The Reformed Church of Silverstream holds two services every Sunday. We have around 230 members, half of whom are children still living at home. Members are urged to attend both of these services. We seek to regulate our worship according to the Word of God, rather than according to man's imagination. It is our desire to remove everything from worship that cannot be warranted by the Scriptures. The result is that our services are simple, yet carefully structured. We have the reading of Scripture in various parts of the service, singing of psalms and hymns, prayer, the collection of tithes and offerings, a sermon and the pronouncement of God's blessing. Preaching occupies a central role. Sermons are expository in nature. The Lord's Supper is celebrated every two months, and baptism as required.
The Lord's Supper involves several sittings around a table at the front of the church, where bread and wine are passed around. Those partake of the Supper who have publicly professed their faith, repented of their sins and are living faithfully. Visitors of like faith are invited to join us after meeting with the elders during the week.
Baptism is administered to those who have come to believe in Christ – but are as yet unbaptized – upon their public profession of faith. The children of believers are also baptized (Acts 2:39).
The practice in the Reformed Church of Silverstream is to sing predominantly Psalms in the worship service, though some hymns are included. The songs are chosen to suit the worship of a God Who is sovereign and awesome (Hebrews 12:20), and to bring out the richness and depth of the Scriptures.
The church is governed, under Christ, by elders and deacons. The eldership is two-fold – ruling elders; and teaching elders (or ministers). The minister normally leads the worship services, preaches and teaches, administers the sacraments, and carries out pastoral work. The ruling elders and the minister deal with doctrinal issues, make visits to all the members to encourage them to serve the Lord faithfully, and apply church disicpline when necessary. The deacons help the sick and needy both within, and sometimes from outside the congregation. They join with the elders in making the more general decisions. All these office-bearers are regarded as equals. They are elected by the congregation for three-year terms – though the minister normally stays until he is “called” elsewhere.
Ministers are seminary-trained, learning Greek and Hebrew, as well as studying theology, preaching, pastoral care and so on. The training takes a number of years, including a year-long “vicariate” in which the candidate is placed in a church with an experienced minister, to “learn the ropes.”
The Reformed Church of Silverstream seeks to be active in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him. In addition to our support of denominational missionaries, we periodically send and support missionaries in Mbale, Uganda. We also strive to spread the Gospel at home in New Zealand, especially though personal relationships and witness.
Many people in our society do not see the need of church. We believe, however, that the Lord calls His people to regular, corporate worship (Hebrews 10:24-25) and to the use of spiritual gifts for the mutual up-building of the church, the body of Christ (1 Cointhians 12).
In addition to weekly worship services, the church has a number of clubs and societies for different ages and interests.
- Worship Services: 10.00 am and 4.00 pm every Sunday at 4-8 Blue Mountains Road, Silverstream, Upper Hutt. Transportation provided on request.
- Creche is provided during worship services.
- There are four groups in different parts of Upper Hutt – Silverstream; Upper Hutt North; Upper Hutt South; and Whiteman's Valley. Meetings are held in members' homes, every other Wednesday evening, from 7.45 pm to about 9.30 pm.
- Ladies Bible Study and Playgroup meets every other Tuesday morning at the church.
- Silverstream Women's Fellowship meets once every month at the church, on the last Wednesday, at 7.45 pm.
- Men's Breakfast and Bible Study meets on the last Saturday of the month at the church, at 7.30 am.
- Youth Club meets every other Sunday evening at the church for Bible studies, and frequently on Saturdays for activities, outings or works of service. The group is for young people over the age of 15.
- Cadets and Calvinettes is a group for children aged 8-15. The emphasis is on activities and learning skills, as well as encouraging godliness. The group meets every Thursday night at the church, 6.45 – 8.45 pm.
- Catechism Classes are held every Monday at the church, training young people in the teachings of the Bible. The confessions of the church are studied thoroughly over 5 years. There are three classes for different age-groups. Instruction is given by the minister.
- There is also a Christian, parent-controlled school, closely associated with the Reformed Churches. The campus is located on the premises of the Reformed Church of Silverstream.