Bud Sparling, 2001 EPC Moderator, dies at 79


budsparlingDarryl E. “Bud” Sparling, Moderator of the 21st General Assembly, died on December 4 in Denver, Colo. He was 79.

In addition to serving as Moderator in 2001, Sparling was a former member of the Permanent Judicial Commission and the Chaplains Work and Care Committee. He was also part of the committee that rewrote the Book of Discipline, which was ratified by the 17th General Assembly.

Following service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Sparling entered Princeton Theological Seminary in August 1965. Upon graduation in 1969, he was ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and returned to active duty as an Army Chaplain, a role in which he served assignments in the United States, South Korea, and Germany.

He was received by the EPC Presbytery of the West in 1982 when he was serving at Faith Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Colo. He later helped plant Covenant Community Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Colo., and served as Associate Pastor of Parker Presbyterian Church in Parker, Colo. In addition to his service at the local church, he and his wife, Carol, served with Youth for Christ and EPC World Outreach.

Sparling also was an adjunct professor of Denver Seminary, where he taught Presbyterian Polity and facilitated a required spiritual formation group for students.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carol; sons Matson and Bryan; daughter Meg; eight grandchildren; and a sister, Patricia Sparling Herber.

A memorial service will be held at Parker Evangelical Presbyterian Church on December 17. Burial with full military honors will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver on December 19.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Sparling’s memory be made to Parker Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 9030 Miller Road, Parker, CO 80138; or Christ Episcopal Church, 2950 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210.

November Jeremiah Journal explains Strategic Initiatives funding


In the November edition of The Jeremiah Journal, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah discusses how the four Strategic Initiatives (Global Movement, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, and Effective Biblical Leadership) have been funded since 2014.

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.

Three INPM presbyteries seek church planting partners


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The EPC and National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM) ratified a fraternal relationship on September 8 that focuses on church planting in both countries. In October, the EPC was notified that three INPM presbyteries are ready to initiate a relationship with EPC presbyteries:

  • The Presbytery of de la Chontalpa, located in the state of Tabasco in southeast Mexico. This presbytery was organized in March 2016.
  • The Presbytery of de la Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo. It is centered in Cancun, in southeast Mexico.
  • The Presbytery of the State of Morelos, located in south-central Mexico.

Adolfo Arias Job, INPM Executive Secretary, said the three presbyteries present unique church planting opportunities.

“The presbyteries of Chontalpa and Morelos are located in rural zones that are very needy,” he said, “and the Riviera Maya presbytery is in a tourist zone. For these reasons, we have given them all the freedom to evaluate and choose with which presbytery they would like to work in the EPC.”

EPC presbyteries and churches interested in pursuing a relationship with one of these INPM presbyteries should contact EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah at jeff.jeremiah@epc.org.

October Jeremiah Journal explains OGA budget


In the October edition of The Jeremiah Journal, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah explains how the budget for the Office of the General Assembly is funded and describes the leadership approach to some items in the budget.

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.

EPC ministry committees discuss potential of Next Generation Council


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The EPC Student and College Ministries Committee and the Christian Education and Communications Committee are holding joint meetings October 28-29 in Orlando to begin discussions about a future Next Generation Ministry Council. The 2016 General Assembly approved a proposal from the National Leadership Team that the two permanent committees combine to form the new council to take effect July 1, 2017.

Discussion centered on developing appropriate Next Generation Ministry vision, mission, strategy, and structures aligned with the strategic initiatives of the General Assembly. The strategic initiatives are global movement, church planting, church revitalization, and effective biblical leadership.

Hurricane Matthew emergency fund expanded


epnewshurricanematthewreliefThe EPC’s Hurricane Matthew emergency relief fund has been expanded to help provide aid to communities in North and South Carolina affected by flooding as a result of the storm. The fund initially was launched on October 11 to provide relief in the Bahamas, which the storm hit as a category 3 and 4 hurricane on October 5-6.

As Matthew continued on its track from the Caribbean and up the southeastern coast of the U.S., many areas experienced severe flooding and are facing long-term cleanup and rebuild efforts.

Keith Cobb, pastor of Hollywood Church, EPC in Greenville, N.C., said that waters have mostly receded, but the hard work to restore communities in the region is just beginning.

“We have families in our church who have been affected by significant flooding,” he reported. “Some our church members had just a foot or so of water in their homes, but within a 10-mile radius of the church we have people who had 8-10 feet of water covering their roofs.”

Cobb said the long-term recovery needs presents a unique opportunity to share the gospel.

“There is a missional ministry aspect, and an opportunity to do things relationally that you don’t have a chance to do in the fast-paced immediate response. We can’t help the vast number of people who need it, but we can certainly come alongside some and that’s what we are doing.”

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

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

Gifts will be directed to EPC churches where relief is most needed, unless the donor uses the Comments section to specify the area (Bahamas or Carolinas) to which they prefer those funds be directed.

Churches or individuals who would like to assist in recovery efforts in the Greenville, N.C., area should contact Keith Cobb at daswordslinger@gmail.com or (304) 741-2379.

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.