Ruling-elder and teaching-elder delegates of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America have begun assembling for the 190th Synod, which begins on Tuesday, June 21. The meetings will convene at 8:30 a.m. on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in Marion, Ind.
Many delegates have made particular request to their local congregations that the body of Christ would uphold the Synod meetings in particular prayers throughout the four days of meetings, scheduled to adjourn next Friday at noon. Many delegates will assemble the night before to seek God’s face in prayers of repentance and revival. The Synod faces important doctrinal and confessional matters, administration of the denomination, and–notably–judicial complaints that are scheduled to come before the court.
Delegates have received over 700 pages of advance reading, as this highest court of the RPCNA convenes with a full docket. During this season of preparation, the delegates often look to “the first Jerusalem synod” recorded in Acts 15, which authoritatively decided matters of controversy in the early church. Chapter 8 of the RPCNA Directory for Church Government also contains important requirements and procedures for this court’s decent and orderly function. It notes that “the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America is the highest court of the church, and is the bond of organic union, cooperation, and mutual helpfulness between the presbyteries. It is responsible for the continuing reformation of the church in maintaining the subordinate standards of the church in harmony with Scriptural truth and order” (para. 1).
Seventeen papers have been transmitted through the RPCNA presbyteries to the synod on a variety of topics. Key papers to be considered include: complaints about actions of the 2021 Synod Judicial Commission (SJC), matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the discipline of an RPCNA minister, and refining the language of RPCNA vows of communicant membership.
Notably, the Synod will vote on its 2021 committee’s recommendation to create a Presbytery of Canada which could then form the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Canada.
Delegates will be worshiping God together daily. Important fellowship and encouragement will also be abundant. In addition, each of the presbyteries will hold abbreviated presbytery meetings for the purpose of examining students-under-care and addressing urgent business within their bounds.
You are invited to follow the work of the RP Synod, and to uphold the labor of fallible men in prayer as they seek to honor Jesus Christ in the courts of His Church. As the apostle says:
“You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” (2 Cor. 1:11).
Brad Johnston (RPCNA Pastor) & Drew Gordon (RPCNA Elder)