Wednesday, January 4, 2017

4 January 2017

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] New Christian Observer Articles for January 2017

[2] American Pastor Andrew Brunson Formally Charged in Turkey

[3] New Year’s Message to Ghanaian Christians from the Presbyterian Church of Ghana


[1] New Christian Observer Articles for January 2017

New Christian Observer articles for January 2017 include:

-- Who is This God? - by Christian Observer Contributing Editor David Brand - At the beginning of this new year, we do well to ask ourselves, “Who is this God whom we serve and whose we are, and what makes Him, and Him alone, accountable to no created being, and worthy of the worship and obedience of all mortals?”;

-- The Educational Message of Christmas - by Christian Observer Contributing Editor Dr. Joe Renfro - Even if you aren’t religious, it is impossible to deny America is culturally a Christian nation.;

Plus, links to ReVision devotionals on the Fellowship of Ailbe website by Christian Observer Contributing Editor T.M. Moore.

+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 24450,

[2] American Pastor Andrew Brunson Formally Charged in Turkey

Greenville, SC, December 21 — Andrew Brunson, a former [Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church] pastor, graduate of Erskine Seminary, and son of longtime Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church missionaries, has been charged in Turkey with membership in an armed terrorist organization and sent to prison by the officiating judge. Before being charged* Brunson had been held without charge in a detention center in Turkey since October 7. He was interrogated without notice on December 9 and imprisoned.

When he was originally detained, his activities were considered by the Turkish government to be “against national security,” but no other reason was given for Andrew’s incarceration and no formal charges had been filed against him.

As of December 8, he had been held without charges for 63 days. In more than two months of detention, Andrew has been permitted only two U.S. consular visits.

The U.S. State Department, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and other U.S. government officials have been working with leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Brunson’s current church, to gain Brunson’s release. Leaders in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church have also sought to be of assistance during this time.

Brunson was raised as member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and was employed as a pastor of the ARP church, in Turkey, from 1993-2010. He now works as a pastor of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. At the time of his detention, the Brunsons had been trying for five months to renew their resident visas but had not received any response.

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church joins the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the firm belief that Andrew Brunson’s detention is unfounded. The Brunsons have absolutely no connection to any armed terrorist organization in the country where he has lived peacefully for twenty-three years and where they raised their three children.

Update: For more information and for an opportunity to participate in an online petition seeking Rev. Brunson’s release, please visit:

Rev. C. Ronald Beard

Principal Clerk, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

Mr. Phil Williams


Rev. Lee Shelnutt


For more information:

Rev. C. Ronald Beard

Principal Clerk, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

918 S. Pleasantburg Dr. #127

Greenville, SC 29607


+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 918 South Pleasantburg Drive, Suite 127, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+ Erskine College and Theological Seminary, 2 Washington Street, Due West, South Carolina 29639, 864-379-2131, Fax: 864-379-2167,

[3] New Year’s Message to Ghanaian Christians from the Presbyterian Church of Ghana

Dear People of God,

I wish you all a New Year of peace, security, productivity, and prosperity. Ghanaians have entered the year 2017 with very high expectations.

God has seen the country safely through an electioneering campaign period which was characterized by tension, acrimony and apprehension. But we have bounced back as a people. The Ghanaian over the years has demonstrated the capacity for reconciliation and the love for peace. As Apostle Paul said …but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead... (Philippians 3:13).

Change in government is an inevitable part of the governance process. Just as years come and go, governments in a democracy also come and go. I wish to admonish all Ghanaians, especially, the over ninety-eight percent that profess faith in God, to reorient our lives in the spirit of the change we have voted for.

Change in leadership without corresponding change in the attitude and behavior of the citizenry is a meaningless trip to nowhere. Therefore, as we enter a new year, I call on all Ghanaians, to seek to be more responsible citizens than we have so far been. Collectively, over many years, we have not demonstrated sufficient sense of responsibility as a people; and we have suffered for it.

There are signs that unless we all launch out on a project of changing attitudes and behaviors, things can become worse in our country.

Our collective irresponsibility as citizens manifest in the endemic corruption that is eating up our public service at all levels; our misuse of power that tends to intimidate law abiding but powerless members of our society; the vitriols that pour out of our radio and television stations; the indiscipline and inconsiderate behaviors on our roads; blatant disrespect for the aged, unprofessional attitude towards work, unethical conduct at our work places and in our communities, the contempt with which we treat the environment and many other pool of vices in which most of us seem to be swimming with pleasure.

On the first day of the year 2017, we in Ghana have enough motivation to work toward change. A New Year's Day offers us the opportunity to make resolutions to be better persons; and as we welcome a new government into office, we do not only expect change but we are motivated to work toward a constructive change.

This idea of change; of newness and renewal, with the opportunities to make fresh attempts at reaching our aspirations and achieving our goals in life, finds its most solid foundation in the call of God to us to receive new life in Jesus Christ. This is a call that goes out to all peoples everywhere, offering to them the hope that unfavorable circumstances and difficult conditions are surmountable and that change for a better life is always possible.

While it is good and potentially, productive for each of us to make resolutions to improve upon our lives and overcome self-destructive habits, it is important for us to realize that making resolutions to be better citizens, with adequate sense of responsibility toward our fellow citizens and our country is also a divine calling.

Therefore, in addition to our own individual New Year resolutions, let each of us also resolve to commit ourselves to adopting attitudes and behaviors that will contribute towards achieving the greater aspirations of our country: eradication of poverty; improved and accessible health-care for all; accessible quality education for all; quality and sustainable jobs for all who desire to work; greater national unity and harmony; greater concern and care for the vulnerable, including people with disability.

We as Presbyterians, and indeed Christians must be guided by the core values of Christianity in all spheres of life. Furthermore, as citizens of Ghana we should model leadership in our place of work, and in our communities and this will inevitably support institutional efforts at civic education.

God’s blessed dealings with us in the past year, especially, answering our fervent prayers to take us through the elections peacefully, must give us the confidence to continue to hold together and press on as one people. We must continue to hope, pray and work toward better quality of life for each citizen and foreigners who find themselves living among us.

May we humbly seek God’s blessings;
May God protect each and every one of us;
May He guide our Leaders in the days to come;
May the beginning of a new year and a new era be a time of rectitude, righteousness, progress and prosperity of Ghana;
May each of us receive grace and strength to achieve our New Year resolutions.

Happy and prosperous New Year.

+ Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Post Office Box GP 1800, Accra, Ghana, 233-21-662511, Fax: 233-21-665594,

+ Peace FM, Post Office Box 17470, Mile 7 Junction, Achimota – Accra, Ghana, 00233-21-406677, Contact Page