Back in April, the folks in Home Missions were contacted with a special request. The request itself was not unusual, but comes up less frequently than you may think. A woman from Covenant OPC, Monterey Bay, CA wrote to ask for the address of one of our home missionaries. The reason? Her church had chosen to “adopt” (specifically encourage) this particular home missionary, and the initial prompting for this adoption started with Presbyterial.
Each year, women from the churches that comprise the Northern California and Nevada Presbytery gather for their annual meeting called Presbyterial. This group is one of four active Presbyterials in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and theirs has been going on for decades. Maybe since the beginning!
Presbyterial is an old tradition in the OPC, though it is perhaps not as widely known as it once was. At this yearly business meeting, women from all over the Presbytery gather to sing, pray, hear a mission’s report from the Vice President, give an offering, listen to a speaker on missions, perform various other tasks, and fellowship together. For years, each church has also chosen a foreign missionary (or two) to encourage and they’ve recently begun choosing home missionaries to encourage as well.
We were informed in Home Missions that this year, the women supported their home missionaries financially, through prayer, and by sending them encouraging books. What a blessing that surely is to them, and to us to see the body building one another up!
Perhaps you are reading this and thinking, “Our church hasn’t adopted a home missionary. I wonder if we can do that.” Of course! There is no set requirement for how you choose to support the work of a home missionary. The simple gift of your thoughts and time, as you uphold them regularly in prayer or send them encouraging notes, can make all the difference.
Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”.