Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 5:04 AM
To: [Wash. Society]
Cc: GP; LD; GB
Subject: Reply To The Brothers And Sisters In The Washington Society
December 10, 2004
Beloved Brothers and Sisters of the Washington
Thank you for your patience in awaiting a response from us while Pastor Price was out of town.
The Lord has given us many blessed memories of visits and conversations we have shared together in the fellowship of the gospel and in the cause of reformation. We would reassure you that you are and remain in our thoughts, love, and prayers.
We found it helpful to have received your stated concerns (by an email dated November 28, 2004) in such a systematic format which we in turn will likewise follow.
1. Pastor Price has agreed to send the Societies an email by the following Tuesday after any Lord's Day that he has been out of the pulpit (due to illness, vacation, or ministry to other Societies). If an email is not received by Tuesday of each week, it may be assumed that there will be a sermon posted on the Albany CRPC website for the Societies to download.
2. Elder Barrow sent 27 taped sermons by mail and there are many online sermons (both read and preached) available at Sermon Audio (http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp? Source Only=true&curr Section=sermons source
&keyword =swrb&keyword Desc=Still+Waters+Revival+Books), and at Albany CRPC (http://albanycrpc.org/CRPC.htm). We suggest these options be used when Pastor Price is not in the pulpit. It is also possible for one of the members of the Washington Society to read a sermon on any Lord's Day that Pastor Price has not preached.
3. Since Still Waters Revival Books is not an official ministry of the RPNA, decisions that relate to posting sermons on that website do not involve the officers of the RPNA. However, these suggestions may be directed to Still Waters Revival Books.
4. We appreciate the generosity of the Washington Society in supplying a digital recorder for use in Albany. Since Albany has its own digital recorder, it will be sent to Edmonton for their use in recording future sermons.
5. The General Meetings of the Reformed Presbyterian Church were primarily business meetings with very little recorded by way of substantial information regarding decisions etc. The preponderance of information recorded usually revolved around Causes Of Fasting and Causes Of Thanksgiving. From our perspective, due to our ability as officers to communicate with one another by phone or email, we are enabled to have regular contact in a way that is far more efficient and profitable than was possible to our forefathers of the past. Although we do not record minutes of all of these meetings throughout the year, when there are decisions that affect the Societies at large, we do communicate in a more formal manner by email. We also are always willing to talk by phone with any Society or members thereof when it is desired.
6. Pastor Price would look forward to ministering to the Society in Washington. If the members of the Society would make financial preparations, and give Pastor Price an idea as to the approximate time that would work for them, he would count it a privilege to visit and minister to them.
7. We share your concern to prepare men for the ministry. We have pursued diligently any possible lead of which we have been aware and continue to do so (even with Pastor Rocky Simbajon who is presently in the process of theological study in Albany with the goal of being united to the RPNA). Our plan is to examine and ordain Elder Greg Barrow in an ordinary manner by means of a faithful Presbytery as soon as possible. We also ask you to pray about other ministerial contacts who have expressed interest in the RPNA (e.g. Korean Pastors in Edmonton and a Lutheran Pastor in the U.S.).
8. Any Society or member thereof may receive a quarterly financial report from either Elder Dohms or Eric Lauderdale whenever desired. We suggest you simply submit your request to these gentlemen.
We pray this helps answer the questions/concerns you have submitted to us. If there yet remain concerns, we would suggest setting up a conference call with us to address those concerns more personally.
The Lord prosper and bless you all in the knowledge and love of Christ,
GLP, GB, LD
1/16/05 Second Washington Society Letter to the Elders
Friday, December 10, 2004
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Session RPNA, (General Meeting)
Dear Esteemed Brethren,
We, the undersigned members of the Washington Society would like to respectfully bring to your attention a couple of items regarding the ministry of the word and church government/organization.
As regards the ministry of the word, if preaching is the chief means of grace, it is very discouraging when Pastor Price, who is the only minister in the church right now, leaves the Albany pulpit for whatever reason, and there is no corresponding offical notice by Session so we may have time to obtain/ schedule another sermon tape. Can we come up with some kind of solution to this other than learning of Pastor Price’s planned absence via third hand rumor on the various unofficial email forums?
Even further, an official library or site where we may obtain approved sermons would be very much appreciated. We have pretty much heard, if not a couple of times the sermons available at SermonAudio by Pastor Price. While we appreciate the quick response of Elder Barrow to our recent request for sermons, there are not that many covenanter sermons at the SWRB page at SermonAudio he suggested. Yet as an extension of the official preaching ministry of the church - for that is exactly what it is, is it not? - posting on the official Edmonton (and Albany) web sites of our church would be very much in order. (We assume that is what they are. There has been some extraneous advertising on the Albany page in the past.) Posting on the SWRB page was what threw us off the track in the first place trying to run down some of the Edmonton sermons. (And if SWRB is an official arm of the church, official notice of that would also be appreciated.) Again, we would hope that sermons could be put up on the Edmonton site like is done in Albany - or more on the Albany site. - For that matter, it is our understanding that the mp3 recorder we previously sent Albany is not being used and Edmonton could use it to digitize any sermons read in the future. We mention this because one: it is much easier/quicker to obtain digitized sermons on the web. Two: the quality of the digital recording is a practical issue for us now that the _______ from Vancouver visit regularly on the Lord’s Day and ____ _______ has a hearing problem. For that matter there is even the possibility that we could get some of these sermons digitized if we had a place to post them on the web.
In other words, it is our respectful but firm opinion, that time is ripe for an official decision on the matter and whatever is done, we as a society, much less all the societies, should be notified of it so to know where to go in the future for sermon tapes. Again we consider this issue, the ministry of the Word, to be of primary practical Protestant importance to our survival as a church of Jesus Christ, even more as gathered in reformed presbyterian society meetings. We would urge your consideration of and action on this in order that we as members of the same, don’t wither, if not die, on the vine.
Two, as regards church government and organization, we have also noticed that with the last two letters from Session, there has been a name change from the RPNA to the RPNA, (General Meeting). Can we assume that this is in accord with the practice of the Reformed Presbytery? That is, as is noted in the RP Minutes for 1888, “upon the death of one of its constituent members, Rev. David Steele,” the Reformed Presbytery reverted to the “General Meeting of the Reformed Presbyterian Church . . . which, according to the known and established usage of this Church, attends to its public interests when it is deprived of a Presbytery.” If so, will there be - as then - at least one stated public meeting of the RPNA, (GM) a year and likewise, a published/public record of that meeting, as well that the correspondence and communication with the societies will be put on a more regular footing and basis? Again, the lack of official or regular communication and prevailing disorganization can be very discouraging/confusing at times for us as a society, as we assume it also is for Session. Yet we hope something can be done about it, as was done in the past, in like circumstances by the RPNA,(GM) those whom we claim to faithfully follow and continue as a church.
To that end, a more regular schedule for pastoral visitation would also help. We believe we are about due for a visit and look forward to it, having received one last year about this time. (We were hoping to see both Pastor Price and Elder Barrow then, but only Pastor could make it.) Some kind of schedule though, would help us plan for an elder visit particularly if our taking care of finances is to be a part of the picture. We also would hope that the church is moving forward in regard to possibilities of other ministers coming on aboard, as well as other venues for ordination and ministerial supply, for in the long run, without preachers, practically/humanly speaking we will perish. The same would go for more ruling elders, we would hope.
Some kind of quarterly, if not annual financial statement, would also be appreciated so that we are kept current as to what monies are coming in and what the expenses are. Elder Dohms used to do something like this when Pastor Price was in Edmonton, but now that Session is divided between Edmonton and Albany - and Albany has no other church officers to speak of since the departure of [Elder] Hart - there is not much of anything of this sort.
In conclusion, thank you very much for your consideration and action on these items. We have no desire to unnecessarily add to the confusion and bother that accompanies a situation like we find ourselves in these days in the RPNA,GM. We also know there has been lots of change and growth in the church and the corresponding workload and questions before Session, especially since the time when Pastor Price was still in Edmonton and this letter again, would seem to add to it. Yet we would be so bold as to hope that by writing you, it might help you further clarify, prioritize and resolve some of the issues that face us as a church, much less that we as a society at least consider ourselves as obligated before the Lord to go on record about these concerns. May the Lord continue to bless your labors for his kingdom and church as the Session of the RPNA,(GM).
in the Lord Jesus Christ
the Washington Society, RPNA, GM
Paul R, Bob S, Rick & Joyce T
12/10/04, Elders' Reply To The Brothers And Sisters In The Washington Society
1/16/05, Second Washington Society Letter to the Elders
Saturday, November 13, 2004
From: Greg Barrow
To: L Dohms ; G Price
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 3:04 PM
Subject: Announcement from the Session of the RPNA (General Meeting)
Announcement From the Reformed Presbytery in North America (General Meeting) Regarding a Public Fast, and a Special Free Will Offering.
The Session of the Reformed Presbytery in North America (General Meeting) solemnly calls upon the members of our Societies, and any adherents who may desire to participate, to join with us in a public fast on Saturday, November 27, 2004.
The purpose for our calling you to join with us in this solemn occasion is as follows:
1. Our dear brother in Christ, G S, has been recently diagnosed with cancer. Because of the very serious nature and degree of his illness, we call upon the members and adherents of our societies to fervently pray for G and his family, while humbling ourselves before our Almighty God and Great Physician.
In this regard, we would direct you to consider the prayers found in our Directory for Public Worship, under the subheading, "Concerning Visitation of the Sick", wherein it states:
"That, if God shall please to add to his days, he would vouchsafe to bless and sanctify all means of his recovery; to remove the disease, renew his strength, and enable him to walk worthy of God, by a faithful remembrance, and diligent observing of such vows and promises of holiness and obedience, as men are apt to make in times of sickness, that he may glorify God in the remaining part of his life.
And, if God have determined to finish his days by the present visitation, he may find such evidence of the pardon of all his sins, of his interest in Christ, and eternal life by Christ, as may cause his inward man to be renewed, while his outward man decayeth; that he may behold death without fear, cast himself wholly upon Christ without doubting, desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, and so receive the end of his faith, the salvation of his soul, through the only merits and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, our alone Savior and all-sufficient Redeemer."
2. Recently we sent out an announcement wherein we stated that our dear brother in Christ, N P, has been suspended from participation with us at the Lord's Supper, and we call upon our members and adherents to solemnly and humbly remember Nate in prayer, calling upon God to mercifully grant repentance so that N might be reconciled to God and to us, with the hope that he may be soon restored to full privileges in our societies.
3. Our dear sister in Christ, J I has been experiencing very serious and debilitating pain in her back and has received significantly conflicting diagnoses from the medical community. We ask our members and adherents solemnly and humbly to remember J (and E and their children) in prayer, calling upon God to grant wisdom and skill to those who are involved in her diagnoses and treatment--asking our Great Physician to mercifully bless all means used for her recovery, while granting our dear sister courage and strength to faithfully endure these trials.
In addition to this, we ask that you would pray for God's continued gift of strength, grace and blessing upon all those in the Albany congregation who have so commendably blessed E, J, and their family by graciously helping them during this time of need. Your Session and the Societies in general are thankful, greatly encouraged, and strengthened by this testimony and example of faithful care for those in need.
In addition to our announcement regarding our upcoming public fast, we call upon the members and adherents of our Societies to participate in a special free will offering to be used solely for the purpose of helping Grant Soles manage the significant medical expenses he is presently facing.
For those of you who wish to participate in helping our brother in this time of need, we would ask that you send funds directly to the Societies in Albany or Edmonton with a note indicating that these funds are to be used specifically for this purpose. The Session will then administrate the dispersal of these funds to Grant.
It is our hope that each of you will seriously consider all of these matters with the utmost care, and that you will conduct yourselves in such a way as to glorify our Lord and testify to the whole world of our thankfulness for God's many mercies.
You are dearly loved and in our prayers.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have in regard to these announcements.
For Christ's Crown and Covenant,
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Sunday, October 31, 2004
10/31/04, First Public Announcement of The "Session" of RPNA(GM) re. Suspension from the Lord's Supper/Lesser Excommunication
From: Lyndon Dohms
To: Selected Recipients
CC: ____ _____
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 8:11 AM
Subject: Letter to Members of RPNA
October 31, 2004
Dear Members and Adherents of the RPNA (General Meeting),
On Sunday October 3, 2004, the Session of the RPNA (General Meeting) [emph. added] met by phone with ________ (____) _____ to speak with him regarding his recent involvement with a local rock band in the Albany area. It was the judgment of the Elders that ____'s involvement in this rock band brought him into familiar fellowship with those who were either of no religious persuasion or of a contrary religious persuasion. We also judged there was neither an evident desire on ____'s part to glorify God through the lyrics sung nor through leading the members of the band to a knowledge of Christ and oneness in the faith which is the duty of every Christian:
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD: and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psalm 1:1,2).
During this conversation ____ was asked several questions regarding his commitment to serve Christ and his commitment to adhere to our stated terms of communion.
In response to our questions, ____ indicated that he knew that what he was doing was not in accord with the Word of God or with the will of God. Furthermore, he indicated that it was his intention to follow his own will instead of God's will, even though he knew that what he was doing was sinful.
In response to this and out of love for this young brother in Christ, on Thursday, October 7, 2004, the Session of the RPNA (General Meeting) initiated the first step of formal discipline, and sent ____ a formal letter of admonition in which he was earnestly urged to repent of his sin, to seek the forgiveness of God, and the forgiveness of all those he has offended during his time of defection from the truth. In this letter he was also solemnly warned that his failure to repent would lead to his formal suspension from the Lord's Table.
Finally, the Session of the RPNA (General Meeting) talked again with ____ by phone on Friday, October 29, 2004 in order to determine whether there was any change in ____'s decision to practice familiar fellowship in the rock band with which he has been associated. To our sorrow, ____ still insisted that he would not discontinue his involvement with this rock band. Sadly, ____ has chosen to love his own sinful desires rather than to love Jesus Christ and His truth. To date ____ has given us no indication that he intends to repent, and thus, it is our sad but necessary duty to inform those under our inspection that we are now proceeding to the second step of the discipline process.
Consequently, we formally declare as officers of the Church of Jesus Christ, that ____ _____ is now
formally barred from partaking of the Lord's Supper in the RPNA (General Meeting) and throughout the Visible Church of Jesus Christ (since this is a valid and just censure). In addition to being barred from the Lord's Supper, those statements in Scripture regarding our duty to avoid familiar fellowship should be applied at this time to ____:
"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother" (2 Thessalonians 3:14,15).
All contact with ____ should have in view his restoration to Christ. We encourage each of you to faithfully pray that ____ will turn again to follow Christ, with the hope that he might repent and be reconciled to God and to us before we are constrained by our love for Christ's honor and by our love for ____ to declare the next and final step of discipline upon him.
May the Lord use this time of discipline to purge all our hearts of pride, finger-pointing, and self-righteousness and rather cause us to sorrow over our own sin and to love our brethren with a sincere love that issues forth in prayer and acts of kindness for all the world to see.
For Christ's Crown and Covenant
The Session of the RPNA (General Meeting)
Greg L. Price
Thursday, October 07, 2004
From: Greg Price
Sent: October 7, 2004 5:08 PM
To: rpna_pg@. . ; Greg Barrow; Greg Price; Lyndon Dohms
Cc: [Members of PGS]
Subject: Questions From The Session (October 7, 2004)
October 7, 2004
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Prince George Society,
We have been blessed indeed to have known your love and faithfulness to the truth for the past ten years.
You have been willing to count the cost in following our good Shepherd where He has led you by His Word and Spirit. We express our love and appreciation for you in your continued support and encouragement of us as your Elders.
As we expressed in our email to you (dated September 30, 2004), We appreciate the general tone of the letter and the desire you have to be in communication with the Societies to the edification of the whole body and to the help and encouragement of your Session. However, we do have a few questions we would ask you before you send your proposed letter out to the Societies at large. If our questions are vague in your opinion, please feel free to ask us for further clarification.
1. On page 3 of your Draft Letter to the Societies (dated October 1, 2004), you state under #1:
In the matters before us, we are NOT [your emphasis] contemplating anything of a JUDICIAL [your emphasis--though written in italics in the original letter] character. Consistent with the Word of God and RPNA subordinate standards relevant to the subject of Society management, ends contemplated are strictly of a NON-JUDICIAL [your emphases--though written in italics in the original letter] quality. We abhor rebellions.
In your opinion, what are matters of a judicial and non-judicial character? When do matters move from being non-judicial to judicial in character?
2. On page 4 of your Draft Letter to the Societies (dated October 1, 2004), you state:
By way of example, to the person, we in Prince George, BC, confess it was only this last July we understood our Elders had extraordinarily constituted as a Session! Other than informal appraisals re: a possible Albany Session, our last communication on the matter was a broadcast email from our three Elders (June 14, 2003), noting they were NOT [your emphasis--though written in italics in the original letter] a Session.
In your opinion, did we say in our letter (dated June 14, 2003) that we were "NOT a Session"? What does it mean for us to say in our letter of June 14, 2003 that we are not a regularly organized Session"? Does the historical example cited from the Second Book of Discipline [7:10] in our letter of June 14, 2003 ( but we think three or four, more or fewer, particular kirks may have one eldership common to them all, to judge their ecclesiastical causes ) indicate that such Sessions were not regularly organized Sessions, but were extraordinary Sessions? How does the historical example cited from the Second Book of Discipline (where one Session was formed from Elders of several congregations) differ in substance from our own circumstance? In your opinion, is it a fair reading of our letter of June 14, 2003 to say that we were declaring we were NOT a Session (in any sense), or were we declaring we were not a regularly organized Session with all of the Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders coming from one Session?
Additionally, we would ask why you have represented us (the Session) as saying that we are "NOT a Session", when we verbally explained to you (when we were in Prince George) what we meant in that general letter to all of the Societies (June 14, 2003)--namely that we are, in fact, an "extraordinary Session". In short, after we have explained to you what we meant in our letter, why do you represent and interpret our words as meaning something completely different than our stated explanation and intention? We do not wish to presume your reasons for doing this, so we are simply asking for an explanation.
3. In your opinion, how should differences with the Session (as now constituted) concerning their rulings and decisions be handled by Societies and General Meetings?
4. In your opinion, is it optional or mandatory for a particular Society to meet at the General Meeting level?
5. In your opinion, how much should the demands of each one s family, work, etc. be taken into account in considering matters related to participation in a General Meeting?
6. In your opinion, how much work do you envision being required of those at the Society level in order to participate in a General Meeting?
7. In your opinion, what role will women play in the Societies and General Meetings as it relates to decisions and voting since no decision has yet been rendered by the Session on this issue?
8. In your opinion, who can participate in a General Meeting within the RPNA? Can members in good standing (within the RPNA) be prevented from participation in a General Meeting? If so, for what reasons?
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions that were raised in our minds. We may yet have some follow-up questions that we would like to ask after we receive your response to our questions.
The Lord be with you all,
Greg L. Price
Friday, September 24, 2004
[See also:10/7/04, Questions From The "Session" to the Society of Prince George both of which were released by the Prince George Society on 10/23/06.]
From: RPNA Society of PG
Sent: September 24, 2004, 11:30 PM
To: Greg Barrow ; Greg Price ; Lyndon Dohms
Cc: [PGS Members]
Subject: PG Society ELDER CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT
Attachments: PG Society CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT .pdf
Dear Pastor Price, Elder Barrow and Elder Dohms,
As discussed and agreed the early morning of July 2, 2004 (Mark C, Mike G and Rod S with Pastor Price and Elder Barrow), we are pleased to provide you with an advance copy of our Societal communication draft, with our full distribution scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 1, 2004.
Read receipt and attachment format
We understand 'read receipt' confirmations can be hit and miss, so in the event the request is missed or you think it might not be processed by your system, we ask you to please reply immediately by email, to indicate to us your successful receipt and approximate time of reception. Thank you in advance for your accommodating our request on this.
Our chosen format for the communication is the Adobe Acrobat portable document format (pdf), which you will likely recognize as being in wide use for critical document exchange applications, with free distribution of Adobe Acrobat Reader to support it.
In the interest of being transparent before you, we report our relevant activity since that July weekend below:
1. Our receipt & review of the DeChamplain email thread of 2000 with the RPNA, PRCE Session, Pastor Price etc.;
2. Modifications made reflecting your constitution as a Session;
3. How we have continued the confidential nature of these preliminary proceedings.
Received and reviewed - DeChamplain email thread with RPNA, PRCE Session, & Pastor Price etc.
That July weekend, Pastor Price suggested to some of us that we might find a record of communication with Art DeChamplain helpful, as it largely referenced the SDFRS [Short Directory for Religious Societies]. Three weeks ago today, Sept. 3, 2004, Mike G confirmed to Pastor Price by email, that Mike was as of that day in receipt of a readable copy; Mike forwarded that confirmation to all our members Sept. 5, by email and verbal notification.
In the three weeks since, all interested parties have had opportunity to review the thread and we have discussed it as a Society. It was noted the thread seemed quite complete, though we could not afford it our fullest consideration, in that it lacked the attachments referred to in the thread; we are not submitting a request for those PRCE or RPNA records.
Also noted, was that this correspondence at least, does not support our understanding that the PRCE's July 1999 . . . . .
[Confidential Draft follows, with mention underlined that according to the letter of 6/14/03, they did not understand that the "Session of the RPNA(GM) had been constituted.]
Date: October 1, 2004
From: Society of Prince George (RPNA)
To: RPNA Elders Greg Price, minister; Greg Barrow & Lyndon Dohms, ruling elders
RPNA Societies Edmonton, AB; Anaheim, CA; Forsyth, GA;
Albany, NY; Clemson, SC; Everson, WA
Subject: Improving communication and Society-management
Dear Friends and Brethren in the Lord,
This last June, 2004, is of great significance to our Society, as it marks our having gathered as a PRCE
outreach work for 10 years. Five years later (1999) we would understand ourselves to be a constituted
RPNA Society. With you, our God has preserved us through many trials this last decade, including the
more recent dissolving of Presbytery last June, 2003. That God has preserved us all and indeed, caused us to grow in the faith, certainly contributed to our joy in fellowship with many of you this last July, as we observed and celebrated Jordan and Doralynne Ds’ marriage before the Lord, and all of us. . . . .
October 1, 2004 Improving communication & Society-management (Prince George Society) Page 4 of 9
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
What do we hope to see happen?
Historically, people of our confession have affirmed the duty of exercising private judgment (Acts 17:10, 11) within scriptural constraints (Ps. 58:1; Prov. 31:9; John 7:24). As a subordinate standard contemplated in our Terms of Communion, we encourage you to ‘contemplate’ it; in the nature of the matter, we encourage your participation as a Society. With due reflection, we ask you to consider:
1. Our present opportunities for refining the practical management of our Societies, and
2. How we can, in the course of greater self-management (of a non-judicial quality), appropriately
minimize burdens upon the Minister and two Ruling Elders given us by the Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank God for our Elders who profess their readiness to serve the flock, to do that which is expedient for the edification of the body and to do all that they can to bring the church into a more ordinary and settled state, reaffirmed by them as recently as their broadcast email communication of June 14, 2003. Naturally, we are also obligated to support them, in all ways appropriate to our stations and callings.
Today’s need for non-judicial, biblically-based organizational self-management is, we think, blatant. It was July, 2001, when the RPNA had to necessarily implement, as operating policy, that Elders would not initiate pastoral phone calls to the scattered flock, due to pressing constraints. Our hope? We envision a mechanism by which our Elders can realize some time efficiencies in their efforts and effect improved, broad-based communication that is not reduced to rumor and hearsay.
By way of example, to the person, we in Prince George, BC, confess it was only this last July we
understood our Elders had extraordinarily constituted as a Session! Other than informal appraisals re: a ‘possible’ Albany Session, our last communication on the matter was a broadcast email from our three Elders (June 14, 2003), noting they were not a Session. Whether due to weakness or deficiency on any part, we sorrow at missing the opportunity to rejoice with all the Saints, at such an auspicious occasion.
We think this example demonstrates real opportunity for improved communication process.
The RP (1772, 1881), like us relatively destitute of pastors, afforded all those under their inspection with structured mechanisms for communication and management, noting the need is seen even by the ungodly:
“Has it not even been reckoned a wise method, and found necessary and useful for people of the same civil profession, engaged in the same way of worldly trade or business, to form themselves into societies for consulting and advising together what may be for their joint and mutual benefit and advantage and shall not Christians who are partakers of the same heavenly calling, trade and business, joined together by such intimate relations, and whose interests, temptations and difficulties are so much the same, join thus together in social meetings, in order to instruct, advise, comfort and encourage one another, as to these things that are of infinite moment and importance?” (SDFRS [Short Directory for Religious Societies], Section I, last paragraph; emphasis added)
We again beseech you to take up an examination of this precedential, faithful and authorized example, the SDFRS, and consider how we might increase the quality of our union. We desire to be in correspondence with you; we desire to know your mind, to be sanctified together in intimate fellowship.
We want to grow, together.