September 15, 2014

A Long Awaited Trip Out!

     Hello! Its Joni here again with another picture post.  Other than one trip via taxi to the emergency room when his G tube was accidentally pulled out, Dad has not left the house since last Christmas.  He is most comfortable at home in his recliner, which can be adjusted to suit him.  There was one trip that Dad was willing to be uncomfortable for an hour or two for though - a visit to the newly completed Hamilton Free Reformed Church.

     Dad was part of the consistory when they originally decided to build a new church, and he was part of the initial planning and vision of the church on a consistory level.  He became sick and deteriorated very quickly so that he was not able to see any part of the building process except via the blog ( . This trip would be a chance to see the vision come to life!

     Friday night (Sept. 12) Hamilton had their opening service in the beautiful new church.  Mom, Willem and I, as well as my grandparents, and several aunts and uncles, were able to join hundreds of people in celebrating this special event.  The singing was incredible!   We experienced a little taste of heaven as the beautiful voices and powerful organ filled the room with praise.  The church has that special combination of being new and well suited to modern life (climate control, handicap access, sound system etc.) and yet it creates the feeling of a sacred old cathedral, like one you might encounter in Europe.  Warm, rich woods and vibrantly coloured rugs complete the effect.
     Saturday morning, friends of my parents met us at the church for a private tour.   At first they were just going to meet my Mom and Dad there but my grandparents said they wanted to come along as well to see their son see the church for the first time.   My Aunts and Uncle were down and they took my grandparents, and Willem and I , along with our children, also wanted to be at this special event.     
      Since my parents almost never used their van any more, they sold it (as blogged about earlier) and called a wheelchair accessible taxi for the trip.
 Dad received a very warm welcome to the new church :)
  These two pictures are my favourite!  I love Dad's smile, and I love to see his sisters loving him!
 We toured the whole church together.  Here is a picture in the consistory room.

 Dad's first glance of the sanctuary, coming in from the consistory room

 Walking down the centre isle.

 I haven't played piano in a very long time, but it was fun to hear the sound from this baby grand.  We were able to sing to a few favourite Psalters. 
 Uncle Henk led our family in a special time of worship.  He had a short meditation prepared which he delivered from the pulpit.  We were able to open up the Bibles and read the Word together, sing and pray as a family.  It was such a special time.  We sang Psalter 187 (my Dad's favourite) and Psalter 420:5 which we like to claim as the "Westerinkg Psalter".   My Opa's family used to sing it together at the end of every family gathering, and we have often followed in this tradition. 

 Oma and Opa Westerink -(my Dads parents)  they love their church so much.

 Growing up, I looked at this carved pulpit front for years and years.  It was so nice to see a piece of the old church in the new.
 The Scripture we read together as a family.

 We toured the parking lot and got a good look of the church from a farther vantage point.
 Joanne shared a special passage from a devotional book that her daughter Madison thought Uncle Jack would appreciate.

 The church's cornerstone, with its name inscribed in the stone.

 Waiting for the taxi ride home
 Good bye kisses.


     God has been faithful to the Hamilton congregation through many years.  This is their second building to call their church home.  God has also been faithful to our family.  It was a privilege to stand with four generations of a family that has been blessed by the ministry of the Hamilton congregation and rejoice with them at the opening of this new building.
 Psalter 213:3 Let children thus learn from history's light To hope in our God and walk in His sight

Here is the meditation that Uncle Henk read to us.

Meditation for Jack*
Colossians 1:12-27

Living in the Reality of Christ –

1.    The Imperial Christ is our Confidence

2.    The Incarnate Christ is our Comfort

3.    The Indwelling Christ is our Hope

1.    Christ is King - Lord over all – history – circumstances – He has the right to be King. vs. 15 the Image of God - first born not meaning that He was born but that He is the preeminent one – the First in importance – He is the image of the invisible God -  not a picture of something like God but the very essence of God Himself – He is God – He has the right to rule as Creator vs. 16. All things are created by and for Him. Nothing is outside of His Sovereign control. He has the right to rule as Mediator vs 18-20. He has purchased the right to be Sovereign through His blood and God the Father has sealed the approval with Christ’s resurrection. He is the Lord Jesus Christ – the anointed One. Christ is not His last name – it is the declaration that He is Who He says He, is the anointed King of Glory – the Messiah!

2.    Christ is our Comfort – vs 20-22 - Jesus came on a mission – Psalm 40: 7 & 8. He is God incarnate in our flesh. When God intends to do something it is always accomplished! He came to save. He saves! One of Christ’s missions is to make His redeemed like Himself vs. 22 – this too will be accomplished!

3.    The indwelling Christ is our Hope – verse 27 – the anointed One – Prophet, Priest, and King, is our possession – Christ in you!  Can you understand that?  Me neither. He was welcomed into our soul when we repented. This hope is the expected end of our faith.  The best is yet to be for all who are in Christ Jesus but, because He indwells us, it is not so bad now regardless of our circumstances.  He is in us by His Spirit.

We, you, may have confidence, comfort, and hope because our Lord Jesus Christ is Sovereign; He is Saviour; He indwells us.

Psalter 420:5

*notes taken from the September 10, 2014 chapel service at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary given by Dr. Michael Barrett, academic dean


  1. This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful, special time you could have. Praising the Lord for this sweet gift He has given to you. Praying for you all. May you know His unfailing peace and presence surrounding you and comforting you Mr.Westerink.

  2. Thank you Joni, for sharing this touching pictures! "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:" "But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them". Ps.103

  3. Jack you look so happy to be in the church!!! Fantastic smile. Inspiring, Inspiring & Inspiring.