Forty years ago, the Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC) in South Africa adopted Belydenis van Belhar — the Confession of Belhar — in its first reading. Belhar was an outgrowth of the DRMC’s effort to grapple with the church’s participation in and defense of apartheid and touches prominently on themes of unity, reconciliation and justice. The DRMC adopted Belhar in its final form in 1986.
The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) reflects on this anniversary and considers the impact of Belhar on Reformed denominations in the United States with this year’s Reformation Sunday church bulletin insert. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations are encouraged to download the free insert to use during the Oct. 30 celebration. Three sizes are available for download on the PHS Reformation Sunday webpage: history.pcusa.org/history-online/presbyterian-history/reformation-sunday.
Visitors to the Reformation Sunday webpage can also explore other free resources, including a digital exhibit about the Reformation, information on Reformation Bibles preserved in the PHS archive, free coloring pages from “Jean Calvin: Les Hommes et les Choses de son Temps,” a rare book featured in the 2018 Reformation Sunday Bulletin insert and previous bulletin inserts for download.
History fans can also visit the Protestant Reformation collection in the PHS digital collections, “Pearl,” to view documents and images related to the topic: digital.history.pcusa.org/islandora/object/islandora:reformation.
PHS encourages congregations who use this year’s bulletin insert during their Reformation Sunday celebration to take a photo and tag @PresbyHistory on social media.
by Kristen Gaydos | Presbyterian Historical Society – October 12, 2022