2019 Meeting of General Synod

Bonclarken’s ten-week summer season usually begins with our hosting the annual meeting of General Synod. We certainly enjoy hosting more than 500 guests we usually have on our ground for Synod in early June, and the week serves as a great kick-off for our summer.

However, for the first time since 2003 (and only the fifth time since 1950), Synod is not meeting at Bonclarken in 2019. Many folks have asked me why Synod is not meeting here and who is coming in their place in 2019. I’d like to answer these questions for my article this month.


2015, Bonclarken hosted both our ARP Synod and the RPCNA Synod at the same time. The RPCNA wished to reciprocate and invited our Synod to meet concur- rently with their Synod at Geneva Col- lege (their undergraduate college) in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, in 2019. Our Synod accepted this invitation. I was asked to serve on the Geneva

ARP denomination, a few Reformed churches did not join. These hold- outs are the predecessors of today’s Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America. The relationship between the ARP Church and the RPCNA has grown closer over the years, so much so that in


n 1782, when the Associate Pres- byterians and the Reformed Pres- byterians merged to form our

College site-visit team to meet with their staff and help develop plans for the various meeting spaces our Synod would need. I found Geneva’s campus to be very charming and similar in many ways to Erskine. Being a former basket- ball player, I was interested to learn that the world’s first recorded college basket- ball game occurred in the Beaver Falls on April 8, 1893, when the intramural team from Geneva College defeated the New

Brighton YMCA. The town of Beaver Falls is larger

than I anticipated, but has a small-town feel. Most of the chain hotels are lo- cated on the interstate 25 minutes from campus, so many of our delegates will be going back and forth each day. Ge- neva has made their dorm rooms avail- able so some delegates will be staying on campus. I am confident the RPCNA and Geneva College will do a fine job in providing our Synod with a high qual- ity experience. Who is coming in Synod’s place on

our calendar this June? We will again host the first session of Camp Joy, and we will welcome two other groups that week as well. ARP Women’s Ministries is taking the opportunity to host a Pas- tor and Missionary Wives Conference, which will be a great time of fellowship and renewal for these ladies. We will also welcome Signs for Hope, an orga- nization comprised of Christian fami- lies who have adopted deaf orphans from around the world. These three groups will provide a great start for our 2019 summer season. As your pastors and elders make

plans to attend this year’s Synod meet- ing, pray for their safe travel to Penn- sylvania. Bonclarken will eagerly await their return to us in 2020.?

An Environment for Christian Inspiration and Renewal May/June 2019 9


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