The assembly had a time of thanksgiving to the Lord for the labors of Mr. Ross Graham, who is retiring from his position as General Secretary of Home Missions in 2013.
Herman Bavinck has written 11 points for the promotion of the work of the diaconate in vol 4 of his Reformed Dogmatics. Here is a sampling:
8. That the ministry of mercy be given a much larger place on the agenda of all ecclesiastical assemblies than has been the case until now.
10. That at these assemblies the ministry of mercy be organized in terms of general principles, bearing in mind the difference in congregational circumstances; that for general needs it be undertaken communally and expanded by asking the local church to assist other churches and further by assisting the poor and oppressed fellow believers abroad.
11. That this diaconal work be maintained as an independent ministry and not absorbed in or fused with the work of Inner Mission or State Welfare, which bear a very different character.
In recent years, the OPC has sought to provide denominational forums to encourage our deacons in their labors, and to promote the kind of connectionalism and mutual burden-bearing that is the practical outworking of the Presbyterian system of church government. This year, the second Diaconal Summit of the OPC features Mr. Steve Corbett as the keynote speaker for the summit, and the topics of include: “Ministering to Members with Long-Term Needs” and “Ministering to Short-Term Needs of Members and Walk-Ins.” This conference is meeting concurrently on the campus of Wheaton with the OPC General Assembly, and a joint session was held with Dr. Phil Ryken, the president of Wheaton College, giving the address.
The work of the OPC General Assembly continued on Friday June 8th with several highlights:
A time of thanksgiving to the Lord for the labors of Mr. Ross Graham, who is retiring from his position as General Secretary of Home Missions in 2013.
Fraternal greetings from representatives from the Reformed Church United State, the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, and the Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
The reports of two special committees working with two Presbyteries in the OPC; their work will continue for at least another year.
An approval to enter into corresponding relations with the Evangelical Reformed Church Westminster Confession, a group of churches in Austria that have recently come to embrace Reformed teaching.
A report on the work of Short Term Missions, especially the progress that has been made on the Nozomi (Hope) Relief Center that has been constructed to enable the Reformed Church in Japan with its witness in the Sendai, Japan area.
Ken Montgomery is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is a graduate of Covenant College and Westminster Seminary California. He currently serves as Associate Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Beavercreek (Dayton), Ohio.