Richard R. Gerber
The annual Thank Offering is part of the rhythm of life in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. For more than half her life the OPC has taken this annual occasion to praise God for his blessings and present an offering of thanksgiving to support the Great Commission ministries of the church.
This year has been a difficult year for some households and congregations. Unemployment and the devaluing of retirement accounts have brought a financial pinch. Yet God is faithful and has provided our daily bread. Through the strength that Christ gives we know how to manage with plenty or little (see Phil. 4:10-19).
In all the circumstances of life the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ goes forward. He supplies what we need to do the work he lays before us. So again this year the OPC enters the Thank Offering season. We reflect with joy on how the church has been able to proclaim Christ in many places in a myriad of ways.
With broad brush strokes here is the ministry of Worldwide Outreach supported by the Thank Offering.
Through the Committee on Foreign Missions nineteen foreign missionaries and their families are supported as they labor in the ministry full-time. Additionally there are missionary associates who serve for a year or two. And short term teams regularly assist in the work. Our missionary families serve on five continents. As they proclaim Christ, the goal is to establish healthy, indigenous, national churches. We aim for churches firmly and fully committed to the Reformed faith, and striving toward becoming self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating–looking forward to entering into full fraternal relations with the OPC, to sending their own missionaries to other nations, and to the arrival of the day when they will no longer need the services of OP foreign missionaries.
Through the Committee on Christian Education seven yearlong and nine summer ministerial interns have been supported this year in their continuing preparation for pastoral ministry. The OPC website brings Christ and the Reformed faith to tens of thousands of people each month. New Horizons, our denominational magazine, publishes teaching from the Bible and news of our church’s ministries. Ministers, ruling elders, and deacons are further equipped for ministry through Ordained Servant and the Ministerial Training Institute. Through Great Commission Publications an array of educational materials are available to the churches, especially the Show Me Jesus Sunday school materials.
Through the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension fifty-four organizing pastors have been laboring in the development of new congregations. Additionally ten regional workers have been supported as they seek to initiate new church starts and support existing home mission works.
Over one hundred Great Commission workers are laboring with your prayers and financial support through Worldwide Outreach. A significant amount of the annual support comes through the Thank Offering.
3.4 million dollars (US) have been budgeted by the General Assembly for our Great Commission ministries. By the grace of God and your generosity $750,000 (almost one-fourth) will be given as Thank Offering gifts.
"Thank Offering 2009 gives you a fresh opportunity to make an offering that is acceptable and pleasing to God. You may have taken a personal financial hit. Your local congregation may be in need. But in the strength that Christ gives you can act in faith." (from "All Things Through Christ" New Horizons, Nov. 2009).
Please give your Thank Offering through your local Orthodox Presbyterian congregation. If you are not part of an Orthodox Presbyterian church, please click on this link and learn how to donate to the OPC for the support of our Worldwide Outreach workers.