Presbytery members arrived up in Aberdeen on the Thursday and Friday with committees took up the whole of the first morning. Presbytery began properly began in the afternoon with singing Luther’s 46th A mighty fortress is our God before Professor Donald Macleod of the Free Church gave us two lectures.
The first being on Munus Triplex: Christ’s Threefold Office. He expounded how these functions correspond to our basic Spiritual needs. Our need for knowledge is met by Christ as Prophet, the need of forgiveness sis met by our great Priest and our need for deliverance and protection is found in Christ as King. He beautifully drew out how Christ fulfils this threefold office in his pre incarnate, humiliated and exalted states.
His second session was a masterful reflection on Gethsemanee from Mark 14. He was on familiar ground and if you’ve read Prof Macleod’s the Person of Christ you can get a flavour of some of the rich teaching we enjoyed. There were beautiful insights on the humanity of Christ. Both addresses should be on the website soon.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up in hearing church reports and prayer. Many of our congregations are looking at buildings and are establishing themselves. There’s nothing remarkable happening and yet slow and steady growth taking place. There are a large number of ruling elders being trained which is a source for great thanksgiving. Trinity Aberdeen provided a lovely meal and a few of us ended up at a hotel for a while
The Saturday morning began with worship, we sang a wonderful new hymn written by Andrew Randall on the Apostle’s Creed (pictured above), Gethin Jones who is spending the year with us in Ealing whilst under care. He preached from 1 John 2:12-17 which is not an easy passage but he had some excellent insights into the text. Gethin has been trained at Westminster and so you can see his training coming through in his preaching.
The presbytery business was quite light with a report of a successful visit frm the Home Office which looks at how we grant visas. It was a good thing to remove loan elders from Liss and what took probably the longest part of the morning was a motion to for a study committee on the growth of IPC abroad. Following a short break we had a report on the Church Planting Committee where Matthew Roberts presented the initial draft of our strategy regarding planting new churches. Candidates and Credentials who are very busy at the moment processing lots of elder applications also fed back to Presbytery.
The other two bits of news are that we elected David Gibson as the new moderator to start probably in December. Chris Cradock has done an excellent job for us these last couple of years and it’s encouraging that we now have a number of men who could easily do it which wasn’t always the case. We’ve also made a recommendation for Synod Moderator.
All in all a quiet presbytery but that is good. The new book of Liturgy has been published on Amazon and that will be a great help to us