Most of us here on the blog are pastors or members of RPCNA congregations (Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America). This past week was our annual meeting of synod, meeting at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It was a blessed week. Here are some reflections.
Because of synod I was...
- ...glad that our good friend, Pastor Dave Long, was elected moderator. Several of us have been befriended, discipled and trained by Dave, whose years of faithful pastoring made this honor entirely appropriate. Dave did a great job as moderator, moving things along well without ever stepping on anyone's toes. No mean feat indeed.
- ...excited that fellow author Barry York was elected to be the next professor of pastoral theology at our seminary, the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA). If you've been reading Gentle Reformation for a while, you have a sense of what a thoughtful, faithful and genuinely caring pastor Barry is. His preaching, teaching and interview before synod last week were a well received blessing to all. I couldn't be more excited about Barry's forthcoming ministry at the seminary. If you're inclined, please pray for him as he works on his Doctor of Ministry degree and looks toward starting at the seminary next July.
- ..blown away by God's blessing our the global missions of our denomination. The past few years have seen incredible fruitfulness after many years of prayer and faithful seed-sowing. The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Sudan continues to grow (pray for their pastors!) and God is doing amazing things in other parts of the world I'm not supposed to write about online (ask an RP pastor!).
- ...reminded to be grateful for the extraordinary unity currently enjoyed by our synod. Not that everyone agrees on everything, but several important votes in recent years have been unanimous (most notably, voting on the stand of this paper/book on homosexuality). More than the voting, there is a genuine sense of care and love--of the elders for each other and of the church court for the congregations. The disagreements seem to be based in love rather than pride. To whatever extent we have this unity, I give the Holy Spirit credit and thanks!
- ...glad for the shortened synod this year. Despite being a couple days more brief than usual, we got through all our business well. I hope this shortened schedule is considered in years to come, because as much as I appreciate synod, I like going home even more.
- ...fascinated by Twitter. Several took to twitter this year to give "live" updates. It was quite a bit of fun, though resisting the temptation toward sarcasm was fairly tricky. If you're on Twitter, check out the #rpsynod tweets to get a sense of the fun.
It really is a blessing to be Presbyterian! While this form of church government doesn't guarantee anything (because of the sinners still involved), it is a Biblical and wonderful way for brothers to live in unity (Ps. 133:1), protection (1 Pet. 5:2) and a common mission (Acts 15:40).