Rev. Martyn McGeown
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Monday, July 25, 2016
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
The busy summer continues. I am just back from the British Reformed Fellowship Conference in Castlewellan, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. The Conference was, of course, a very enjoyable and spiritually uplifting week. Our two speakers, Prof. D. Engelsma and Rev. A. Lanning were excellent, and, amazingly, we had wonderful weather (The latter was not forecast, with the result that some did not have the correct attire and lacked sunscreen!). Reports about the BRFC will appear in the Standard Bearer, Beacon Lights, and British Reformed Journal. It was, I believe, our most international, or catholic, conference, with saints from the UK, the Republic of Ireland, mainland Europe, USA, Canada, Singapore, and the Philippines. We also had a good number of day visitors. The speeches will be online in the coming days on the BRF website and the CPRC YouTube channel. The next conference is scheduled for July 2018 in Hebron Hall, S. Wales, DV.
This week, I need to get ready for my next visit to the USA (Aug 1-24). Rev. Michael DeVries and his wife, Dawn (Kalamazoo PRC, MI) will be staying in my home while I am on vacation, and a lot of preparation is required to make sure that everything runs smoothly when they are here—ecclesiastically, we have everything covered (Rev. DeVries will fill the LRF’s pulpit); domestically, we are a work in progress! The saints here look forward to Rev. DeVries’ ministry among us.
This will be my second visit to the USA this year. In June, I was privileged to attend the Protestant Reformed synod in Hull, IA, on behalf of the CPRC. I met friends, colleagues and fellow saints, both old acquaintances and new, and enjoyed fellowship in various homes. I was also able to preach in Hull, IA and Sioux Falls, SD. My hearty thanks to all who contributed to a profitable time there.
I am “between series” at the moment—I finished the “Nativity and Childhood of Jesus Christ” series on April 17 (“The Boy Jesus About His Father’s Business”), then I preached some sermons on anxiety (especially 3 sermons on Matthew 6:25-34), and now I am preaching some sermons on the miracles of Jesus, which is evolving somewhat into a series. In Heidelberg Catechism preaching, I am treating the names of the Mediator (Jesus, Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord).
A very significant event for the Fellowship took place on June 11—Felicity Kuhs, the third child of Manuel and Emily-Kate Kuhs, was born. We now have five small children in the Fellowship: Sebastian Kuhs (5), Jason Watterson (3), Penelope Kuhs (3), Eleanora Watterson (10 months), and Felicity Kuhs (6 weeks). We hope to schedule Felicity’s baptism soon.
On Tuesdays, we continue our Bible study. We started the book of Romans on October 6, and have reached chapter 8. We have a second Bible study at the Mansonas’ home on the book of Hebrews. Catechism has been put on hold for the summer.
We continue our “Back to Basics” Lecture series in Limerick. The last ones were entitled “God Is Good” (April 16) and “The Forgiveness of Sins” (July 2). A Muslim colleague of Manuel Kuhs still attends these lectures
Another recent valuable opportunity to witness is in the Limerick Post, which is a local newspaper. According to its website, “The Limerick Post weekly newspaper is distributed throughout Limerick City and County in the region of Munster. It is considered Limerick’s most popular newspaper with a circulation of over 53,000 copies per week and an estimated readership of 238,500.” The Post has a “Have Your Say” (or “Letters to the Editor”) section. In April 2016, the Roman Catholics of Limerick made a procession through the city carrying an icon of Mary, which had been “blessed by the pope.” My first letter opposing such idolatry was published on April 9. This elicited several responses, to which I responded in subsequent weeks. After a while, an atheist, seeing the discussion, demanded proof for the existence of God, and I responded to him the following week. On one occasion, four unbelievers responded to my letters, and I was afforded the opportunity to respond. To date, eight of my letters have been published with only minor editing, the latest one being last week. Best of all, each letter is published with the signature, “Martyn McGeown, Limerick Reformed Fellowship.” (I received e-mail from a Roman Catholic, to which I responded at length. That e-mail was republished on the RFPA blog. Others have told me that they have seen the letters in the Post. It is quite a challenge and privilege to respond to atheists, and to do so in only about 300 words. Once the debate winds down, I will publish the letters online).
This past weekend, the CPRC in Ballymena had some 40+ visitors. I managed to attract a few pre-conference (Brian, Jillian and Josiah Hilt, and Averly Kikkert [Wingham PRC], and Katie and Megan Higgs [EPCA, Brisbane, Australia]) and post-conference visitors (Ed Bos [Grace PRC, MI], Phil Harbach [Grandville PRC, MI], Timothy Spence [CPRC Ballymena, and Greg, Candace, Patrick and Megan Duerr [Covenant PRC, Spokane, WA]) to Limerick, an experience our little group always enjoys.
Pray for us, as we do for you,
In Christian love,
Rev. Martyn McGeown