OPC Concludes its 79th General Assembly

The OPC is known for having hearty discussion on the floor of its assemblies, and several commissioners noted this year that the expression of strong convictions can be maintained together with “the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13) as the tenor of the debates can testify.

 

Much of the Saturday (June 9) session was devoted to the adjudication of two matters before the Appeals and Complaints committee. Both complaints were eventually denied “after several hours of intense but edifying debate,” according to Rev. Alan Pontier, confirming that the conclusions were only reached after careful hearing and weighing of the substance of the questions presented to the Assembly.

On Monday June 11th, the OPC GA received fraternal greetings from the Presbyterian Church in America, represented by Dr. Phil Ryken. Dr. Ryken gave some updates on the PCA’s work on college campuses through Reformed University Fellowship, the PCA’s position on the sanctity of marriage, and the way the PCA GA in 2011 has responded to questions raised with respect to converts from Islam to Christianity.

The Assembly also heard greetings from the Bible Presbyterian Church, represented by Rev. Kevin Backus. He spoke of the close historical and ministerial ties the BPC and OPC have shared, and encouraged the brethren to pursue deeper fellowship individually and collectively.

The Assembly determined to continue work on the Psalter-Hymnal project, and recent actions from the Synod of the United Reformed Churches of North America mean that this endeavor will now be a joint project between the OPC and URC. The original motion to produce a new Psalter-Hymnal came before the 73rd GA (2006), with the grounds:

  1. Orthodox Presbyterian congregations ought to have all 150 Psalms available for singing…
  2. Providing an OPC Psalter-Hymnal may contribute to greater continuity in worship from congregation to congregation within the OPC.
  3. Moreover, currently available versions of the metrical Psalms are deficient.
  4. Developing a Psalter-Hymnal would fulfill a desire that the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressed.
  5. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church has a unique opportunity to provide such a Psalter-Hymnal at this time.

The OPC now looks forward to fulfilling this mandate in cooperation with our brothers and sisters in the URC, which brings together the American Presbyterian and Continental Reformed traditions in a visible and mutually beneficial way.

The OPC GA adjourned at 2:11 pm on June 11th. The 80th General Assembly is scheduled to be held at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA beginning on June 5, 2013.

The OPC gives praise to the Lord for building his church in faith, hope, and love. In terms of statistics, OPC now has 275 churches, 51 mission works and 30,279 members. This is but one small part of the kingdom of Christ on earth: And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her. The LORD records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Selah Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.” (Psalm 87).

 

Ken Montgomery is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.  He is a graduate of Covenant College and Westminster Seminary California.  He currently serves as Associate Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Beavercreek (Dayton), Ohio.

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