As I See It: General Synod

By Charles Wilson | May 21, 2021
As I See It General Synod ARPTalk Chuck Wilson

Once again, for the third year, General Synod will not meet at Bonclarken. In 2019, Synod met in Pennsylvania, at Geneva College, in Beaver Falls. Last year, because of the stringent Covid protocols in North Carolina, Synod met in the facilities of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina. Once again, because of Covid protocols, the folks at Bonclarken requested Synod not to meet at Bonclarken. Unexpectedly, a few days later, President Biden, CDC officials, and the governor of North Carolina lifted Covid protocols; however, by then it was too late to reverse course (see Form of Government, 12.9). A Contentious Meeting The items on the table for General Synod portend a contentious meeting. On Tuesday, May 11, Second Presbytery met…

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As I See It

By Charles Wilson | May 6, 2021
the ARP Retirement Program 2020

A TRIBUTE 2021 began with the announcement of the death of the Reverend Henry Lewis Smith, my friend since 1970. In the summer of 1972, my wife and I became Associate Reformed Presbyterians when we united with the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Winter Haven, Florida. Henry was the founding pastor of the congregation. More than a pastor, Henry was my friend and mentor. What little I know about the political nature of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, I learned from him. In 1969, theological orthodoxy in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was on the verge of collapse. In those days, we lived in the menacing shadow of the old “Southern” Presbyterian Church (PCUS). Whatever they did, we thought we had…

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Joseph: Father Of Christmas

By Charles Wilson | December 22, 2020
Joseph Father Of Christmas Gherardo Delle Notti San Giuseppe ARPTalk Reverend Chuck Wilson Synod

Other than Jesus, do you have a favorite Christmas character? I do. It’s Joseph, and I call him the father of Christmas. However, before I tell you why, let me begin with a story. I don’t have many childhood memories of Christmas. I was the only child of older parents, who were no-nonsense people. They were in their 30s when they married in 1942, and they waited until after World War Two to have a child. Daddy explained he wasn’t going to chance dying in the war and leaving mama to raise a child alone.

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Dysfunctional Family (2) A Two Part Analysis of the Meeting of General Synod

By Charles Wilson | November 6, 2020
ARP Church Family 2 ARPTalk Reverend Chuck Wilson Synod

The meeting of General Synod last Thursday and Friday (October 22 and 23) sparked my imagination. In the beautiful sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, SC, we heard numerous delegates speak of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as “family.” Well, are we family because we are small (and, indeed, we are small and very scattered)? Are we family because so many of us are blood-related (and such was the case and much more when I became an Associate Reformed Presbyterian in 1972)? Are we family because so many of our ministers are graduates of Reformed Theological Seminary (but most of us who are RTS grads don’t know each other)? So, what kind of family are we? Perhaps, the cartoon above is an uncanny representation of who we are — like the Simpsons, we are a portrait of a dysfunctional family.

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Dysfunctional Family (1) A Two Part Analysis of the Meeting of General Synod

By Charles Wilson | October 31, 2020
ARP Church Family ARPTalk Reverend Chuck Wilson Synod

The meeting of General Synod last Thursday and Friday (October 22 and 23) sparked my imagination. In the beautiful sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, SC, we heard numerous delegates speak of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as “family.” Well, are we family because we are small (and, indeed, we are small and very scattered)? Are we family because so many of us are blood-related (and such was the case and much more when I became an Associate Reformed Presbyterian in 1972)? Are we family because so many of our ministers are graduates of Reformed Theological Seminary (but most of us who are RTS grads don’t know each other)? So, what kind of family are we? Perhaps, the cartoon above is an uncanny representation of who we are — like the Simpsons, we are a portrait of a dysfunctional family.

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Questions and Answers

By Charles Wilson | July 5, 2020
Questions and Answers by Chuck Wilson ARPTalk Associate reformed Presbyterian Church

As a lover of long words, a long word describes my thinking in this post. In a time of financial uncertainty, watching the churchmen who run Central Services in Greenville applying for a government loan instead of appealing to God’s people in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is gut-wrenching. Does this reflect a distrust of the people in the pews? Has the ARP Center become the Vatican of Greenville? Have the various boards and agencies distanced themselves so far from the people of the pews they have become parachurch organizations? And, like parachurch organizations, are their own agendas and continuation the foremost priority? Have they lost their role as servants of Christ’s people in the congregations? Like politicians in Washington, do they think they know better than the people they claim to serve? As I said, what I am watching is gut-wrenching. What I think about it is floccinaucinihilipilification. Now, that’s a word. What’s in a word?

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What’s in a Word?

By Charles Wilson | May 10, 2020
Floccinaucinihilipilification ARPTalk ARP Church Wilson Returning Payment Protection Program Money

As a lover of long words, a long word describes my thinking in this post. In a time of financial uncertainty, watching the churchmen who run Central Services in Greenville applying for a government loan instead of appealing to God’s people in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is gut-wrenching. Does this reflect a distrust of the people in the pews? Has the ARP Center become the Vatican of Greenville? Have the various boards and agencies distanced themselves so far from the people of the pews they have become parachurch organizations? And, like parachurch organizations, are their own agendas and continuation the foremost priority? Have they lost their role as servants of Christ’s people in the congregations? Like politicians in Washington, do they think they know better than the people they claim to serve? As I said, what I am watching is gut-wrenching. What I think about it is floccinaucinihilipilification. Now, that’s a word. What’s in a word?

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The Noble and the Ignoble

By Charles Wilson | April 14, 2020
The Noble and the Ignoble ARPTalk ARP Church Applies for a Government Loan Executive Board Chuck Wilson

On an episode of Arial America about Hawaii, I heard the story of Father Damien of Molokai. Born in 1840 in Belgium, he became a Catholic priest and was sent as a missionary to the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1864. In those days, leprosy was considered contagious and incurable, and lepers were isolated in leper colonies. The secluded island of Molokai was designated a leper colony by the Royal Board of Health, and lepers were sent to Molokai to fend for themselves as best as they could until death. Without resources to care for the leper colony, the government could only supply a little food. Volunteering to serve as priest to the lepers on Molokai, Father Damien arrived on the…

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Synod Report: Thank God for Ax-Throwing!

By Charles Wilson | July 5, 2019

So, what happened at the board meeting? Two things happened: the board voted to petition General Synod to restore the president of the quasi-Erskine Alumni Association to the board with “voice” but without “vote”; and the board petitioned General Synod to remove the Moderator of General Synod from the board as a “voting” member and to redefine the Moderator’s role as one with “voice.” Therefore, making the Moderator of General Synod and the president of the quasi-Erskine Alumni Association equals. These two actions equal betrayal by Gustafson.

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Betrayal

By Charles Wilson | March 1, 2019
President Rob Gustafson ARPTalk Chuck Wilson Betrayal

So, what happened at the board meeting? Two things happened: the board voted to petition General Synod to restore the president of the quasi-Erskine Alumni Association to the board with “voice” but without “vote”; and the board petitioned General Synod to remove the Moderator of General Synod from the board as a “voting” member and to redefine the Moderator’s role as one with “voice.” Therefore, making the Moderator of General Synod and the president of the quasi-Erskine Alumni Association equals. These two actions equal betrayal by Gustafson.

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