Be sure to click on the links on the cover to visit agency websites. Plus, don’t miss the videos on page 14 and 16.
ARP Synod Executive Board Announcement
2015 Concurrent Synod Meeting of Associate Reformed Presbytery Church (ARPC) and Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) June 9-11, 2015
ARP Synod’s Executive Board would like to encourage everyone to pay close attention to the modified Synod meeting schedule. In order to accommodate two combined worship services and the Wednesday afternoon agency presentations with the ARPC and RPCNA, it is likely that the business portion of the Synod meeting will continue into Thursday afternoon and potentially into Thursday evening.
Since we have had issues in past years with delegates leaving the meeting early when the meetings progressed into Thursday afternoon, we ask that you plan accordingly and commit to fulfilling your obligations as delegates by participating in the meeting until it is adjourned.
View the complete schedule, including Pre-Synod Conference June 8, 2015 (www.arpchurch.org/meeting).
Andrew and Kristin Shoger, from the Bartow ARP Church, Florida, shared their adoption story with us in the January/February ARP Magazine. In their article, “Waiting for Sadie”, Kristin told of all the steps they are taking to adopt three year old Sadie Caroline along with all the prayers and waiting. On March 31, at 10am, the judge declared Sadie Caroline Shoger to be their daughter forever. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Born January 27, 2012. Adopted March 31, 2015. You can read the original article in The ARP Magazine by clicking here . You are invited to follow Kristin’s blog http://www.copycatrat.blogspot.com.
If you would like to support the Dunlap Adoption Fund please contact Paul Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-232-8297.
Bertha (Bert) Johnson passed away Tuesday, March 24. She was the wife of former ARP pastor, Grant Johnson, who pastored First Gastonia, First Lancaster, Neely’s Creek, and organized Burlington ARP. There will be a memorial service at 1pm Saturday, March 28 at Pinecrest ARP Church in Flat Rock, NC and another service, at 5pm at Neely’s Creek ARP Church in Rock Hill, SC.
The current proliferation of misinformation regarding the Statement on Human Sexuality adopted a few weeks ago by the Erskine Board of Trustees should not surprise us. The one who is the enemy of all good uses deception and lies to divide and destroy as he has since the beginning of time. In the midst of darkness, thankfully we serve a God who is truth, goodness, and light.
Therefore, it is fitting that the Board affirms a position statement embodying the truth as presented in the Holy Scriptures. To do otherwise is cowardly in a day-and-age when boldness is needful. Only truth spoken in love sets one free. (See Ephesians 4:15)
As Erskine goes through this time of testing and sifting, pray for Dr. Kooistra’s opportunities to faithfully spread the light, for other staff and student leaders’ continuing dialog on campus and in the greater Erskine family, and for the evil one’s destructive efforts to be thwarted. Pray for liberty for the captives through the power of the gospel. (See Luke 4:18)
Erskine Board Chair Bill Cain reminds us at each meeting that prayer is not just a preliminary to the work; prayer is the work. We can support those on the front line. Let us be found faithful!
Julia Hardeman Rhodes Nominations Due
Julia Hardeman Rhodes was a passionate and tireless advocate of creating awareness and action in connecting ARP’s across the denomination. In her honor, this award is to be presented annually to a candidate who has demonstrated excellence in service and dedication in the ARP Church, reflecting the heart of Julia Hardeman Rhodes. Nominations for the 2015 Julia Hardeman Rhodes award are due by August 10. You can find the nomination form and other information in regards to the award on the Christian Education Ministries website by clicking here.
News From Canada Presbytery
I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Presbytery to inform you of the passing away of the Rev. William Campbell (a member of our presbytery). Rev. Campbell is the father-in-law of our former moderator, Rev. Jeff Kingswood. He passed away on Friday morning, March 13, 2015 at Rev. Kingswood’s home where he resided. His daughter Joan was with him. He had been suffering from declining health over a number of years.
Rev. Campbell has faithfully served Christ’s church over many years. He began his ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Canada and was very involved with the establishment of the ARP in Canada in the 1980’s and 90’s. He is also the father-in-law of the the Rev. Dr. Jack C. Whytock. Rev. Kingswood’s daughter Rebecca is also married to Dr. Bill Van Doodewaard. The funeral is planned for Tuesday, March 17, 2015. More information will follow.
He has shed his earthly form which held him back and now stands before the throne of His Lord and Saviour singing the praises of He who is eternal and glorious. He is exactly where he has wanted to be for many years.
Please pray for the Kingswood, Whytock, Campbell and extended families as they mourn his passing.
Please let me know if there is any other information you will need.
Invitation from Vice Moderator of Synod
Dear ARP Churches,
As you know, this year we will have the privilege of having our Synod meeting concurrently with the Reformed Presbyterian Church North America’s Synod, at Bonclarken. We will each be having our separate business sessions, but there will be numerous opportunities for us to worship together as well as learn about our various ministries. What a historic and wonderful opportunity this affords us!
We are grateful to our RPCNA brothers for their willingness to travel and be with us for this special week. In coming to us, they are incurring additional travel expenses over their normal Synod expenses. Their willingness to do so is a testimony of the value they place on our fraternal relationship with them.
Part of being in a fraternal relationship with another denomination means that under the oversight of our various presbyteries and sessions, we can have pulpit exchanges with ministers from these other denominations. As your Inter-Church Relations Committee discussed matters of the concurrent Synods, the idea arose to encourage our ARP churches within driving distance of Bonclarken to consider inviting an RPCNA minister to preach on either the Sunday before or the Sunday following Synod. Therefore, on behalf of our Moderator, Mr. Larry Littlejohn, our Moderator-Elect, Rev. James Hunt, and the Inter-Church Relations Committee, I ask the sessions of the churches within driving distances to consider the possibility of extending such an invitation to an RPCNA minister. Those sessions desiring to make a connection to RPCNA ministers are asked to contact me at email@example.com, and I will forward your contact information to our counterparts in the RPCNA.
Please prayerfully consider partnering with our brothers, aiding them as they seek to worship with us and conduct Christ’s business in their own denomination this coming summer. For example, church members can open up their homes to host and enjoy fellowship with our fraternal brothers, or your church may consider assisting with hotel and transportation expenses. Not only will this help minimize costs through our partnership, but it will also strengthen the ties that bind us in our union with Christ. More than that, however, your congregations and ministers will undoubtedly be blessed by this opportunity to hear from another faithful minister of Christ’s glorious Gospel.
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Lee Shelnutt
Vice Moderator of Synod
Pastor, Huntersville ARP Church
FLAT ROCK: Beautiful wooded .98-acre lot just outside Bonclarken’s back gate in Pinecrest Estates. Bonclarken’s lake, swimming pool and Youth Activities Building are just a few steps away. If interested, please contact Rev. Bob Elliott at 803-627-6286 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.