Oklahoma Tornado Victims Need Our Help
If your church, or individuals and groups within your church, would like to contribute funds to assist victims of the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, you may send gifts to “General Synod – Good Samaritan Offering” through June 30, 2013. This offering from the denomination will be sent to Samaritan’s Purse in Boone, NC, to be used to bring material relief and the message of the Gospel to victims of the violent storms.
Please mail to: General Synod Good Samaritan Offering, One Cleveland St, Greenville, SC 29601.
The Good Samaritan Offering was established by General Synod in June 2012 to assist those in our nation and throughout the world whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, etc. Christ teaches: “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers on mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
In late 2012, the Good Samaritan Offering provided $11,709 to Super Storm Sandy relief through Samaritan’s Purse. Let’s do it again for Oklahoma!
Congratulations to Erskine Grads!
ARPs Neely Marie Nelson, left, and Kelley Elizabeth Griffin, were among those graduating on May 18 at the college’s 168th commencement ceremony in Due West. Nelson, a member of First Presbyterian Church, Lake Wales, FL, received a bachelor’s degree in special education. Griffin, a member of Greenville (SC) ARP Church, received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies, summa cum laude.
Kelley Griffin was one of seven seniors who tied for highest GPA, and was a Sullivan Award recipient. This summer, she will serve as an intern with the ARP Magazine at the ARP Center in Greenville, SC. Look for her June 11-13 at Synod!
Cell Phones in Church
Every pastor has faced the annoyance of a ringing cell phone in the middle of a powerful moment during a worship service sermon.
Recently, an ARP minister sent out an email request for information on how to deal with cell phones in church. How should pastors address this subject?
Here are some answers he received:
- “I agree that cell phones going off in worship is distracting and offensive. My practice has been to make an announcement at the beginning of a service, saying, ‘God is more important than any call you might receive. He is waiting to speak to you and hear from you. Don’t dishonor Him! Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Can you not watch with me one hour? ‘”
- “Presently, I do not have a problem with cell phones going off in worship services. However, before every funeral, I announce, ‘Please be considerate of your neighbors as far as cell phones and other electronic devices.’”
- “Yesterday, I had five or six emergency beepers go off for severe thunderstorm warnings – TWICE! Good thing I’m such a magnetic (and humble) preacher, or I would have lost the crowd!J
- One college professor said, “I tell my students that if their cell phones go off in class, the consequences may be apocalyptic!”
Canadian Presbytery Highlights
- The Canadian Presbytery convened as a Court of the Church on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Trinity ARP Church (Chatham, ON) acted as the host congregation for these meetings.
- Rev. Kevin Carter (Covenanters ARP) moderated the meeting. Sixteen (16) presbyters were in attendance.
- Rev. John Shearouse led the presbytery in a theological discussion on “Conversion & Moral Responsibility.”
Rev. John Shearouse (Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church) was elected to serve as the moderator of the Canadian Presbytery for 2013/14. Ruling Elder David Alexander (Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church) will serve as the vice-moderator.
- A report was presented regarding the continuing work (and health) of Rev. Rudy de Vries and his work with Redemption Prison Ministries in the Canadian Prison System.
- At his request, Dr. Russ Kosits was removed as a Student of Theology of the Canadian Presbytery.
A report was given on the progression of the work in Kingston and the encouragement they have received. The presbytery committed to a 2-year period to actively seek a church planter.
- A report was given on the work to date of Faith ARP Mission in Tillsonburg, ON.
- The presbytery prepared a memorial to the General Synod that the book, The Gospel and Sexual Orientation, (a report of the 2011 Synod of the RPCNA), be commended to the Theological and Social Concerns Committee for consideration to be adopted as an ARP Synod position paper.
The fall meeting of the Canadian Presbytery will be held Sept. 26-27 at Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church, Halifax, NS.
Online registration for Synod will be available through Tuesday, May 28; visit http://www.arpchurch.org/meeting. After May 28, delegates and guests may register on Monday, June 10 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in The Lodge conference room at Bonclarken Conference Center, Flat Rock, NC.