ARP News Update

A Note From the Moderator

images-70We celebrate and give thanks for God’s rich bounty both this month and next. As a nation we enjoy freedoms laid on the foundation of great sacrifice by those who pioneered this land and this republic. As a church we enjoy liberty laid on the foundation of great sacrifice by the Pioneer of our faith. Galatians 5:1 ​Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. I pray your family and church gatherings will bring encouragement and refreshing.

This time of year is a critical one on many fronts: for suffering families, for hurting congregations, for struggling denominational works and missions, for our floundering nation, and for the troubled world-at-large. My challenge and yours during the close of 2014 is not to be so self-absorbed that we fail to be generous with our prayers and resources to uplift others as the Spirit prompts and opportunity presents. This is a great time for us to make His imprint through hospitality and benevolence. Let healing words, helping hands, and humble prayers be many. To God be the glory, great things He has done.

Larry Littlejohn

ARP News Update

The Rev. Dr. Milton C. Fisher

Dr. Fisher was a long time active member of Northeast Presbytery in the 1980’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  He was instrumental in helping the Faith ARP Church of Scranton transfer from the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) to Northeast Presbytery.  He was a very helpful member of the Credentials Team and assisted in many other ways during his time with Northeast Presbytery.  His obituary is written below.

The Reverend Dr. Milton C. Fisher, TH.M, Ph.D, D.D., Professor of O.T., Emeritus, 88, of the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, entered into rest on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. Born in Baltimore, MD, he was the son of the late Edgar Wells and Ethel Lillian (Young) Fisher. He and his wife, Merilyn (DeMott) Fisher, had celebrated 63 years of marriage in August.

After graduating from high school, he went to Johns Hopkins University, and then Dr. Fisher went to seminary in Philadelphia. He married Merilyn and they moved to Pittsburgh, where he served as a pastor for three years. Following his time in Pittsburgh, he and his wife went to do missionary work in Ethiopia for the next 12 years, until 1966. Upon returning to the states, Dr. Fisher continued his education in Boston, where he received his Ph.D. He then returned to the Philadelphia area and served as a professor of the Old Testament for the next 27 years. Dr. Fisher served on the NIV Bible Translation Committee, where he and his wife had the opportunity to travel extensively.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Michael W. Fisher and his wife, Stacy of Forrest Hill, MD; a daughter, Marjie Huey of Fort Worth, TX and grandchildren: Becky Huey, Kyle Fisher and Russell Fisher, husband of Victoria. Dr. Fisher was preceded in death by a son, Martin L. Fisher, and brothers, Robert and Donald Fisher.

Traditional interment will be private in the Quarryville Cemetery. A Life Celebration service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 15, 2014 in the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community’s Ellingsworth Auditorium, 625 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville. Friends will have an opportunity to visit with the family immediately following the service. Kindly omit flowers; contributions may be made to the Q.P.R.C.’s Kingsman Fund at the above address.

Positions Available

Bartow ARP Church

Bartow ARP Church, FL is looking for a Director of Youth Ministry to lead and direct the Youth Ministry program towards its mission of making disciples who worship, evangelize, and serve as a covenant community through Christ-centered, Biblically-ordered ministry. For a detailed job description visit http://arpchurch.org/ministerial-opportunities/. All interested and qualified applicants should send a resume and letter of introduction to Rev. Andrew Shoger before January 15, 2015. andrew.shoger@bartowarp.org or 205 E. Stanford Street, Bartow, FL 33830

Ballston Center Church

Historic upstate New York Presbyterian Church seeking experienced pastor with a vision for church growth to shepherd our congregation of 150. Find church profile and job description at www.ballstoncenterchurch.org and send application information to www.search@ballstoncenterchurch.org.

ARP News Update

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Daylight Savings Reminder

Don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday!

First Presbyterial Retreat

It is not too late to register for the First Presbyterial retreat, The Divine Grace of Forgiveness, November 7-8 at Bonclarken. Dot Hutelmyer, will be speaking. There are several seminars as well including “Forgiveness and Missions” with Shelia Osborne, “Hymns for Today” with Mittie Douglass and Laura Holley, “Tips for Teachers” with Judi Hodges and a Christmas craft with Lil Summerville. Register by clicking here or contacting Barbara Eichenberger, 828-863-2782 or bseichenberger@gmail.com.

Camp Joy Vision Dinner Florida

9013299994_5d6bf6baca_kDon’t miss the opportunity to learn more about Camp Joy. Christian Education Ministries is hosting a Vision Dinner in Winter Haven, FL on November 7. Hear what God is doing through Camp Joy ministries now and plans for the future! There will be a time of fellowship and sharing by Camp Joy staff, campers and others. To learn more and to register, visit www.campjoycem.com.

Pastoral Opportunities

Ballston Center Church

Historic upstate New York Presbyterian Church seeking experienced pastor with a vision for church growth to shepherd our congregation of 150. Find church profile and job description at www.ballstoncenterchurch.org and send application information to www.search@ballstoncenterchurch.org.

Coddle Creek ARP Church

Coddle Creek ARP Church, outside Mooresville, NC, is seeking an experienced Pastor. Our Church, founded 261 years ago, has 230 active members with an average attendance of approximately 130. We have enjoyed a traditional form of worship and strong youth, missions, and community outreach programs. For more information, please visit our website at www.coddlecreekarp.org. If interested in the position, please send your resume to the church: 2297 Coddle Creek Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115.

ARP News Update

images-25Trustees Approve Revised Financial Plan, Reaffirm Alumni Seat on Board

Erskine trustees approved a revised two-year plan to address financial concerns at their meetings Thursday and Friday, Oct. 16 and 17, which coincided with celebrations of Erskine’s 175th anniversary. The board had passed a three-year financial plan in August. That plan was then revised based on the recommendation of a committee from SACSCOC, the school’s regional accreditor, which visited campus in September.

“The SACS committee advised taking a more aggressive timeline with several parts of our original plan,” said Erskine President Dr. Paul Kooistra. “I believe this revised plan is even stronger than the original in helping us move toward long-term financial stability.”

The revised financial plan retains a focus on taking near-term actions to achieve long-term stability and sustainability. The plan as revised includes:

  1. A reduction in total draws from the endowment to 7 percent in 2014-15, then 5 percent in 2015-16;
  2. A reduction in operational personnel and program expenses by $1.5 million in 2014-15;
  3. A 3.79 percent increase in tuition, fees, room, and board in 2015-16;
  4. An annual fund goal of $1.6 million in unrestricted donations.

The revised plan also seeks to find additional savings of about $500,000 by recalculating the amount of depreciation expense the budget must account for. Depreciation allocates a portion of the cost of the physical plant as a non-cash expense in the budget.

“We plan to conduct a detailed review of the physical plant and revise the estimated useful service period of our assets to determine the actual depreciation we need to include,” said Greg Haselden, Erskine’s senior vice president for finance and operations.

In August, Kooistra had planned to make decisions regarding affected programs and personnel by Oct. 1. However, revising the plan adjusted that timeframe. He now plans to communicate with Erskine faculty and staff about those specific parts of the plan by Dec. 1.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to minimize the impact of these actions on individual faculty and staff members and their families,” Kooistra said. “We also want to ensure that our students continue to enjoy a quality Erskine experience in any affected areas.”

In addition to addressing financial matters, trustees also passed a motion reaffirming the seats held by the president of the Erskine Alumni Association and the moderator of the ARP Synod:

In the pursuit of unity and in celebration of our 175th year, the Board of Trustees of Erskine College & Theological Seminary, in its October 2014 meeting, reaffirms the ex-officio role and responsibilities of the president of the Erskine Alumni Association and the moderator of the ARP Church. We prayerfully look forward to God’s continued blessings upon the Erskine family and ask the Lord to grant a spirit of love without compromise among all the members that they might together lead Erskine through the difficulties and challenges she faces at this time.

The phrase “love without compromise” in the motion mirrors wording Kooistra used in his devotional that opened the meetings on Thursday. Kooistra’s devotional, based on Matthew 4:17, focused on what he called “perhaps the shortest sermon Jesus ever preached: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’”

Kooistra emphasized that the idea of repentance is more than simply turning away from wrongdoing. “An encounter with Jesus radically reorients everything,” he said. “Repentance is more than an action. It’s also a posture. A way of life.”

In applying this concept to work of the board, Kooistra said, “We will not always agree with one another on this board, or with others in the Erskine family. We may have to disagree about very important things we cannot compromise on. But how we deal with differences and divisions is just as important. We can’t battle like the world. We have to speak and act in love. Love without compromise.”

Members of the board also heard on Thursday from several students, staff, and current parents who shared their Erskine experiences.

ARP News Update

9012373259_7d649b2ecd_k Sharing the Camp Joy Vision

Christian Education Ministries will host a Camp Joy Vision dinner, November 7,2014, in Winter Haven, FL. Hear what God is doing through Camp Joy ministries now and the plans for the future! There will be a time of fellowship and sharing by Camp Joy staff, campers and others. Register online www.CAMPJOYCEM.com.

 

 

New Building Celebration

Clemson Korean AR Presbyterian Church, Anderson, SC, opens the doors on their own worship building on Sunday, October 19 at 4pm. Let’s join them in their celebration and worship by praying for them. Visit www.clemsonjunim.org to learn more.

An Invitation from Due West ARP Church

If you are going to be in Due West this weekend for Erskine festivities, you are cordially invited to a special service of praise and thanksgiving at Due West ARP Church, Due West, SC, Sunday, October 19, 11:00 AM, in conjunction with the 175th Anniversary of Erskine College & Seminary.  Rev. Ron Beard will be the guest minister.

The anthem for the worship service will be a long-time ARP favorite, “Let Mount Zion Rejoice.”  The Due West ARP Church choir extends a special invitation to any guests who wish to join them for this anthem.

 

Position available at Bonclarken Conference Centerimages-43

Bonclarken is seeking to fill the front office position of Reservationist.  Reporting to the Director of Guest Relations, we seek an individual with excellent communication and phone skills.  Computer experience, including spreadsheets and databases, is essential.  Other front office duties are included.  Position is full-time and would begin January 1, 2015.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Wanda Neal, Bonclarken Conference Center, 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

 

Pastoral Opportunity

Ballston Center Church is a Word centered Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church that has been in existence for over 235 years.  We value relevant and meaningful worship, teaching, preaching and leadership.  With the recent retirement of our Pastor, we are seeking a new Pastor to help grow our church.

Our worship service is traditional in style.  Ballston Center Church has been serving the Lord in Saratoga County, NY since 1775.  With a newly renovated sanctuary, including digital screens and a versatile pulpit area, we are primed and ready to spread the Gospel.  Please visit our website at ballstoncenterchurch.org for a better understanding of Ballston Center Church. The job description can be found under “Resources”.

As an ARP Church, our denominational standards require pastors to be men who are spiritually mature, compassionate, reformed in their theology and hold at least a BS degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited four-year college or university, as well as a master of divinity degree from an accredited seminary approved by the Presbytery. We seek a pastor with previous pastoral experience that has a passion and desire for community outreach and meaningful church growth.

The next pastor of Ballston Center Church needs to be a gifted leader who seeks God’s Will first and foremost.  He must be able to preach and teach with passion, compassion and energy.

Please pray about your possible fit with this position and submit your resume and a photo to search@ballstoncenterchurch.org.

 

 

 

ARP News Update

A Note From Our Moderator

0714 Littlejohn headshotIf you are a pastor reading this, please help make this valuable resource known to others. Articles in the Update often contain information and prayer requests that need to be shared with the ARPC family-at-large. I, as Moderator, the Central Office Staff, and the Department Heads would like to see this become the first line of communication. A large number of people can be reached in a quick and inexpensive manner.

Making the Update available to others can be as easy as forwarding the next two or three to everyone on your church mailing list and encouraging them to sign up to receive future ones. If you do this in house, it does not compromise your mailing list, but it gives those interested an opportunity to respond. Another suggestion would be to include an announcement on your bulletin for the next 2-3 Sundays about this cost-free option.

Thank you for helping make this important resource reach the widest audience possible.

Blessings

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Don’t miss the exhibit!

Erskine College featured at SC Upcountry History Museum

Explore a bit of Erskine College history at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC.

The exhibit “Due West of Ordinary: Stories from 175 Years of Christian Scholarship” highlights the development of Erskine as South Carolina’s first Christian four-year college. Vivid wall panels and interesting artifacts illustrate four stories from Erskine’s early years.

The Upcountry History Museum is located at Heritage Green near downtown Greenville. The exhibit runs through October 26th.

Museum Information

Position available at Bonclarken Conference Center

images-43Bonclarken is seeking to fill the front office position of Reservationist.  Reporting to the Director of Guest Relations, we seek an individual with excellent communication and phone skills.  Computer experience, including spreadsheets and databases, is essential.  Other front office duties are included.  Position is full-time and would begin January 1, 2015.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Wanda Neal, Bonclarken Conference Center, 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

ARP News Update

Moderator Littlejohn’s Challenge

images-24Many of you remember the challenge I received publicly at General Synod to immediately pledge a $1000 gift to Erskine which I ruled out of order. Since that time I had the opportunity, as your representative, to go on the Erskine campus for both a called and a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. I have shared in the excitement of serving with others who are committed to pray for and to support God’s ministry there in Due West.

God’s calling of Dr. Paul Kooistra as President has especially encouraged the hearts of those who believe there is still a good work to be done through our College and Seminary. Yes, there are some hard decisions to be made to right the course, but God has graciously provided those willing to seek His wisdom in the days ahead. Now is the time when it is right and in order for all who have never supported or no longer support Erskine College and Seminary to prayerfully consider doing so.

The Board of Trustees was 100% in giving prior to their last meeting. There was a spirit of unity in seeking God’s leading in a season of extended prayer before the meeting and in a prayer walk throughout the campus. Thank you for the privilege you gave me to be a part of that time. Your Board chair is committed to continuing these prayer times at each Board meeting. The Board members are also unanimous in pledging gifts and issuing a challenge for you to join the upcoming 175 birthday celebration of Erskine College by giving.

The challenge is to give a special gift and and encourage others to do the same by using the numbers 1, 7, and 5 as a guide. Maybe you, like the brother who challenged me at Synod, could send $1750 before the October 18 celebration on campus. Maybe you can only send $17.50, but let us join together and give as God leads. I have worked for 44 years at a school ministry where God provides through His people. I believe he wants to do the same in these critical days at Erskine.

Larry Littlejohn, Moderator

Letter from Erskine President Kooistra

Wisdom-for-news-300x200ARP Brothers and Sisters:

Many of you are already aware of the recent appointment of Dr. Chris Wisdom as Vice President and Professor of Practical Theology at Erskine Theological Seminary. But I wanted to let you know officially and introduce Chris to you.

Over the past year, the Erskine board of trustees has encouraged the administration to identify and place a senior administrator who would lead the seminary forward and position it for a sustainable future.

I believe Chris is the right man to take on this challenge at this time. To learn more about Chris’s path to Erskine, be sure to read the article on the Erskine news page. As you will see, Chris not only has the administrative competence, but the heart of service necessary to take on this challenge.

Chris plans to be in Due West two days a week, and in Columbia the other days. Please be sure to welcome Chris as you have opportunity and pray for his work at Erskine.

In Christ,

Paul Kooistra

http://news.erskine.edu/wisdom-appointed-to-lead-erskine-seminary/