Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Something You Don't See Every Day

Though this is a bit dated it is worth publishing (double-click to see a larger version).  Three years ago in September 2007, Great Lakes Presbytery of the PCA and the Michigan-Ontario Presbytery of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church held a joint meeting at Christ Church PCA, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Photos were taken by both groups but until this week I never saw a copy. 

Our meeting was cordial, friendly, and full of mutual respect.  If my memory serves me correctly it was the OPC who initiated the meeting.  Believe it or not OPC men sat in PCA committee meetings and vice versa.  An OPC man was examined on the floor before both presbyteries and later a PCA man went through the same experience.  In the end it was a wonderful time of fellowship that cleared the air of suspicion amongst both groups of men. 

I bring this up in part because it was a personal highlight of my ministry.  Among other things I met an OPC minister who was discipled by one of my college roommates who was a Campus Crusade staff member at Ohio State.  Talk about a small world. 

I also bring this up for another reason.  Here in Michigan it is fairly common to run into people from other NAPARC  churches.  For instance, while the PCA is making inroads in this state the OPC has TWICE as many churches in Michigan as the PCA.  Additionally, I have men in my church who have relatives serving as officers in the RPCNA and the URCNA.  Beyond this at the presbytery level I am in conversations with Classis Michigan of the URCNA about a situation of mutual concern.  My church is in the process of receiving a family into membership who is transferring from one of the Heritage Reformed Churches.  Last winter I took a class at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and sat under a professor from the Eglise Refomee Du Quebec (Reformed Church of Quebec).  I have sat in classes with brothers from other NAPARC churches as well. 

It goes without saying that my faith has been strengthened by these contacts.  Beyond that I would say that my theology has been sharpened as well.  Though the PCA is larger than all of these denominations combined I view these brethren and their churches as kindred spirits.  In many respects we in the PCA have much to learn from these folk.

Last spring I was upset to learn that some at the highest levels of the PCA thought it was time for us to part company with NAPARC.  Earlier this week NAPARC held its annual meeting and I'm anxious to learn what transpired. The dust has barely settled but I'd love to read a report, even if it is preliminary.

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