Presbytery Meeting in Belize

What is the presbytery meeting? It is a meeting of regional leadership to do the business of the church. Voting members of presbytery are composed of the teaching elders (pastors) who hold their credentials and membership in the presbytery as well as the ruling elders who are sent by their churches are representatives. At presbytery meeting “presbyters” (the participating elders) give and hear important reports relating the ministries of the presbytery and their churches, deal with church discipline, examine candidates for gospel ministry, and deal with other important matters. Many also gather for times of worship, prayer, and fellowship as part of the meetings.

Most Presbyterian denominations distinguish between teaching and ruling elders but would emphasize that they are both part of the same office: that of elder. In other words, there is a parity of authority that inheres in the office – both teaching and ruling elders exercise governance over a local church. In addition to parity, there is a plurality within the leadership of the church. Biblically speaking, a local church ought to have more than one elder (preferably several) forming a governing body called a session. The session gives oversight to the church, is nominated and elected by the members, and is responsible for shepherding and caring for the spiritual needs of the flock.

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Writing Out the Psalms

On January 1, 2022 I took up a challenge to write out 6 Psalms a month, writing out the entire book of 150 pslams in just about 2 years. I worked a little ahead and finished the challenge a couple of weeks ago. I can attest that it was an amazing experience. It just took about five minutes each morning, but slowed me down and allowed me to meditate and study what I writing. I discovered I didn’t always understand the Psalm, so sometimes I would look up commentaries or different translations. I discovered so many rich and deep themes I had just glanced over in the past. I also would write out praise, confession, thanksgiving and supplication from my verses each day and I saw just how much more powerful were the poetic descriptions of God’s attributes than were the summaries naming which attribute the verses contained. I noticed that often Psalms near one another shared a theme. I have come to love the Psalms so much more. It was such transformative experience that I am doing it again. There are 2461 verses in the Psalms. This time my plan is write out 4 verses a day and complete writing out the book in two years, with grace to miss a day here and there.

I also would look up Psalms sometimes in Ray’s commentaries or even using online resources, especially the trustworthy Matthew Henry commentary. I tried to read through a couple of books on the Psalms. Commentaries can be a bit dry. I have found one book that I am loving though. It talks a lot about the connection between Psalms and the themes of the five books of the Psalms, something that has been particularly fascinating to me over these two years. It is called “Learning to Love the Psalms” by Robert Godfrey. It makes a great companion and I am looking forward to reading it along side my Psalms as I am starting back at Psalm one.

Here is a page from my notebook, Psalm 146. You may notice that it is in Spanish. That is because I do my Bible reading (and writing) in Spanish since our ministry is done in a Spanish context.

Life in this fallen world can be painful and confusing. Explanations of why rarely satisfy. The psalms look straight at the evil in the world and challenge us to worship God even when we don’t understand and to keep our eyes fixed on Him. They express all of our emotions, our anger, our sadness, They describe the greatness of our all powerful God and they are filled with testimony of Jesus Christ.

RLIB: Biblical Interpretation

A couple of weeks ago we started our latest course. As the Reformed Leadership Institute of Belize (RLIB), we hope to foster a deeper Biblical and theological understanding combined with a warm experiential piety for the glory of God! Most of our students come from the pews of the Presbyterian Church in Belize, and while we encourage our officers and leaders to participate, we also want any and all of our church members who are interested to benefit from these courses.

Course content is mostly from a theological education ministry called Thirdmill whose goal is to provide theological education from a reformed perspective for free for the whole world.

Students watch the videos, listen to the audio, or study the manuscript beforehand. They are also asked to complete the provided study guide questions and the discussion questions in preparation for the group discussion on Saturday evenings.

The discussions are facilitated in both English and Spanish as some prefer one language over the other.

Please be praying for the students, board, and facilitators.

Visitation is Important

Sometimes faithful followers of the Lord Jesus can’t always get out to church or to prayer meetings. In this case, these women brought the prayer meeting to the sick. Visitation is such an important ministry because it allows those who can’t always be at church to have fellowship in the Lord and it can be very encouraging. These women from Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel in San Pablo are part of a weekly group of Mamas Unidas para Orar (MUPO) and regularly pray for their children, grandchildren, and the children in the schools and community. Praise God that He listens to the prayers of His people!

“Pray without ceasing”

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Men’s Fellowship PCB 2023

Psalm 16:8 ESV

“I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”

Praise God for our recent men’s fellowship meeting with the Presbyterian Church in Belize! We had a good turnout from several churches and gathered for fellowship. The men sang heartily to the Lord and heard two teachings from Scripture: one devotional from Pastor Leogardo Catzim and a lesson from Pastor Alvaro Pott. There were men from several Presbyterian churches in northern Belize. Please ask the Lord to continue to work in the hearts of the men of our denomination – that they would always set the Lord before them (Psalm 16:8).

Ruling Elder IsaĆ­as Botes, Secretary of Executive Committee
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The Prayer Meeting

A church’s weekly prayer meeting is critical. If we really believe that we are nothing apart from Christ, that only our sovereign God can grant fruit, and that the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective, then we will be driven to our knees to plead with God. The Lord delights to hear the prayers of His people which rise like incense before His great and exalted throne.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (ESV).

Homiletics Course

Praise the Lord that several pastors, elders, and potential ministry candidates were able to take a mini course on homiletics at our preaching conference in Cayo, Belize! PCA Pastor Jackie Gaston and his wife Mary Shea came out for a visit from their church in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Pastor Jackie taught great content focused on expositional preaching to the men while Mary Shea led a conference with the women.

At least one of the students shared that this course will help him tremendously in forming the structure for future sermons. Please be praying for those that attended – that they would continue to be used of God to preach His Word!