RPCS

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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Scottish Reformed Conference: RP videos

The Scottish Reformed Conference takes place every May at Hamilton College. The last two years have featured RP speakers - in 2017 it was Rev. Warren Peel from Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, and in 2018, Rev. Kenneth Stewart from Glasgow Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

The videos of their sermons are below. Videos from other years are available here.

Can a church turn around?

The following was written in 2006 to describe the turnaround which had taken place in the RP church in Airdrie over the previous 12 years. Many of the things that were true of the church in Airdrie could also have been said of the church in Stranraer.

We're grateful to have had the input of two men who experienced the transformation of the congregation in Airdrie serving as interim elders in Stranraer and are confident that what God has done elsewhere he can do here.

The Airdrie congregation today

"What’s the purpose of church? Why does it exist?

It’s a question we had to face a few years ago as it became clear that our church was dying. Attendances were falling year after year, reaching a weekly average in the 20’s, and an average age in the 70’s. People would ‘come to church’ on a Sunday morning, but beyond that there wasn’t any real interest in being together as the church.

As we began to face the question of what could be done, we were soon reminded that the church is God’s, not ours. This in turn led us to realise that unless we did things his way, our descent into oblivion would continue. So we stopped doing things just for the sake of doing them, and started focusing on what God wants from his church. This didn’t happen overnight, it took time. First we concentrated on getting everyone to enjoy worshiping God twice on a Sunday, morning and evening. Then we considered how we could help one another in our study of God’s Word, which gave rise to weekly Bible studies in people's homes, and in the past couple of years we have been encouraging each other to meet together for prayer on a Sunday morning just before worship. The result - God has been transforming our church. We are no longer a small group of elderly people wandering fairly aimlessly along. We now have a clear sense of our purpose as a community of God’s people.

This change in focus has seen God bring new people into the church, people from all sorts of different backgrounds but with one thing in common - a desire to know more about God."

Edinburgh church plant becomes congregation

On Friday night, Stephen, Carla and Willow travelled to Edinburgh for the happy occasion of the constitution of the North Edinburgh church plant into a congregation of its own.

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Rev. Andrew Quigley (Airdrie) preached, speaking of how five years ago he had encouraged the small group interested in starting the church that Christ would bring in people as his word was preached. Five years later, the size of the group associated with the congregation standing at the front of the room testified to the truth of that statement.

We are seeing the same thing happening in Stranraer, and Friday evening was an encouragement to keep going, looking to Christ to build his church through the preaching of his word.

St Andrews Reformation Day Trip

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On Saturday, we joined with over 100 others from the RP churches of Glasgow, North Edinburgh and Airdrie (and friends from elsewhere) on a Reformation day trip to St Andrews to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

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With heavy rain the day before and the day after, we were grateful to God for a dry and sunny day for the trip. We arrived in St Andrews in time for lunch, before heading out to tour the town and hear talks on three famous Reformers who are associated with it.

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The first talk was given by Jimmy Fisher of Reformation Tours. He spoke about Patrick Hamilton, who first heard of the teachings of Martin Luther when at university in Paris. After returning home to teach at the University of St Andrews, he became convinced that Luther's teachings were Biblical. He began to preach and saw many people converted before being arrested, tried and burnt at the stake in 1528. However rather than stopping the progress of the Reformation, his death helped spread it.

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We then moved from St Salvator's to the Castle where Stephen spoke about George Wishart, whose theological ability and preaching around Scotland gave the Reformation both depth and breadth. Wishart too was martyred in St Andrews, being hanged and burnt outside the Castle in 1546.

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The final spot we visited was St Andrews' Cathedral where Peter Loughridge (North Edinburgh RP Church) spoke on the most famous Reformer of all - John Knox. Knox has many critics but Peter showed how he was just the man who God had shaped for such a time. Knox, like the other Reformers spent time abroad and had many contacts outside Scotland. Being part of this wider network benefitted the work of the gospel in their homeland.

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While at the Cathedral, we had the opportunity to visit the grave of Samuel Rutherford, someone who would be greatly used by God the century after Hamilton, Wishart and Knox.

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We then returned to our our starting point where Kenneth Stewart of Glasgow RPC gave a short talk on the benefits of the Reformation for Scotland. Overall it was a great day and we are thankful to God for safety in travel, fellowship, and the opportunity to learn more about the great heritage that Scotland has.

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