Friday, September 24, 2004

9/24/04, PG Society to Elders re. Draft to Societies at Large

[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]
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.

Progress Report
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.
Proverbs 29:18
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.