September 2010 New Horizons

The OPC's First Diaconal Summit

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The OPC's First Diaconal Summit

More than two hundred deacons from across North America migrated to Wheaton College for the inaugural Diaconal Summit of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The three-day conference, held June 3-5 in Wheaton, Illinois, was the first denomination-wide conference for deacons in the history of the OPC. More than two years ago, when the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) first floated the idea of hosting the Summit, the committee members never imagined that 220 deacons, pastors, and elders would attend or that the conference would be so well received. "The verbal response we received has been exciting," said Lendall Smith, president of the CDM. "Just the encouragement of being with other deacons and knowing that there are resources available to help them has been a great encouragement to them." The Summit looked at the best ways for deacons to minister to the poor and handle other challenges, encouraged networking among deacons at a presbytery level, and pointed out resources available for deacons. ... Read more

A Quiet General Assembly

In more recent years, the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has held some of its meetings in the Midwest. Both Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, have welcomed our GA, and it was with joy that we were able to return to the Chicago area for the Seventy-seventh General Assembly. It was held at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. We were on the beautiful Trinity Christian College campus for the 2006 General Assembly, and it was good to be able to return this year. Next year's GA, celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the OPC, will be held, appropriately, at Sandy Cove, Maryland, near the historic cradle of American Presbyterianism (the greater Philadelphia area). The following year (2012), the GA will return to the Chicago area and be held at Wheaton College. The summer of 2010 is already on record as one of the hottest in years, and the 77th GA opened in the midst of sweltering heat and humidity. This struck this writer, a Mississippi native, as ... Read more

Chronicles of a Reforming Church: Part 2: The Transition of the Church

Our transition from the Foursquare Church to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church went smoothly. How could this take place without decimating the church? Every pastor has been confronted with some variation of the mighty six words that bedevil every church: "We've always done it that way." Insensitivity to that mind-set could gush members to the exits faster than an oil spill. A pastor acquaintance had begun to embrace a Reformed understanding of the faith and the church where he served was all but annihilated. He was so excited about his new theological discovery—about the grace of God—that he thought it was necessary for every member in the church to acquiesce—and do so immediately! When I had lunch with another pastor making the journey into Reformed theology, I questioned him regarding the inconsistent theological distinctions, policies, and staff in his church. His church was eclectic. How could he be comfortable with that? He took my words to heart. With new doctrinal epiphanies in his ... Read more

Goings On at 7401

( Editor's note: The Orthodox Presbyterian Church will be celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary in June of 2011. In anticipation of that milestone, New Horizons is running a yearlong series of historical remembrances.) Originally the denominational committees on Foreign Missions, Home Missions, and Christian Education rented office space in downtown Philadelphia. But in 1960 they purchased a three-story, stone mansion at 7401 Old York Road in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia. It became known affectionately simply as "7401" (pronounced "seventy-four oh one"). The committee staffs worked at 7401, as did the employees of Great Commission Publications, and committee members also assembled there from across the country for their periodic meetings. Women from local OP congregations used the small kitchen and even smaller dining room to serve delicious meals to the hard-working committee members. Once a member from Montana brought in a large amount of elk meat from a recent hunt. ... Read more

Presbyterian Guardian Now Online

The Committee for the Historian and the Committee on Christian Education are pleased to announce that the Presbyterian Guardian is now online in its entirety on OPC.ORG. The completion of this project makes available the forerunner to New Horizons and the main source of information regarding the Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1935 (the year prior to the church's founding) through 1979. ( New Horizons began publication in January 1980.) J. Gresham Machen, the first editor of the Guardian , believed it was important that a magazine exist which was devoted to the conservative cause in the Presbyterian conflict of that era. The name was chosen to represent the defense of the faith, the fight to preserve the truth of the historic Christian faith—especially the person and work of Christ. The magazine's stated mandate was to teach, propagate, and defend the system of faith and practice found in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. The magazine, like the seminary that Machen founded ... Read more