A Report from General Assembly, Part 8
This week I want to share briefly about Diaconal ministries within the OPC, as well as our S.T.O.R.M. report (Short-Term Outreach, Relief & Missions) that we have in our bulletin once a month.
As an agency of the General Assembly, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) is entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the diaconal ministries of the OPC in those areas that are beyond the province and/or capacity of the local or regional diaconates.
The CDM responds to meet the needs of individuals within the OPC after they have been presented at the local and regional levels, but may not be able to be fully met there. The CDM also strives to provide diaconal assistance internationally through our brothers and sisters around the world. This is primarily to those within the OPC, but also to those the OPC is in ecclesiastical fellowship with, and to others as there are opportunities and resources. Much of this is facilitated through our missionaries. The CDM also responds to disaster relief around the world.
The CDM seeks to encourage local deacons in their labors and to identify, promote, develop, and distribute resources for deacons. Several national diaconal summits have been held to date. They also send out a quarterly newsletter, The Mercy Minute, intended to keep deacons of the OPC informed and connected.
Part of the work of the CDM in the past was a ministry to ministers and their widows. Since the OPC created a new committee for this work this year I will report on that next week as well as a few brief words about Appeals in the final report from GA.
In 2016, 111 members of the OPC visited one of our foreign mission fields in a short-term missions or disaster response capacity. These individuals represent 27 different OPC congregations and nine presbyteries. About 450 individuals participated in non-foreign OPC Short-Term Mission work in 2016.
For more on diaconal work or needs, I encourage you to visit with Deacon Charlie Farrell here at Faith Bible Church. If you are ever interested in short-term mission opportunities near or far, Deacon Farrell or I can get you in touch with the right people. May we praise God as the body of Christ works together to meet various needs.