The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland Synod
When the Synod met in Inverness on Tuesday, May 22, the retiring Moderator, Rev K D Macleod, South Harris, preached an encouraging sermon from Psalm 115:12, “The Lord hath been mindful of us: He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron.” Rev D J MacDonald, minister of the Dornoch and Bonar congregation, was appointed Moderator for this year.
Two ministers were received into the Church: Rev Allan MacDonald, who had already been on trial for a period, was admitted as a probationer; and Rev Wilfred Weale, formerly of the Free Church in Ullapool, was admitted as a minister.
The Convener of the Training of the Ministry Committee, Rev D J MacDonald, reported that one divinity student, Mr David Campbell, was ready to be taken on trials for licence to preach the gospel. He added that this was a cause for much thankfulness to the Most High as it is seven years since a report of this nature was last made to the Synod.
The Convener of the Religion and Morals Committee, Rev G G Hutton, presented the Committee’s full and interesting report, which gives sad but valuable information about the accelerating spiritual and moral decline of our nation. This is given under such headings as The Protestant Throne, Civil Government and Religion, The United Kingdom and Europe, Romanism, The Church of England, The Church of Scotland, Other Scottish Churches, False Religions, Abortion, Substance Abuse, Marriage and Divorce, Homosexuality (Sodomy), Euthanasia, and Cloning.
The Synod passed a resolution on the Scottish Executive’s guidelines for sex education in schools. The Resolution states: “The Synod deplores the dishonour done to God’s law, the evil to which our children are being made a prey, and the guilt brought upon the nation by the Scottish Executive’s guidelines for sex education, which are so manifestly contrary to the teaching of the Bible, and which are calculated to bring the judgement of God upon the nation”. The resolution drew attention to the facts that (1) a teaching guide suggesting that children as young as 11 should be encouraged to discuss sexual acts is on the Executive’s approved reading list; (2) the Executive has not only exposed our children to deviant sexual behaviour but has glamorised it in the name of education; (3) some of the approved material represents the homosexual relationship as normal, and (4) some of the approved material requires children to pretend that they are sodomites or lesbians. The Synod called upon the Scottish Executive “to take steps as soon as possible to remove from the school curriculum all that is injurious to the moral and spiritual well-being of students.”
Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, was appointed to be kept as a day of humiliation and prayer in all the congregations of the Church.
In response to an Overture presented to it, the Synod resolved that recorded or live-link worship services be not used in public worship. It did not object to the use of such services by those who could not be present in public worship.
On Thursday evening, when reports on our foreign missions were presented, the Synod was addressed by Mr van Vliet, Secretary of Mbuma Zending. After conveying the prayerful good wishes of Mbuma Zending, he spoke warmly of the work of preaching the gospel of Christ in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Also present was Rev Z Mazvabo of our New Canaan Mission in Zimbabwe, who presented his own and some other reports.
Rev K D Macleod was appointed Editor of The Free Presbyterian Magazine for another year, and Revs J MacLeod, H M Cartwright and N M Ross were also appointed members of an Editorial Board for the magazine. Rev K D Macleod was also appointed Convener of the Finance Committee and Rev J R Tallach was appointed Convener of the Ballifeary Residential Care Home Committee.
The Synod noted with sadness the deaths of six former members: Rev A McPherson, Perth, Rev J MacDonald, formerly of North Tolsta, Rev D Nicolson, formerly of Glendale, Mr W MacQueen, Daviot, Mr I M MacLeod, Dingwall, and Mr J A MacLeod, Glasgow. Tributes to them were read.
African Mission News
On June 13, Rev John Goldby left for Zimbabwe as a deputy of the Church, on behalf of the Foreign Missions Committee, to spend eight weeks visiting our congregations and other establishments.
Arrangements have been made for the induction of Rev K M Watkins to Sengera, Kenya, on Wednesday, July 25, God willing. The Foreign Mission Committee has appointed Revs J R Tallach and N M Ross as Church deputies to Kenya. They will be assessor ministers of the Zimbabwe Presbytery during their stay in Kenya and will be involved in the induction.
All these Church deputies would be grateful if the Lord’s people would remember them in prayer and seek also that the blessing of the Lord would be upon our congregations in Africa, and on the induction in Sengera.