Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel

Our Beliefs

What We Believe:

We believe that the actual written words of the Bible are the very words of God. We believe that God has given us the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the all-sufficient and only rule of faith and practice, and judge of controversies.

We also believe that the Scriptures teach a system of doctrine that can and should be stated in a clear systematic manner; a “creed” or “confession.” Christianity has always been a “confessional” religion. The confessions to which we subscribe are simply the Church’s understanding of what the Bible teaches.

Some of the important doctrines we confess the Scriptures to teach include:

There is one living and true God, Who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; and that the Scriptures reveal that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one true eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

All of life is to be lived to the glory of God. God is sovereign and rules over every aspect of life.

Everyone is born sinful, everyone sins against God and so everyone deserves His judgement in Hell.

You are saved from the judgement you deserve by believing that Jesus Christ died in your place. There is nothing about anyone that wins the favor of God. No one can earn the forgiveness of sins by doing good deeds.

The means by which a person receives the forgiveness of sin and eternal life is by faith in Jesus work on his behalf alone. We are saved only by confidence and personal trust in Jesus Christ as He is offered and revealed to us in the Bible.

The purpose for which we are saved is to honor God, to bring Him glory and to do good. Doing good is an expression of the gratitude we have to God for providing for our salvation from the condemnation which we deserve. Therefore a faith that does not evidence itself through a loving, humble, and obedient walk with Christ is not a true saving faith.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned His church to spread this good news of salvation to all people, that they too would receive His forgiveness, serve Him, and enjoy eternal life.

We realize that there are many Christians who have a high view of the Bible, but do not believe one can be certain about the length of the days of creation. We believe, as our confessions state, that the universe was supernaturally created over the time span of six sequential days of ordinary length and that it was not created by natural laws over a period of billions of years. We also believe that any view which accepts that there was any form of the curse (including animal death), prior to the sin of our first parents is a serious error.

Central to our identity as a Christian Church is the term ‘Reformed’ Church. The Oxford English dictionary describes Reformed (of religion, churches, etc.) as: “brought to a better or purer state by the removal of errors or abuse, esp. those imputed to the Church of Rome.” The roots of our modern Reformed Churches are found in the Great Reformation of 1517, when we set ourselves apart from the Roman Catholic Church. We believe the Bible to be the complete, infallible and inerrant Word of God, revealing all that we need to know in order to serve our God and love our neighbor. We use the New King James (NKJV) translation in our worship services.

We use a number of additional resources that are useful in summarizing the Bible’s main teachings. The Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed originate from the time of the early church, and are relatively well known. During the Reformation of the 16th century three other resources were added to promote a clearer understanding of the true faith. These are the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort.

Our Federation of Churches consists of autonomous local churches within a non-hierarchical framework. Again, the Bible is central in the administration of these local congregations. The Consistory, comprised of elected Elders, is the Ruling Body.  The URCNA has an established Church Order, to which all member churches subscribe.

The Marks of a True Church


We gather together as a congregation twice every Sunday for worship. About half of each service is devoted to the preaching of God’s Word. The sermon composition and delivery are the most important part of our worship service. The morning service typically illustrates the meaning of a portion of the Bible from either or both the Old and the New Testament, while the evening service typically uses the Heidelberg Catechism as a starting point to emphasize church doctrine.

The Sacraments

We celebrate two Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper which we incorporate into our worship services. We believe they were instituted by God for the strengthening of our faith and to reveal to us God’s promises. Both sacraments are symbols and point us to the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross, where He died for the forgiveness of our sins to give us eternal life.

Our church believes the Covenant is extended to both adults and infants, and as such, we baptize our children as a sign of God’s promise of salvation to them.

We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Communion) 6 times per year. Self-examination is a key preparation for this event.  Elders are available to speak with visitors before the service each Communion Sunday between 9:30 and 9:55 A.M.  The requirements for partaking in the Lord’s Supper are:

  • Belief in the articles of the Apostle’s Creed
  • Baptism in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
  • Current membership by the means of Public Profession of Faith in a Bible believing, Reformed Church
  • Affirmation of the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, as explained above

There is no enjoyment of the blessings without participation in the faith (John 6:29-47). Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord; one must discern the body of the Lord rightly so as not to eat and drink judgment to himself (1 Cor. 11:27-32).

Nevertheless, to all believing sinners who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins, and who seek to be renewed, refreshed, nourished and sustained by his body and blood, the visible gospel on the table is freely offered.

Church Discipline

We see church discipline as an integral part of the Christian love and duty we have towards one another. When properly administered among the members of the church, its intended purpose is to encourage the sinner to recognize his or her error, to repent, and to be reconciled with God and His people.

The Federation To Which We Belong:


As Christians, we are UNITED around the Bible, the written revelation of God’s Word, that reveals all that we need to know for salvation and life. We confess and believe that it bears witness to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only Savior and hope for sinners.


We are REFORMED in our faith and practice according to the Scriptures as summarized during the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation in the three confessions which we subscribe. These are called the Three Forms of Unity: Belgic Confession (1561), Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and Canons of Dort (1619). We believe that we come into a saving relationship with God only because of His gracious work in our hearts and therefore He deserves our praise in every area of life.


We are a CHURCH belonging to the one holy universal and apostolic Church instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ for the ministry of the Word (preaching of the Law and the Gospel), the ministry of the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and the shepherding of God’s people by the pastors and elders. As a historic Christian Church we hold dear and profess the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.