After four full days of business including hearing reports, considering communications passed up from lower church courts, passing judgment on two judicial cases, and much prayer the 187th Synod of the RPCNA has completed its work!
Friday’s proceedings began with devotions, being led this time by Pastor Joseph Friedly of the Tri-Lakes congregation in Monument, Colorado.
Joseph preached from Romans 8:28-39 on the topic of “God’s Perfect, Personal, Perpetual Love.” You can listen to his sermon here.
He pointed out that, as a married person receives not only the spouse’s general love for humanity but also focused, personal love, so God’s people receive not only God’s general love for mankind but His special, focused love. At all times and in all circumstances, even gloomy ones, God’s steadfast love is there; and nothing in all creation is able to separate us from that.
Drew Gordon, Editor RP Witness
The morning continued with Synod officially adopting, without dissent, a three page committee report on the “Reasons for the Hemphill Court Decision”. For more information on the case see our previous post from day 2 of the RPCNA Synod. The full report will be made available on the RP Global Alliance homepage tomorrow
Reports were then heard from various boards and committees of Synod:
- Finance Committee: It was reported that giving to the Reformed Presbyterian Mission & Ministry fund reached a with a total of $416,000 this year, between voluntary individual donations and congregational giving. This was in excess of the targets set by the board. To find out more about the agencies being supported by RPM&M you can watch these Youtube videos they have each created. After some discussion, Synod agreed to ask congregations to increase their giving to this fund from 2% to 2.2%. This will cover rising costs for things like the denominational pension fund and Synod travel but will also generate some extra income which can be redirected to the two new ministries including the Central and South America committee.
- Geneva College: The board of trustees shared how Dr. Calvin Troup, Geneva’s new president, “is doing an excellent job of leading the college through the multitude of challenges faced by explicitly Christian private colleges.” Dr. Troup spoke and urged more RP students to attend Geneva.
- Home Mission Board: There was some discussion as the Home Mission Board and the RP Global Mission Board sought clarification over boundaries, specifically relating to the immigration of non-English speaking people groups to the US. There was also a communication (18-9) from the Japanese Presbytery. It was decided to let these issues sit until Synod meets again next year with the hope that these three bodies will have discussed the matter further between themselves prior to adopting a new statement.
- Nominating Committee: The results of committee elections were announced, including the election of Rev. David Whitla as professor of church history at the RP Seminary. Rev. Whitla was given a standing ovation.
- Reformation Translation Fellowship: RTF has made over 10 new titles available in the Chinese language and hopes to print 250,000 new volumes this year.
- RP International Conference Committee: The date for the next conference has been set for July 29–August 4, 2020 (slightly later in the year than the usual dates), with Rev Warren Peel from Trinity RPC in Belfast speaking.
Reports were also received from all six North American presbyteries, from the Japan Presbytery, and two other East Asia presbyteries. The Assistant Clerk of Synod notes that ALL of the Presbytery books were reviewed and “nothing was found to be contrary to the law & order of the church”. These reports were followed by a time of prayer.
At the close of Synod a resolution of thanks to God was given. The moderator was thanked by the court with a standing ovation for his service, his transparency, and bearing of Synod’s burdens. The moderator closed in prayer and Synod sang Psalm 133A.
Drew Gordon, RP Witness
Next year’s Synod will be held at Geneva College, from June 11-14, concurrent with the Synod of the ARP Church.