Help the Philippines
Any individuals or congregations wishing to make contributions for relief efforts in the wake of the typhoon that devastated the Philippines may send donations to General Synod’s Good Samaritan Fund, One Cleveland Street, Greenville, SC 29601. Donations will be accepted through December 5 and will be forwarded on to Samaritan’s Purse for distribution and action.
In December 2012, ARP’s contributed over $30,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief, and more recently over $14,000 for tornado and flood relief efforts in the American Midwest.
Regarding the typhoon, Samaritan’s Purse has issued the following plea:
“Could you imagine if every home in your town was damaged or destroyed, if every roof was missing, if all the power lines were down? Think if you saw hundreds of dead bodies in the streets. This is what is going on right now. And the misery factor is just going to increase.”
“Samaritan’s Purse is responding. We have disaster relief specialists on the ground, including water and nutrition experts and medical personnel. We are working with church partners to deliver emergency supplies to those most in need.”
Please remember the people of the Philippines. The need is enormous. Your prayers and financial support are vital and appreciated. We will do all we can to help as many as we can and do it in the Name of Jesus Christ. Pray for God to use our team and ministry partners to share the hope of the Gospel as we work.”
Executive Board Meeting Highlights
Synod’s Executive Board met at Greenville ARP Church on October 24, 2013. Highlights of the meeting included:
- A report from Synod Archivist, Edith Brawley, who announced that the Synod Archives at Erskine are now open and receiving materials. Churches and presbyteries wishing to send materials to the archival holdings should contact Mrs. Brawley at 864-379-8763, firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o McCain Library PO Box 188 Erskine College, Due West, SC 29639. A reading room is also available at the library for those who wish to read any of the archived materials.
- An update from Synod’s legal counsel, Dan Eller. The board moved that the Moderator form a special committee to investigate and determine if Synod should adopt a policy on sexual abuse and misconduct and that the committee report back to the board in March 2014.
- Approval of a recommendation to be presented to General Synod in June 2014 regarding a change in the Rules of Order. The change would provide for the submission of reports to Synod in electronic format.
- Vote to dissolve Pacific Presbytery, effective October 24, 2013, allowing any of the former Pacific Presbytery churches desiring membership in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to be aligned with the nearest ARP Presbytery.
Bonclarken Board Meeting Highlights
The Bonclarken Board of Trustees held its annual fall meeting October 24-25 at Bonclarken. The Board welcomed five new members with Lou Ann Aheron (Ebenezer), David Brunt (Chester) and David Vickery (Greenville) joining in the Class of 2019 along with Linda Katte (Sandy Plains) as the representative of Women’s Ministries and Reggie Ramsey as the President of the Bonclarken Property Owners Association.
The Board received a final report on the campaign to “Repair and Preserve” the Hotel. The effort has been an overwhelming success, with the project finishing on-time and under budget. The Board expressed thanks to the hundreds of donors that pledged over $500,000 to fund the work. After so many years of discussion on action needed to save the Hotel, having this project completed is exciting for all who love Bonclarken.
The Board received a report from President Chip Sherer on guest attendance and noted the continuing trend of increases in adult attendance and decreases in youth attendance. Since the opening of The Lodge in 2008, Bonclarken has seen a 29% increase in adult attendance. However, youth attendance during that same period has decreased 20%. The continued declines in youth attendance prompted the creation of a sub-committee to study the issue and bring recommendations at the January meeting.
Other action items included:
- Asked Administration to investigate the costs of establishing internet connectivity for the entire Conference Center. Administration asked to report findings at January Board meeting
- Asked Administration to investigate the costs associated with implementing a plan to solve the HVAC issues in the Dining Room. Administration asked to report findings at January Board meeting.
- Revised the Bonclarken Property Owners Policies to create a process of action should a property owner fail to pay quarterly dues.
- Authorized the President to sign, on behalf of the Board, the Agreement between the James L. Love Bonclarken Foundation and Bonclarken Conference Center, accepting the transfer of all of the Foundation’s assets to the Bonclarken Permanent Endowment with the income from the fund to be used in accord with the terms of the Agreement.
The meeting was concluded with a time of prayer and praise for the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on our conference center. The next meeting is scheduled for January 24-25.