The Reformed Church in America (RCA) has its bases in the United States and Canada. It is a mainline denomination of reformed Protestants. Initially, it served as the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church. It was however incorporated as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in 1819 and later acquired its current name in 1867.
The RCA, being a founder of the National Council of Churches and member of the World Council of Churches, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and Christian Churches Together, has about 240,000 members. Several parts of this denomination belong to the Canadian Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the National Association of Evangelicals.
The RCA confesses various doctrine and faith statements which include the historic Apostles’ Creed, Athanasian Creed, Nicene Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism, traditional Reformed Belgic Confession, the Belhar Confession and the Canons of Dort. The RCA stands as opposition to euthanasia and emphasizes on life as a gift from God. The RCA condemns the death penalty stating that capital punishment is neither compatible with the Spirit of Christ nor the ethic of love and perpetuates vengeance and retaliation issues in the community. They insist on the importance of trusting upon God’s care by having faith in His love. The RCA also opposes abortion and homosexuality and stands firm against such practices. The church personnel should provide Christian-based alternatives to abortion. The church chooses to love and encourage people trapped in homosexual acts and highly condemns humiliation and degradation of such people. Over the years, they have portrayed their resilience in curbing community problems and such issues as homosexuality, abortion and many more.
There is a Presbyterian polity within the RCA where authority is divided among certain representatives: regional synods, classes, consistories and the General Synod. The General Synod holds annual meetings and acts as the representative body of the denomination as a whole. It designs its policies, agenda and programs. The measures which are passed at the General Synod are executed implemented and monitored by the General Synod Council which consists of members appointed by the former. The RCA’s constitution comprises three sections namely: the Government, the Liturgy and the Doctrinal Standards. The Government, By-laws and Formularies of the General Synod are published yearly in The Book of Church Order.
Notable members of the RCA include John Scudder (pioneer of a family of missionaries in India), Theodore Roosevelt (American President), Martin Van Buren (American President), Kyle Korver (professional NBA player) and many others. There are several RCA churches in Ames IA where you can fellowship with other Christians.