We’ve produced prayer notes for our Presbytery Churches that can be downloaded Here
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
Ranald Macaulay has written a fascinating personal account of the history of our little denomination. ‘As for the saints who are in the land’ – the roots of the International Presbyterian Church 1954 – 1990
Grace Church, Larbert – Facing some accommodation issues – needing to find a temporary home for July – August. They are still looking for land and there is one possible option. Growth in the congregation has been more stable than spectacular but around 200 in the congregation now. Sean Clokey is halfway through his training at ETS
Trinity Church Aberdeen – Looking at a building and a need for wisdom and courage in this. Have been preaching through Luke’s gospel and encouraging the congregation to use Uncover doing 121’s with friends. This has seen encouraging results. Encouraged by having Ben Trainor on staff doing Cornhill part time.
HIC Inverness – Quite encouraged with recent growth – up to 50 people on a Sunday morning, celebrating their 5th anniversary soon. Continued prayer for health of James and Jane Torrens
Trinity York – Encouraged – 2 elders are being put to the congregation which is good for the church but pray for unity in this. There has been an increase in attendance particularly in the number of Non Christians coming to church. Mums and Tots groups has started and a Drop in coffee for older folks. All their interns will finish this summer and so there’s a need to recruit new ones. Very grateful for Peter Leach coming under care and staying for another year.
Christ Church Derby – Lots of be thankful for, quite a number of new faces, 5 new members. Recently finished an evangelistic course and lots of good conversations. Pray for the Christ Church Central Leeds launch – it’s very exciting but that will have an effect on the congregation in Derby and particularly the finances as people move on. Pray for Jonty and George as they prepare to move house – Ottilie Esther Grace Rhodes was born on 7 March.
New City Fellowship – Shepherds Bush – A stable time, have appointed a communications guy to the staff. Grateful for a woman who has moved back from New York. Marcus, Oong and Chris H meeting as a proto session and preaching through Acts. Grateful froa Somali man coming and the music beginning to sound better
New Life Massih Ghar, Southall – Barry Schutter has just returned from a trip to India with the aim of reaching the families of people in NLMG back in India, helping publish books in India and real encouragement from a girl in NLMG giving her testimony in Hyderabad.
Immanuel, Brentford – One of Stuart’s neighbours coming for a few months from Catholic background. There has been a family coming from the start and some people randomly coming. Hoping to run Life Explored after Easter. There are a number of pastor issue with older people who are frail and depression in the congregation.
All Nations, Ilford – Steady, Having an Away day in May. Pray for people on fringes for God to work. Still grappling with language issues and how to minister to those in a different language. Keep praying for a musician.
Grace Church, Kyle of Lochalsh – Not an easy situation. Week to week it seems to be settled and congregation is recovering. They are still below the scale where they need to be to call a minister. Hamish serving heroically
Ealing IPC – Training 4 men for eldership which is going well. On the building project, encouraged that we’ve been able to sort out legal situation CIO and a loan but the builders are proving problematic. Very grateful to have recently had Dariusz Bryckov with us from Poland and hope that we can have a long term partnership with the congregation in Warsaw. WE are looking at ways we can reach out to Polish people with the gospel. We are looking forward to having Gethin Jones work with us for a year and Chris Roberts coming back from London Seminary this summer. We need to pray for Graham who is having an operation for Colon cancer with quite a few uncertainties.
St Peter’s Liss – Has been a more settled time with loan elders working well together. The way forward plan for the congregation is being developed and there are encouragements. A pastoral search committee has been appointed.
Culcheth Community Church – Phil Wren has decided that he won’t serve as an elder and so Church Planting committee are talking to Bruce as to the best way forward for the congregation.
Christ Church Central, Leeds – Jonty and George will be moving to Leeds in April.