13 Sep 2018

Young Adults Weekend

Calvin Quigley (Airdrie RPC) and Heather MacLeod (Glasgow RPC) were at the Irish RP Young Adults Weekend from the 7th-9th September.  The speaker was Rev. David Whitla.  Rev. Whitla is presently in the final year of his history PhD at Queens, and is professor-elect of Church History at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), where he hopes to begin teaching in September 2019. He is married to June and they have five children.  Here is what he wrote about the topic he would be speaking on:

“When Jesus was on earth, he promised to build a new community of “called out ones” –– the Church (ekklesia; Mt.16:18), and one of the clearest ways in which the Church demonstrates this ‘called out-ness’ from the world is the structure and ethic of its family relationships. Our culture is in desperate need of direction as to how men and women should relate to one another. The family in the UK is in a state of crisis. The divorce rate continues to spiral out of control. The LGBTQ+ lobby aggressively pushes its ‘relationships education’ agenda in our schools. The more distant from God’s ethic of relationships our culture becomes, the more counter-cultural the church will appear. And so it is a key moment to listen again to what Jesus has to say about these subjects. There are many passages that deal with relationships, but this weekend we will focus on Matthew 19:1-15, where Jesus gives us his fullest manifesto about human relationships, declaring unambiguously “What God has Joined Together”. Wherever you’re at in your relationships, whether you’re single or married, the whole Church needs to be ready to practice and defend the relationship ethic Jesus presents. The four topics we will consider are: Jesus on Getting Married (v1-6). Jesus on Getting Divorced (v6-10). Jesus on Being Single (v11-12). Jesus on Having Babies (v13-15).”

The talks can be downloaded here: http://www.gatewaycfderry.org/young-adults-weekend-2018/

Here are some of Heather and Calvin’s thoughts about the weekend:

Heather: The seminar on the reasons for singing the psalms was particularly helpful as a reminder of the Biblical reasons for why we only sing psalms in public worship.  I think the weekend is beneficial in order to meet other young Christians.

Calvin: Sadly I was sick the first couple days, so I missed out on some quality teaching. Even though some of the topics may not have seemed directly applicable to me, what David had to say brought out points of consideration and importance for us all- regardless of situation. Although, the part which stood out the most to me was the seminar on death, I think Richard’s points were great. It’s hard to tackle spreading the gospel to someone who’s on their death bed, but the seminar provided real encouragement and guidance for the topic- a situation which we will all sadly be in at some point in our lives.
It’s nice to be together with other young Christians in a situation which is much more relaxed than some of the other youth retreats. With plenty of free time, it’s nice to just relax with friends- especially when being from Scotland and not seeing people so often.