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Our URC Classis Pacific Northwest
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God My Father!” This familiar hymn reflects the reality of God's faithfulness of over thirty years toward that part of God's kingdom which is the Burlington United Reformed Church.
Seven families, who were concerned about the direction that the CRC had taken, met on February 18, 1980 and organized “the separated congregation of the Christian Reformed Church in the Mount Vernon area, Washington state.” Rev. Harry Van Dyken served as chairman of this organizational meeting. We decided upon the name Orthodox Christian Reformed Church. The name “Orthodox” was chosen to indicate that we wanted to return to true doctrine, and “CRC”, because we wanted to return to what was faithful to the Word in our reformed heritage.
During parts of the first year, Rev. Harry Van Dyken conducted worship services, taught catechism and leadership classes, and performed the sacraments. Rev. Donald Van Dyken became our first called minister on January 22, 1981.
On March 4, 1981, the Articles of Incorporation were unanimously approved at the congregational meeting. The Young People's Society was organized on June 14, 1981. The first interconsistorial conference took place in Toronto, Canada in November 1981, in order to discuss church order and the reasons and ways to federate. In 1988 in our seventh conference and with seven churches we federated with a revised Church Order.
In August 2008, the OCRC federation accepted the invitation of the United Reformed Churches of North America, to join them in federative union. The URCNA is a federation of churches that was formed in October 1996.
Christian fellowship in the church is encouraged by various activities. The Thursday night Bible Study actually predates our formal organization. The catechism program using the books of Rev. Harry Van Dyken has always been the foundation of our church's instruction to our covenant children and youth. The ladies participate in an annual women's conference which first began in 1995 in the Lynden OCRC, and serves to promote good fellowship among the ladies of varied Reformed churches in northwest Washington and British Columbia.
Our Young People's Society has become a very important element in our congregation. They have really contributed to the life of our congregation by various activities such as organizing the 4th of July picnics, Harvestfests, Valentine dinners, and projects for raising money for the annual Youth Conferences. YPS regularly meets every other week.
Other special activities include the annual Christmas dinners, talent programs, catechism parties and ball games. The central life of the congregation, however, is the weekly worship services where the congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ meets to receive nourishment from the Lord and responds back in faith and gratitude for His unending faithfulness to us all.
“And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O Lord; Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.” Psalm 89:5