The Committee on Diaconal Ministries
of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves

and also great confidence in the faiththat is in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 3:13

Special Notice!

Due to ongoing restrictions and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries has regretfully decided to postpone the National Diaconal Summit IV, scheduled to take place June 10-12, 2021 in Wheaton, Illinois.

The primary reason for this decision is that ongoing state restrictions in Illinois, which forbid indoor gatherings of more than 50 people, will not be modified or lifted until an effective vaccine for the virus can be developed and widely distributed. Given the uncertainty of an effective vaccine being produced and distributed before the summer of 2021, and given the need for speakers and participants to make travel plans months ahead of the this Summit, the CDM believes the current year’s plan is no longer feasible. After considering various other possibilities, the CDM has decided to postpone the event and reschedule for the summer of 2022. The Committee has tentatively reserved June 9-11, 2022 for NDS IV and is working toward confirming the plenary and workshop speakers’ availabilities.

The CDM extends its sincere apology for this inconvenience. Many officers over the years have expressed a deep desire to attend these rich lectures, workshops and unique times of fellowship, which is why the CDM will be doing the best they can to resume in 2022.

In the meantime, please make use of the videos from previous summits to enrich your work as servants of the Lord. There is so much wonderful content in them and we would be pleased if you would use them for the benefit of your congregations and the glory of the Lord.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the CDM: diaconalministries@opc.org.

News and Items for Prayer 

Tornados in the South

We are keeping in touch with the churches in the south where they experienced another round of tornadoes last week. Deacon Dan Zuldema from Cornerstone OPC in Chattanooga sent us this note:

Greetings from Cornerstone OPC in Chattanooga! We wanted to send this note of update to you in the wake of the storms that swept through the Chattanooga area last night. While there were areas of the city that were devastated, we are praising the Lord that everyone in our church is unharmed, and our church building is intact. One of our members was in a rental house that was completely destroyed, but by God’s grace, she was not home at the time. She is currently staying with her brother, who lives in town. (Update: She has since moved with help from the deacons at Cornerstone into a rental unit and will work with the deacons to develop a support plan.)
We would ask that you be praying for the body of Christ at Cornerstone in these ways:
  • That the Lord would be giving us all opportunities to share the reason for the hope we have with neighbors who have experienced loss, are afraid, and feeling helpless and hopeless.
  • That we would be bold in seizing opportunities to bless each other (within the church) and our neighbors (outside of the church) in their times of need and thereby bring glory to our God.
  • That the Lord would provide for Theresa in terms of a new rental arrangement and in regard to the materials that she can’t recover from her house.
As we are currently without a pastor, we have been joining Harvest OPC (in Michigan) via live stream every week. We have derived much comfort, encouragement, and support from the Presbytery of the Southeast and the broader denomination over the years, and we are extremely grateful. As a representative example, just this morning, bright and early we received a text from Mike Cloy, checking in on us to see if we were okay and if we had needs. We praise the Lord for the love and support of our sister churches in the denomination!
In a time when we don’t have a pastor, in a time when we can’t physically be together due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and in a time that our city has been ravaged by storms, we can truly say with Job that the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! He has blessed us beyond measure—and like Job, we celebrate, even while we mourn, because our Redeemer lives! In times like these, make no mistake about it, the church of God is under attack. But by the grace of our risen Savior, as we draw near to the throne of grace, and draw together, we pray that we will emerge from these trials a stronger, purer church.
Sincerely,
Dan (for the session)
Dr. Daniel R. Zuidema

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The Love of Christ Shown

The Love of Christ Shown

Nearly a month ago, before COVID-19 had been known in the States, we attempted to send masks to our brothers and sisters in Asia but weren’t able to because of supply issues. Now, with the virus sweeping through the United States, our brothers and sisters in Asia are sending masks to us! There are currently 7,300 masks coming to us! What a wonderful testimony, not just of the global nature of this pandemic, but of the global nature of Christ’s church as one body.If you need a mask or would like to distribute them to your neighbors, please speak to one of your deacons and ask them to contact OPC Disaster Response Coordinator, David Nakhla for more information.

The map indicates everywhere that these masks have been distributed in the United States to date. Inset photos: Deacon David Watson from Reformation Fellowship OPC in Roseville, CA, gave masks to an RN in his church to take to her hospital and the flyer that went along with the masks! Praise the Lord for this provision!


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Links to Online OP Church Worship Services

Are you looking for a church service to watch during the COVID-19 shutdown? David Barr, Deacon at Emmanuel OPC, Kent, WA has created a list of OP Churches that are streaming their services online. You can find the list posted in a Google sheet by clicking the button below. Instructions on how to add your church stream can be found on the Google sheet. This is a great time to hear from pastors all over the OPC. There are blessings in this trying time! Thank you, David, for this great resource! 

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Opportunity Amid the Pandemic

“Please rejoice with us and give praise to God! He has turned the Coronavirus crisis in to an opportunity to show the love of Christ to all we helped so far through food distribution and pray that the Lord would use the gospel declaration that we have been putting in each box for delivery to point them to Jesus Christ who is the bread of eternal life and draw them to the Worship of God at Redeemer. 

Praise God! Today was the second round of food distribution to the families of Eritrean refugees and residents in Clarkston whose family income has been affected by the pandemic. We are very thankful to the Lord for the leaders of the Eritrean

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