or the second time in history, the Associate Reformed Pres- byterian Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) gathered together for a Concurrent Synod meeting. The meeting was held in Beaver Falls, Pennsylva- nia at Geneva College. The beautiful campus provided dorm rooms, meeting spaces and meals in their college dining room. Delegates traveled from all over the United States to gather for this time of fellowship and business. Alumni of Geneva Col-

lege and ARPC pastor from First Gastonia, Matt Kuiken said, “I loved being able to

reconnect with my own colleagues and to be at the school that discipled us and pre- pared us for a lifetime of ministry.” Dean Rydbeck, Hope ARPC in Louisiana, said “Geneva showed gracious hospitality and I enjoyed the sweet fellowship with the RPCNA.” Several ARPC pastors had the opportunity to preach in RPCNA churches prior to Synod. Pete Smith, RPCNA Covenant Fellowship pastor, said, “Leslie Holmes preached for me on Sunday and it was a joy to extend our time of fellowship outside of the synod meetings.”

Pre-Synod Conference on Psalmody By Susan Tanner

he ARPC and the RPCNA gathered to form a panel discussion as part of the Pre-Synod conference. The idea was to help strengthen the relationship between the two denomina- tions on the obvious differential opinions on Psalm singing. This type of setting allows each denomination to put forward their thoughts as sister denominations for a better understanding. The panel included RPCNA delegates Michael LeFebvre, Kyle Borg and Adam Kuehner and


the ARPC delegates included Mark Ross, Philip Bunch and David Vance. Michael LeFebvre read from Proverbs 9:1-6 on hospitality. The second commandment is the rea-

son to regulate worship and this is the doctrine that brings us together according to the RPCNA.  act of service to God and we need to give exactly what He orders. Kuehner asks, “What has God asked us to sing?” The Old Testament uses The Lord’s supper as an example for congregational singing. It sets a pattern for New Testament public worship. “Whatever we do with the psalms is what we would do with songs from Jesus. It is what we have and what a joy it is,” Kuehner says. In the psalms you have references to 78 psalms, 17 hymns and 36 songs. These three terms convey one basic idea.

We have three common objections.  • The Psalms don’t use the name of Jesus. He is called many terms to sing of the glory. • I’ve been richly blessed to uninspired hymns. I love hymns but I love Him more.

“We need to focus on the lyrics we sing. If you sing with grace in the heart, producing in you

humility, love, and grace, that is what Paul talks about. The Lord desires that you sing to His name,” Kuehner concludes. Mark Ross begins, “What we share in common and we profess together but we might not be united in the steps to the conclusion.” In 2007, the ARPC produced an updated Directory of Public Worship. Regulative worship doesn’t appear in it. Our public worship is based on The Westminster Confession, The Long and Short Cathechism, and the doctrinal Standards. Each section and chapter begins with scripture to provide foundation from teaching. Scripture alone is the tool to direct us. Psalm 92 reads of the music of the harp. Musical offerings may be made to God as part of wor- ship (vocal and instrumental) In 1891, The ARPC allowed for the use of instrumental music. “The Book of Psalms is actually a book of prayers and likewise praises function like The Lord’s

prayer,” Ross says. Scripture regulates our prayers. There are two types of prayers. One with words alone and one with singing. There are two types of praises. One with words alone and one with singing. A time of Q&A followed. David Vance, a member of the panel said, “Thanks for the opportunity to have this discussion when so many In the world don’t know what we are talking about. It is great to have this environment to express our differences.”

July/August 2019

Rev. Mark Hornby, pastor of Highlands ARPC, on the left, with sons-in-law, Rev. Chris McCoy, Associate Pastor of High- lands ARPC, Bobby Duran, a recent Erskine Seminary graduate, and Rev. Rhett Carson, pastor of Pinecrest ARPC.


Synod Coverage

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