Category Archives: Denominational News

August 2022 EPC financial report: PMA/POI support continues above projected budget

 

Through August 31, contributions to Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) received by the Office of the General Assembly in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) total $381,841. The amount is $25,847 (7.3 percent) more than the $355,994 FY23 PMA/POI support projection to fund the EPC’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities. August PMA/POI contributions were $152,195. Fiscal year 2023 runs from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023).

FY23 PMA/POI support is $43,907 (13 percent) above the $337,934 contributed over the same period in FY21. In addition, the 12-month rolling average for contributions is $193,864 (1.5 percent) above the rolling average for August 2021.

“I am so very grateful that our churches continue to financially support the EPC at such a high level,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “I also want to publicly thank our staff at the Office of the General Assembly for their good stewardship, as our operating expenses through August are nearly $30,000 under budget.”

Of the $381,841 received, $76,368 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA/POI contributions, $999,303 in designated gifts were received through August 31. This total was $93,377 (10.3 percent) higher than the $905,926 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY22. Designated gifts include support for World Outreach global workers and projects, and contributions to EPC Special Projects such as Emergency Relief, church planting and revitalization initiatives, and the EPC’s holiday offerings.

Of the total, $974,198 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $225,105 was designated for EPC projects. These amounts only reflect gifts received and distributed by the Office of the General Assembly, and do not reflect donations given directly to WO global workers or other projects.

Commissioners to the denomination’s 42nd General Assembly in June 2022 approved a transition from the Per Member Asking (PMA) funding formula to a Percentage of Income (POI) model. Under PMA, churches were asked to contribute $23 per member to the Office of the General Assembly. The POI model is a request for churches to support the national level of the EPC with 1 percent of undesignated receipts. The shift will phase in over the next three years, with full POI implementation expected at the start of FY26 in July 2025.

Pastoral Letter on Racial Lament and Hope interim committee begins work

 

The Interim Committee tasked with writing a Pastoral Letter on Racial Lament and Hope gathered September 20-21 to begin its work. The group met at the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando. The formation of the committee was approved by the 42nd General Assembly and appointed by that Assembly’s outgoing Moderator, Brad Strait.

The co-Chairmen of the committee are Gerrit Dawson, Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, La., and Glenn Meyers, Commissioned Pastor of Ardara United Presbyterian Church in Ardara, Pa., and Moderator of the 40th General Assembly.

Glenn Meyers

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this way,” Meyers said. “God has been preparing me personally over the past few years to deal with these issues, and my experience as a Black man is part of the whole. Our pastors are on the front lines of this issue, and even some of my elders are asking me if we want to ‘poke the bear.’ It is a difficult time to be a Black man in America, and I have a new understanding of that.”

Gerrit Dawson

Dawson noted that the American church “has languished on this issue, which has allowed non-biblical groups to grab the narrative. How many of our pastors said this was the most divisive thing they talked about in 2020? I addressed it with our congregation, and after one sentence I was called both a white supremacist and a critical race theorist. It’s difficult—we are balancing the difficulty of being Black in America with the feeling of white people that they are looked at as the problem. But I am passionate that we have a better story to tell,” Dawson said.

“I can’t imagine two better individuals to shepherd this process,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “They bring different viewpoints, but their pastoral hearts will get us where need to go.”

In addition to Meyers and Dawson, members of the committee are Sean Boone, church planting pastor of Woke Bridge Community Church in Ferguson, Mo.; Ken Chang, Ruling Elder for Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo.; Linda McDaniel, Ruling Elder for Hope Church in Cordova, Tenn.; Marcos Ortega, Lead Pastor for the Beacon, N.Y., campus of Goodwill Church; George Robertson, Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis; Annie Rose, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes; Eric Shipton, Assistant Pastor and Director of Outreach and Missions for Reynolda Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Carol Williams, Ruling Elder for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sharon, Pa.

Ex officio members are Weaver; Michael Davis, Assistant Stated Clerk; Brad Strait, Senior Pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., and Chairman of the National Leadership Team; Rosemary Lukens, Ruling Elder for Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor, Wash., and Moderator of the 42nd General Assembly; and Joe Kim, church planting pastor of Hope Philly Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pa., and Moderator-elect of the 43rd General Assembly.

“In All Things” podcast episode 43 features Bob Garment, EPC Chief Parliamentarian

 

Bob Garment, longtime Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean and the EPC’s new Chief Parliamentarian is the guest for episode 43 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Garment discuss his path to the EPC from his former denomination, including how a newsletter from an EPC church in Louisiana started the process.

Garment also describes how his relationship with the late Howard Shockley, longtime Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic, resulted in his own service for more than 30 years as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean, and how polity serves the mission of the church.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

EPC mission, vision highlight episode 3 of Stated Clerk quarterly video series ‘The Dean’s List’

 

Episode 3 of EPC Stated Clerk Dean Weaver’s quarterly video series, “The Dean’s List,” recaps the August 2022 meeting of the National Leadership Team and its focus on how the denomination carries out its mission and vision.

“Is what we are doing in alignment with what our mission is?” Weaver said. “Our mission statement is ‘We exist to carry out the Great Commission as Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations.’ That second part says who we are … the first part is what we do. And what we do flows out of who we are. By doing that kind of alignment we are able to move forward with a singular kind of focus.”

Each episode on the video blog is hosted on the EPC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/EPChurch80, as well as posted to the denomination’s news and information channel, EPConnection. The videos also will be available on the EPC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Audio podcast versions can be accessed on the EPC’s podcast channel at podcast.epc.org, as well as Spotify and iTunes (search for “Evangelical Presbyterian Church”).

Michael Davis named EPC Assistant Stated Clerk

 

Michael Davis, the EPC’s Chief Collaborative Officer since August 2021, has been named Assistant Stated Clerk. In his new position he will provide strategic leadership to the denomination’s strategic priorities of church planting and effective biblical leadership.

“The support from the NLT is affirming as I move forward in this new role,” Davis said. “I am excited to facilitate collaborative strategies that will mobilize our strategic priorities. My hope is to better serve and resource our leaders as they carry out God’s mission.”

Prior to joining the staff of the Office of the General Assembly, Davis served as served as Associate Teaching Pastor for Downtown Church in Memphis, Tenn., and Adjunct Professor for Memphis City Seminary. He has served on the EPC’s Church Planting Team, Ministerial Vocation Committee, Next Generation Ministries Council, and the Revelation 7:9 Task Force. He also has served on the Ministerial Committee for the Presbytery of the Central South.

Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk, said the Assistant Stated Clerk role has been revised since the March 2022 departure of Jerry Iamurri.

“When the Lord called Jerry to be the CEO at inFaith earlier this year, we took the opportunity to evaluate how the Assistant Stated Clerk position can best serve the EPC,” Weaver said. “With the passion and giftings that Michael brings to the table, we felt he was the best person to lead our strategic priorities. At the same time, we wanted to offload some of the polity and governance responsibilities that so often consumed Jerry’s time.”

To address those areas, Bob Garment has been named the denomination’s Chief Parliamentarian. Garment served as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean for more than 31 years, retiring from the role in October 2021.

“Bob has faithfully served the EPC for many, many years—including as a Teaching Elder, presbytery leader, and in an interim polity capacity since the spring,” Weaver said. “He knows our Book of Order backward and forward, and I am grateful that he will continue serve our churches and pastors in this capacity. We will all benefit from his knowledge and expertise.”

July 2022 EPC financial report: Fiscal year 2023 starts strong, PMA/POI above budget projection

 

Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) contributions received by the Office of the General Assembly in the first month of the EPC’s fiscal year 2023 (FY23) total $229,646. The amount is $32,229 (16.3 percent) above the $197,347 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s overall mission and vision. July contributions also total $35,369 (18.2 percent) more than the $194,277 received in the first month of the previous fiscal year. The EPC’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

The 12-month rolling average for monthly contributions is $193,864—approximately 1.5 percent higher than the rolling average as of July 31, 2021.

In addition to strong funding support, operating expenses at the Office of the General Assembly in July were $24,968 (8.8 percent) less than the budgeted projection of $280,652.

“I am very grateful to our Lord that our churches have given us a strong start to our fiscal year,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “I know the past few months have been challenging, so this was a special blessing. This is also the first time in six months that our 12-month rolling average has increased, and I pray that our churches are experiencing the same upswing. I also need to thank our staff at the Office of the General Assembly for continuing their good stewardship of the gifts they are entrusted with.”

Of the $229,646 received, $45,929 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $520,490 in designated gifts were received through July 31. This total was $66,416 (14.6 percent) higher than the $454,075 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY22. Designated gifts include support for World Outreach global workers and projects, and contributions to EPC Special Projects such as Emergency Relief, church planting and revitalization initiatives, and the EPC’s holiday offerings.

Of the total, $474,728 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $28,022 was designated for EPC projects. These amounts only reflect gifts received and distributed by the Office of the General Assembly, and do not reflect donations given directly to WO global workers or other projects.

Commissioners to the denomination’s 42nd General Assembly in June 2022 approved a transition from the Per Member Asking (PMA) funding formula to a Percentage of Income (POI) model. Under PMA, churches were asked to contribute $23 per member to the Office of the General Assembly. The POI model is a request for churches to support the national level of the EPC with 1 percent of undesignated receipts. The shift will phase in over the next three years, with full POI implementation expected at the start of FY26 in July 2025.

“In All Things” podcast episode 38 features EPC Chief Financial Officer Pat Coelho

 

Patrick Coelho, Chief Financial Officer at the EPC Office at the General Assembly, is the guest for episode 38 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Coelho discuss his upbringing as a first-generation American and his role as CFO of the denomination. Coelho also explains how he serves as a resource for EPC churches, including how the EPC set up online giving for churches at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and his leadership of the annual gathering for EPC Executive Pastors and church administrators. In addition, he describes the EPC’s fiscal year, annual financial audit, and the recently approved change in funding formula from Per Member Asking (PMA) to Percentage of Income (POI).

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

Tom Ricks named National Director of Church Planting

 

Tom Ricks

Tom Ricks, longtime Chairman of the EPC’s Church Planting Team, has been named the EPC’s National Director of Church Planting. This new role at the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando will oversee the denomination’s strategic priority of Church Planting.

“I am thrilled to lead our efforts to continue to build a church planting culture in the EPC in a full-time capacity,” Ricks said. “We have made incredible progress in church planting as a denomination over the past 10 years or so. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us over the next 10 and beyond as we look to inspire every EPC church to be a parent, partner, or patron of church planting.”

A Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Mid-America, Ricks planted Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Mo., in 1999. He served as the congregation’s Senior Pastor until retiring from the role in early 2022. Under his leadership, Greentree planted five daughter churches: The Crossing in Columbia, Mo.; Riverside Church in Webster Groves, Mo.; City Church in St. Louis, Mo.; River City Church in St. Charles, Mo.; and Woke Bridge Community Church in Ferguson, Mo.

“Anyone who knows Tom knows his infectious passion for church planting,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “While he has led the EPC’s church planting strategy in a part-time capacity since 2011, I am very excited that he will now be able to devote his full energy to our strategic priority of church planting. Under Tom’s leadership, the EPC will be intentional about evangelism through church planting and developing a pipeline of church planters.”

Prior to planting Greentree, Ricks served in variety of pastoral roles at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis from 1990-1998, including Interim Lead Pastor. He also served as Director of Youth Ministries for Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., prior to joining the EPC.

“We have about 50 active church plants in the EPC right now—about eight percent of the total number of EPC churches,” Ricks said. “We would love to see that double in the coming years. Studies have revealed over and over that new churches have some of the highest rates of first-time salvations. Church plants also often make an impact for the gospel in their communities that outpace more established churches. The EPC is well-positioned to capitalize on this, and I am looking forward to hitting the ground running.”

“Over the past several years I have been privileged to serve on the National Church Planting Team under Tom’s leadership,” said Michael Davis, EPC’s Chief Collaborative Officer. “The Lord has blessed him with a heart for church planting in the EPC. It has been a joy to watch.”

A native of St. Louis, Ricks is a graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., and holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

He and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 40 years and have three children and seven grandchildren. He is a spirited St. Louis Blues fan, and in his spare time enjoys golf and reading historical biographies.

June 2022 EPC financial report: FY22 PMA contributions conclude year under budget

 

At the June 30 close of the EPC’s fiscal year, Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions to the EPC totaled $2,291,002. The total is $118,730 (5.2 percent) less than the General Assembly operating budget of $2,409,732. June PMA support was $218,276—$14,704 (6.7 percent) less than the monthly projected budget amount of $232,980.

Fiscal year 2022 (FY22) PMA support was $100,869 (4.2) less than the $2,391,871 contributed over the same period in FY21. The EPC’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. In addition, June PMA support of $213,296 brought the 12-month rolling average for monthly PMA contributions to $190,917. The rolling average is 4.6 percent below the 12-month rolling average as of June 2021.

“Though we did not end the fiscal year as we hoped to, God is still on His throne,” said Stated Clerk Dean Weaver. “The past five or six months have been incredibly challenging for our churches as their members deal with inflation and other financial pressures. I am very thankful for that our churches continue to understand the value of in being in the EPC, and that they support the EPC as sacrificially as they do. In this very challenging year, I would be remiss in not celebrating the five churches with the highest PMA contributions last year: Hope Church in Memphis; Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis; Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville; Colonial Presbyterian Church in Kansas City; and Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in Signal Mountain, Tenn.”

Of the $2,291,002 received, $458,200 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, the Office of the General Assembly received $6,784,909 in designated gifts in FY22. This total was $1,261,256 (22.8 percent) more than the $5,523,652 in designated gifts received in FY20. Designated gifts include support for World Outreach global workers and projects, and contributions to EPC Special Projects such as Emergency Relief, church planting and revitalization initiatives, and the EPC’s holiday offerings.

Of the total, $6,290,467 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $494,442 was designated for EPC projects. These amounts only reflect gifts received and distributed by the Office of the General Assembly, and do not reflect donations given directly to WO global workers or other projects.

Notable donations contributing to the increase from FY21 include more than $518,000 for the International Disaster Relief Fund following Russia’ invasion of Ukraine; and nearly $300,000 donated to the Domestic Emergency Relief Fund in response to Hurricane Ida in September 2021.

“Clearly, when needs arise the people of the EPC step up—regardless of the current financial climate,” Weaver said. “That tangible demonstration of God’s sacrificial love is part of why I love the EPC so much.”

“In All Things” podcast episode 30 previews 42nd General Assembly with host pastor Scott McKee

 

Episode 30 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” features Scott McKee, Senior Pastor of Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

This week, host Dean Weaver and McKee discuss preparations for the denomination’s June 21-24 annual meeting including how the worship service speakers will help develop the theme of “Recharge” based on Acts 1:8. The two also discuss several business items coming before the Assembly—including McKee’s involvement in the Giving Culture Study Committee and how that group helped lay the groundwork for Recommendation 42:11 to change the funding model from Per Member Asking (PMA) to Percentage of Income (POI).

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

Updated mobile app available for 42nd General Assembly

 

The EPC’s mobile app—updated for the 42nd General Assembly—is now available for Apple iOS and Android operating systems.

The app includes a wide variety of information, including daily schedules, all GA-related documents including the Commissioner’s Handbook of action items and other information, permanent and interim committee reports, standing committee assignments and meeting details, and more. Users can donate to the worship service offerings and send prayer requests to the host church prayer team. The app also offers one-touch access to EPConnection—the EPC’s news and information service—and the denomination’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Previous users of the iOS version will need to update to version 1.6 for the most current content (look for the EPC GA app under the “Updates” tab of the App Store on your device).

New users can click here to download the GA app for iOS; click here to download for Android, or search for “EPC GA” in the iPhone App Store or the Google Play Store app.

The app was developed by the EPC Communications Department and AppsforMinistry.com.

The 42nd General Assembly is June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

42nd General Assembly Recommendation 42:11 preview: EPC funding formula

 

In a follow-up to Episode 2 of EPC Stated Clerk Dean Weaver’s quarterly video series posted May 25, Weaver explains the rationale behind Recommendation 42-11 coming to the 42nd General Assembly. The denomination’s annual meeting is June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

Recommendation 42-11 from the National Leadership Team recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the transition from “PMA” (Per Member Asking) to “POI” (Percentage of Income) as the future funding initiative for the EPC.

42nd General Assembly Recommendation 42:10 preview: Pastoral Letter on Racial Lament and Hope

 

In a follow-up to Episode 2 of EPC Stated Clerk Dean Weaver’s quarterly video series posted May 25, Weaver explains the rationale behind Recommendation 42-10 coming to the 42nd General Assembly. The denomination’s annual meeting is June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

Recommendation 42-10 from the National Leadership Team recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the establishment of a Moderator-appointed Ad Interim Committee to write a Pastoral Letter of Racial Lament and Hope.

General Assembly business items highlight episode 2 of Stated Clerk quarterly video series

 

Episode 2 of EPC Stated Clerk Dean Weaver’s quarterly video series highlights several items of business coming before the denomination’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich. The theme of this year’s General Assembly, “Recharge,” is based on Acts 1:8.

“Our focus this year is on how we can be God’s witnesses,” Weaver said. “It’s for that reason that the EPC was formed. The E in EPC is not just Evangelical, it’s evangelistic—it’s evangelism. We will be doubling down on the E in EPC and focusing on how each of our churches can have an evangelistic culture and how each and every one of us can practice evangelism in fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 28 and Acts 1.”

Among the nearly 30 business items being considered this year, Weaver discusses recommendations from the National Leadership Team, Fraternal Relations Committee, and World Outreach Committee. In addition, Weaver reveals the name of the quarterly video series.

Each episode on the video blog is hosted on the EPC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/EPChurch80, as well as posted to the denomination’s news and information channel, EPConnection. The videos also will be available on the EPC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Audio podcast versions can be accessed on the EPC’s podcast channel at podcast.epc.org, as well as Spotify and iTunes (search for “Evangelical Presbyterian Church”).

General Assembly early registration ends May 31

 

If you have not yet registered for the 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in suburban Detroit, Mich., don’t delay—registration fees double on June 1. Click here to register now.

Why the increase in fees? Think of it as demonstrating Romans 12:18, “… live peaceable with all.” In the distant past, as many as 30 percent of our attendees registered after June 1—which created a logistical headache for our host church planning teams with such things as meeting room assignments and meal planning. Since we implemented the fee increase several years ago, fewer than 10 percent of our commissioners now register after June 1. Reducing that number even more would help tremendously.

In other GA-related news, we are in the process of final editing of the Commissioner’s Handbook. Reports from our permanent and interim committees and many other Assembly documents are available at www.epc.org/ga2022documents. Additional resources will be posted as they are finalized.

If you are a Ruling Elder planning to attend, be sure to complete the two-part registration process. Step one is to ensure that your Clerk of Session has completed and submitted the Commissioner Certification Form. For you to vote at the Assembly, we need certification that your Session has elected you as a Commissioner. Also, be sure you are registered—online registration is available at www.epc.org/ga2022.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in Michigan in June!

“In All Things” podcast episode 25 discusses the past, present, and future of the EPC with NLT member Chris Danusiar

 

`Episode 25 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” features Chris Danusiar, Ruling Elder for Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Warrenville, Ill., who rotated off the EPC National Leadership Team (NLT) after six years of service. This week, host Dean Weaver and Danusiar discuss his background in technology and finance, reflect on how the EPC has both maintained its moorings and changed its focus over his 20 years in the EPC, and contemplate how the Church might address current generational trends in the 21st century digital environment.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

April 2022 EPC financial report: PMA support behind budget, designated giving up 22 percent over 2021

 

Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions to the Office of the General Assembly in fiscal year 2022 (FY22) through April 30 total $1,946,152. The total is $76,977 (3.8 percent) less than the $2,023,129 FY22 PMA support projection to fund the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations. April PMA support was $183,842—$23,138 less than the monthly projected budget amount of $206,980.

PMA contributions through 10 months of FY22 (which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022) are $88,819 (4.4 percent) behind the $2,034,971 contributed over the same period in FY21.

“I am very grateful that so many of our churches remain faithful to support the mission and vision of the EPC through their PMA,” said Stated Clerk Dean Weaver. “The downward trend is concerning, but our Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills. That truth gives me peace that even during rampant inflation and economic hardship for so many, that He is able to do more than we could ever ask or think. I continue to pray that we close the growing budget gap over the last two months of the fiscal year.”

Of the $1,946,152 received, $389,230 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $5,724,144 in designated gifts were received through April 30. This total was $1,032,471 (22.0 percent) more than the $4,691,673 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY21. Much of the increase over the previous fiscal year can be attributed to nearly $400,000 donated to Ukraine relief through the EPC’s International Disaster Relief Fund and $275,000 donated through the Domestic Emergency Relief Fund following Hurricane Ida’s landfall in Louisiana in August 2021.

“While I hope and pray that our PMA support catches up, the generosity of the EPC when disaster strikes has gone way beyond what we could have imagined,” Weaver said. “I have no doubt that God is going to continue to use those sacrificial gifts to His glory in Eastern Europe and elsewhere around the world.”

Of the total, $5,281,570 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $442,573 was designated for EPC projects. These amounts only reflect gifts received and distributed by the Office of the General Assembly, and do not reflect donations given directly to WO global workers or other projects.

Designated gifts include support for World Outreach global workers and projects, and contributions to EPC Special Projects such as Emergency Relief, church planting and church health initiatives, and the EPC’s Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings.

International Disaster Relief Fund receives $437,000 to date

 

As of Thursday, May 5, $437,481 has been donated to the EPC’s International Disaster Relief Fund. This amount includes two separate gifts of $50,000 each and nine additional donations of $10,000 or more.

“I should never be surprised at the generosity of the EPC when people are in need,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “Our churches and church members have demonstrated God’s love over and over again when the need is the greatest.”

The fund was launched on March 1 in response to the crisis in Ukraine, with contributions to the fund currently being sent to EPC partners in Eastern Europe that are helping with refugee efforts.

Bruce Anderson, Director of the International Theological Education Network of EPC World Outreach, said donations are meeting humanitarian needs, including “tons and tons of food supplies for people who are running out of food. They have no access and are even running out of water.”

He added that some of the money was used to distribute Bibles, Christian literature, trauma kits and medicine, as well as purchasing two vehicles being used for evacuation efforts.

Bruce Anderson

“Our friends have distributed 1 million prayer, Scripture, and gospel booklets that were printed up in the Ukrainian language and distributed inside Ukraine for people who are broken and crying out to God,” he said. “Many of them are not yet followers of the Lord but are turning toward Him.”

Anderson reported that $115,000 in donations recently wired arrived “just in time.”

“Our partner in Poland sent me a text message in which he told me that they had 20 tons of food, medicine, and essential items ready for shipping, but another partner had not sent them the money for the transportation cost. They feel the urgency, right? They know people are dying and are being traumatized, and they are going to send the supplies without having money,” Anderson said.

“So his text says, ‘we prayed this morning about funds NOW—N.O.W. capitals—for this transportation. After the prayer, I opened the account and received the EPC gift for Ukraine. God is great! Praise the Lord for His timing!’”

Anderson noted that donations are not only helping provide material assistance, but also arrived in “God’s time” for those ministry partners “to know, as he said to me, that God is with us and the EPC is with us and we are not alone.”

Click here to donate to the International Disaster Relief Fund.

The purpose of the Fund is to help relieve suffering when needs arise round the world that are outside the scope of the domestic EPC Emergency Relief Fund, which is used for situations in North America.

“In All Things” podcast episode 23 features Joe Kim, Philadelphia church planter and EPC Moderator-elect

 

Episode 23 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” features Joe Kim, church planting pastor of Hope Philly Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pa. This week, host Dean Weaver and Kim discuss the church planting strategy of establishing community around Christianity, Kim’s perspective on being Asian-American during the cultural firestorms of 2020-2021, and how he accepted the Nominating Committee’s invitation to serve as Moderator-elect of the 42nd General Assembly.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

General Assembly Networking Lunches offer connection, equipping

 

Networking Lunches at the EPC 42nd General Assembly provide opportunity for GA participants to connect with others with similar ministry interests. Networking Lunches are held on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 22-24, from 12:00-1:15 p.m. at Ward Church in Northville, Mich. For more information about each lunch, see www.epc.org/ga2022networkinglunches.

Wednesday, June 22

  • Building Retirement Savings and Tax-Exempt Housing Expense Withdrawal (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.).
  • Christians Need to be Evangelized, Too (hosted by Cameron Shaffer and the Westminster Society).
  • Church Planters and Friends (hosted by Rodger Woodworth and the EPC Church Planting Team).
  • Developing Six Key Relationships to Avoid Burnout (hosted by Jay Fowler and Clark Tanner of PastorServe).
  • Empowering Leaders to Spark Disciple-Making Movements (hosted by Marcos Ortega and The Antioch Room).
  • Guarding Your Soul While Caring for the Soul of Others (hosted by Jan McCormack, Associate Professor and Chair of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Seminary).
  • Offering Grace and Truth: The Transgender Experience (hosted by Scott Kingry, Program Director for Where Grace Abounds).
  • Strengthening Our Leadership Relationships (hosted by Roy Yanke, Executive Director of PIR Ministries).
  • The Evangelistic Challenge to the Pro-Life Church (hosted by Deborah Hollifield, Executive Director of Presbyterians Protecting Life).
  • The Opportunity to Recharge a Church During a Pastoral Transition (hosted by Bob Stauffer and the EPC Church Heath Team).
  • Women’s Connection Lunch (hosted by Rachel White and the Ward Church Women’s Ministry).
  • World Outreach Master Plan (hosted by Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of EPC World Outreach).

Thursday, June 23

  • Female Teaching Elders and Ordination Candidates (hosted by Carolyn Poteet and the Presbytery of the Alleghenies).
  • How to Flourish in the Grind of Ministry—Caring for Your Soul (hosted by Jay Fowler and Clark Tanner of PastorServe).
  • International Theological Education Network (hosted by Bruce Anderson, Director of the International Theological Education Network of EPC World Outreach).
  • Reaching the Next Generation Next Door to Your Church (hosted by Jen Burkholder, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Coalition for Christian Outreach).
  • Re-Equip: Your Church as Seminary (hosted by Scott Manor, President of Knox Theological Seminary).
  • Revelation 7:9 (hosted by Rufus Smith and the EPC Revelation 7:9 Task Force).
  • Spiritual Friendship: A Practice of Vocational Resilience and Resistance (hosted by Brandon Addison, Denver City Network Leader for the Made to Flourish Network).
  • The Opportunity to Recharge a Church During a Pastoral Transition (hosted by Bob Stauffer and the EPC Church Heath Team).
  • What Does Your Personal Well-being Look Like? (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.).
  • World Outreach Engage 2025 (hosted by EPC World Outreach).

Friday, June 24

  • B.O.O.M.: Boomers Out On Mission (hosted by Ken Priddy and the GO Center of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic).
  • Building Retirement Savings and Tax-Exempt Housing Expense Withdrawal (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Creative Outreach with Your Community and Beyond (hosted by Michelle Munger and the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic).
  • Discipling Through Deconstruction (hosted by Nicole Unice and the Ward Church Women’s Ministry).
  • Executive Pastors and Church Administrators (hosted by Patrick Coelho, CFO for the EPC Office if the General Assembly).
  • Faith and Work Ministry at Your Church (hosted by Brandon Addison, Denver city leader for the Made to Flourish Network, and Case Thorp, Orlando city leader for the Made to Flourish Network).
  • Sharing the Gospel in Times of Tumult: Ancient Wisdom for New Challenges (hosted by Joey Sherrard and the Westminster Society).
  • The Essential Role of the Smaller Church (hosted by Roy Yanke and Ed McCallum of the EPC Smaller Church Network).

For more information about the 42nd General Assembly, including online registration, schedule, and more, see www.epc.org/ga2022.

“In All Things” podcast episode 22 describes EPC Ukraine relief efforts with Bruce Anderson

 

Episode 22 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” features Bruce Anderson, Founder and Coordinator of the International Theological Education Network (ITEN) of EPC World Outreach. This week, host Dean Weaver and Anderson discuss how relationships built over more than two decades of ministry in Eastern Europe are providing avenues for donations to the EPC’s International Disaster Relief Fund to be put to immediate use helping people suffering in the war in Ukraine.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

2022 Leadership Institute features Ed Stetzer, Vincent Bacote, Andrew Brunson, practical training workshops

 

Ed Stetzer, Vincent Bacote, and Andrew Brunson highlight the slate of keynote speakers for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s seventh annual Leadership Institute. The Institute is a strategic component of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, to be held June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

Bacote, Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., will address “Pursuit of Public Fidelity” on Tuesday, June 21. Bacote will be joined by Sandy Willson, Pastor Emeritus of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn.

Bacote and Willson will consider whether Christians have (or need) permission to engage the public square, and what it means to reflect Christlikeness in public practice. In addition, they will discuss the tension between allegiance to a nation and/or a political party and ultimate allegiance to Christ.

The Tuesday afternoon keynote speaker is Ed Stetzer, Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center. He holds two earned master’s degrees and two doctorates, has trained pastors and church planters on six continents, and has written hundreds of articles and 12 books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. He also is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week.

Wednesday plenary co-speakers are Andrew Brunson and Brad Strait. Their three-part presentation is titled “Persecution: Building Effective Biblical Leadership through Global Movement Wisdom.” The three sessions are titled “Situational Awareness: Is Persecution Coming for the American Church?” “Effective Shepherding: How Can We Help God’s People Through Tough Times?” and “Panel Discussion: Real Lessons from Real Persecution.”

Brunson was detained in a Turkish prison for two years on charges of terrorism before being convicted and subsequently released on the equivalent of time served in October 2018. Strait, Senior Pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., served as Moderator of the EPC’s 41st General Assembly.

The panel discussion will include Erick Schenkel, Executive Director of Cru’s The JESUS Film Project; Setan Lee, an EPC Teaching Elder who survived the “killing fields” genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot in the 1970s; and Clay Jones, Director of Second Glance Ministries and former Executive Administrator of The Power Team.

Effective Biblical Leadership

In addition to the plenary sessions, five ministry-specific leadership development gatherings will be available on Tuesday, June 21.

  • Chaplains Workshop, featuring Jan McCormack, Chair of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Seminary, and Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser. McCormack will lead sessions on “The Role of Spirituality and Religion in Crisis and Disasters,” “Religious Accommodations is the Boss’ Decision,” and “Moral Injury Affects Everyone.”
  • Church Health / Church Planting, led by Stetzer, Jimmy Scroggins, and Todd Thomas. Scroggins serves as Lead Pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla, and the developer of the Three Circles personal evangelism resource. Thomas serves as Campus Pastor of Family Church Sherbrooke in Lake Worth, Fla.
  • Trafficking In Our Backyards: A Survivor-led Conversation on Domestic Sex Trafficking, led by Bonnie Gatchell, Executive Director of Route One Ministry.
  • Understanding Evangelism: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Reflections on Evangelism in the Reformed Tradition. The Westminster Society’s annual workshop features sessions on “Evangelism in Colonial Presbyterianism,” “Evangelism and Mission in the Old and New Testaments,” “Evangelism in the Established Scottish Kirk and the Dissenting Irish Church,” and “The Art of Manfishing.” The workshop is led by EPC Teaching Elders Don Fortson, Zach Hopkins, Scott Redd, Scott Sealy, and Aaron White.
  • World Outreach Master Plan discussion, led by Rick Dietzman, Chairman of the EPC World Outreach Committee; Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of EPC World Outreach; and Jason Dunn, Associate Director of EPC World Outreach.

Each of these workshops is open to anyone attending the 42nd General Assembly.

See www.epc.org/ga2022leadershipinstitute for more information on the Leadership Institute, including full seminar descriptions, times, and speaker bios.

See www.epc.org/ga2022 for more information about the 42nd General Assembly, including a full schedule, links to online registration, and more.

March 2022 EPC financial report: PMA support lags, designated giving up 20 percent over 2021

 

As of March 31, Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions received by the Office of the General Assembly since the July 1 start of the EPC’s fiscal year total $1,762,310. The amount is $53,839 (3 percent) less than the $1,816,149 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations. March PMA contributions were $204,964.

Fiscal-year-to-date contributions are $48,115 (2.7 percent) less than the 1,810,425 received from July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021.

“As we noted last month, we are experiencing the effects of high inflation and economic uncertainty,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “But God is so good—all the time. I am very thankful that our churches continue to demonstrate their support of the EPC through their financial support. Our staff at the Office of the General Assembly also continues to exhibit excellent stewardship, as we are $23,000 under budget in our spending.”

Of the $1,762,310 received, $352,462 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $5,043,020 in designated gifts were received through March 31. This total is $862,965 (20.6 percent) higher than the $4,180,055 in designated gifts received from July 1 through March 31, 2021. Designated gifts include support for World Outreach global workers and projects, and contributions to EPC Special Projects such as the Domestic Emergency Relief Fund, church planting and church health initiatives, and the EPC’s holiday offerings.

Of the total, $4,617,731 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $425,289 was designated for EPC projects. These amounts only reflect gifts received and distributed by the Office of the General Assembly, and do not reflect donations given directly to WO global workers or other projects.

“In the midst of our current economic climate, individuals and churches gave more than $220,000 to our International Disaster Relief Fund since we launched it on March 1,” Weaver said. “Those donations have been sent to our partners in Eastern Europe, who are helping Ukrainian refugees and sharing the gospel with thousands of people. And I know many of our churches have set up relief efforts of their own. As we have seen over and over again through the years, when needs are great the people of the EPC answer the call.”

“In All Things” podcast episode 20 explains EPC Fraternal Relations with Alan Trafford

 

Episode 20 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” features Alan Trafford, Senior Pastor of Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Lake Jackson, Texas, and Chairman of the EPC Fraternal Relations Committee. This week, host Dean Weaver and Trafford discuss what fraternal relationships are, and how a formalized relationship between the denomination and groups with the same theological basis as the EPC can serve and benefit both. In addition, Trafford describes his ministry path from England to Texas.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.