Thursday’s morning devotional message was delivered by Rev Scott Cook, a fraternal delegate from the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Scott preached from Psalm 89:19-52.
That psalm resonates with those who aren’t feeling the love of the Lord presently. Praise is important when you are dealing with a difficult providence, Pastor Clark said, and that example is set at the beginning and end of Psalm 89. But God wants us to be honest in bringing our thoughts before the throne of grace, as the psalmist did. The author acknowledges the truth of God’s steadfast love even when he doesn’t seem to experience it. We too ought to remember that God’s steadfast love is infinite, and that the moments where we don’t seem to be experiencing it are oftentimes when we’re most receiving it. Drew Gordon, RP Witness
As well as hearing from the ARP, synod heard greetings and reports from the PCA, RCUS, URCNA, ARP and OPC this morning. There were also greetings from observer denominations the Canadian Reformed Church, and the Heritage Reformed Church. A recommendation to enter into fraternal relationship with the Heritage Reformed Congregations (HRC) was passed.
For the first time this year, representatives from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bolivia were present at Synod and gave a report which was translated to English. You can watch it here:
Deliberation and action on the complaint by Rev. Ron Stegall against the Midwest Presbytery took place during the second half of the morning and into the afternoon. After having evidence presented from both sides, Synod rejected Mr Stegall’s complaint.
The Board of Education & Publication shared how they had released several new books this year namely the The Gospel and Gender Identity, The Battle for the Biblical Family (George Scipione), Pursuit of Glory (Vince & Samuel Ward), and Prayers of the Bible (Gordon Keddie). One album was also produced during the course of the year.
Changes at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary were noted, including Jerry O’Neill’s retiring after 23 years as president. Rev Barry York plans to take up the role of seminary president on the 1st of July. Rev David Whitla was nominated by the seminary for professor of church history, and interviewed at Synod today. A new professor for New Testament will also be required soon. Synod was informed of the need for North American RPs to enter seminary (none are expected this year). Dr. Jerry O’Neill commented on the growth of distance learning and how many seminaries now offer that service. The RP Seminary does have a distance learning program but prefers that, where at all possible, men who wish to train for the Pastoral ministry spend at least two years on-site at the seminary. This may have contributed to the lack of applicants.
The evening closed with an ice cream social (in honour of Dr O’Neill’s retirement!). Tomorrow will be a day of more reports and committee elections. Continue that God would grant our elders with much discernment and wisdom.