Mark Noll, David Kinnaman to keynote EPC Leadership Institute


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Mark Noll and David Kinnaman

Mark Noll, one of the leading Christian historians in America, and David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group, are the keynote speakers for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s third annual Leadership Institute. The Institute is a strategic component of the EPC’s 37th General Assembly, to be held June 20-23 at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, Calif.

On Wednesday, June 21, Noll will address “The Reformation, Then and Now.” His talk will cover two primary themes: “The Reformation as a Great Blessing and a Great Problem” and “Putting the Reformation to Use Today.”

On Thursday, June 22, Kinnaman will speak on “Good Faith,” in which he will discuss ways Christians can offer loving, life-giving friendships amid potentially divisive conversations about race relations, sexuality, politics, and more. There also will be a moderated time for question-and-answer.

In addition, eleven Leadership Institute tracks will be available on Tuesday, June 20, from 1:00-5:00 p.m.:

  • Building a Culture of Generosity. Led by Greg Gibbs, Lead Navigator for Auxano.
  • Building a Philosophy of Youth and Family Ministry. Led by Joey Stewart, Executive Director of Reformed Youth Ministries.
  • Leaders Who Matter. Led by Sharon Beekmann, chair of the EPC Women’s Resource Council; Bill Enns, EPC Associate Executive for Collaborative Ministries; and Erik Ohman, Pastor of Warsaw EPC in Warsaw, Ind.
  • Mobilizing People and Making Ministry Happen. Led by Ken Priddy, Executive Director of the EPC GO Center.
  • Multiplying Leaders: Internships and Residency Programs. Led by Nicole Unice, Assistant Pastor and Director of the Hope Praxis Program at Hope Church in Richmond, Va.
  • Practical Tools for Reaching Muslims in America. Led by U.S. Muslim Ministry Coordinators for EPC’s World Outreach.
  • Reaching the Next Generation. Led by Vince Burens, President of the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO).
  • Reclaiming the Joy of Evangelism and Discipleship in the Local Church. Led by Nadar Award and Bill Senyard, coaches with the EPC GO Center Revitalization Team.
  • Strategic Church Planting in 21st Century America. Led by Mike Moses, Pastor of Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, N.C.; Tom Ricks, Pastor of Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Mo., and chair of the EPC Church Planting Team; Richard Rieves, Pastor of Downtown Church in Memphis, Tenn.; and Rufus Smith, Pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church in Cordova, Tenn.
  • Strengthening the Small Church. Led by Rob Buchanan, Assistant Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic, and Ed McCallum, Assistant Stated Clerk for the EPC.
  • Transformational Family Ministries. Led by Martha Daniel, Minister to Families for Memorial Park Church in Allison Park, Pa.

Click here for more information on the Leadership Institute, including full speaker bios and descriptions of each of the eleven Tuesday seminars.

Knox Sherer, Moderator of 2002 Assembly, dies at 84


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Knox Sherer, 1933-2017

Knox Hunter Sherer, Moderator of the 22nd General Assembly, died on April 13, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 84. Sherer was a founder and Ruling Elder of The Village Church in Matthews, N.C., and previously served as a Ruling Elder for Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, N.C., when that congregation was a member of the EPC.

Sherer was a member of EPC Committee on Administration (now National Leadership Team), and was active in the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic for many years—including serving as Treasurer. In his years on the COA, he was a member of the National Outreach Director Search Committee and the Stated Clerk Search Committee that brought Mike Glodo to office following the retirement of Ed Davis, who served 20 years as the EPC’s first Stated Clerk.

Sherer graduated from the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. He enjoyed a lengthy career in business and community service, and also served as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the United States Air Force.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Clark Sherer; a daughter, Betsey (Dr. Robert) Moore of Florence, S.C.; a son, Knox Hunter Sherer Jr. of Matthews, N.C.; two grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held on April 18, 2017, at Back Creek Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C.

Click here for a full obituary.

Andrew Brunson’s imprisonment featured in April 13 NPR segment


National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” afternoon news program broadcast a segment April 13 on Andrew Brunson’s imprisonment in Turkey. Interviewed for the story were Andrew’s sister, Beth Herman, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner, and Cece Heil, a lawyer with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is representing the Brunsons in legal efforts to secure Andrew’s release.

Click here to listen to the 3-minute, 37-second story. “All Things Considered” is the most listened-to radio program of its kind in the country.

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April Jeremiah Journal introduces proposed EPC funding change


In the April edition of The Jeremiah Journal, EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah introduces a proposal from the National Leadership Team to change the funding model for the Office of the General Assembly.

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

For a transcript of this month’s edition in printable pdf format, click here.

37th General Assembly registration open


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Online registration for the 37th General Assembly is now open. The Assembly meets June 20-23 at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, Calif. The theme of this year’s annual meeting is “Generation to Generation,” based on Psalm 79:13.

The annual Leadership Institute on Tuesday has 11 tracks this year to help provide resources for building a leadership development culture. Topics include:

  • Building a Culture of Generosity
  • Building a Philosophy of Youth and Family Ministry
  • Leaders Who Matter
  • Mobilizing People and Making Ministry Happen
  • Multiplying Leaders: Internships and Residency Programs
  • Practical Tools for Reaching Muslims in America
  • Reaching the Next Generation
  • Reclaiming the Joy of Evangelism and Discipleship in the Local Church
  • Strategic Church Planting in 21st Century America
  • Strengthening the Small Church
  • Transformational Family Ministries

The Leadership Institute keynote speaker on Wednesday is Dr. Mark Noll, prolific author and one of the most respected church historians in North America. He will address the topic, “The Reformation: Then and Now,” with sessions on the Reformation as a great blessing and a great problem, putting the Reformation to use today, and a moderated Q&A.

The Thursday keynote speaker is David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group. He will speak on “Good Faith,” in which he will explore how the Christian community can be a counterculture for the common good in an increasingly hostile society. His discussion also will have a time for moderated Q&A.

The first of five business sessions convenes on Wednesday afternoon, June 21, at 1:30 p.m. Business sessions continue on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. and Friday at 10:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 7:15 p.m. (if needed).

Featured worship service speakers include:

  • Kirk Bottomly, Pastor of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church (Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.)
  • Shane Farmer, Pastor of Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver, Colo. (Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.);
  • Troy Wilson, Pastor of The Table in San Francisco, Calif. (Thursday at 8:30 a.m.);
  • Mike Kuhn, EPC World Outreach global worker and Lecturer in Discipleship and Biblical Theology at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.); and
  • Scott Griffin, EPC Moderator (Friday at 8:30 a.m.).

Numerous other gatherings are available that cover a wide variety of ministry interests, including Networking Lunches, World Outreach, Women’s Ministry, and more.

For more information, see www.epc.org/ga2017.

First Orlando’s Case Thorp pens Wall Street Journal op-ed on Keller/Princeton flap


Case Thorp, Senior Associate Pastor of the EPC’s First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and an alumnus of Princeton Theological Seminary, has written an op-ed article published in the Wall Street Journal on March 23. Thorp’s piece addresses the recent controversy surrounding the seminary’s retraction of its annual Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness. Earlier this year, the mainline seminary announced that it would present the award to Keller, but rescinded the honor on March 22 in response to protests by individuals who do not support the PCA (of which Keller is a member)’s stance on female and LGBTQ clergy.

The article on the Wall Street Journal is behind a paywall, but you can click here to read it on Thorp’s blog at www.casethorp.com.

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March Jeremiah Journal highlights upcoming 37th General Assembly


In the March edition of The Jeremiah Journal, EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah discusses some highlights of the upcoming 37th General Assembly in June, including the Leadership Institute, worship service speakers, church business items, and more.

The Jeremiah Journal is a monthly video blog 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.

For a transcript of this month’s edition in printable pdf format, click here.