2012 PRE-SYNOD CONFERENCE
June 4-5, 2012
Transformation: Seeing Everything Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ
5:15 – Pre-Synod will kick off with a cookout at the camp ground pavilion.
6:30 – Pre-Synod welcome: Moderator Elect Steve Suits in Youth Activities Building.
6:35 – Overview/introductions: Ken McMullen.
6:45 – Transform me, Lord: Living with a proper regard for the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ.
9:15 – Welcome
9:30 – Transforming the Church through Expository Preaching as an Expression of the Lordship of Jesus Christ: Rick Phillips.
10:15 – Break
10:30 – Transformed and Transforming: Biblical and Historical Origins of the Significance of the Doctrine of Lordship: David Vance.
11:15 – Transformation of the World: Recognizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ over All Nations: Frank van Dalen.
12:30 – Lunch in dining hall.
Register online : http://www.arpsynod.org/synod.htm.
Synod’s Extracurricular Activities
What do an oasis, breakfast, a cafe, and a smiling pig have in common? They are all part of the extracurricular activities at Synod 2012! You may call them little “breaths of fresh air” between Synod meetings.
A time of spiritual refreshment will be provided to all women attending General Synod at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6 at Synodical Hall. “Glimpses of Salt & Light” will be presented during a time of listening and sharing by Kristi James, Sallye Lucas and Leona Query (child care provided). Women enjoyed last year’s Women’s Ministries’ Oasis event in a relaxing atmosphere, sharing with other women so much, they decided to continue this venue again for Synod 2012.
Earlybirds can join Outreach North America for its annual Church Planting Breakfast on at 7 a.m. Thursday, June 7 in Dining Room B. Enjoy a good breakfast and meet some of our church planters. The theme this year is Churches Planting Churches. Limited attendance allows the first 60 people to register (firstname.lastname@example.org) to hear Dr. Sinclair Ferguson and Brandon Barrett speak about First ARP Columbia’s daughter church—Grace Presbyterian in Pontiac, SC.
As you walk (or shuttle) to and from Synod this year, a quaint outdoor cafe will beckon from the hillside behind the youth cabins – with strands of twinkling lights. Take a break and stop in for freshly made coffee, tea and pastries. Christian Education Ministries’ Judi Hodges and Carole Ellis will greet you and will be available to chat with you about resources, training, networking, events, Sunday school, youth ministry, or family ministry. Hours will be 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tues-Thurs.
A Smiling Pig
Long lines form every year for Erskine’s annual barbecue lunch at the lake. It’s a tradition! This year will be no exception as Synod delegates and guests gather at noon on Wednesday at Headspring Pavilion. And like the pig, you’ll smile too as you enjoy the catered meal from Hubba Hubba Smokhouse in Flat Rock.
Pastor’s wives always love to get together and catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives – talk about family and share church happenings and news. But most of all, they love to relax during a time of fellowship in the Jean White Room in Founder’s Hall. This year’s time of sharing and refreshments will be held on Wednesday from 10 a.m – noon.
Children attending Synod will have loads of fun at Kids Camp 2012! A camp for youth (ages 7-18) will be held Tues-Thurs for $20 per child. More information and signup will be in the Mike and Lib Patrick Conference Room Sunday (June 3) from 3-5 p.m.; Monday 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m.; and Tuesday 9a.m.-5 p.m.
Going Changes Everything!
A Mission Report
By Deena Bouknight
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
As Dr. Sinclair Ferguson has expressed from the pulpit at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, Christians have an obligation before the Lord to either “give or go.” Bruce Williams, Paige Tyler, and I are thankful for the opportunity to “go” to Haiti in March as representatives of Haiti Under God (HUG), for which a portion of First Presbyterians’ Easter offering was collected.
We can read about the needy all day long. We can envision hungry, desperate people living in squalor, and thank God that we were born into better circumstances. We can even sympathize from time to time – when we hear about the area or see something on television. Going changes everything.
On television, you can’t feel the crush of dozens of men at the exit of the airport who are anxious to carry bags for tips just to feed their families for the day—or experience the oppressive stench of human waste and rotting garbage. On Facebook, or in daily IPhone news alerts, you miss the foreboding faces of a people who have had more lows than highs in their history. In Port-au-Prince, thousands live among the rubble from the 2010 earthquake, many in tents so dense there is not a breath between them.
Yet, Haitians are resilient, hopeful, vivacious people who relish simple pleasures and kindness from strangers. Their faces express delight at smiles and small acts of compassion. Their churches resound with worshipful voices that temporarily drown out the overpowering street noise. No media can capture the emotions of a woman in the early morning light walking through a narrow alley through garbage, with hands held high, verbally praising God for another day.
Still, They Praise God
At 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in March, under a Church on the Rock tent in the heart of Port-au-Prince, hundreds of Haitians trickle in, beautifully dressed despite the filth on the streets. Their hands are raised and their voices sing “Hallelujah” to the great I AM. A man kneels on the hard concrete with his head against a hard folding chair; he physically and verbally prays – oblivious to the music, preaching, and active worship around him. This is how a few thousand extremely poor Haitians start their day, six days a week.
Haitian Pastor Maxeau Antoine – in a new Haiti Under God (HUG) church in the Valley of Hope at the base of Cha Cha Mountain – preached on Acts 3:19-21. He reminded us how we can wake up ever day and REPENT for the day behind us; feel REFRESHED as the dust of that sin is washed away by living water; RECEIVE Christ for the day ahead; and, be RESTORED – body and soul – no matter what our circumstances.
It takes Pastor Maxeau at least three and a half hours to travel from his home to the rural church in a borrowed vehicle or by Tap Tap (Haitian pick up taxi). He has no car (a great need that HUG is working to supply through donations), yet he is ever faithful and on time. He also travels, by God’s grace, throughout Haiti to train and equip other pastors in an attempt to bring more Haitians away from the historic teachings of voodoo and into a real relationship with Christ.
HUG is making a difference: teaching Experiencing God and providing Evangicube training, supporting an ongoing feeding program to schools and orphanages, and building churches. While in Haiti, Bruce, Paige, and I learned of a new initiative for the villagers of two churches: supply them with a pregnant goat in order to develop a sustainable lifestyle. Once the female gives birth, payment for the goat will be two of the female offspring, which Pastor Maxeau will share with another villager to raise. Within a year, these Haitian people will begin to raise a goat herd that will sustain them with meat, milk, and an income.
Seventeen girls (ages 9-14) are being raised in a safe Christian home with weekly Bible teaching. After the earthquake killed their house father, they were moved into a new facility and gained a new house mother. HUG a Child meets these girls’ basic needs: food, clothing, medical care, shelter, and school fees. “Going” enabled the group from First Presbyterian to visit daily with these precious girls – to learn their personalities. They have hopes for their futures, just as our own children do.
If you can’t “go,” please “give,” in order to continue providing a home for orphaned girls and to reach people in Haiti for Christ – www.HaitiUnderGod.org.
Deena Bouknight is a freelance writer and member of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC.
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