Wednesday, December 5, 2007

5 December 2007


First Reformed Presbyterian Conference on Practical Theology
[2] United Church Insurance Company Holds Annual Meeting
[3] Bishops Demand Account for Pursing Departing Congregations
[4] Call for Kuyper Papers
[5] Grace Reformed Church
[6] New URC Discussion Group
[7] Grant to New Geneva
[8] Looking at the Bottom Line
[9] Minutes of the RPCNA Since 1837
[10] Christians in India Finally Can Adopt Children
[11] Rev. E. Pressly Love

First Reformed Presbyterian Conference on Practical Theology

First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will sponsor a Conference on Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Seminary on 2965 Leonard Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday 2 February from 8:45am - 3:30pm. This year’s theme will be Biblical Evangelism.

The lecturer will be Dr. David P. Murray, professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Seminary. Dr. Murray with him much practical experience in Biblical evangelism, a depth of Biblical knowledge, and a mastery of the original languages of Hebrew and Greek.

+ First Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2919 Leonard Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

United Church Insurance Company Holds Annual Meeting

The United Church Insurance Company (UCIC) board met 7-8 November. in Honolulu, Hawaii, electing two new board members and approving the 2007-2008 budget.

Erick D. (Rick) Reisinger, Indianapolis, Indiana, Vice President of Church Extension of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and treasurer of the UCC Insurance Board (IB), was elected to a three-year term. Also elected was Glen Priuksma, Seattle, Wash., retired consulting actuary who is an IB board member as well.

Board members approved an annual budget of US$6 million, including US$5.8 million in expected losses. The UCIC was incorporated in 2001 in Hawaii as a subsidiary of the United Church of Christ (UCC) Insurance Board. Currently it is responsible for all property claims for IB participants up to $500,000. In the past year the ICIC self-insurance program has paid out US$6.1 million to UCC and Disciples churches on claims.

+ UCC Insurance Board, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115 (800) 437-8830

Bishops Demand Account for Pursing Departing Congregations

The chairs of two Episcopal Church Executive Council standing committees have responded to a pair of open letters written last summer by a group of bishops, demanding a "public report" of the cost of litigation over breakaway groups attempting to take local property with them. Josephine Hicks, chair of Administration and Finance, and John Vanderstar, chair of National Concerns, released their reply to the letters on 29 November.

The retired bishops who signed the 14 July 14 letter are C. Fitzsimons Allison (South Carolina), Maurice M. Benitez (Texas), Alex D. Dickson (West Tennessee) and William C. Wantland (Eau Claire). Milton L. Wood, suffragan of Atlanta, added his name to the second letter, released 27 August.

The letters protested what the group called “charges and threats of litigation” by Executive Council against the four dioceses whose leadership endorsed resolutions qualifying accession to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. The dioceses are Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, and San Joaquin.

“We would like to know, where the money is coming from in order to conduct this litigation, especially in view of the fact that the program budget is being reduced because insufficient funds are being received from dioceses,” the retired bishops asked.

+ The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Ave, New York City, NY 10017 (212) 716-6000

Call for Kuyper Papers

The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary invites paper proposals from scholars and graduate students in theology, philosophy, humanities, and the social sciences for a forthcoming conference on “Civil Society and Sphere Sovereignty” at Princeton, 17th-19th April 2008.

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) was the greatest and most controversial figure in the Calvinist renaissance that took place at the conclusion of the 19th Century and the opening of the 20th in The Netherlands. Kuypeer established a Christian newspaper, was elected Member of Parliament in 1874, and was instrumental in the organization of a Christian political party. In 1880 Kuyper helped to found the Free University of Amsterdam and regularly served as a professor of theology there. In 1886 he took the leading role in forming what subsequently became the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland and in 1901 he became Minister-President of The Netherlands.

Kuyper visited Princeton in 1898 and delivered the Stone Lectures on Calvinism. Kuyper's worldview, as presented in his hundreds of articles, pamphlets, and books, profoundly affected the development of Reformed theology especially in The Netherlands, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and Korea.

+ Abraham Kuyper Center, Princeton Theological Seminary, PO Box 111, Princeton, NJ 08542-0111 (609) 497-7940

Grace Reformed Church

2007 Westminster Seminary (California) alumnus, Shane Lems, is serving as the stated pulpit supply of a new United Reformed Church mission in South Central Washington State called United Reformed Church of Sunnyside Washington. The church is located in the Yakima Valley of Washington and is being overseen by the consistory of Grace URC in Kennewick, Washington.

+ Grace Reformed Church (URC), 1750 Sheller Road, Sunnyside, WA 98944 (509) 837-3363

New URC Discussion Group

A new Google Group has begun as a discussion group for the United Reformed Church in North America and it's ecumenical friends.

A different group maintained in cooperation with the Christian Observer is located at To join this e-mail discussion group, send a subscription request along with a brief statement stating whether you are a member of a Christian church and (if so) stating what church (name and city) you belong to, to the moderators at If you donot provide this information about church membership, your request to join CO-URC will not be approved.

+ Mr. Bill Konynenbelt, Stated Clerk, United Reformed Churches, 5824 Bowwater Cr. N.W., Calgary, Alberta T3B 2E2 (403) 286-0521 URCNA@Shaw.CA

Grant to New Geneva

The Shenandoah Foundation, based in Miami, recently provided a grant of US$50,000 to New Geneva Seminary. Over the last 5 years this foundation has assisted the seminary with generous grants. The Shenandoah Foundation was founded by a former Presbyterian Church in America congregation that was dissolved in 1997. Before dissolving, the congregation voted to establish a foundation with its present assets that would continue to contribute to the type of ministries it supported when it was an active congregation.

New Geneva Theological Seminary is accredited by the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries.

+ New Geneva Seminary, 3622 Galley Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80909 (719) 573-5395

+ New Geneva Seminary (East), New Life In Christ Church, 11925 Burgess Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (540) 786-4848

Looking at the Bottom Line

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will sponsor a 11-13 March conference entitled “A Reformed View of the End Times.” In addition to members of the Greenville faculty speakers include Dr. Derek Thomas of Reformed Seminary (Jackson) and Dr. Cornelis Venema of Mid-America Reformed Seminary.

+ Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, PO Box 690, [418 East Main Street] Taylors, South Carolina 29687 (864) 322-2717

Minutes of the RPCNA Since 1837

The Minutes of Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America [Old Lights] are online at The site contains the Minutes from 1837 although there are some gaps in the early years. Three listings appear on the left side of the page: Covenanter, Reformed Presbyterian, and Minutes of Synod. In the early years, the minutes were embedded in what were then the weekly publications of the church. The archives are housed at the denominational seminary.

+ Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 7418 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 (412) 732-8690

Christians in India Finally Can Adopt Children

Ending a long era of absence of adoption rights for non-Hindus, the government has cleared the way for all religious communities in all Indian states to adopt legally. The government of the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance on 26 October gave notice of new rules under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act or JJA of 2006, making room for all communities to adopt. The Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, said his group welcomed “the significant move” by the federal government “to enhance the legal rights of adopted children and the couples who adopt them.” It is estimated that barely 5,000 children a year are adopted in the country, though there are more than 56 million orphaned and destitute children.

+ Compass Direct News Service, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana CA 92799

Rev. E. Pressly Love

The Rev. E. Pressly Love, former Associate Reformed Presbyterian minister, died at his home in Gastonia, North Carolina, on 11 November at age 83. The son of the Rev. Andrew Boyce Love and Jean Pressly Love, he grew up in the Covington (Tennessee) ARP Church. After serving several pastorates in the ARP Church, he transferred to the Presbyterian Church (US).

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, One Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 233-5226