Wednesday RPCNA Synod Report

“There were people with big kingdom vision communicating that vision to the young people.”

Rev. Dave Long (Lafayette, IN) was nominated as moderator. Rev. Long has a track record of church planting as well as sending men into the ministry. The vote was unanimous! Following the election, his congregation presented him with a very large bouquet…of Tootsie Pops!

 

The 181st Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America convened at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. Friends and co-laborers from all over North America and Japan greeted one another with warm hugs, handshakes, and brotherly affection in the Lord. Psalm 16D was sung as the court came to order — “You care for my lot, where the lines fell to me, my pleasant and lovely inherited land. The Lord who gives counsel to me I will bless, for surely my mind teaches me through the night.”

Retiring Moderator Steve McMahon opened the Scriptures from Zechariah 4. As a ruling elder who was elected as moderator last year, he had the privilege of giving  the retiring moderator’s address. He reminded us that we face a very powerful enemy, yet we have unlimited resources. He also brought forth that we are the soldiers and laborers who are responsible to obey Christ and that the victory is certain.  As he reflected on the work of one particular congregation that has seen much fruitfulness in the past couple of generations, Elder McMahon observed that what made them progress in Christ was that “there were people with big kingdom vision who were communicating that vision to the young people.”

Following the retiring moderator’s address, the 110th psalm was sung to remind the court of the sure victories of the Lord Jesus.

As the clerk took roll, he reminded the court that in 2012 the Synod voted not to seat delegates who are not certified from their presbytery. This is a positive move toward working out presbyterian polity in the RPCNA.

First time delegates were introduced to the court. This writer is encouraged by the number of confessionally reformed pastors that are being raised up to serve within the RPCNA, a trend that will prove to be beneficial for our longevity as a confessional denomination.  Some of the these first time delegates include Rev. Adam Kuehner (Southfield, MI), Rev. Jason Ryce (Tucson, AZ), Rev. Keith Evans (Lafayette, IN) and Rev. Jonathan Haney (Manhattan, KS). Dr. Kyle Sims from the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and Dr. Steven Miller from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church were introduced as fraternal delegates.

The pages that will serve the Synod were introduced, including Namsik Yang, a student of theology who hopes to see Korean Reformed Presbyterian Churches planted in his home country of Korea.

Rev. Dave Long (Lafayette, IN) was nominated as moderator. Rev. Long has a track record of church planting as well as sending men into the ministry. The vote was unanimous! Following the election, his congregation presented him with a very large bouquet…of Tootsie Pops!

Memorials were read for two Teaching Elders who went to be with the Lord in the past year. John Milton Macmillan’s memorial was read by his son-in-law, Rev. Gordon Keddie. Rev. Keddie remarked that in Rev. Macmillan’s examination for communicant membership in the 1930s, only one question was asked as his entire examination. Throughout his life, Mr. Macmillan gave much more biblical care to the cure of souls. The memorial for Dr. Christian Adjamian was then read, lifting up the work of the Lord Jesus in Dr. Adjamian’s life and ministry. Rev. Ken Smith led in prayer.

Newly elected Moderator Long did a marvelous job staying on track for the evening as reports were presented. The Perspectives on Sexuality committee submitted their tri-fold brochure for approval. It was received by the Synod and will be published by Crown and Covenant for use in churches.

The Board of Education and Publication gave their report on the work they are doing in the area of Christian publication. Following the E&P discussion was the report on Graduate Studies, as well as the Report on the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The seminary board’s recommendation to appoint Dr. Jerry O’Neill to another 5 year term as President was approved. This will bring consistency to the seminary as the next few years will bring a number of new full-time faculty to RPTS.

The Inter-Church Committee’s recommendation to move to longer six year terms was approved. This will bring consistency in relationship-building with the NAPARC churches as elder delegates are sent to each other’s Synods and General Assemblies. The building of relationships with our brothers in NAPARC is very important to the RPCNA.

The final report of the evening was a discussion about the high number of attendees scheduled to be at the Reformed Presbyterian International Conference. There will be a great need to exercise the fruit of the Spirit with such large numbers of people all together. Of course, the psalm singing will be like nothing you have ever heard!

Around 9PM, the moderator asked for a season of prayer for the work of the RPCNA. Rev. Andy McCracken reminded the court that a large part of our purpose here at Synod is to pray. The evening ended with the quiet hum of hundreds of elders and pastors huddled around each other seeking the face of Christ. Following prayer, Psalm 19B was sung and the court was adjourned for the night.

Nathan Eshelman is pastor of the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) and also a blogger at www.gentlereformation.com