... part of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The ARP was formed when the Associate Presbyterians (a denomination which dates back to 1733 in Scotland) and the Reformed Presbyterians (a group whose beginnings date back to the covenanters in 17th century Scotland) joined together in 1782 in Philadelphia. Today the ARP has close to 300 churches in the United States and Canada. Our church is part of the Canadian presbytery with churches in Ontario and the Maritimes. We are a confessional Presbyterian church.
To be confessional is:
To agree together that a certain statement of faith accurately summarizes Biblical teaching. As a summary, the confessions do not add to the scriptures, nor are they to be understood as superior to the scriptures in any way. These confessions derive their authority from the scriptures, without which they would be but empty shells.
At Trinity, we subscribe to the Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms. These statements have their roots not only in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century but these doctrines can be traced back through creeds and confessions to the early apostolic church.
To be Presbyterian is:
To be a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism tracing our roots back to Calvin's Geneva through Scotland. Presbyterians derive their name from the form of church government, specifically, the church is governed by a plurality of elders. In the ARP this is done by three courts of the church (session, presbytery, and synod). In practice, this means that:
The lowest court of the Church, called the Session, is charged with spiritual oversight and governance of an individual congregation within the jurisdiction of a Presbytery. (ARP Form of Government)
The session is made up of Biblically qualified men, selected from among the membership, who serve as undershepherds of Jesus Christ.
Local congregations are bound together in a presbytery. The Presbytery has the oversight of a group of congregations within a specific geographical area. The Presbytery is the essential court of the Presbyterian system in administering its general order. (ARP Form of Government)
The General Synod is the highest court of the ARPC and represents all of its Presbyteries. (ARP Form of Government)
Through these courts of the church, checks and balances are established to ensure that as we humbly submit to the authority of God and His inerrant and infallible Word the work of His Kingdom advances.
If you would like to know more contact, Jonathan Cowan.