Wednesday, June 7, 2017

7 June 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


New Christian Observer articles for June 2017 include:

-- From the Ground Up – by Christian Observer Contributing Editor David Brand - “Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.” - Psalm 85:1;

-- Student Loans and the Dependent Mentality – by Christian Observer Contributing Editor Dr. Joe Renfro – “The dependent mentality in America, it can be argued, can be a form of slavery…”;

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

A 6 June 2017 The Herald article by Brian Donnelly titled “First Gay Kirk Minister Calls for End To 'Father Giving Bride Away' Tradition” reports that the Kirk’s first openly homosexual minister the Rev. Scott Rennie has called for the tradition of the father of the bride giving his daughter away be abandoned.

Writing in advance of Scottish Episcopal Church Synod, where the assembly will vote whether or not their ministers can conduct homosexual weddings, Rennie added:

"I wish my friends well, and hope they will take a step forward in recognising the blessing of marriage in the lives of all couples, including same sex couples, by amending canon law."

+ The Herald, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow, Scotland G2 3QB, 0141- 302-7000, Fax: 0141-302-7117,

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722

+ Scottish Episcopal Church, 21 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh
EH12 5EE, Scotland, 0131-225-6357, Fax: 0131-346-7247, Contact Page

Recent RPCNA Synods have worked to make the business of Synod more efficient and effective, partly in the hope of requiring less time of delegates and making it feasible for more ruling elders to attend.

This is a year that will test the practicality of shorter Synods, as there is a mountain of work to handle in a three-day schedule, including some very important issues.

The list of special committee and judicial committee reports alone is daunting. When Synod convenes at 8:30 a.m. June 28, 2017 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., the following reports will be among the priority items:

     -- Special Committee on Vocalized Prayer
     -- Special Committee Addressing Ruling Elder Participation at Synod

     -- Special Study Committee on Gender Identity

     -- Special Committee on the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ (interim report)

     -- Judicial Review of Communication 2016-2: complaint by members of a session and presbytery regarding the beverage used in the communion cup

     -- Judicial Review of Communication 2016-4: appeal of a presbytery’s actions by a retired RP minister

All these committees have been working for at least a year, and their reports are very thorough; so, the time needed by Synod to consider them will depend on how much further discussion and debate is required.

There are plenty of regular reports for Synod to consider as well, with some significant recommendations. The RPCNA’s work with countries beyond the U.S. and Canada continues to increase. The RP Seminary is proposing a new candidate for Professor of Biblical Counseling (to replace, next year, the retiring George Scipione). The Interchurch and Business of Synod Committees are asking Synod to meet at Geneva College in 2019 to better enable the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to meet concurrently with the RPCNA. Also, there are at least four new “communications” coming from presbyteries for Synod action.

Synod is scheduled to adjourn at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30.

+ Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-1177, Fax: 412-731-8861