At the 85th General Assembly held this June, General Secretary John Shaw expressed the thanks of the Home Missions Committee for the 33 years of service by Mr. Hilbelink. The Assembly gave Mr. Hilbelink a standing ovation. Here is an excerpt of what Mr. Shaw shared: It is right to take a minute to thank God for the labors of John Hilbelink. He is a gift from Christ to his church, and he has been a gift to the CHMCE and to the home missions labors of the OPC. A few details are worth noting about his time of service on the Committee: John was first elected to the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension (CHMCE) at the 52nd GA in 1985 and has served without interruption since. The Committee so appreciated his service that he
Church planters from around the country meet at Calvin OPC in Phoenix, Ariz. from January 24-26 for the 2017 Church Planter Training Conference. Pray for safety in travel and a time of rich fellowship, refreshment, learning, and encouragement as these men meet. Pray that the Home Missions office staff, and speakers Christopher Chelpka and Chris Hartshorn will be a blessing to the men. Pray too that God will bless their ministry as they return home to many responsibilities.
Good Shepherd has seen a good number of visitors who have found the congregation through online searches in recent months. A family from Cameroon has been attending for much of the year. A couple from Ghana has attended somewhat regularly and brought a friend with them. One of Good Shepherd’s families will be moving to Illinois next year. A recent conference on Spiritual Foundations was well received. The congregation’s annual Angel Tree participation and lessons and carols service on Christmas Eve are coming up. Pray that the Lord will use these to bring new families into the church. The church is entering its final year of denominational support. Pray that the Lord will provide financial stability for the coming years.
Pastor Chang manned a table at a local farmer’s market this summer, and while no one has attended worship as a result, he was able to hand out literature. Pray that these contacts will yield fruit. There have been a few visitors to worship lately including one couple from a nearby university, and a man from Cottonwood. There are a handful of contacts in town as well, including a man who has asked Pastor Chang for information on Reformed theology. Pray that more local people will be brought into the group. Since the name change to Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church, Pastor Chang has been advertising, and he plans to make an even greater push with Facebook advertising. Pray for wisdom as the congregation considers what outreach efforts will
Numbers have dipped slightly at Knox OPC as families deal with illness, and one family decided to begin attending another church. Pray that the Lord will provide healing. The young people of the congregation get together once a month, and have decided to do some sort of outreach event during one of their next gatherings. The congregation as a whole is also considering how they might best reach out to the community. Pray for wisdom as they consider options. Also, praise God for recent new visitors to worship. Pray too, that the Lord will raise up deacons to serve the congregation. After a winter break, midweek Bible studies will begin again later this month. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide financially through the generous giving