One of the special opportunities the EPC enjoys fraternal relations with other national Presbyterian, Reformed and evangelical groups in the global church. We currently enjoy relationships with the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB), the Association of Reformed Churches of Kazakhstan (ARCK) and St. Andrews Presbytery of Argentina (IPSA). Representing the EPC, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah visited St. Andrews Presbytery on April 18-22.
The EPC has enjoyed a close relationship with St. Andrews since 1987 when the Church of Scotland declared they would no longer oversee their churches in Argentina and these churches subsequently approached us and became an EPC Presbytery. With EPC support, they reached independent status as a denomination in 2004. From that date, they’ve been in fraternal relations with the EPC. At their April 21 meeting in Quilmes, the Presbytery celebrated twenty-five years of relationship with us.
Jeff was able to report that the Spanish translation of the Leadership Training Guide (LTG), which St. Andrews had requested last year, is almost completed. The 2011 General Assembly approved a “Special Translations Projects” benevolence asking. It was quickly funded by one EPC church and the work began. One goal at our 2012 Assembly is to present the completed Spanish language LTG. St. Andrews is also seeking our help in securing foundational reformed literature that has been translated into Spanish.
The EPC is also encouraging St. Andrews leadership participation in the church planting initiative of the Redeemer Network in Argentina. Benevolence funds from “St. Andrews Leadership Development” were used to provide scholarships to St. Andrews pastors and candidates for ministry to participate in the Redeemer Church Planting seminar in Buenos Aires in March.
Our fraternal relationship with St. Andrews is governed by a five-year cooperative agreement that began at our 2009 General Assembly. This agreement confirms specific goals and commitments by each party in the agreement and calls for a “Consultation Team” to ensure these commitments are kept. The EPC’s Team is RE Bill Martin (Central South & Second-Memphis), TE Jeff Chadwick (Southeast, First-Rome, GA and former WO Director) and Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah.
The agreement encourages EPC churches to partner with St. Andrews churches. Second-Presbyterian, Memphis, is an active partner. Consultation member Bill Martin regularly visits Argentina, and has established excellent relationships with St. Andrews leaders, particularly at Olivos church. Through Bill, the Second Sanctuary choir is scheduled to visit Buenos Aires in June to help the outreach of the redeveloped Central church in downtown Buenos Aires.