ARP News Update


Daylight Savings Reminder

Don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday!

First Presbyterial Retreat

It is not too late to register for the First Presbyterial retreat, The Divine Grace of Forgiveness, November 7-8 at Bonclarken. Dot Hutelmyer, will be speaking. There are several seminars as well including “Forgiveness and Missions” with Shelia Osborne, “Hymns for Today” with Mittie Douglass and Laura Holley, “Tips for Teachers” with Judi Hodges and a Christmas craft with Lil Summerville. Register by clicking here or contacting Barbara Eichenberger, 828-863-2782 or

Camp Joy Vision Dinner Florida

9013299994_5d6bf6baca_kDon’t miss the opportunity to learn more about Camp Joy. Christian Education Ministries is hosting a Vision Dinner in Winter Haven, FL on November 7. Hear what God is doing through Camp Joy ministries now and plans for the future! There will be a time of fellowship and sharing by Camp Joy staff, campers and others. To learn more and to register, visit

Pastoral Opportunities

Ballston Center Church

Historic upstate New York Presbyterian Church seeking experienced pastor with a vision for church growth to shepherd our congregation of 150. Find church profile and job description at and send application information to

Coddle Creek ARP Church

Coddle Creek ARP Church, outside Mooresville, NC, is seeking an experienced Pastor. Our Church, founded 261 years ago, has 230 active members with an average attendance of approximately 130. We have enjoyed a traditional form of worship and strong youth, missions, and community outreach programs. For more information, please visit our website at If interested in the position, please send your resume to the church: 2297 Coddle Creek Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115.

ARP News Update

images-25Trustees Approve Revised Financial Plan, Reaffirm Alumni Seat on Board

Erskine trustees approved a revised two-year plan to address financial concerns at their meetings Thursday and Friday, Oct. 16 and 17, which coincided with celebrations of Erskine’s 175th anniversary. The board had passed a three-year financial plan in August. That plan was then revised based on the recommendation of a committee from SACSCOC, the school’s regional accreditor, which visited campus in September.

“The SACS committee advised taking a more aggressive timeline with several parts of our original plan,” said Erskine President Dr. Paul Kooistra. “I believe this revised plan is even stronger than the original in helping us move toward long-term financial stability.”

The revised financial plan retains a focus on taking near-term actions to achieve long-term stability and sustainability. The plan as revised includes:

  1. A reduction in total draws from the endowment to 7 percent in 2014-15, then 5 percent in 2015-16;
  2. A reduction in operational personnel and program expenses by $1.5 million in 2014-15;
  3. A 3.79 percent increase in tuition, fees, room, and board in 2015-16;
  4. An annual fund goal of $1.6 million in unrestricted donations.

The revised plan also seeks to find additional savings of about $500,000 by recalculating the amount of depreciation expense the budget must account for. Depreciation allocates a portion of the cost of the physical plant as a non-cash expense in the budget.

“We plan to conduct a detailed review of the physical plant and revise the estimated useful service period of our assets to determine the actual depreciation we need to include,” said Greg Haselden, Erskine’s senior vice president for finance and operations.

In August, Kooistra had planned to make decisions regarding affected programs and personnel by Oct. 1. However, revising the plan adjusted that timeframe. He now plans to communicate with Erskine faculty and staff about those specific parts of the plan by Dec. 1.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to minimize the impact of these actions on individual faculty and staff members and their families,” Kooistra said. “We also want to ensure that our students continue to enjoy a quality Erskine experience in any affected areas.”

In addition to addressing financial matters, trustees also passed a motion reaffirming the seats held by the president of the Erskine Alumni Association and the moderator of the ARP Synod:

In the pursuit of unity and in celebration of our 175th year, the Board of Trustees of Erskine College & Theological Seminary, in its October 2014 meeting, reaffirms the ex-officio role and responsibilities of the president of the Erskine Alumni Association and the moderator of the ARP Church. We prayerfully look forward to God’s continued blessings upon the Erskine family and ask the Lord to grant a spirit of love without compromise among all the members that they might together lead Erskine through the difficulties and challenges she faces at this time.

The phrase “love without compromise” in the motion mirrors wording Kooistra used in his devotional that opened the meetings on Thursday. Kooistra’s devotional, based on Matthew 4:17, focused on what he called “perhaps the shortest sermon Jesus ever preached: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’”

Kooistra emphasized that the idea of repentance is more than simply turning away from wrongdoing. “An encounter with Jesus radically reorients everything,” he said. “Repentance is more than an action. It’s also a posture. A way of life.”

In applying this concept to work of the board, Kooistra said, “We will not always agree with one another on this board, or with others in the Erskine family. We may have to disagree about very important things we cannot compromise on. But how we deal with differences and divisions is just as important. We can’t battle like the world. We have to speak and act in love. Love without compromise.”

Members of the board also heard on Thursday from several students, staff, and current parents who shared their Erskine experiences.

ARP News Update

9012373259_7d649b2ecd_k Sharing the Camp Joy Vision

Christian Education Ministries will host a Camp Joy Vision dinner, November 7,2014, in Winter Haven, FL. Hear what God is doing through Camp Joy ministries now and the plans for the future! There will be a time of fellowship and sharing by Camp Joy staff, campers and others. Register online



New Building Celebration

Clemson Korean AR Presbyterian Church, Anderson, SC, opens the doors on their own worship building on Sunday, October 19 at 4pm. Let’s join them in their celebration and worship by praying for them. Visit to learn more.

An Invitation from Due West ARP Church

If you are going to be in Due West this weekend for Erskine festivities, you are cordially invited to a special service of praise and thanksgiving at Due West ARP Church, Due West, SC, Sunday, October 19, 11:00 AM, in conjunction with the 175th Anniversary of Erskine College & Seminary.  Rev. Ron Beard will be the guest minister.

The anthem for the worship service will be a long-time ARP favorite, “Let Mount Zion Rejoice.”  The Due West ARP Church choir extends a special invitation to any guests who wish to join them for this anthem.


Position available at Bonclarken Conference Centerimages-43

Bonclarken is seeking to fill the front office position of Reservationist.  Reporting to the Director of Guest Relations, we seek an individual with excellent communication and phone skills.  Computer experience, including spreadsheets and databases, is essential.  Other front office duties are included.  Position is full-time and would begin January 1, 2015.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Wanda Neal, Bonclarken Conference Center, 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731.


Pastoral Opportunity

Ballston Center Church is a Word centered Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church that has been in existence for over 235 years.  We value relevant and meaningful worship, teaching, preaching and leadership.  With the recent retirement of our Pastor, we are seeking a new Pastor to help grow our church.

Our worship service is traditional in style.  Ballston Center Church has been serving the Lord in Saratoga County, NY since 1775.  With a newly renovated sanctuary, including digital screens and a versatile pulpit area, we are primed and ready to spread the Gospel.  Please visit our website at for a better understanding of Ballston Center Church. The job description can be found under “Resources”.

As an ARP Church, our denominational standards require pastors to be men who are spiritually mature, compassionate, reformed in their theology and hold at least a BS degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited four-year college or university, as well as a master of divinity degree from an accredited seminary approved by the Presbytery. We seek a pastor with previous pastoral experience that has a passion and desire for community outreach and meaningful church growth.

The next pastor of Ballston Center Church needs to be a gifted leader who seeks God’s Will first and foremost.  He must be able to preach and teach with passion, compassion and energy.

Please pray about your possible fit with this position and submit your resume and a photo to




ARP News Update

A Note From Our Moderator

0714 Littlejohn headshotIf you are a pastor reading this, please help make this valuable resource known to others. Articles in the Update often contain information and prayer requests that need to be shared with the ARPC family-at-large. I, as Moderator, the Central Office Staff, and the Department Heads would like to see this become the first line of communication. A large number of people can be reached in a quick and inexpensive manner.

Making the Update available to others can be as easy as forwarding the next two or three to everyone on your church mailing list and encouraging them to sign up to receive future ones. If you do this in house, it does not compromise your mailing list, but it gives those interested an opportunity to respond. Another suggestion would be to include an announcement on your bulletin for the next 2-3 Sundays about this cost-free option.

Thank you for helping make this important resource reach the widest audience possible.




Don’t miss the exhibit!

Erskine College featured at SC Upcountry History Museum

Explore a bit of Erskine College history at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC.

The exhibit “Due West of Ordinary: Stories from 175 Years of Christian Scholarship” highlights the development of Erskine as South Carolina’s first Christian four-year college. Vivid wall panels and interesting artifacts illustrate four stories from Erskine’s early years.

The Upcountry History Museum is located at Heritage Green near downtown Greenville. The exhibit runs through October 26th.

Museum Information

Position available at Bonclarken Conference Center

images-43Bonclarken is seeking to fill the front office position of Reservationist.  Reporting to the Director of Guest Relations, we seek an individual with excellent communication and phone skills.  Computer experience, including spreadsheets and databases, is essential.  Other front office duties are included.  Position is full-time and would begin January 1, 2015.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Wanda Neal, Bonclarken Conference Center, 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

ARP News Update

Moderator Littlejohn’s Challenge

images-24Many of you remember the challenge I received publicly at General Synod to immediately pledge a $1000 gift to Erskine which I ruled out of order. Since that time I had the opportunity, as your representative, to go on the Erskine campus for both a called and a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. I have shared in the excitement of serving with others who are committed to pray for and to support God’s ministry there in Due West.

God’s calling of Dr. Paul Kooistra as President has especially encouraged the hearts of those who believe there is still a good work to be done through our College and Seminary. Yes, there are some hard decisions to be made to right the course, but God has graciously provided those willing to seek His wisdom in the days ahead. Now is the time when it is right and in order for all who have never supported or no longer support Erskine College and Seminary to prayerfully consider doing so.

The Board of Trustees was 100% in giving prior to their last meeting. There was a spirit of unity in seeking God’s leading in a season of extended prayer before the meeting and in a prayer walk throughout the campus. Thank you for the privilege you gave me to be a part of that time. Your Board chair is committed to continuing these prayer times at each Board meeting. The Board members are also unanimous in pledging gifts and issuing a challenge for you to join the upcoming 175 birthday celebration of Erskine College by giving.

The challenge is to give a special gift and and encourage others to do the same by using the numbers 1, 7, and 5 as a guide. Maybe you, like the brother who challenged me at Synod, could send $1750 before the October 18 celebration on campus. Maybe you can only send $17.50, but let us join together and give as God leads. I have worked for 44 years at a school ministry where God provides through His people. I believe he wants to do the same in these critical days at Erskine.

Larry Littlejohn, Moderator

Letter from Erskine President Kooistra

Wisdom-for-news-300x200ARP Brothers and Sisters:

Many of you are already aware of the recent appointment of Dr. Chris Wisdom as Vice President and Professor of Practical Theology at Erskine Theological Seminary. But I wanted to let you know officially and introduce Chris to you.

Over the past year, the Erskine board of trustees has encouraged the administration to identify and place a senior administrator who would lead the seminary forward and position it for a sustainable future.

I believe Chris is the right man to take on this challenge at this time. To learn more about Chris’s path to Erskine, be sure to read the article on the Erskine news page. As you will see, Chris not only has the administrative competence, but the heart of service necessary to take on this challenge.

Chris plans to be in Due West two days a week, and in Columbia the other days. Please be sure to welcome Chris as you have opportunity and pray for his work at Erskine.

In Christ,

Paul Kooistra


ARP News Update


Today, September 11, is a day we will never forget. Let’s continue to pray for our nation!

A Note From The Moderator

My home church in French Camp Mississippi, is in the midst of a faith-stretching capital campaign and recently was offered a generous gift of stock shares. While we greatly appreciated the offer, non-cash gifts such as this or other securities are not contributions our church is able to handle easily. We don’t maintain a brokerage account, and there are specific guidelines for processing and tax receipting that are beyond the time and expertise of a volunteer treasurer.

I made a quick call to the ARP Foundation and was encouraged to learn Central Services would manage the entire process on our behalf – and at no charge. They received the stock transfer, sold the shares, deposited the proceeds directly to our building fund, receipted the donor, and notified us when the process was completed! I am pleased to share my new discovery as one of many no-cost financial services available to our churches from the General Synod.

I also will tell you that French Camp Presbyterian Church funds deposited with the ARP Investment Program are far surpassing the return we were getting previously from bank CDs. Contact Paul Bell at Central Services to learn more.


 timthumb.phpBe a face-to-face link to Christ!

World Witness offers opportunities for you to partner with missionaries and national believers by using your gifts to serve others in the body of Christ. We will help your church organize and carry out its own short-term mission trip, or we will coordinate individuals from different churches or Presbyteries to form a missions team.

For more information, please:

January – March – Individually planned mission trips for adults to partner with church-planting missionaries in Spain or construction projects and/or teaching English in Yucatan or Rio Verde, Mexico.

March – April – Spring break trips for high school and college groups—groups can do youth outreach programs and/or construction and evangelism in Mexico.

June – College students are invited to participate in a 2-month internship program in Wales, Germany or Spain, where they minister to children and youth.  Any church group is also invited to minister in Mexico or Spain through VBS, evangelistic ministries, or construction projects.

July – Annual Wales Mission – VBS, youth outreach, and community ministry in the beautiful Rhondda Valley of South Wales. This is an excellent opportunity for high school and college age groups.

August - College students and adults can assist German brothers and sisters in Christ with their annual Summer Camp in Berlin, Germany. There are opportunities to minister to children and youth in Spain as well.

Fall – Individually planned mission trips for adults to partner with church-planting missionaries in Spain or construction projects and/or teaching English in Yucatan or Rio Verde, Mexico.

ARP News Update

Update on the Iraqi Refugee Relief

Contributions continue to come in to World Witness for the Iraqi Refugee Relief. As of today, they have received over $50,000. The letter below is from Laurie Meberg on the details of what is going on currently in Turkey.

world72resRGBlayeredDear Partners in prayer,

Last night Erik left Denver, Colorado for South East Turkey.  He plans to be there for just over a week.   Erik hopes to encourage and minister to the fellowships who are reaching the refugees.  He also hopes to see how we all can be praying and supporting them during this time.

Praise the Lord, Erik was allowed into the country without any problems (as you know, we had to leave 2 years ago and are unable to live there).  

Pray that God would show Erik what He wants us to see.  Pray that the Lord would give Erik and the relief workers great wisdom in how to proceed.  Pray also for grace for the relief workers as they see and hear of many unimaginable atrocities. 

The churches in Southeast Turkey are small.  They are far outnumbered by the refugees coming in from Iraq.  But the churches have a big heart and a desire to see these people cared for and for the name of Jesus to be proclaimed to those coming across the border.

Refugee pic 1 - setting up tentsSo far, the churches have donated their tents that they use for the annual Southeast Family camp.  The churches sent a team along with the tents to set them up and provide available sleeping mats.

The youth and young adults have conducted children’s activities similar to backyard Bible schools – with activities, crafts, songs, and games.  Rather than a Bible story, they are able to share a drama or a story with a moral principle.  The youth have experience with running these “camps” with the kids in the neighborhood of the church and now have been able to do some of these activities in the shelters.Refugee pic 2 - kids program in shelter

 Through generous donations, churches have also purchased basic supplies – clothes, towels, diapers, baby formula and bottles, toiletries and feminine hygiene products, and distributed them among some of the refugees.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support in this time.  We are humbled by the opportunity to share this perspective with you all and so encouraged by your response.  Thank you for holding us – but more than that – for holding these fellowships in your hearts and prayers.

In His Grip,

Erik and Laurie Meberg 

Lower Long Cane Celebrates 243 Years

On September 21, 2014, Long Cane Church, Troy, SC, will celebrate 243 years since it was organized. Cedar Springs ARP Church will also be in attendance. Long Cane and Cedar Springs were sister congregations and formed one pastorate in the early 19th century. Rev. John Paul Marr, pastor of Troy ARP Church, will lead the service.


photo-29Congratulations to Kevin Owens, the winner of the iPad from the ARP Magazine. Kevin sent in three new subscriptions which allowed him to be entered into the drawing. Leland Beaudrot drew from the stack of names. Look for another opportunity to win soon.