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.
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.
Praise God for fellowship, sound teaching, and heartfelt prayer among the women of our Presbyterian churches here in Belize! This one day gathering took place recently and was an encouragement for our ladies.
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!
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).
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).
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!
On New Year’s Eve our three churches in Orange Walk District met together to celebrate God’s grace and to rejoice in a new year. The event was held at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in San Jose, Belize.
Different ministries from the churches gave presentations such as singing a hymn or sharing Bible verses – including the woman’s group and the children’s Sunday school. Ray was invited to speak from God’s Word and gave a message from Rom. 13:11-14. Afterward, God’s people gathered to eat tamales and coffee. Please pray for God’s continued work among these three churches.