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Key Themes from the Belhar Worship Service Collection

A collection of building blocks for a series of worship services based on key themes from the Belhar Confession.

Love One Another by Laura James (

Here is a collection of building blocks for a series of worship services based on key themes from the Belhar Confession

The Belhar Confession has its roots in the struggle against apartheid in Southern Africa. This “outcry of faith” and “call for faithfulness and repentance” was first drafted in 1982 and was adopted by the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa in 1986 as one of its standards of unity. In 1994 the Dutch Reformed Mission Church and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa united to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). The Belhar Confession has become part of the global Reformed confessional basis for many denominations. In 2010 it was adopted as a doctrinal standard in the Reformed Church in America. In 2012 the synod of the Christian Reformed Church adopted it as an Ecumenical Faith Declaration, and in 2017 reclassified it as a Contemporary Testimony.

Each service here contains statements from the considered portions of the Belhar Confession.

A number of hymns/songs are suggested for each service. In addition, there are others that could be used appropriately in multiple services. Please see the listing of these general hymns/songs at the end of each service. All those notated with an asterisk will be found in “Lift Up Your Hearts” (LUYH), to be published in 2013 by Faith Alive Christian Resources.

Several types of resources for use in the liturgy are provided for each service. They may be prayers, affirmations, or sendings.  You will note that some of the affirmations are best suited to group professions, others for words of sending at the conclusion of worship. We provide these to aid you in your worship planning. We are grateful for the willingness of Angela Taylor Perry to research and provide some of these from African-American Church Worship Resources.

Please see the glossary at the end of each service to identify the resources that are listed in abbreviated form or as acronyms.


A Triune God and A Forever Church
The Church: A World-Wide Family
The Church’s Unity: Both Gift and Obligation
The Church’s Unity: a Healthy Witness
The Church: A Peacemaker
The Church: Passionate for Justice and Compassion
The Church: Willing to Suffer