The closing meeting of the 2022/23 Year of the Reformed Theological College was held on Tuesday 25th April in Dromara RP Church. Prof. Stephen Neilly opened the meeting with worship and then Rev. David Fallows brought the Convenor’s Report.

Mr Fallows commended the two students, Mr Kenny Stephenson and Mr Jonny Fitzsimons, for their hard work and for their success in the recent exams. He asked for continued prayer for the men as they undertake their summer placements in Dromara RP and Cullybackey RP
during May and June.

Mr Kenny Stephenson was invited to speak about his experiences in the college during this past year. Kenny gave us a very quick overview of the different subjects to give us a flavour of various aspects of the course. He and his fellow student, Jonny Fitzsimons, have benefitted greatly from all their studies. Kenny expressed thanks for the prayers and support of many across the wider church. Both students were then awarded their bursaries and an offering was taken up for the Education Fund.

The main speaker for the evening was the Moderator of Synod, Rev. Geoffrey Allen. His topic was “The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land”. Throughout his talk, Rev. Allen referred to Prof. James Dick’s defence of the Imprecatory Psalms given at the International Psalm Singer’s Conference in Belfast in 1902. Imprecation permeates many of the Psalms and Rev. Allen emphasized the importance of not neglecting singing these imprecations in the psalms for three reasons.

  1. The Psalms are the Word of God. Scripture and the psalms present to us what God wants us to know about Himself, His whole character.
  2. The Psalms are consistent with the character of God. Jesus Himself used imprecations and taught us to pray ‘Your kingdom come!’ which involves the kingdom of darkness being overthrown.
  3. The Psalms reveal the Person of Christ. They are His songs and He is the worker of vengeance as the Judge of all mankind.

Rev. Allen exhorted us to sings the Psalms less selectively and more fearfully. He then introduced the closing psalm and concluded with prayer and the benediction.

After the meeting our hosts served a lovely supper as we enjoyed a time of informal fellowship together.Thanks are due to the Dromara congregation for hosting the event and to Dr David McKelvey for precenting.

Peter Jemphrey, Minister at Knockbracken RPC

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