EPC seeking applicants for Assistant Stated Clerk

Applications are now being received for Assistant Stated Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). The Assistant Stated Clerk is a staff position appointed by the National Leadership Team. This servant leader reports to the EPC Stated Clerk, and serves a three-year term with the possibility of renewal.

The successful execution of this job will depend on initiating and maintaining relationships with the Stated Clerk, National Leadership Team, Office of the General Assembly staff, presbytery leadership, and EPC churches. The Assistant Stated Clerk is the Secretary of the EPC Corporation and will work out of the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando, Florida. EPC ordination is preferred but not required.

The person filling this position will succeed Ed McCallum, who has served in this capacity for 18 years. McCallum and his wife, Nan, were commissioned as World Outreach global workers through the International Theological Education Network (ITEN) at the 2016 General Assembly, and start their new ministry in July 2017.

An executive summary position description is available here. The Assistant Stated Clerk Search Team is taking applications through November 23, 2016. Applications and questions may be directed to Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk, at jeff.jeremiah@epc.org.

Church revitalization coaches meet for training


Bob Stauffer, Church Development Coordinator for the Presbytery for the Alleghenies, leads participants in the GO Center coaches training in a discussion of the three primary life cycles of a local church.

Transformation—church revitalization—is one of four strategic initiatives at the forefront of EPC denominational ministry efforts. Leading that charge is the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic’s GO Center, a group of church revitalization trainer/consultants from across the EPC.

Nearly 200 churches in the EPC have either completed or are working through the Great Commission Matrix, the process by which the GO Center Team leads congregations and presbyteries to evaluate their ministries in light of the Great Commission command to make disciples.

A key component of the EPC church revitalization strategy is developing a network of Church Revitalization Coaches, and 18 new coaches met at the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando for training October 13-14.

Evelio Vilches, Pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Pembroke Pines, Fla., attended as a new coach. His congregation is being mentored through the GO Center revitalization process, and he said it was fruitful to go through the training both as a participant and a coach. “Hearing the content in a different form keeps it fresh for me,” he said, adding that the process of church revitalization and vitality is something that is never complete.

“Every church has to keep their finger on the pulse of their vitality,” Vilches said. “You never arrive. If you do get to the point where you think ‘I’m now vital’ and you stop, that’s when the church ends up in a state of recline and can so easily move to decline. Vitality is really important and you have to stay on it consistently.”

Bob Stauffer, Church Development Coordinator for the Presbytery of the Alleghenies, noted that requests from churches to participate in the Go Center revitalization process is far greater than can be met by the GO Center’s three-person staff.

“We want to build a cadre of coaches for each presbytery,” Stauffer said. “To really have church revitalization sink into the culture, we need 150 coaches.”

Ken Priddy, Executive Director of the GO Center, said the coaches provide a critical link between the material and the church leaders. He explained that the initial steps in the process involve he, Stauffer, or Bill Rasch (the third member of the GO Center Team) meeting with the church’s “Vision Team.” However, due to the many demands on the GO Center Team it is often difficult to maintain an ongoing relationship with each congregation’s Vision Team. He stressed that this is why each church having a revitalization coach is so important.

“We have seen over and over again that if the church experiences a hiccup along the way, the tendency is to delay, shelve, or even quit the process,” Priddy said. “But what you—the Vision Team coach—provide is the routine contact and encouragement, as well as reinforcing the material.”

Priddy emphasized the combination of the coach’s expertise and the relationship with the Vision Team will move the process along. “If you work the process, the process works,” he said.

Jeff Moore, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Ill., serves as chair of the EPC Church Planting and Revitalization Committee. He also is a GO Center coach and is leading his congregation through the Great Commission Matrix.

“What I have learned through this as much as anything,” Moore said, “is that many times a church—mine included—gets revved up with a great idea. We go into the community and serve, and then we retreat back into our church and wait for something to happen. You know, it is so simple yet so profound: you have to go back again and again and again and again to serve so you can earn the right to share our hope in Christ. We have to have perseverance if we are going to impact our communities and churches.”

An online training opportunity launches on October 25 with GO Clusters that will work through Priddy’s training materials. GO Clusters will meet on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. (EST) and will meet for one year of training and consulting, alternating months between online group training sessions and one-on-one phone consultations. Sessions will be devoted to training, discussion, problem solving, planning, and implementation.

For more information about the GO Center or the new GO Clusters online training, see www.pmaofepc.org/the_go_center. For information about becoming a church vision team coach, contact Bob Stauffer at stauffer.ra@gmail.com.

EPC Home Missionary John Bueno releases Fall 2016 newsletter

latinsunitedspring2016John Bueno, EPC Home Missionary serving with Latins United Christian Ministries (LUCM), invites you to read his Fall 2016 newsletter, in which he discusses how the new EPC partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico is already having an impact on church planting efforts in Hispanic communities in the United States. Click here to download the Fall 2016 edition in pdf format.

For more information about LUCM, contact Bueno at john.bueno@epc.org or 402-350-3815.

Emergency fund launched for Hurricane Matthew Bahamas relief

epnewshurricanematthewreliefIn response to devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew across the Bahamas, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help with recovery efforts. Matthew hammered the Bahamas October 5-6 as a category 3 and 4 hurricane. Donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches ministering to those affected by the storm.

The EPC has three churches in the Bahamas: St. Andrews Presbyterian Kirk in Nassau, Lucaya Presbyterian Church in Freeport, and Kirk of the Pines in Abaco. Bryn MacPhail, Pastor of St. Andrews, noted that Nassau and Freeport suffered significant damage from the storm.

“Poverty-stricken areas of Nassau and Freeport were especially hard-hit,” he said. “Any financial support would be applied to our mission to the impoverished community just to the south of us, where partial roof collapses were quite common. Thank you for your prayers and support.”

Click here to see photos of the damage throughout the Bahamas.

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Matthew Bahamas Relief (505)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Matthew Bahamas Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL  32822

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church set for November

idop2017While every Sunday is a good Sunday to remember our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ throughout the world who suffer for their faith, November 6 and 13 have been designated International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

The WAE reports statistics showing persecution as “a daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world.” Now marking its 20th year, the IDOP has grown substantially and is observed in more than 100 countries. This year’s theme is “If one suffers we all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12.26).

Free IDOP church resource kits are available online at www.opendoorsusa.org, www.idop.org, and www.persecution.com.

We believe that standing with—and praying for—persecuted Christians is part of God’s vision for the EPC. As a “global movement of churches,” we’re committed to:

  • The global mission of EPC World Outreach
  • Fraternal partnerships with other churches (for example, our recent partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico), and
  • Awareness of and solidarity with persecuted Christians.

EPC Benefits Open Enrollment begins October 17

epcbenefitslogoThis year’s Open Enrollment for EPC Benefits is October 17 through November 11. Participants in the EPC Benefits plans who want to make changes to their plans must complete and submit an Enrollment/Change Form during the Open Enrollment period. Participants who want to keep their coverages exactly the same do not need to complete any forms.

Changes for 2017 include new premium rates for the Medical, Prescription Drug, and other insured Benefit Plans, as well new providers for the Dental and Vision plans.

For more information and to download the Enrollment/Change Form in fillable pdf format, see the Benefits Open Enrollment page at wwww.epc.org/benefits/2017openenrollment. Participants in the EPC Benefits plans also can contact their church administrator and/or pastor for information on specific benefit plans offered by their church.

Though the rest of the Office of the General Assembly functions are now in Orlando, EPC Benefits will remain in Michigan and can be reached at don.voyles@epc.org or diane.pray@epc.org; by mail at EPC Benefits, P.O. Box 6412, Plymouth, MI 48170; by phone at 734-838-6942; or by fax at 734-742-2034.

September Jeremiah Journal provides strategic initiatives update

In the September edition of The Jeremiah Journal, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah provides a status update on the EPC’s four strategic initiatives: Global Movement, Multiplication (church planting), Transformation (church revitalization), and Effective Biblical Leadership.

The Jeremiah Journal is hosted on the EPC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/EPChurch80. Each month’s update also is posted to EPNews and the EPC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.