February 2024 New Horizons

Let Us Do Good to Everyone

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Let Us Do Good to Everyone

Feeling used by someone ostensibly in need can make your stomach drop. Maybe you’ve been in this situation—wondering if you are being taken advantage of by a stranger in a grocery store parking lot who’s asking for money to buy diapers, or by someone at the gas pump with an elaborate story of being stranded. Maybe you give some cash, and then watch the person turn around and use it in self-destructive ways. Many deacons are familiar with such stories. It’s just one reason why some argue that deacons should reserve benevolent funds for members of Christ’s church. After all, most of the New Testament references of benevolent care focus on Christians caring for other believers (2 Cor. 8:4, 1 John 3:16–17, James 2:15–16). I would set forth, however, that all Christians—and deacons especially—are called to show benevolent mercy also to the lost. In Paul’s words, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone” (Gal. 6:10). Biblical Foundations for Mercy Ministry to Non-Members ... Read more

Equipping Presbytery Diaconal Committees

Each one of the OPC’s seventeen presbyteries has a diaconal committee. However, if you asked five different members of presbytery diaconal committees what their work involves, you may get five different answers. Why? Because most work independently of one another—it’s the nature of being geographically scattered. To bring presbyteries together in their diaconal work, in 2012 the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) began hosting two-day summits full of instruction, encouragement, and fellowship for members of presbytery diaconal committees (PDCs). The fifth summit, hosted jointly by the CDM and the Committee on Ministerial Care (CMC), was held in November 2023 in Chicago and attended by representatives from sixteen of the seventeen presbytery diaconal committees. At the summit, David Nakhla, administrator for the CDM, reintroduced a document that the CDM has been refining since 2012: a proposed mandate for the work of presbytery diaconal committees (see below). It serves to suggest what a ... Read more

Witnessing at a Pride Parade

October 15, 2023, was a beautiful Sunday morning as over three hundred thousand people rose early and made their way by car, bus, and train to Atlanta. If one looked down from the penthouse of one of many skyscrapers nearby, one would see a great crowd waving flags. At street level, it would be evident that this event was not like other parades. Gathering at a time of day when most Christians in America were worshiping God, this group gathered to celebrate and promote the sins summarized by the letters LGBTQ+ and one word: “Pride.” More than five thousand marchers made their way along the parade route. They carried signs promoting their company, church, or government organization in connection with Pride. The Atlanta United soccer team changed its name for the day to Pride United. Smirnoff and Salesforce, Microsoft and Micron, Grady Hospital and Google—all these and hundreds of others showed the city they celebrate Pride. The crosswalks of midtown were painted the colors of the Pride flag. ... Read more


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