Church Family Fun Day

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Our Church Family Fun Day will take place on 25th August. In the morning, Rev. David McCullough will be giving two talks on the theme 'Leading little ones to God' - worshipping God as families. During his talks there will be activities organised for children. Then in the afternoon we will have a bouncy castle, candy floss makers etc for the younger ones will the adults have a chance to sit and chat. For more details see the poster above - all welcome!

Girls' Adventure Camp

This summer nine young people from three RPCS congregations attended Irish RP Junior Camps. Hannah, from our own congregation, was at Girls' Adventure Camp for the first time.

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You can read about how their experiences on the RPCS website. Here's what Hannah said:

The talks were on the book of James.  What was one thing you learned or remember about the talks?

Some of the topics we learned were: taming the tongue, submitting to God, and genuine faith.  We learned that there is no situation where prayer is not relevant, and that our quiet time is really important.

What was your favourite activity during the week?

My favourite activity was the powder paint fight – it was so fun; and the 500m zip wire was also amazing.

What was your favourite thing about Camp?

Overall I found making new friends and the talks were my favourite things about Girls Adventure Camp.

Jude Colhoun placement

As a congregation, we're looking forward to the arrival of Jude Colhoun on Friday. Jude is a member of Raphoe Congregational Church in Donegal, and is currently studying at the Irish Baptist College.

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During his time in Stranraer Jude will be involved in many of the different aspects of the life and work of the congregation, including leading Bible studies and preaching through the book of Habakkuk over the next three Lord's Days.

We're glad that his wife Zara and son Micah will be able to be with us for part of the time.

Bible stolen from unsuspecting churchgoers

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There was shock and outrage in June as a historic Bible was stolen from Kirkmaiden Old Parish Church near Drummore. It was an edition of the Great Bible from the mid 1500s, affectionately known as the ‘Treacle Bible’ for its translation of Jeremiah 8:22.

The Bible was taken from the church in broad daylight. Who would do such a thing? And yet, tragically, the Bible has been stolen from many churches without the people noticing. It’s not necessarily that someone has walked in and physically taken the Bibles out– but the message of the Bible is no longer proclaimed. Yes, the Bible may still sit on the pulpit, or even be ceremoniously carried in. Select parts of it may be read. But it doesn’t take much investigation to realise that the message of the Bible has long since been suppressed.

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Key doctrines of the Bible, such as the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Jesus, have long been denied with impunity by many clergy in the mainline denominations. On the local level, the Bible’s teaching on who should serve as ministers and elders is overruled by human preference. Instead of being reserved for the children of believers, baptism is administered to the children of any parents who want it. New Testament commands to remove from church membership those living lives of unrepentant sin are never put into practice. And though the Bible may be read, its message isn’t preached. Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God (John 14:6) is silenced. Many church members today would be alarmed, just as Felix was, if their ministers began to speak of ‘righteousness and self-control and the coming judgement’ (Acts 24:25).

The church in many places has long been, to quote the 1980s sitcom Yes, Prime Minister, primarily a social organisation, not a religious one. And unsurprisingly, with the message of the church little different from the message of the culture, churches are in serial decline. Why bother going if you can get the same message elsewhere?

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The great tragedy of it all is that the radical, life-giving, eternity-defining message of Jesus is no longer being heard.

The theft of a 450 year old Bible, while sad, won’t ultimately affect anyone’s life. But the silencing of the Bible’s message in churches which claim to believe it – that’s the real tragedy.

Published in the Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press, 2nd August 2018.

Gold Coast 2018

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From 14th - 21st July, around 40 people from the Scottish RP Church, including 3 from Stranraer, attended the RP International Conference on the south coast of Ireland. There were 530 attendees from 4 continents, 12 countries and 88 congregations. It was encouraging to note that a significant number of those attending hadn't been part of the RP Church when the last conference was held in Gartmore, Scotland, 4 years ago.

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The speaker for the week was Rev. Matt Kingswood from Russell RPC in Canada. The congregation began with four families in 1997, and today numbers around 180. Matt & his wife Tara were interviewed on the Lord's Day afternoon to help us get to know them a little, in between morning and evening worship, where the preachers were Andrew Lytle (Nantes) and Matthew Brennan (Clonmel Baptist). Matt preached each morning from Monday - Friday from Psalm 130 with the theme 'Out of the Depths'. The talks are available to listen to / download below:

On four of the mornings there were seminars after the talks, with Stephen doing one entitled 'How to listen to a sermon'. In the afternoon there were different optional activities organised, and then in the evening everyone came together for family worship, and a different organised activity each night: Quiz, Game Show, Concert, Ceilidh & Conference Reflections.

Gemma Macdonald (Glasgow) finishes her report on the RPCS website by saying:

One of the stand out elements of the conference is living in what is essentially a village of Christians for a week; nobody passed on the street without offering a warm greeting and every day people were popping into each other’s houses to share a meal, to share in fellowship, or to borrow some cooking implement. During a time of reflection on the final evening, several people referred to the week as “a small taste of heaven” and with such a spirit of fellowship and the representation of 12 different nationalities, it is little wonder.  I would urge you to consider booking a place at the next conference which will take place in 2022.

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