Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ruling Elders in the ARP: Where are you?

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has called a special meeting of their Synod to address the report of a commission investigating Erskine College and Seminary. The Synod is supposed to meet March 2-3. In order for this called meeting to happen, though, there needs to be a quorum of Teaching Elders and a quorum of Ruling Elders (ARP Form of Government, 13.C.5). The quorum of Teaching Elders has been reached; however, there are not yet enough Ruling Elders to make a quorum, which means this Called meeting of Synod may not happen.

Ruling Elders: I must impress upon you the importance of attending this called meeting of Synod. The issues raised by the Erskine Commission are of vital importance to the future of our denomination. If we cannot keep our Seminary in check, either we will lose it or it will continue to operate as it has for years: as an authority unto itself. Ruling Elders: rule!

I understand the difficulties associated with traveling to North Carolina, the need to take time off from work, to arrange accommodations for your families, and all the other various reasons that could be used as an excuse to not go to this Called meeting of Synod. However, remember your calling: "Ruling elders...together with the ministers...exercise government and discipline. They oversee the spiritual interests both of the particular congregation and of the Church generally when appointed to represent the congregation in higher courts. In all the courts of the Church ruling elders possess the same authority and the same eligibility to office as ministers...they are to seek the will of God in all church court decisions." (ARP Form of Government, 7.B.1-2.)


  1. Hey Seth... Great Blog... I was thinking of creating one just like this a while back as a resource for Ruling Elders... Cheers to you!

    I agree on the importance of this meeting. Of note, since it's a *called* meeting of Synod, all pastors and elder Representatives from the *last* meeting are required to attend. Other elders, of course, are strongly encouraged as this *is* the business of the church to whom we are called to serve.

    See you in March!

  2. Thank you, Anthony.

    As I understand it, only those elders and pastors who were present at the last meeting of Synod are eligible to *vote* at this called meeting. So, although I was more general in addressing this to all Ruling Elders in the ARP, the ones that most need to be there are the ones who are eligible to vote (ie, the ones who were at the last meeting of Synod).