Message from our minister
Rev. David Dyke
MTh, MDiv, MA, BTh, BA
We are a proud part of the United Church of Canada.
Basic Beliefs of the United Church of Canada:
A New Creed
Without a lot of hype or God talk, I invite you to take a moment to think with me. What are you looking for? What you will not find at Forest United Church are perfect people, strict codes of dress or conduct, allegiance to dogma or religious rhetoric.
You will find imperfect people who seek spiritual growth and maturity. As the Apostle Paul wrote (Ephesians 2:10), For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. We believe each person is responsible to God for his or her own actions. We are here to support each other in living the Christian life.
While creeds and doctrines are interesting and important, they don't take the place of scripture. As followers of Jesus we take the scripture seriously. We also believe that each person has the privilege and responsibility to read, study and meditate on scripture. Each person must make up his or her own mind what it means to them personally. This isn't a spiritual free-for-all but the opportunity for each person to bring insight to the group as well as receive insight from the group. Taking scripture seriously does not mean that we are literalists but that through scripture we listen for the voice of God. God speaks in many ways such as prayer, meditation, music, the voices of others (friends, neighbours and even strangers), poetry and so forth. So, we also believe that God speaks through the Bible. Consequently, sermons are biblically based with practical, everyday application.
With that said, we don't dumb-down or leave our brains at the door of the church. According to our tradition scripture is understood in a multi-disciplinary fashion. I love that passage in 2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (by God), a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.
Christian education is important. There are learning opportunities for all ages. These take the form of Bible Studies, small groups, Sunday School and other programmes as well as informal conversations and activities.
Christian service is important. We are involved in ministry locally, nationally and worldwide. If you are looking for an opportunity to serve, this may be your place.
Music is important. We have a wonderfully gifted choir under the direction of Mary Jean Hansen. Music is a mix of old and new. Our hymnals are Voices United and Mores Voices. We also have special concerts and sing-songs.
We are an open and welcoming congregation. We try to be family without too much dysfunction. All are welcome here (except unrepentant axe murderers - we'll visit you in prison). We don't judge others; we leave that to a Higher Court. As Jesus said, Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
We use simple English here, not fancy "God talk" or "religionese." We speak with respect and love with reference to God and each other. The Apostle Paul put it so beautifully, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16, 17)
Finally, what is most important, we are Christians. To be part of our fellowship, the only test of faith is a commitment to Christ and his ways. If Christ is your Lord and he is my Lord too, then we are family. Welcome brothers and sisters to Forest United Church.
See you soon, Rev David