The PCA’s annual Mercy Conference is coming March 20-22 to College Park, Md. Geared toward deacons and anyone else with a passion for mercy ministry, the conference aims to equip congregations to “build bridges of mercy” to marginalized or unnoticed members in their communities.

“A lot of the [conference] workshops have an emphasis on reaching out in the community and building bridges where people are divided because of mental health issues, economic differences, natural disasters, etc.,” explains Chris Sicks, chair of the host committee and author of the book Tangible: Making God Known Through Deeds of Mercy and Words of Truth. “The overarching theme is that mercy can create bridges to build Gospel-centered relationships.”

In the 31 workshops offered, topics will include ESL (English as a Second Language) ministry, disaster response, orphan care, outreach to refugees, and prison ministry, as well as issues not covered previously at conferences, such as ministering to the sexually broken and victims of human trafficking. Sicks says that one workshop will even address how churches can partner with government-run social service agencies to help those in poverty or family crisis. Speakers and presenters will include Russ Whitfield, pastor of the multicultural Grace Mosaic (Washington, D.C.), to Chip Sweney, author of A New Kind of Big: How Churches of Any Size Can Partner to Transform Communities, to Cheryl Crocker, a missionary nurse with MTW.

“The thing that’s most exciting to me is to be with people who share a common theological commitment and a common heart for serving the poor and vulnerable,” adds Sicks, who says that this combination is rare.

To learn more about workshops and speakers, and to reserve your spot for $125, visit www.pcamercyconference.com.

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