The EPC and St. Andrews Presbytery in Argentina have finalized a new five-year fraternal agreement, which now goes to the Fraternal Relations Committee for review and the 2015 General Assembly for approval. Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah and Committee on Administration member Dean Weaver visited leaders of St. Andrews in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 20-22 in a series of informal gatherings and at their presbytery meeting.
The presbytery met March 21 at Escalada, one of St. Andrews’ newest churches. It was planted in 2012 and was established as a local church—one of ten in the presbytery—in late 2013. In addition, St. Andrews currently has seven church plants.
Both Jeremiah and Weaver addressed the presbytery. The EPC vision statement, presented by Weaver and originally announced at the EPC General Assembly in 2014, received an enthusiastic response. St. Andrews leaders were particularly interested in the EPC’s commitment to multiplication (church planting) and effective biblical leadership. The presbytery has an aggressive church planting strategy and is interested in developing a church planting network. Due to the financial difficulties of local seminaries, challenges of pre-ordination and continuing education are growing more acute.
The Church of Scotland (CoS) established St. Andrews as a presbytery in 1831, and the CoS General Assembly appointed St. Andrews’ ministers until the 1980s when CoS oversight ended. The EPC received St. Andrews as a presbytery in 1987, a status that remained until 2004 when St. Andrews was dismissed as a national church. Since 2004, a series of five-year fraternal agreements have defined the relationship between the two bodies.
Guille MacKenzie, St. Andrews Stated Clerk, has been invited to the EPC 35th General Assembly in June to visit and bring fraternal greetings.
Following the Argentina stop, Jeremiah and Weaver attended the fourth General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 23-26. The EPC is a member of the WRF, as well as the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).