The primary business scheduled for this evening was to hear the annual address by the President of the APP Women’s Ministries and official greetings from Fraternal Delegates of several sister denominations.
After many, many meetings of committees and Presbyteries, and the normal fine meal in the Bonclarken dining hall, the delegates returned to the Youth Activities Building to being the evening session at 7:00PM
The evening began with a brief worship service featuring a sermon by the Vice Moderator, the Rev. Robert E. (Rob) Patrick, III. Rob did an exposition of Psalm 133, stressing the theme of ‘brothers dwelling in unity.’
This was followed by a musical presentation of a group from the Palmer Children’s Home a Presbyterian led orphanage in Mississippi.
The primary business scheduled for this evening was to hear the annual address by the President of the APP Women’s Ministries and official greetings from Fraternal Delegates from sister denominations.
Mrs. Kathy Barron, current President of the Board of ARP Women’s Ministries, spoke to the delegates about the achievements of that ministry during the past year, focusing greatly on the Boards work to redefine the purpose of the ministry as well as the organizational documents.
Each year the Committee on Inter-Church Relations sends representatives to three different annual meetings of other denominations, and invites delegates from three denominations to bring greetings during the Synod. This year invitations had been issued the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) and the Reformed Presbyterian Church, North America (RPCNA).
In addition, this year brought a special visit from a representative of the 100,000 member ARP Synod of Pakistan. The Reverend Shamshad John was raised at the ARP Mission Hospital where his dad served as an ambulance driver and an Elder at the local church. Mr. John had trained for and worked as a Physicians’ Assistant for a number of years and recently completed theological training and was ordained to the ministry. He now serves as the Business Manager for the ARP Synod of Pakistan.
Mr. John expressed the appreciation to the North American ARP church for its long standing work in Pakistan, as well as recent financial support to help rebuild church buildings, purchase motor bikes for rural pastors and the work of strengthening Christian Education through the mission field.
The first Fraternal Delegate to bring greetings to the Synod was Pastor Jack Sawyer of the Pineville Presbyterian Church in Pineville, Louisiana. He spoke of the shared heritage shared by both denominations, especially their secession roots – the OPC’s from the 1930’s and the ARP Scottish ancestors in the 1730’s.
Next to speak was The Reverend Roy Taylor, current Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America. Dr. Taylor is a former pastor and professor at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson). He spoke briefly of the similarity of the two denominations having to deal with difficult issues this year, likening the experience to being in a fractured family. At the end of the day in any family, what is important is to know your Father loves you.
The Fraternal Delegate from the RPCNA was Ruling Elder Drew Gordon, a member of the Session of Covenant Fellowship Church in Pittsburg, PA. Mr. Gordon is the Director of Crown and Covenant Publications, which publishes the RPCNA magazine. He spoke of the close relationship of the two denominations in both of those areas, as well as his personal concern for the future of Erskine College, where his son is a rising Senior.
The remaining business of Wednesday Night is reported in Part 2. bit.ly/ao3dEA