ of our sister church Berkel and Rodenrijs/Bergschenhoek, thus taking care of the supervision, pastoral care and church discipline. At present we have three office bearers in the congregation of Amersfoort and together with the church council of Berkel we form one consistory. At present we have no-one suitable or available to give catechism classes, therefore it was decided that this year the church-youth will travel to locations in the vicinity of Berkel for this. Because of the few youth - most of the children are members of one family - there is no youth club. We do have a Bible study society for men as well as one for the women.
We are thankful and glad for the extra support we receive for our small, but widespread, congregation.

Members of our congregation come from a large area, from close the coast in the west, to near the German border in the east. As the members are spread over such a large area, it is difficult to, visit each other regularly. Also the large number of elderly members (30% are at least 80 years of age) understandably limits their ‘mobility’. Nevertheless we are happy to meet each other every Sunday. Most Sundays there is the possibility to have a coffee social after church.

Finally, we are thankful that we are able to worship together. Then we can listen to sound sermons, pray to the Lord, and sing to His praise. Of course there are concerns with regard to the small size of our congregation. For instance, the limited number of available men to become office bearers; and the need for a minister. Yet, we are thankful in everything we have received since the Liberation. The Lord required us to make the right choice. Among other things it was a choice between listening to the age old Reformed explanation of the Bible, or to the sermons based on modern (often unscriptural) interpretations. This choice didn’t always make things easy. Yet, in all this we believe that the Lord will care for His congregation, also this small congregation located in Amersfoort. It is not ours, but belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ. We may rely on Him and follow wherever He leads His Church. At times, it may be difficult. Yet, we may know that Christ will lead His sheep to eternal glory when He returns upon the clouds of heaven.
Let us pray that this day may come with haste,
and until then look forward to it and rejoice.

M.S. Godschalk,
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