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Vol. 4: Issue 2
August 10, 2016

Networking -- Encouragement -- Training

Plan Now to Attend
"Diaconal Summit III"
June 15-17, 2017

The Committee on Diaconal Ministries will host its third national Diaconal Summit, June 15-17, 2017, on the campus of Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL.

  • All deacons and deacons-in-training are welcome to attend!
  • All you need to do is get there!  The CDM covers all conference expenses (including meals and lodging) except travel.
  • The speaker will be Dr. David Apple, author of "Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All."  
  • The CDM anticipates holding these summits at 5-year intervals, with the next one projected to take place in 2022.  So don’t miss out on 2017!

Get all the details:

  • Brochures will be mailed to all churches in August 2016
  • Registration will open on February 1, 2017
  • Click below for an on-line copy of the brochure

OPC Network of Deacons

Deacons, did you know that you have access to resources beyond the scope of your local diaconal budget?

The Westminster Confession of Faith defines the communion of saints as a  "communion in each other's gifts and graces."  This is manifested in the Presbyterian church in the way the local churches, regional presbyteries, and denominational leadership work together to address needs in the church.

If a need arises that exceeds your local diaconal budget, you can appeal for help to your Presbytery Diaconal Committee (PDC), which in turn can appeal to the Committee on Diaconal Ministries at the denominational level if necessary.

This is an important tool in the OPC deacon's toolbox!  Please click below to find the contact information for the Chairman of your Presbytery Diaconal Committee.  


Presbytery Diaconal Summit III
October 6-7, 2016

Photo from the 2014 Presbytery Diaconal Summit (formerly known as "D17 Summit")

Every two years, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries invites each presbytery to send two representatives from its Presbytery Diaconal Committee (PDC) to attend a summit (formerly known as the "D17" conference) designed to facilitate interaction between members of the various PDCs and help them grow in their service to their presbyteries.

As per the "Network" pictured earlier in this report, the PDC serves as the lynch pin in the OPC's network of deacons, connecting local deacons to the denominational committee, and coordinating diaconal work at the regional level.  This is an especially relevant role when disaster strikes.

Part of this year's summit will focus on how presbyteries can organize and prepare for  disaster response.  Please pray for the men who will attend the summit, that the Lord would bless them with a greater appreciation for their service to the church in this critical area. 


Refugee Relief Update

Roundtable 2016: Photo from Facebook page of Refugee Highway Partnership North America

Since the last Mercy Minute, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) has engaged Rev. Al Tricarico (Associate General Secretary of the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension) to participate in its investigation of how best to minister to refugees long-term both in Word and deed. 

While there is a clear diaconal component to refugee relief, there is clearly a missions opportunity as well.  The CDM strives to ensure that the ministry of deed is always accompanied by the ministry of the Word.

Al recently joined David Nakhla in attending an informative conference entitled "Roundtable 2016" in Toronto, sponsored by the Refugee Highway Partnership of North America.

To date, the CDM has received over $31,000 in gifts designated for refugee relief.

We would love to hear from any OP churches that are currently engaged directly with refugees! 


Missionary Doctor Needed
in Karamoja, Uganda

We continue to be in need of a replacement for missionary deacon Dr. Jim Knox who recently returned home from serving as the doctor at the medical clinic of the Orthodox Presbyterian Uganda Mission.

This is a fully-funded position, and presents a unique opportunity for the right person to serve on a foreign mission field!  The Committee on Foreign Missions would be delighted to discuss the position with any qualified individual who is committed to the Reformed faith.  

For further information, click below to contact:
Rev. Douglas Clawson
Associate General Secretary
Committee on Foreign Missions


Diaconal Principles Documents
Available at

Principles of Diaconal Ministry

"The heart of God for the poor is the reason for the diaconal ministry of the church. The church ministers to the poor and needy because of the very character and ways of our God..."  Read more here.

Principles for the Ministry of Mercy

"The ministry of mercy of any particular board of deacons is inherently connected to a local congregation (“serve tables”), is always in support of the ministry of the Word (“devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word”), and is under the oversight of the local session..."  Read more here.

Additional resources for deacons available at


What Are Deacons Doing Locally?

Deacons, would you like to hear what other deacons in the OPC are doing?  Do you have a project you that you think would be helpful for other deacons to hear about?  Are there particular issues that you would like to discuss?

Please write to and we will see if we can include these ideas, questions, or suggestions in a future edition of the Mercy Minute.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Editor: David P. Nakhla
Administrator, CDM
(562) 760-7606

The Mercy Minute, a quarterly newsletter of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries, is  intended to keep OPC deacons informed and encouraged in their labors. It may include opportunities for networking or training, describe the work that a local diaconate or presbytery diaconal committee is engaged in, or bring attention to a need in the OPC.

The Mercy Minute is sent to all OPC officers with whom the CDM has had contact, in hopes that it will be forwarded on to additional deacons. 

Officers who would like to be added to the distribution list are encouraged to email such a request to the Editor.