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73rd Synod Emphasizes Prayer

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

We praise the Lord for His goodness which was poured out on the Bible Presbyterian Church’s 73rd General Synod, August 6-11, in Bristol, Virginia. Rev. Garry Cole and the Ryder Memorial Presbyterian Church were our hosts, and produced an atmosphere of welcome and Southern hospitality that none of the delegates or guests will soon forget. From the first day until the last, the easy grace of Ryder Church family made all feel at home.
Synod’s theme this year, chosen by outgoing Moderator Rev. G. W. Fisher, was “The Sweetness of Prayer.” The theology and practice of prayer was developed throughout the week along the lines that are revealed in the writings of John Calvin (principally the Institutes of the Christian Religion), whose 500th birthday anniversary the Synod observed this year. Particularly in view of the Calvin anniversary, the Synod was pleased to welcome Dr. Joel Beeke to the pulpit on the opening night of Synod to speak on “Calvin and Piety.” Dr. Beeke is arguably the world’s foremost living authority on Calvin and is also a pastor, an educator, and an author of international renown. His message was a blessing to us — and so was his well-stocked book table, which delegates scoured clean.
In light of the theme, a new feature was added to the docket this year. Throughout the day, prayer was conducted for our business and the church at large by friends, visitors, and delegates who were not otherwise engaged in the business of the day. These regular gatherings for prayer were a reflection of the quiet and prayerful attitude that prevailed at this year’s Synod.
Other highlights of the Synod included the presence and participation of Rev. John Janbaz, elder statesman of the BPC, who had attended the very first General Synod of the BPC in 1938, and made the trip out from California to attend this year; the delightful ambience of our meeting hall, the Bristol Train Station, which sits next to an active freight line with all its attendant (and delightful, for train buffs!) distractions; a most enjoyable women’s day including a play, lunch, and Highland Festival shopping; Sunday services under tents in the State Park across the street from the church; an Appalachian-style concert on Sunday afternoon by Dr. and Mrs. Pine, Miss Emily Blizzard, and the Synod choir; and an outdoor, riverside banquet that featured the best of southern cooking, homemade ice cream, and a wonderful closing message by Rev. Stephen Johnson.
The newly-elected Moderator, Dr. Len Pine, now serves with his fellow officers, Rev. Stephen Johnson (Vice Moderator), Rev. John Dyck (Clerk), Rev. Steven Brinegar (Assistant Clerk), Elder Frank Williams (Treasurer), and Elder Eric Lasch (Assistant Treasurer). The next Synod is slated to be held at Grace Bible Presbyterian Church in Sharonville, Ohio, August 5-10, 2010. Please pray for these men as they fulfill their duties, and pray for the Lord’s blessings on the BPC in the years ahead.

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