Mr. Thomas E. Tyson
Tom was born in Philadelphia to Earl and Thelma Tyson, and when he was five, they became members of Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, Penna. Graduating from Wheaton College in 1956 and Westminster Seminary in 1960, he began immediately in his service as a minister of the Gospel as pastor of Wayside OPC in Grove City, Pennsylvania (now Covenant OPC). In 1964, answering a “Macedonian call” to ministerial service in New Zealand, he and his family moved “down under.” Then, after serving successively two congregations of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, in 1971 the Tyson family returned to the USA, following which Tom pastored Trinity OPC in Hatboro, Pennsylvania and Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland, each for almost nine years.
From 1989 to 2000 he served as General Secretary of the Committee on Christian Education of the OPC and editor of the denominational magazine, New Horizons in the OPC. On Sept. 1, 2000 Tom was installed as Regional Home Missionary of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, with responsibility to aid in the establishment of new churches in Eastern Pennsylvania and in the state of Delaware. His wife, Jean is a member of Yardley Presbyterian Church, a mission work of the OPC. She works part-time at the library of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Their six believing children are all married (to believing spouses!), and Tom and Jean also enjoy the fellowship of seventeen grandchildren. Jean knows the dates of each birthday, but Tom must rely upon her for that information! Tom’s interests are woodworking (especially toys for grandchildren), opera and music in general, body surfing, Scrabble, chess and tennis.
Reflecting his wider interests, Tom serves on the General Assembly’s Committee on Ecumenicity and Interchurch Relations, as well as the Committee on Christian Education(and its sub-committee on Ministerial Training) and was a delegate to the Reformed Ecumenical Synod which met in Harare, Zimbabwe in June 1988. In 1995 he represented the OPC at the Synod of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand. He was a member of the G.A. Committee on Home Missionsfor several years and also served as president of the board of theCenter for Urban Theological Studies in Philadelphia. In addition to fulfilling his home missionary responsibilities, Tom also participates in leadership conferences around the country and delivers seminars on such subjects as Catechetical Instruction, Music and the Christian Life, Covenant Nurture, et. al. Throughout, his first commitment remains the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Music And The Christian Life
We will be thinking about music in general and not just music in worship. The purpose will be to investigate and appreciate this gift of God to us all. We plan to investigate the following questions/topics:
- What is music?
- What does the Bible say about music?
- Is music for everyone?
- Music in worship (including choirs and special music)
- Exclusive psalmody and hymnody
- Miscellaneous (time permitting):
- Rock music–is it evil or is it O.K.?
- Music and the human temperment
- Music and the home
- Instrumental accompaniment in worship
- Choosing music
Covenant of Grace Nurture and Teaching Catechism
We will be thinking about God’s Covenant of Grace and its implications for the nurturing of our families, particularly in the area of catechetical instruction. We plan to address the biblical materials on the subject of covenant nurture, survey the history and consider the practical implications of catechetical instruction, and generally approach the subject by seeking answers to the following questions:
- What Is the Covenant of Grace?
- What Is Covenant Nurture?
- Why Teach the Catechism?
- How Teach the Catechism?