We are now into the second half of the second period of studies at the IJC. The introductory Catechetics course was completed two weeks ago, with the students giving their final presentations, which were well done. The students in this class were the first-year full-time students (Rafael, Felipe, and Willams) as well as Pb. Kleber from Caraguatatuba.
Last week we began the Introduction to Theology course, which will also run for five weeks. The same students are participating in this course. The upper level students (Mateus and Victor) will present their first sermon proposals at the end of this period. I have been meeting with them once every other week for classes on Old Testament preaching. This week we will be going over a number of practical examples of how to preach Christ from various Old Testament passages.
The first sermon session of the year was presented by the students on Isaiah 1 and 2. Pastor Jim oversaw the sermon session via video-conference. Two IRB pastors and an elder were also present to offer feedback. The students’ work was very impressive, especially for their first-ever sermons. Positive comments were made all-around. It is beautiful to witness God continuing to prepare and equip new generations of young men to serve in the ministry of the Word.
The following morning Fernando (an elder at IPSEP) taught the next course in church history for the three freshmen students. One of the most beautiful things to witness here is the number of highly-qualified men within the IRB who are now teaching the bulk of the courses. Fernando was trained in history at the Federal University of Pernambuco and teaches history at a secondary school here in Recife (while also working on a law degree). He has a wealth of knowledge in all things history, and is a pleasure to listen to.
Now the students are working hard preparing for a Hebrew test tomorrow morning, as part of the course taught by Pastor Lúcio—another leader in the IRB who teaches very capably at the IJC.
On the agenda of the recent 36th Concílio of the IRB was the approval of two calls. Both were approved. On April 11, 2021, in the morning worship service, Pr. Pereira Neto in the Igreja Reformada Maranata was installed in Unaí. This church had been without a minister since January of 2020, when Pr. Marcel Tavares moved to the church in Cabo Frio.
Now, since Pr. Pereira left, the Igreja Reformada de São José was without a minister. However, as approved at Concílio, Pr. Thyago Lins was installed there on May 2nd, 2021. He had been working in a mission church plant in Porto de Galinhas for the last 3 years, but that project was terminated by the church of IPSEP.
So, as of May 2nd, the only instituted church of the IRB without a minister will be the Igreja Reformada de Paulista, but in the IRB there are other congregations (non-instituted church groups) without a minister, and plenty of other locations throughout Brazil in need of a mission project.