Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Registrations Open for 2014 Spring Theology Conference

Registrations are now open for Greenville Seminary's annual Spring Theology Conference to be held March 11-13, 2014, focusing on "God's Works of Providence."

The conference will be held at a new location, Grace Baptist Church, Taylors, S.C. The church is located only a few miles from the seminary at 5020 Old Spartanburg Road, Taylors. Grace Baptist has been a friend of the seminary, and Pastor Bob Selph has been an occasional chapel speaker. For many years, the conference has been held at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C. Due to building renovations which will extend into our usual conference dates, WRPC will not be able to host the 2014 conference.

Grace Baptist Church - Corner of Old Spartanburg Rd. and Brushy Creek Rd.
Taylors, S.C.
View a conference brochure here.

The roster of speakers includes:
  • Dr. Derek Thomas, distinguished visiting professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Topic: "Providence and the 'Middle Knowledge': A Question of 'Now You See It, Now You Don't."
  • Dr. Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. Topic: "The Heidelberg Catechism: Its Gripping History and Teaching on Providence." Dr. Beeke will also preach during Tuesday's free public evening service on the subject, "The Definition and Beauty of Providence."
  • Dr. James McGoldrick, professor of church history at GPTS. Topic: "Calling All Christians: Calvin's Doctrine of Vocation."
  • Pastor Benjamin Miller, 2005 GPTS graduate and pastor of Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Huntington, N.Y. Topic: "Beautiful in Its Time: A Preacher's Journey through the Mists of Providence."
  • Dr. James N. Anderson, associate professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary–Charlotte. Topic: "Calvinism & the Origin of Sin"
  • Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., president of Greenville Seminary. Topic: "The Devil Made Me Do It." Dr. Pipa will also speak during the Wednesday evening free public service. Topic: "Providence or Fatalism." 
  • Dr. Benjamin Shaw, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at GPTS. Topic: "Just a Lot of Noise: Providence and the Problem of Evil."

Visit the seminary's web site at gpts.edu for information about registering for this exciting conference. The cost will be $80 per person, spouses $35, and youths over age 12 for $20. GPTS graduates may attend for $55. These are "early bird" prices; later registrations will be higher. The early-bird rate deadline is Friday, January 31st.

Due to the change of location, it is anticipated that only one official meal will be available during the conference period, the Wednesday night barbecue dinner in the Seminary Commons, 200 E. Main St., Taylors, S.C. Conference guests will be responsible for other meals.

Two evening sessions will again be open to the public to attend free of charge. The Tuesday and Wednesday evening services will also be streamed live on SermonAudio.com. Listeners may click on the red "Live Webcast" icon near the top of the page at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern time) each day.

Conference-goers are invited to attend a pre-conference chapel service at the seminary at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11.

Dr. O. Palmer Robertson to Headline Smith Banquet

Veteran theologian and missionary Dr. O. Palmer Robertson will be the keynote speaker at a banquet and celebration in honor of Dr. Morton H. Smith, professor of systematic theology (emeritus), to be held on March 10, 2014.

Reservations are now being accepted for this celebration to be held on the eve of Greenville Seminary's annual Spring Theology Conference (March 11-13). The event will be held in the elegant Poinsett Ballroom at the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel, 120 S. Main St., in downtown Greenville, S.C. See the menu and other details here.

Dr. O. Palmer Robertson
Dr. Robertson is principal and director of African Bible College in Uganda and Malawi. He has served pastorates in several states, spoken at many conferences, taught at several seminaries and lectures in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. His books include Christ of the Covenants, The Genesis of Sex, The Israel of God,and Understanding the Land of the Bible.

A book of tributes will be published for the occasion. Friends, acquaintances, colleagues, students and especially alumni of Dr. Smith's classes are encouraged to submit tributes and remembrances to Development Director Garry Moes at gmoes@gpts.edu. For a preview of the many tributes already given, go here.

To make a reservation to attend the March 10 banquet, complete the form here. The cost is $40 per person. To pay for your reservations, use the options listed on this page of the special web site. You may also choose to be a table sponsor for a contribution of $600. Indicate on the reservation form if you with to sponsor a table for 10 of your guests or for guests chosen by the seminary. Table sponsors will be acknowledged; this is a good opportunity for advertising your business or organization.

Plans are underway for a silent auction to be held in conjunction with the banquet. If you wish to donate a high quality item to be sold during the auction, please contact Garry Moes at gmoes@gpts.edu or 864-322-2717 ext. 319. Quality artwork and crafts, jewelry, rare collectibles, travel and vacation opportunities, quality books, special gift baskets, and similar items are sought. (No discards or rummage sale items please.) Visit local merchants to request donations. Anyone interested in serving as auction coordinator should contact Mr. Moes.

Dr. Smith, who turned 90 on December 11, is a co-founder of Greenville Seminary and a recognized authority on Southern Presbyterian history and doctrine. Dr. Smith has taught Biblical and Systematic theology at the college and seminary level for nearly 60 years. He was instrumental in the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America and served that denomination as stated clerk for 15 years. He was moderator of the PCA General Assembly in 2000. In 1966, he was instrumental in the founding of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss., and in 1987 he joined others in creating Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he served as dean of faculty until 1998. He served as pastor in Maryland in the mid-1950's and later taught at Belhaven College, Reformed Theological Institute, Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary. He was a long-time pilot and served as a flight instructor during World War II.

The GPTS Board of Trustees recently announced the retirement of Dr. Smith from active teaching, although he continues to teach one course, Introduction to Reformed Theology, during the current fall semester.

Financial Report for November 2013

By now, you may have received in the mail a special message concerning our annual year-end financial outreach, and we hope you have had an opportunity to prayerfully consider how you might help. This year our goal is to raise $165,000 by year's end. We depend on God's people and faithful churches for a major portion of our yearly income during this campaign. We seek, D.V., to replenish our somewhat depleted reserve fund which is vital to easing seasonal cash flow fluctuations and keeping us from reaching out during the year for emergency help. Furthermore, funds received at this time will help us meet future faculty additions. Finally, we encourage churches at this time of year to consider keeping or adding GPTS to their mission or other external giving budgets for 2014.

The tables below show our overall financial condition as of the end of November. Donations of $34,014 from churches and individuals were $27,459 below the $61,473 November budget for these types of unrestricted contributions. Expenses of $77,992 were $10,010 below the $88,002 budgeted for expenses. 

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. SENIORS PLEASE NOTE information about IRA Charitable Rollovers in 2013, as explained here. See elsewhere in this E-newsletter for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.

Donation Income (unrestricted)$34,014
Other Income$6,614
Total Income$40,628
Net Income-$37,364

Donation Income$284,866
Other Income$100,580
Total Income$385,446
Net Income-$32,311

Capital Campaign Goal*$3,500,000
Long-term Pledges Outstanding$570,794
Total Received and Pledged$3,840,925
Outstanding Obligations$35,000
Monthly Interest Payment$3,560
Remaining Mortgage$691,442

*Although the formal fund-raising campaign goal has been more than realized when combining receipts to date with pledges outstanding, additional funds are needed to amortize the balance of our mortgage.

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate Online" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687. Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, share a link to this newsletter or our website. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Where There's a Will...

Where there's a will, there's a way...to help build the Kingdom of God.

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been called by God to extend His Kingdom by training men to passionately and faithfully proclaim the Word of God. By His grace, we have been able for 26 years to maintain and grow our educational ministry. This has been possible only through the support of the people of God who share our vision.

One way to ensure that our vision does not die after the current generation goes to join the Church Triumphant is to add GPTS as a beneficiary in your last will and testament. Some of our faithful supporters have already done this and informed us of their intentions. We learn from time to time that others have done so but did not inform us of their intentions for some time.

GPTS would like to help you in planning for your future and ours. We encourage you to visit the web site of the PCA Foundation to take advantage of a free Will Planner. Click here and then select the "Learn More" option in the Getting Started section for an explanation of this service. This site also includes a series of helpful videos outlining important steps in planning your will.

The PCA Foundation can help you with a larger variety of other planned giving instruments.

* * * * *

Let's review: You have completed a will and perhaps a revocable living trust. Your durable power of attorney for healthcare and a living will are accompanied by a HIPAA (Health Care Portability and Accountability Act) release. All of your records are safely in place and carefully organized.

So you now are finished with your estate planning. Or are you? Will there be changes in your circumstances or your family that should lead to a review of your plan? Could some events cause you to need to revise or update the plan?

Yes, there are a number of reasons to consider revising or updating your plan. Click here for 10 (maybe 11?) reasons you might want to review your plan. In the process, perhaps you may wish to include consideration for a gift to Greenville Seminary. If so, we would be happy to put you in touch with professional estate planners, who can provide you guidance. Contact us by e-mail or calling (864) 322-2171 ext. 319.

Seminary Bids Farewell to Gail Anderson

The seminary faculty, staff and students bids regretful farewell at the end of this year to Administrative Assistant Gail Anderson.

Mrs. Anderson's departure was announced on Dec. 6 by President Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. as follows: "Dear Friends, I am sad to announce that Gail Anderson will be leaving the seminary as of December 31, 2013.  She is accepting a higher call — she is going to care full time for her grandson, Damien, as her daughter returns to work. Needless to say, Gail's leaving is a loss to the seminary and to me personally. We all will greatly miss her."

Mrs. Anderson will also dedicate more time to the care of her husband, Dr. Doug Anderson, as he struggles with advancing multiple sclerosis. Please continue to uphold the Andersons in your prayers.

Mrs. Anderson has served at GPTS for just over four years. She graced the seminary with her hostess skills for many seminary events such as special dinners, convocation and commencement receptions and board meetings. In addition to her normal administrative assistant duties, she has served as office manager, volunteer coordinator, and building manager.

God bless you, Gail, in all your future endeavors. You will be missed.

Gift Idea: New GPTS Shirts Available

The seminary has received a new shipment of promotional golf shirts, displaying the seminary name and logo in white against a forest green shirt color. Shirts are made of 100 percent preshrunk Gildan Ultra cotton jersey.

Regrettably, the manufacturer erred in fulfilling our intended order for an embroidered logo — the new shirts were received with a screen-printed name and logo instead. The good news is that we are able to offer these shirts at a price below that of our previous shirts. The price for the new shirts is $15 (plus shipping), versus the former price of $28!

The shirts are available in four sizes: Medium (M), Large (L), Extra Large (XL) and Double Extra Large (XXL). Quantities are limited, especially in the medium and double-extra large sizes.

Coming soon: New Insulated Stainless Travel Mugs with GPTS name and logo. We still have a small stock of our previous travel mugs (with seminary name, motto, and scripture verse) available. Order here: gptsmugs. Also available are GPTS sweatshirts, in dark green or ash, and green ceramic coffee mugs.

Order golf shirts here (you will be able to indicate quantities on the next page):

Choose Size

Pray with Us

"The power of prayer is not resident in the prayer itself or in those praying, but in the eternal purpose of God that incorporates our prayer for His ends. Prayer does work, not as an outside influence but in purposed congruence in God's eternal plan." — Stanley D. Gale, in byFaith.

  • Pray that God will abundantly bless our year-end financial outreach and to bless and prosper all those who may be led to give in support of this work in God's Kingdom.
  • Pray for our students and faculty as they face the heavy workload at the end of the current semester.
  • Praise God and thank Him for answering many prayers on behalf of the wife and children of one of our foreign students who have managed to make their way out of danger in their native land, travel through three neighboring counties and are soon to embark on their journey to the United States. 
  • Pray that God would guide us as plans get underway for our 2014 Spring Theology Conference.
  • Health concerns: Ask God to be an ever present aid and comfort to longtime missionary and GPTS supporter Jean Coleman, who has entered hospice care with a brutal form of oral cancer. Remember GPTS custodian John Jolly in prayer as he continues to struggle with knew pain. Please continue in prayer for Betty McGoldrick, wife of Professor James McGoldrick, as she continues to deal with her pain and disabilities. Pray also for Dr. Doug Anderson, husband of Administrative Assistant Gail Anderson, as he continues to deal with multiple sclerosis.

First Do No Harm

GPTS recommends a film being produced by Mark Cochran, a friend of the seminary who has been instrumental in video recording of our Spring Conferences. The film is a pro-life production called First Do No Harm. Watch this introductory video for information on how to help bring this film to Life.

Confessing our Hope Podcast

Listen to the GPTS Web-based radio broadcasts, with new interviews by host William Hill periodically! Read more about this broadcast ministry at the Confession Our Home web site. New programs are now available for listening or download. Among them:

#49 Resisting Gossip

In this broadcast, we spoke with Rev. Matthew Mitchell about his book Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue. This was a very beneficial and practical discussion on a subject with which many people struggle.

#50 Mission to Italy

This broadcast features an interview with Rev. Michael Cuneo, missionary to Viterbo, Italy. Mr. Cuneo is a graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and has been working in Italy for quite a few years.