MEETING INFORMATION : FRIENDS OF THE FPCS IN MICHIGAN

 

 

Our small group, Friends of the FPCS in Michigan, consists of those who would like to see Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS) congregations formed in Michigan.

 

 

SPECIAL MEETINGS

 

From time to time our group sponsors special meetings.We shall seek to keep you apprised of future special meetings.Our last special meeting was on April 16, when Rev. Barry Whear preached to us:

 

Rev. Whear is a minister with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS) currently stationed in Ross-shire, Scotland.†† A native of Australia, Rev. Whear has ministered the gospel in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Sample sermons of Rev. Whear can be heard at http://www.puritans.net/sermons/whear.htm.†† Rev. Whear was accompanied on his visit to the area by FPCS elders David Kuiper and Gilbert Zekveld of Ontario, Canada.The service was held in room 13 at the Home School Building at 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming, MI  49509.  (Please enter through the east side door near the HSB Bookstore.) We also had a fellowship dinner on April 16 from 6:00 Ė 7:00 pm in room 13 at the Home School Building.

 

 

 

REGULAR MEETINGS

 

Ordinarily meetings are in a rented room (normally room 13) at the Home School Building at 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming, MI49509.(Please enter through the east side door near the HSB Bookstore.)But some regular meetings are conducted at the residence of a member.Twice a year most of us try to attend a FPCS communion season in Chesley, Ontario, Canada.We advise that you confirm location for a given meeting in advance since location is subject to change.Feel free to email info@puritans.net or to telephone 616-457-8095 with any location or other questions.

 

Worship meetings ordinarily consist of two meetings on the Lordís Day (10:30 am and 5:30 pm) and one mid-week prayer meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:45 pm.(It may be that in the future mid-week prayer meetings will be changed to Wednesday evenings, when such prayer meetings are more commonly scheduled.)  Each Lordís Day meeting will typically last around one hour 20 minutes and the mid-week meeting will typically last 45 minutes.  The format of each Lordís Day meeting is:

 

  • Opening Singing of Praise from the Psalms**
  • Prayer*
  • Singing of Praise from the Psalms**
  • Scripture reading of Bible chapter pertinent to the sermon reading***
  • Sermon Reading
  • Prayer*
  • Closing Singing of Praise from the Psalms**

 

The format of each mid-week prayer meeting is:

 

  • Opening Singing of Praise from the Psalms**
  • Prayer*
  • Singing of Praise from the Psalms**
  • Scripture reading of Bible chapter pertinent to the sermon reading***
  • Devotional Reading
  • Prayer*
  • Closing Singing of Praise from the Psalms**

 

* People are asked to stand for Prayer.

** The Psalter used is the 1650 Scottish Psalter.  Copies may be purchased from Trinitarian Bible Society.

*** From the Authorized Version (also known as the King James Version), copies of which may be purchased from Trinitarian Bible Society.

 

Anyone and everyone are encouraged and welcome to attend these worship meetings.

 

Only those men are allowed to lead as well as precent and lead in prayer who are actively seeking membership in the FPCS (or are already members) and agree with the standards of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS), such as are required of members in full communion (see http://www.puritans.net/news/fpcs062804.htm ).  And those who lead it, along with those who either are currently in the membership or who are seeking membership in the FPCS, are asked to conduct themselves in accordance with the doctrinal and worship standards of the FPCS to the best of their ability. A communicant member will lead it when one is present.(It is important to note that these guidelines are simply provisional in nature.Ideally a minister would be leading the services, and only communicant members would be precenting and leading in prayers.But at this stage our group is not a FPCS congregation or even an official FPCS preaching station.)Those standards are the Biblical doctrines outlined in the original Westminster Standards.

 

So as to try to keep sermon readings in line with Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS) doctrinal standards, sermons will only be read from previously agreed upon sources. Here is the current list of sources, but this list of sources will likely be added to over time and is in no way intended to be comprehensive of the many excellent available sermon resources:

 

  • Sermons published in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland magazine over the course of Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland history
  • Sermons by John Knox
  • Sermons by Andrew Melville
  • Sermons by John Welch
  • Sermons by George Gillespie
  • Sermons by Samuel Rutherford
  • Sermons by Thomas Manton
  • Sermons by John Flavel
  • Sermons by Ebenezer Erskine
  • Sermons by Thomas Chalmers
  • Sermons by John Duncan
  • Sermons by Neil Cameron

 

The current list of devotional readings for the mid-week prayer meeting will come from the following sources:

 

  • Thomas Mantonís commentary on the book of James
  • Matthew Henryís commentary on the Bible
  • John Calvinís commentaries on the Bible

 

 

 

The Psalm singing must be done in a manner that is reverent and not light or flippant, recognizing that the praise is directed to the holy and sovereign God.  The Psalms will be sung to the tunes sung at the psalm singing recorded at http://middletome.com/Psalms/Psalm%20singing%20-%20Barnoldswick.mp3 as well as the following list of tunes, this list being added to over time :

 

  • Songs of meter 8/6/8/6:  Amazing Grace, Bon Accord, Evan
  • Songs of meter 6/6/8/6: Mornington
  • Songs of meter 8/8/8/8: Old Hundredth, Duke Street
  • Songs of meter 6/6/6/6/4/4/4/4: Lennox

 

(Most of the tunes above can be heard at http://reformingworship.org/main/scriptures/scottishpsalter/tunes.php or http://www.rpca.org.au/Resources/midi/Alphabetically.html .)

 

These lists are simply tools to help avoid surprises, especially since there is no resident FPCS minister or elders.

 

There are certain features of FPCS worship meetings that many people may find different from what they are used to.  We have tried in other parts of this website to explain the scriptural rationale for these features and/or to point readers to available resources which explain them (see http://www.puritans.net/questionsandanswers.htm ).  Some of these may include:

 

  • Singing only the Psalms and without instrumental accompaniment
  • Use only of the Authorized Version for scripture reading
  • Female headcoverings
  • Respect of the Lordís Day as the Sabbath
  • Addressing God in prayer by Thou/Thy/Thee
  • Standing for prayer
  • No observance of Romish feast days (like Christ-mass and Easter)
  • Seeking to maintain a sober, formal, respectful and serious demeanor in the fear of our Lord God, as reflected even in such things as attire worn to the meetings (e.g., modesty and propriety) and verbal conversation before and after meetings

 

This information and these guidelines are subject to change as more time permits to have them discussed with and reviewed by FPCS elders.