Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The DPC Adoption Fund
Recently, during a Report of the Living Church, before a worship service began, I announced & briefly described a new ministry initiative at DPC... The DPC Adoption Fund.
And then, more recently yet, I took three of our weekly e-newsletters to the church family to describe this initiative more fully.
Here are all three of those articles, back-to-back.
I invite you to consider supporting this ministry...
"In you the orphan finds mercy." — Hosea 14.3 (Part I)
If you were here last Sunday, you heard me announce a new ministry initiative our elders have established—The DPC Adoption Fund!
But for those of you who were not with us—or for those of you who want to revisit how this new ministry will work—I'm going to review & explain it a bit more, over the next couple of newsletters.
In Psalm 68 our God describes himself to us as "Father of the fatherless." You know what that is? That's the language of adoption. And the church—reflecting the character of this God—is called to cultivate a culture of adoption, to love adoption, to celebrate adoption, to understand our very faith in terms of adoption! (see Romans 8.15, 23; 9.4; Galatians 4.5; Ephesians 1.5)
In fact, the Scriptures give us a whole doctrine of adoption. The Westminster Shorter Catechism summarizes the doctrine beautifully, in one simple sentence: "Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the children of God."
Hear the Apostle John: "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God!"... "To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
Whenever the Bible speaks in these terms, that's the language of adoption.
And because we have been lavishly loved of God and adopted into his family in this way, Christians have historically had a great interest in adoption! That's just part of our heritage.
Whether it's the ancient Christians of the Roman empire searching for and adopting the abandoned babies of that time... or the European Christians adopting the persecuted children of the Jews in World War II... or the countless orphanages which Christians have founded around the world... the church has always sacrificed itself to meaningfully reflect the mercy and love of God to the orphan.
And really, this is the only way that this world's treatment of inconvenient, unwanted children will ever be effectively addressed. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must rise up and say, "There are no inconvenient, unwanted children in this whole world. We will take your children. We will love them and sacrifice ourselves for them. Give them to us."
What if every faithful church in this country united together in saying this? What if we restructured our budgets around saying this? What if we all found ways in which each one of us could be a part of saying that?
Well, that's what the DPC Adoption Fund is all about. It's a way in which every single one of us—from the smallest child in Sunday School to the most elderly senior among us—can be a significant part of saying that.
More next week.
"In you the orphan finds mercy." — Hosea 14.3 (Part II)
In last week's article we introduced the theological foundation for and the love-for-the-kingdom-of-God motivation behind the DPC Adoption Fund. If you've deleted last week's email and want it sent to you again, just let us know. Of course, you will be much shamed and ridiculed, but we'll send it anyway.
Recently two DPC families have announced plans to adopt needy children into their homes. And more are considering.
But you know what? Adoption is tough. And adopting families need the support of their church. It's a very difficult calling.
And while adoption itself is not a calling for everyone, every Christian can and has good reason to want to be engaged and involved in the work and ministry of adoption.
That's what the DPC Adoption Fund is all about. It's one way a whole church can meaningfully say to a family, "We want to help you in this adoption. We support you in this call; we are in this with you; through you, we're adopting this child into our church family."
There are two ways to give to the DPC Adoption Fund.
One is by direct, designated giving. This will mostly be used, I imagine, by family members and friends and other outside-of-DPC acquaintances of adopting families who want to make a tax-deductible gift to a specific adoption. But it's open to anyone. Merely write a check to DPC with "Durocher adoption" or "Keith adoption" (or others in the future?) on the memo line, and your gift will go specifically to that family's adoption expenses.
The other way to give comes from DPC's new partnership with a beautiful ministry called "Lifesong for Orphans."
More on that next week.
"In you the orphan finds mercy." — Hosea 14.3 (Part III)
This is Part 3 of a series of articles on a new DPC ministry initiative, the DPC Adoption Fund. Last week we ended by announcing DPC's partnership with a wonderful ministry called "Lifesong for Orphans."
Visiting lifesongfororphans.org will allow you to get more familiar, but here's a brief introduction:
Lifesong is designed to help churches help their families meet the challenges of adoption, so that those families might enjoy effective and successful adoptions. Few things are more heartbreaking than a miscarried adoption.
Of course, every loving church would want to do all they could to help their adopting families, but few churches have the resources to know exactly how to best help. But that's exactly what Lifesong does!
And they do it in three big ways:
1. They manage, facilitate, and administer a church adoption fund. And through this fund, every penny you donate goes directly to helping families in your church meet the financial challenges of adoption. Every penny. More on that in a moment.
2. They connect adopting families to resources. When one investigates adoption, one can find thousands of rabbit trails... and some of them are not helpful. But here is a great team of experienced people, ready to help you navigate adoption—again, at no cost.
3. They help examine and affirm a family's sense of call and readiness to adopt. As we said in last week's article, adoption is not a calling for everyone. (Though everyone can be involved in the ministry of adoption! Indeed, that's what this serioes of articles is all about.)
And Lifesong does all of this at no charge to the church. 100% of what we give goes to helping our families.
How? Because Lifesong's salary needs, office needs, travel needs, and all other administrative needs are cared for by a foundation that supports this ministry from the proceeds of a business that sold well, many years ago.
So... the DPC Adoption Fund is a win for everyone.
The child gets adopted. The family gets support, encouragement, and help from their church. And the church itself gets meaningfully engaged in the ministry of adoption.
No matter what season or stage of life you're in—from the smallest child in Sunday School to the most elderly senior among us—you can point to a former orphan, now adopted into a Christ-honoring, covenant-keeping family and say, "By God's grace, I was privileged to be a real part of that."
"In you the orphan finds mercy." Hosea 14.3