This semester, we’re excited about a new chapel series exploring the Belhar Confession.
The Belhar Confession has its roots in the struggle against apartheid in Southern Africa. This "outcry of faith" and "call for faithfulness and repentance" was first drafted in 1982 and was adopted by the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa in 1986 as one of its standards of unity. In 1994 the Dutch Reformed Mission Church and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa united to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). The Belhar Confession has become part of the global Reformed confessional basis for many denominations. In 2010 it was adopted as a doctrinal standard in the Reformed Church in America. In 2012 the synod of the Christian Reformed Church adopted it as an Ecumenical Declaration.
Howie Vanderwell and Norma deWaal Malefyt of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship have developed a seven-part worship series exploring the main themes of the confession through relevant scripture passages, hymns and songs, prayers, and affirmations of faith. In this series, we will make use of these resources and hear God’s word preached as we affirm our commitment to the church and ask God's Spirit to draw our attention to Christ’s work in the church through reconciliation, unity, justice, and peace.