ARP News

News from the ONA Board Chairman

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a season for everything. Five years ago, that season saw us bring Rev. Mike Jones on as the Executive Director of Outreach North America. Mike had been planting and pastoring Hope Church in the Tampa area in our Florida Presbytery. We saw the way that he was gifted by the Lord in that work. Having an experienced church planter and Senior Pastor to lead ONA carried on the tradition set by Dr. Alan Avera and Dr. Jim Corbitt.

Being the Executive Director takes quite a unique set of skills. The Director of ONA must have leadership skills to lead the board and the denomination proactively into all the areas that Synod has commissioned ONA. Those areas are New Church Development, Church Vitality, Evangelism Strategies, enhancing the ARPC National Presence and Administration. The Executive Director is our face for recruiting church planters. He is our liaison to presbyteries. He carries a strong presence in national organizations and he must be an excellent administrator for our staff and a superior steward of the Lord’s finances.

Mike has done all these jobs with excellence. During the last five years, ONA has drawn alongside ARP presbyteries to plant nearly 20 churches in 9 of our presbyteries. Mike and his staff/team have developed a funding and vision plan to responsibly plant up to 66 churches over the next ten years! In addition, Mike has also recruited and groomed Rev. Wayne Frazier as Church Vitality Coach and together they have developed a reproducible church vitality program that is unique to the ARPC. The Framing the Future of your Church and Ministry approach (FFCM) is a 12 month, leadership team based approach to church vitality no matter where a church is on the church life cycle.

Financially, Mike has led us to greater sustainability and increased our bottom line significantly with an emphasis on getting more DMF dollars into the field. Mike has tirelessly promoted ONA church vitality an expansion to members and churches in the ARP so that he might be able to fund the work that God had called him to. He has also introduced “Gospel Conversations” to the ARPC with an emphasis on sharing the Gospel with clarity to those in closest proximity.

But as I said, there is a season for everything and Mike’s season of leading ONA has come to a close. Even though he has enjoyed the last five years at ONA, he realizes that he is first and foremost called to be a pastor. He will be heading to Fort Myers, Florida where he had been called as an Associate Pastor at New Hope Presbyterian (EPC). We will desperately miss his leadership at ONA, but with the Lord’s leading perhaps we can build upon the fruits of his labors for many years to come. I would ask that you would please join us in prayer for Mike, Gina and his family as they transition on Jan. 1, 2020 to the new ministry. And please join the ONA Board as we pray for the next season of ministry at ONA. It is my goal in the next 30 days to have a succession team established and to have discussion regarding any changes that might need to be made to the existing job description for the future ONA Director. Please keep our ONA staff in your prayers as well.

In the grip of His grace alone,

Jan Sattem
ONA Board Chairman

Rev. Wayne Frazier will continue his work as Church Vitality Coach. Office staff Erin Hipps, Connor Hipps, and Tessa Taylor will continue their work as well. 

www.ona-arp.org

Psalm Singing

There are two 5th Sunday Psalm singing opportunities for this Sunday. If you live near Bethany ARP Church, Clover, SC, they will meet at 5pm and have a covered dish following. Tennessee Alabama Presbytery is hosting a Psalm singing at Fayetteville ARP Church at 4:30pm with a covered dish supper to follow.

To learn more about the ARP denomination and singing Psalms, read The ARP Magazine article Singing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs by Dr. Mark Ross. Part 2 will be printed in the next issue. You can find the article by clicking here.

 

Save the Date

WORSHIP SERVICE AT HISTORIC OLD BRICK CHURCH (OBC) on REFORMATION SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2019 at 3 PM

Service Leader, Rev. Greg Slater, Retired ARP Minister
Music, Centennial A.R.P. Church Choir
Address: 11235 State Highway 213, Winnsboro, S. C., 29180 (14 Miles West of Winnsboro)

The historic house of worship was built in 1788, but there was a congregation in existence before the American Revolution. The original name was Ebenezer Meeting House. Over the years the church has become known as the Old Brick Church. The most important event in the church’s rich history occurred on May 9, 1803. It was then that the Associate Reformed Synod of the Carolinas was organized at Ebenezer to become one of the four synods that constituted the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, which had been earlier organized in 1782 in Philadelphia. By 1822 the Synod of the Carolinas, which had grown beyond the Carolinas, became the Synod of the South. Though the northern synods formed a new denomination in 1859 (United Presbyterian Church), the Synod of the South retained the name, Associate Reformed Presbyterian. Damaged by Union troops in 1865, the church was repaired and remained in active use until 1920. Catawba Presbytery formed the OBC Commission in March 2007, to oversee the building and its properties, and to organize a special worship service at least every 5 years. This unique gathering serves to remind us of the role this church played in the founding and life of our denomination. Therefore, please join us for worship on Reformation Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 3 pm.

The Good Samaritan Fund

The Good Samaritan Fund has been set up with an online giving link for Hurricane Dorian Disaster Relief. You may click here to give online or mail a check to the ARP Center, 918 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Ste. 127, Greenville, SC 29607. Be sure to include Hurricane Dorian in the memo. If you have any questions, please contact the ARP Center 864-232-8297.

As of today, we have not received any notice of severe damage from our presbyteries and churches following Hurricane Dorian. If we hear of any reports, we will update you here.

ETS announces Interim Provost

Erskine Theological Seminary and President Rob Gustafson are pleased to announce that theologian, pastor, and author, Dr. Michael A. Milton, has accepted the call to serve as the interim Provost of the Seminary.

Dr. Milton occupies the James H. Ragsdale Chair of Missions and Evangelism at Erskine Theological Seminary where he also serves as the Director of Chaplain Ministries. He is a long-time pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America and also holds credentials as a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.  He was senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga. Dr. Milton’s education includes a BA from MidAmerica Nazarene University, MDiv from Knox Theological Seminary, MPA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the PhD from the University of Wales.

Dr. Rob Gustafson, President of Erskine College and Seminary, remarked on the appointment:

“We are delighted that Dr. Mike Milton accepted this invitation to provide leadership for Erskine Seminary. He is a pastor-scholar who embodies the vision of Biblically faithful Gospel ministry that we want to instill in our graduates.  While combining a depth of leadership in higher education, pastoral ministry, and senior-level government service, Mike is known as a humble and trusted friend who cares deeply for the people, vision, and mission of our Christian community. I am thankful to welcome Mike and his wife, Mae, to the Erskine family.”

Dr. Milton served as the fourth Chancellor-President and Chief Executive Officer of Reformed Theological Seminary. In 2018 he retired as Chaplain (Colonel) after thirty-two years in America’s Armed Forces (Army and Navy). He concluded his career service as the Command Chaplain of U.S. Military Intelligence. He received the Legion of Merit and was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine, the highest award for public service in North Carolina, by the Governor of North Carolina in 2018.

Erskine Theological Seminary is committed to preparing students for ministry with a primary focus on preparing men and women to serve in Christ’s Church.  

“My personal mission statement at this stage in my service is to shepherd shepherds who will shepherd the flock. Being invited to live out that vision here at Erskine is a blessing. I love the pastoral and missional emphasis at Erskine, and delight to support the greater vision of sending forth Gospel workers for the Kingdom of Christ so that there will be a multitude of souls safe in the arms of Jesus when He comes again.”

Dr. Milton lives in North Carolina with his wife, Mae, and their son, John Michael, the youngest of eight children. Their seven adult children are all married and settled throughout the East Coast and Deep South. Further information about Dr. Milton is available at http://michaelmilton.org/about.

 Erskine Theological Seminary supports the Mission of God in the world by educating, from a biblically Reformed perspective, persons for service in the Christian Church (Matthew 28:16-20).

For more information visit our website at seminary.erskine.edu.

September/October ARP Magazine

 Click here to read the September/October ARP Magazine.

Be sure to read the Moderator’s Challenge on Healthy Churches on page 3. Highlights from Family Bible Conference are on page 6. Camp Joy celebrates 40 years on page 24. The list of certificates and pins awarded in 2018 by Women’s Ministries is listed on page 20. And much more!

Contact our office if you would like a complimentary copy.

Prayer Updates

Pastor John Lim

Rev. Lim of Bethany Korean Church in Matthews, NC, is steadily improving and is now out of ICU but still in the hospital. He can feed himself, get out of bed with assistance, is talking and doesn’t need surgery. We thank God for this. The doctors, however, don’t believe he will make a 100% recovery. He and his family are deeply appreciative of your prayers.

Crenshaw Family

Brothers,
Below is an (unedited) update from my wife for you to share as is fitting. Our collision was a year ago today (Aug. 6). 
Grace and Peace,
Jason 
Today was the day: one year ago we were returning from vacationing with family. We had eaten lunch at Chick Fil A as our final stop before the 5 hour drive home. Through Gods providence Jaala was insistent on being properly seat belted before leaving the parking lot. We were exhausted and the kids snuggled in their seats for a nap. Heading north, we had not long passed Hershey Park when a Dodge Ram 3500 towing a horse trailer veered into our lane and hit us head on. It had so much force that our van was turned south bound. Within three minutes the first of six ambulances arrived to begin transporting all 8 of us to the nearby hospital- Hershey.
As I think back on that horrendous day, I can’t help but to thank our Father in heaven for saving EVERY ONE of our lives! A year later, we are still experiencing effects of the wreck, but by His goodness, we have reasons to rejoice.
Here is the latest update:
Jason is amazing! He has been right here helping with everything while continuing his pastorate. Though most days he seems fine, inside he struggles a lot with Jalaa’s disability. He is getting better, but, it’s hit him the hardest. He was fascinated with Jalaa. She had a personality that he adored. Jason has had a hard time letting go of who Jalaa was. He can barely look at old pictures or videos of her without losing himself to tears. Watching her in her wheelchair, his heart breaks that her ‘life’ has been taken from her. By Gods grace, as times passes on we see glimpses of Jalaa’s old personality which gives Jason hope.
I am pressing on. It’s been two and a half months since my second surgery and  I’ve been cleared from physical therapy along with the surgeon giving me a green light to carry on with my normal routine. There is still a little pain but nothing that hinders me from any tasks.
Jivahn is doing well. He’ll be 18 in a few months and loving the little freedom he’s got.
Jaala is good, too. Shes the one child of mine who needs extra attention so this summer has been tough on her. However, she is learning how to ‘manage’ herself which is definitely a good thing.
Jalea is loving life! She had a rough start to her summer when she jumped off a swing at school and broke her arm. Six weeks and three casts later she’s all healed and is excited about every day she wakes up to.
Javea is usually Jalea’s sidekick. Wherever Jalea is, Javea usually isn’t far behind. This summer she’s learned to be more bold and has learned to stand up for herself. She will be starting kindergarten next month. The poor girl has no idea about how much her world will change.
Jisyah is still a handful. It honestly takes a village for that little guy! He loves the word  ‘no’ and enjoys aggravating his sisters.
Finally, Jalaa. I could go on and on about her but will keep it short. A year ago today, we were told she may not live. She spent a full month in ICU where she and doctors fought for her life. Jalaa suffered a severe blow to the head that was diagnosed as a Traumatic Brain Injury. She spent a month in ICU under an induced coma. She was then transported via ambulance to a local rehab hospital where she stayed for the next three months two of which were spent coming off of sedative medications. Tensions were still high while she was in therapy as we were waiting for her to ‘snap out of it’. Little did we know, it was going to be a gradual progression. Jalaa came home at the end of November but we continued to take her in for outpatient therapy 3 times a week through June. We didn’t get big moments of progress with her, rather, it has been slow, small achievements. Over time she has come so far! I still remember the first time she called for me. I was ecstatic! She use to use her iPad to communicate. Now, she talks non stop and her speech is audible. She moves around mostly with her wheelchair but is able to use a walker as long as someone is behind her to help her balance. I’ve actually found that locking arms with her and walking alongside her is easier than using a walker. She is able to get herself dressed if I give her clothes. Because her arm shakes a great deal she needs assistance brushing her hair and teeth. She still uses diapers but we are currently attempting to transition into panties.  She loves to arm wrestle, and she’s not biased to anyone. She recently bragged about winning an arm wrestling competition with a
90 year old gentleman in our church.
Jalaa has been attending school 2-3 times a week for a few months now. Our main goals are rehabilitation therapies and memory strengthening. She has trouble with her short term memory and we found that repetition is the key. She has been in a class with special needs children but has advanced well enough to join other classes when the school year starts.
As you can see, there are many areas in which Jalaa has had major improvement, but there are also areas where she has not. For example, because of the injury, Jalaa has a hard time with situational behaviors. The ‘filter’ is not there so she’ll at times say or do things that are unkind, or inappropriate. She will make something up in her head and argue it’s truth. She’ll make demands in exchange for her cooperation. She once told her occupational therapist that she would only work if he gave her a brownie. He didn’t have one so Jalaa sat there the entire hour unwilling to work. But again, as time passes, she only improves. A couple months ago these situations may have been constant, now, not as much. The Lord has and continues to bless her and us! He deserves all honor and praise and glory!

Reverend John Lim

Reverend John Lim of Bethany Korean Church in Matthews, NC has suffered a stroke. His family says he is still in critical condition in the ICU unit at Novant Hospital in Charlotte. Doctors are considering doing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain but are waiting to see if it goes down. He is conscious and has walked some and can speak some. He is completely paralyzed on his left side. Please keep him and his family in prayer.