Camps & Conferences

Banner of Truth Conference 2019

Stephen was one of 17 RP ministers who attended the Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference, held in Stafford from Monday-Thursday this week. The theme of the conference was ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit’.

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Rev. Edward Donnelly (retired minister of Trinity RPCI and Principal of Reformed Theological College when Stephen trained there) was attending the conference for the 50th time, and gave two addresses on the theme ‘The Spirit of Life’:

One particular highlight was hearing Lindsay Brown speaking about Mission. The first of his two talks was particularly encouraging as it highlighted what God was doing in many countries around the world:

It was also encouraging to hear global updates from men ministering in different countries around the world - some who have faced physical persecution - and to be able to pray for them in their work.

Videos of the rest of the talks are available here, and a list of previous recordings, dating back to 1962, can be found here. The video below is of the 300 men present singing Psalm 46:

The theme for next year’s conference will be ‘Communion with God’. One of the speakers will be Robert McCollum (one of Stephen’s best men, and pastor of Newtownards RPC). Robert spoke twice at this year’s Banner Youth Conference, which was held last weekend. You can watch his talks below:

New website & Hannah at camp

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The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland website has recently had a complete redesign. It features news from around the denomination, the latest online sermons from our ministers, a growing archive page of historical resources by and about the denomination, and more.

One of the first news articles on the new website was from our own Hannah, sharing about how she got on at Girls’ Adventure Camp last weekend.

She said: “At camp reunion this year the talks were on Luke chapter 15. We learnt about the rebellious son, older brother, and the father. They taught us about how the father forgives the son that spent all his money straight away, and that his love was unconditional. This represented Jesus’ love for us. We went swimming. We also had a fashion show on Saturday night. My favourite was the swimming. My favourite thing about reunion was seeing all my friends from camp and the talks.”

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Ministers' Conference 2018

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From Monday-Wednesday this week, Stephen attended the annual RP ministers' conference. The speaker this year was Kenneth Stewart, minister of our Glasgow congregation, who gave four very helpful addresses on the theme 'Trouble in the Church'. 

During the conference there were a number of prayer times and three other talks: an opening sermon from Andy Hambleton (Crumlin Evangelical Presbyterian Church), a lecture on preaching from Mark Goudy (Macosquin Presbyterian Church), and a closing sermon from Andrew Kerr (Moderator of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland and minister of Knockbracken RPC - where Stephen did an internship before coming to Stranraer).

As usual, it was a great few days, not just of teaching, but also of catching up with fellow ministers.

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.

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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