I am an elder and former deacon in our Reformed church. I'm in a small congregation in New Jersey.
Our Pastor has been reading weekly from the Heidelberg Catechism. There are members of the congregation, myself included, who simply don't agree with everything the Catechism says, and find some parts of it dark and lacking in the spirit and love that is found in scripture and in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Some members are complaining about it. I understand that many in the Reformed tradition believe strongly in the Catechism and that it is based on scripture. Well, others in our tradition disagree, and interpret scripture differently.
Our Pastor said that, while she agrees with some of the objections of the members, she's required to make the Catechism part of the service once every three years. This came as a surprise to me because I don't remember hearing it in a service before.
Are we really required to include it in our services? Is this part of the RCA bylaws? Can a vote of the consistory override that requirement?
I wouldn't want to lose any members over rigid adherence to such a requirement. Frankly, the readings have taken the joy out of some of the services for me, and the fact that I don't believe everything in that catechism makes me wonder if I'm in the right place.