ARP News Update

images-26Moderator Calls for Synod-wide Day of Prayer and Fasting

Christians are being persecuted and killed by extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. This is a Moderator’s call for a Synod-wide day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Sunday, August 24. Please announce this in your churches on Sunday, August 17, and encourage participation. In the midst of great trial for family members, we can offer the support of our prayers for strength to endure and for evil to be thwarted.

Sunday, August 24, will be a day of special prayer focus in our churches for persecuted Christians around the world followed by a day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Monday, August 25.

The letter below is from the Erik and Laurie Meberg, World Witness missionaries since 2003. They have served in Turkey for eight years and give first hand details of the situation and how we can help.

unnamed-4Dear Friends,

In light of the horrific reports coming out of northern Iraq, many of us have been shocked at the astrocities that the Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated against the minority people groups of the area.  These groups are all too familiar with ethnic cleansing and violence.  The main victims are the Christians, the village Kurds, and the Yezidis – an ethnically Kurdish, but religiously Zoroastrian community.  All who have the means have fled – often with nothing but what they could carry with them.  While some have chosen to find refuge in the bigger Kurdish cities like Erbil, others have flooded across the border into southeastern Turkey.

Many of you have asked us how to send help to those directly affected by the violence.  We just received a request from the Evangelical Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey.  In their city, there are 170 family units of Yezidi refugees, and in another town in the Mardin province there are 90 family units of Kurdish refugees.  These numbers are only expected to swell in the near future.  This is the church we worked with while in Diyarbakir, who cared for us while we were in Mardin, and who continues to support the churches in southeast Turkey.

While the government has so far been favorable towards the refugees in Diyarbakir in giving them places to stay, the church would like to help in giving them clothes, diapers, food, and other basic supplies in the name of Jesus.  The local authorities are extremely supportive of this faith-based initiative.

Some of you are aware that through your generous help these same congregations were involved in reaching out to the Syrian refugees. Over 500 Syrian refugee families were given basic needs to make it through the hard winter months. So, the supply chain is already open to get funds to them, they are already experienced in refugee care, and they are trustworthy brothers and sisters who have a willing heart to love on these people in the name of Jesus.unnamed-3

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by September 15th. The need is great and the church is ready to serve. 

If you want to support the relief work through the Diyarbakir church, go to the World Witness webpage (http://www.worldwitness.org) and click “Give”.  Once you enter in all the necessary information, please write in the comment box: Iraqi Refugee Relief.  You can also contribute by check to World Witness.  In the memo line, please write Iraqi Refugee Relief. 

Thank you for standing with the fellowships of Southeast Turkey as they reach out in this time of need.

 In His Grip, 

Erik and Laurie Meberg

ARP News Update

images-26Day of Prayer and Fasting

Christians are being persecuted and killed by extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. This is a Moderator’s call for a Synod-wide day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Sunday, August 24. Please announce this in your churches on Sunday, August 17, and encourage participation. In the midst of great trial for family members, we can offer the support of our prayers for strength to endure and for evil to be thwarted.

 

images-41arp365 Deadline

It is time to submit dates for meetings and events for arp365 (our online calendar for the denomination). While some dates later in 2015 may not be confirmed yet, we would appreciate receiving any dates you can confirm at this point.

Send information to Cindy Scott (cscott@arpsynod.org). Cindy will work with you if any dates for meetings or events overlap.

Full-time Houseparents Needed

Full-time houseparents (married couple – husband and wife) are needed at Calvary Home For Children. Send resumes to greg@calvaryhome.org.

ARP News Update

Rev. Tony Grant

Rev. Dr. Tony Delano Grant, 73, pastor of York ARP Church (SC), died Monday, July 28, 2014, at his home in Rock Hill. He served the church for 34 years before his retirement July 1, 2014. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force.

A memorial service will be at 2:00 PM on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at York A.R.P. Church with Rev. Wallace Tinsley officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at York A.R.P. Church, and other times at the home of son Martin Grant, 1661 Huntmoor Dr., Rock Hill, SC 29732.

Rev. Grant was a son of the late Guy and Louise Rumler Grant. He is survived by wife Beth Martin Grant of Rock Hill, SC, two sons, Wesley S. Grant (Amy) of Chapin, SC, Martin Edward Grant (Kimberly) of Rock Hill, SC, brother Richard Grant (Linda) of Blythewood, SC, and four grandchildren, Marin Danna Grant, Piper Kenna Grant, Gracie Isabella Grant, and Colin Ezekiel Grant.

Memorials may be made to York A.R.P. Church, PO Box 475, York, SC 29745. Online condolences to the family may be made at http://www.brattonfuneralhome.com. Bratton Funeral Home in York is serving the Grant family.

ARP News Update Correction

Erskine College Welcomes Paul Kooistra as 16th President

Kooistras-for-news-300x200The Rev. William S. Cain, chairman of the Erskine Board of Trustees, announced today that Dr. Paul Kooistra of Suwannee, Ga., has been appointed president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Paul Kooistra as president and part of the Erskine family,” Cain said. “He is a time-tested leader who lives out his life with grace and humility before the Lord.”

Kooistra, who has headed Mission to the World (MTW), an agency of the Presbyterian Church in America, since 1994, previously served for nearly a decade as president of Covenant Theological Seminary in Creve Coeur, Mo. He has gained a reputation for transformational leadership in challenging circumstances.

His experience in the field of higher education has included service on the faculties of Belhaven College, Reformed School of Education, and Reformed Theological Seminary. Earlier in his career, he served two pastorates in Florida and was principal of a Christian day school.

Kooistra announced plans to step back from his longtime leadership role at Mission to the World about a year ago.

Praising Kooistra as “a man who has wonderfully served Christ’s church in numerous capacities with great ability and deep humility,” President Emeritus of Covenant Theological Seminary Dr. Bryan Chapell said, “He has been a youth pastor, a minister of Christian education, a preacher, a Christian school leader, a professor, a mission leader, an author, a friend to many—and a leader of remarkable courage and insight when we most needed it.”

Dr. George W. Robertson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Ga., has known Kooistra for nearly 30 years as “professor, pastor, president, boss, friend, and spiritual father” and offered his enthusiastic endorsement.

“I cannot think of any finer or more effective leader for your post than Paul,” he said. “The secret to Paul’s leadership genius is not so much organizational prowess —though he has that—as it is the theology of the Cross.”

Interim Presidential Search Committee Chair Bobby McDonald noted that Kooistra had been consulted concerning Erskine Seminary’s Augusta campus. “Dr. Kooistra was mentioned early in our search due to his prior involvement with Erskine,” he said.

“Looking at the list of qualities we sought in a candidate, Paul Kooistra was quickly identified as a contender for the position,” McDonald explained. “As we studied, met, and dialogued with Dr. Kooistra and his wife, Sandi, it became evident his knowledge of Erskine and academic leadership would serve the college as well.”

The search committed presented Kooistra to the trustees, and the Board of Trustees met with him July 17-18 to discuss priorities for what was expected to be an interim presidency.

“As we got to know Dr. Kooistra and his skill set better, and as he got to know more about what Erskine needed, it became apparent to both parties that there was an opportunity for him to do more for Erskine than we originally conceived,” Board Chairman William Cain said.

The executive committee recommended that Kooistra be named sixteenth president rather than interim president, making a motion to the full board. “The board agreed it was the right move for Erskine,” Cain said.

The vote was unanimous.

Asked about his plans for his tenure as president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Kooistra revealed his reliance on God’s providence and his willingness to listen to others.

“As I begin to work at Erskine, the only goals I have set for myself are to depend on the Lord and pray that He will lead me and the institution; to listen and get as much advice as I can from those who are already involved in the institution as to what we need to do and where we need to begin; and finally, to begin to take the necessary steps to move Erskine forward,” he said.

Faculty and staff members attended a luncheon with Kooistra in Moffatt Dining Hall Friday.

ARP News Update Correction

Erskine College Welcomes Paul Kooistra as 16th President

Kooistras-for-news-300x200The Rev. William S. Cain, chairman of the Erskine Board of Trustees, announced today that Dr. Paul Kooistra of Suwannee, Ga., has been appointed president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Paul Kooistra as president and part of the Erskine family,” Cain said. “He is a time-tested leader who lives out his life with grace and humility before the Lord.”

Kooistra, who has headed Mission to the World (MTW), an agency of the Presbyterian Church in America, since 1994, previously served for nearly a decade as president of Covenant Theological Seminary in Creve Coeur, Mo. He has gained a reputation for transformational leadership in challenging circumstances.

His experience in the field of higher education has included service on the faculties of Belhaven College, Reformed School of Education, and Reformed Theological Seminary. Earlier in his career, he served two pastorates in Florida and was principal of a Christian day school.

Kooistra announced plans to step back from his longtime leadership role at Mission to the World about a year ago.

Praising Kooistra as “a man who has wonderfully served Christ’s church in numerous capacities with great ability and deep humility,” President Emeritus of Covenant Theological Seminary Dr. Bryan Chapell said, “He has been a youth pastor, a minister of Christian education, a preacher, a Christian school leader, a professor, a mission leader, an author, a friend to many—and a leader of remarkable courage and insight when we most needed it.”

Dr. George W. Robertson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Ga., has known Kooistra for nearly 30 years as “professor, pastor, president, boss, friend, and spiritual father” and offered his enthusiastic endorsement.

“I cannot think of any finer or more effective leader for your post than Paul,” he said. “The secret to Paul’s leadership genius is not so much organizational prowess —though he has that—as it is the theology of the Cross.”

Interim Presidential Search Committee Chair Bobby McDonald noted that Kooistra had been consulted concerning Erskine Seminary’s Augusta campus. “Dr. Kooistra was mentioned early in our search due to his prior involvement with Erskine,” he said.

“Looking at the list of qualities we sought in a candidate, Paul Kooistra was quickly identified as a contender for the position,” McDonald explained. “As we studied, met, and dialogued with Dr. Kooistra and his wife, Sandi, it became evident his knowledge of Erskine and academic leadership would serve the college as well.”

The search committed presented Kooistra to the trustees, and the Board of Trustees met with him July 17-18 to discuss priorities for what was expected to be an interim presidency.

“As we got to know Dr. Kooistra and his skill set better, and as he got to know more about what Erskine needed, it became apparent to both parties that there was an opportunity for him to do more for Erskine than we originally conceived,” Board Chairman William Cain said.

The executive committee recommended that Kooistra be named sixteenth president rather than interim president, making a motion to the full board. “The board agreed it was the right move for Erskine,” Cain said.

The vote was unanimous.

Asked about his plans for his tenure as president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Kooistra revealed his reliance on God’s providence and his willingness to listen to others.

“As I begin to work at Erskine, the only goals I have set for myself are to depend on the Lord and pray that He will lead me and the institution; to listen and get as much advice as I can from those who are already involved in the institution as to what we need to do and where we need to begin; and finally, to begin to take the necessary steps to move Erskine forward,” he said.

Faculty and staff members attended a luncheon with Kooistra in Moffatt Dining Hall Friday.

ARP News Update

It’s Not Too Late for Camp This Summer!

music drama leaders 2014If you haven’t registered for the 2014 Bonclarken Music Conference, it still isn’t too late!  You may register onsite at Bonclarken THIS COMING SUNDAY at 3pm in the Jean White Room in Founders Hall!  There are still some spots available and you are welcome to come for this great week of worship and fellowship!  If you have questions, email Norma Jean Huffstetler at njhuffstetler@gmail.com

If you would like for your child to come to a session of Camp Bonclarken, there are a few spots left in certain age groups.  Please see the sessions and spots available below and call the Bonclarken Office to secure your child’s spot at Camp Bonclarken 2014! 828-692-2223.

Camp Bonclarken Session One – July 20 – 25, 2014music drama girls
We have room for 5 4th or 5th grade boys.
We have room for 6 4th or 5th grade girls.

music drama boysCamp Bonclarken Session Two – July 28 – August 1, 2014
We have room for 1 2nd grade boy.
We have room for 1 2nd or 3rd grade girls
We have room for 5 4th or 5th grade girls
We have room for 4 6th grade girls
We have room for 12 7th or 8th girls

Red Trinity Hymnals Needed

Travelers ARP Church, Travelers Rest, SC, is looking for the red Trinity Hymnals in good condition. If your church has any to give away, please contact Rev. Billy Barron, travelersarp@gmail.com or 864-420-8112.

RPCNA 2014RPCNA & ARP Synod to Meet in 2015

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) Synod voted overwhelmingly to accept the invitation of the ARP for the concurrent meeting at Bonclarken. The “negatives” that were expressed prior to the vote centered on the cost being (potentially) double our normal travel expense; otherwise the arguments were in favor of the proposal. This is a concurrent Synod which means we will meet jointly for worship, meals, prayer and a series of seminars presented by the parallel missions of our two churches. The actual meetings will be held separately.

RPCNA Interchurch report is copied below.

Concurrent Synod with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) in 2015 

The most significant aspect of the work of the Interchurch Committee (IC) this year has been evaluating and preparing for the proposed concurrent Synod with the ARP in 2015 at their Bonclarken conference facility in Flat Rock, NC. The Business of Synod Committee and the IC have worked together along with the ARP IC and Bonclarken staff in order to evaluate and begin plans for this meeting. This has included the practical issues like travel and accommodations as well as maximizing the schedule so as to make use of the time together in a profitable way.

Recognizing this unique opportunity leads the IC to recommend that Synod approach the 2015 Synod with a focus on our relationship with the ARP. This would include modifying our normal business and schedule in order to accommodate the particular emphasis of church relations, similar to the pattern of Synod 2010 with its particular emphasis on the Seminary. The draft schedule includes times for joint worship, meals, and prayer, along with a series of seminars presented by the parallel missions of our two churches.

The IC proposes that these seminars be headed up by the Home Missions, Foreign Missions, Education/Seminaries, and Publications Committees of each church involving joint presentations and interaction. Delegates would have opportunity to learn of and learn from each denomination and their labors. And finally, given the hospitable nature of the ARP we anticipate the blessing of fruitful interaction that occurs during the “unplanned” portions of the schedule. Please be praying for this and taking the time to get to know our ARP brothers.

To be clear, this is not a proposal to join together blindly. Rather it is a serious call to pray for and draw close to this sister church who holds dear many of the same aspects of the reformed faith.

Discussion of greater communication and fellowship between the ARP and RPCNA began with our inter church committees in 2004. Let’s be in prayer as planning begins for Synod 2015.

Women’s Ministries Celebrates 100 Years!

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.13.19 PM

The 100th Women’s Ministries Annual Conference (formerly the Synodical Annual Meeting) will be held at Bonclarken on July 27-28. As always, this meeting is held the day before the Family Bible Conference begins.

We encourage all women at ARP churches to attend this event. Plans include a worship service led by Dr. Derek Thomas, and Ellie Lofaro as the main speaker. The full schedule and a brochure to download can be found ARPWM.org. Please contact Bonclarken at 828-692-2223 for housing arrangements.

Plan to stay on for Family Bible Conference. The speakers for FBC will be Jim Klukow and Richard Phillips.