A Report from General Assembly, Part 4

Each General Assembly commissioners (Ruling Elders and Ministers) serve on Temporary Committees.  This year I was on the Christian Education advisory committee. 


Advisory committees meet with the standing Committee on Christian Education (CCE) as they go over their yearly report prior to it being brought to the floor of General Assembly.  So for most of the day on Thursday I was in a meeting hearing about the work of our Christian Education committee.  The booklets I am reviewing each first Friday of the month come from the CCE.  The committee also puts out the monthly New Horizons magazine, maintains the OPC website, and publishes Ordained Servant for Church officers.

The Christian education committee is in the last stages of work on a new Psalter Hymnal that began back in 2006.  The goal is to have them available for the next General Assembly, which is a joint meeting with the United Reformed Churches of North America (URCNA), with whom we have partnered  in putting this Psalter Hymnal together.  

Great Commission Publications (GCP) is a shared ministry between the PCA and the OPC.  Each denomination has six members that serve on a joint committee.  Our six members are taken from the CCE.  GCP publishes the Trinity Hymnal as well as Sunday School and educational materials.

The CCE also conducts the Ministerial Training Institute of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (MTIOPC).  The training is conducted several times a year and allows Ministers and Ruling Elders to take various courses to help in the ministry of the Church.  I am currently finishing up a course on the Westminster Confession of Faith.  The CCE also encourages internship programs for Summer and year-long interns, where young men can get experience in working with Churches.  

This is just a quick summary of some of the work of Christian Education in our denomination.  In addition to the report on the near completion of the Psalter Hymnal, the other main item of consideration this year was regarding an Overture that came to the General Assembly in 2016 asking the CCE to consider preparing a modern English study version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  The CCE came back with the recommendation that we consider updating our secondary standards (The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) in two ways.  1) To update “thee” and “thou” to “you” and “your.” 2) To update archaic language not used today.  At the end of a time of discussion, the General Assembly voted to have the CCE discuss the idea of these updates to our secondary standards with Churches that we are in Fraternal Relations with that use the same standards and report back to the 2018 General Assembly.     

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