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New Horizons

July, 2008: Home Missions

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One Plus One Equals One

Once in a while God arranges the pieces of a church-planting story in such a dramatic way that when you hear it you just know that something very special has happened. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church has a new congregation in St. Louis. But the story of how Christ Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Hazelwood, Missouri, came to be received by the Presbytery of the Midwest on April 6, 2008, is one that is truly unique.

St. Louis is the home of many congregations of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Even the PCA's own Covenant Theological Seminary is there. And the OPC respects the "Comity Agreement" drafted by the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC), of which we are a member. That agreement states in part that "we will be sensitive to the presence of existing churches and missions ministries of other NAPARC churches and will refrain from enlisting members and take great care in receiving members of those existing ministries." So how did the OPC find itself in St. Louis? Answer: you prayed us there! Read more

Home Missions

Redemption in Gator Country

Redemption OPC in Gainesville, Florida, had a short gestation period. Some groups take several years to develop into worshiping bodies of believers who are ready to call an organizing pastor. But the people of Redemption OPC took just six months to form themselves into a vibrant, growing congregation and to call Rev. Joel Fick to be their pastor. Read more

Helps for Worship #31: After the Sermon

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

What happens when the sermon is over? For some, this is simply the indication that worship is about to conclude. But that response, while all too common, is hardly a godly response to the privilege of hearing Christ's ministers explain and apply his word. Read more

For Goodness' Sake

Dear James,

I'm sorry you missed the ordination of Charles Greene last month. I know he was your favorite Sunday school teacher, and session always admired the way he encouraged junior high students to memorize the Shorter Catechism. Ben sometimes complains, but when he stands back and realizes how far he has come, even he is surprised by Mr. Greene's persuasiveness. Read more

Women's Ties across Churches

Three years after the Orthodox Presbyterian Church began in 1936, Marie Kuiper, wife of Westminster Seminary professor R. B. Kuiper, presided over more than 125 women who gathered for the organizational meeting of the Presbyterial Auxiliary of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. The gavel she used to adopt the constitution was constructed from the wood of a Chinese idol. After a violin solo, the Rev. Henry W. Coray spoke about his five years as a missionary in Harbin, Manchuria.

A June 1939 article in The Presbyterian Guardian encouraged women in other presbyteries to follow their example and organize a women's presbyterial to promote missionary interest in the churches. Read more

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