Category Archives: Denominational News

Annie Rose named Director of Ministerial Support and Development

 

Rev. Annie Rose

EPC Teaching Elder Annie Rose has been named to a new part-time staff position at the Office of the General Assembly, Director of Ministerial Support and Development. Rose also serves as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes, and previously served as Discipleship Pastor and Executive Pastor at Saddlerock EPC in Wenatchee, Wash.

Her responsibilities include developing and implementing strategies for ministerial health and wholeness in collaboration with the Ministerial Vocation Committee, Presbytery leadership, and others; working with seminaries and other collaborative partners focused on equipping pastors for sustainable ministry; and coordinating resources and support for EPC Teaching Elders. Rose also will aid in crises involving Teaching Elders and their families.

“The EPC has been my church family for 16 years, and I’m thrilled to contribute to a culture of healthy and biblical leadership in our churches,” Rose said. “It is a blessing and an honor to be in a position to support and strengthen our pastors and their families.”

“Annie’s role is tremendously important,” said Michael Davis, EPC Assistant Stated Clerk. “In a time where pastors are unhealthy and on the verge of burnout, Annie will provide proactive care in this critical moment.”

Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk, said Rose “will help us gain traction on leading in the vital area of pastoral preparation, care, and development—how we think about pipeline, discipleship, ending well, the whole scope of how we care for our pastors. The effects of the pandemic aren’t over—even though many of us have moved on from it—and that reality dramatically affects our pastors.”

World Outreach names three to staff positions

 

World Outreach (WO), the international missions arm of the EPC, has named three individuals to staff positions at the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando.

Jordin Greer is the new Assistant Director of World Outreach; Torres Kearney joins the staff as Executive Assistant to Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of World Outreach; and Carla Cora will serve World Outreach as Accounting Analyst.

Jordin Greer

Greer comes to WO from Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kan., where she served as a Pastoral Resident. She also served as an adjunct professor at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan., teaching undergraduate students in New Testament and basic Christian doctrine.

Her responsibilities at Eastminster included preaching, pastoral care, and developing and implemented a membership discipleship plan. A Kansas native, she is a graduate of Sterling College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Greer is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of the Great Plains with ministry experience in Guatemala, Albania, Macedonia, the Philippines, Spain, and numerous domestic mission projects.

“Missions has been a part of my life since my call to ministry in 2013,” Greer said. “I believe God is the great initiator of mission and has invited us to partner with Him. I am excited, humbled, and extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve World Outreach in whatever way I can.”

Torres Kearney

Kearney joins the WO staff from First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, Fla., where she served as Mission and Discipleship Coordinator. She was a member of FPCO’s Orlando Heart of the City Fellows Program from 2020-2021 and also served at Third Millennium Ministries, an EPC Approved Mission Agency, as an Assistant Project Manager.

A native of Dublin, Ohio, Kearney is a graduate of Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., where she received the prestigious “Senior Woman of the Year” recognition in 2020.

“I am so excited to join the World Outreach team,” Kearney said. “Over the years the Lord has grown my heart for the world and blessed me with different opportunities to pursue this passion. I am grateful for his provision of a position at World Outreach.”

Carla Cora

Cora serves both WO and the EPC Finance Department led by CFO Pat Coelho. She and her family immigrated to the United States from Brazil in 2022, where she was a Managing Partner for D.F.C. Manutenção de Equipamentos Médicos, a medical equipment maintenance company, and served as an Elder at Bola de Neve Church in São Paulo. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Toledo University Center (Unitoledo) in São Paulo.

“I remember once praying and saying, ‘Father, I just want to serve you, please always prepare an opportunity for me. And here I am!’” Cora said. “I love seeing the gospel moving forward and being able to be a part of that in some way cheers up my heart so much!”

“In bringing Carla, Torres, and Jordin onto our team, the Lord has answered a multitude of prayers, and generously provided,” de Guia said. “I’m excited for their passion for the mission and the giftings they each bring to their roles with EPC World Outreach.”

December 2022 EPC financial report: PMA/POI support trails budget

 

Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) contributions received through December 31 by the Office of the General Assembly total $1,216,952. The amount is $78,070 (6.0 percent) less than the $1,295,022 FY23 PMA/POI support projection to fund the EPC’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities.

The year-to-date total is $23,334 (1.9 percent) less than the amount received in the same period in FY22. December PMA/POI support was $300,628—51,389 less than the budgeted projection. Total operating expenses are $94,296 under budget and $11,900 less than the same period in FY22, offsetting the lower support totals.

“Our numbers are somewhat disappointing, but we know that some are end-of-year timing issues and some reflect the larger reality of our current economy,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “I know many of our churches are struggling, and I praise God for their faithful support of our mission and vision during difficult times.”

Of the $1,216,952 received, $243,390 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA/POI contributions, $3,123,261 in designated gifts were received through December 31. This total was $257,980 (8.3 percent) lower than the $3,381,241 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 Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings.

Of the total, $2,963,295 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $159,966 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.

November 2022 EPC financial report: PMA/POI support above FY22, behind FY23 budget

 

Contributions to Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) received by the Office of the General Assembly in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) through November 30 total $916,324. November PMA/POI support was $144,206.

The year-to-date total is $27,386 (3.1 percent) more than the amount received in the same period in FY22 but $26,681 (2.8 percent) less than the $943,005 FY23 PMA/POI support projection to fund the EPC’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities.

“While we never like to fall behind our budget, I am thankful once again that our churches support the EPC so faithfully in this difficult economic climate,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “Support is above last year’s level, so I am optimistic that God will continue to bless our churches financially and our budget gap will close in the coming months.”

Of the $916,324 received, $183,265 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA/POI contributions, $432,492 in designated gifts were received through November 30. This total was $59,781 (12.1 percent) lower than the $492,272 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY22.

“As we have seen over the past few months, much of the difference in restricted giving can be attributed to three funds that received substantial donations last year: our Emergency Relief Fund following Hurricane Ida, the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund, and our World Outreach ministry in Lebanon,” Weaver said. “If we set those three funds aside, giving to EPC ministries and causes is more than $8,000 ahead of last year’s total.”

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 Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings.

Of the total, $372,179 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $60,313 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.

October 2022 EPC financial report: PMA/POI support rebounds, within 1 percent of budget

 

Contributions to Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) received by the Office of the General Assembly in October were $251,636. The amount surpassed the October budget of $216,833 and raised the 12-month rolling average for monthly contributions to $193,154—2.1 percent less than the rolling average as of October 31, 2021.

PMA/POI contributions in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) through October 31 total $772,118. The amount is $7,397 (0.9 percent) less than the $779,515 FY23 PMA/POI support projection to fund the EPC’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities. The year-to-date total is $26,846 (3.6 percent) more than the amount received in the same period in FY22.

“As we celebrate Thanksgiving this month, I am especially grateful that financial support of the EPC rebounded so strongly last month,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “With all the challenges our churches are facing this fall, I do not take that for granted.”

Of the $772,118 received, $154,424 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA/POI contributions, $1,941,797 in designated gifts were received through October 31. This total was $138,056 (6.6 percent) lower than the $2,079,853 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY22. Most of the difference is attributed to more than $83,000 donated in October 2021 to the Emergency Relief Fund in response to Hurricane Ida.

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 Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings.

Of the total, $1,873,023 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $88,774 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 income to the church’s general operating fund. The shift will phase in over the next three years, with full POI implementation expected at the start of FY26 in July 2025.

Thanksgiving offering to support church planter care and counseling

 

Donations to the 2022 EPC Thanksgiving Offering will help provide ongoing church planter care by way of a fund to support counseling for planters and spouses.

“We had licensed counselors at this year’s Church Planters Retreat, and their time slots were completely booked,” said Tom Ricks, EPC National Director of Church Planting. “Planting a new church can be lonely and difficult. And while most of our planting pastors have other pastors they can talk to, the challenges specific to church planting are often outside the wheelhouse of pastors of established churches. This is where the Church Planters Care and Counseling Fund comes in. We want to provide this resource throughout the year—not just at our annual October retreat.”

Secure online donations to the Thanksgiving Offering can be made at www.epc.org/donate/thanksgivingoffering. Individuals also can utilize text-to-give by texting “epcthanksgivingoffering” to 50155 from any smart device. Donors who prefer to send a check should put “Thanksgiving Offering (041)” on the memo line and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Attn: Finance Office
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822

For more information about church planting in the EPC, including how churches can be a Parent, Partner, or Patron of EPC church planting, see www.epc.org/churchplanting.

Open Enrollment for EPC Benefits runs November 1-30

 

November is Open Enrollment month for the EPC’s Health Benefit programs. Open Enrollment presents the opportunity for churches to enroll their staff or make changes to employee coverages. The 2023 Open Enrollment website provides information on the EPC’s five medical/prescription drug plan choices, as well as dental, vision, and life/disability insurance benefits.

Individual plan details and comparison charts are easily accessed, as well as information on Member Care programs such as chronic condition management, nurse health coaching, 24/7 virtual primary care, and the Healthcare Bluebook. All enrollment or coverage changes made during Open Enrollment will become effective January 1, 2023.

During open enrollment for 2023:

  • Churches can enroll in EPC benefit plans for the first time.
  • Churches can make changes to benefit elections for currently covered individuals.
  • Churches can add to, or change, their plan offerings for 2023 by completing a Benefits Election Form.
  • If enrollment and plan selections are not being changed for a current participant, then no action is needed. Under this “passive process,” all will automatically retain their current coverages for 2023 unless they actively initiate a change.

Bart Francescone

“Our staff and Board of Directors work hard in partnership with our plan administrators to provide high-quality benefits and a variety of health management programs at the lowest possible cost,” said Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI). “Our benefit programs are designed to support the achievement of personal health goals and to provide assurance that medical expenses will be covered should a need arise. With these assurances, it is our hope that EPC ministers and staff will be free to focus their energies on their callings to proclaim the gospel.”

EPC benefit plans are available to full-time employees (30 hours or more per week) of EPC churches, as well as World Outreach domestic workers, chaplains, and EPC ministers serving out-of-bounds or without call.

“Anyone new to the EPC—or interested in enrolling in one of our benefit programs for the first time—should contact the individual who handles benefits at their church or organization,” Francescone said. “And as always, BRI staff members are happy to answer any questions someone may have about our programs.”

For more information about the EPC’s 2023 benefit plans, contact BRI at 407-930-4492 or benefits@epc.org, or see www.epc.org/2023openenrollment.

The EPC’s benefit programs are administered through BRI, a ministry of the EPC under the leadership of Francescone and the BRI Board of Directors. The BRI Board is a permanent committee of the General Assembly.

September 2022 EPC financial report: PMA/POI support lags projected spending budget

 

Contributions to Per Member Asking (PMA) and Percentage of Income (POI) received by the Office of the General Assembly in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) through September 30 total $520,482.

The total is $42,200 (7.5 percent) less than the $562,682 FY23 PMA/POI support projection to fund the EPC’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities. The year-to-date total is $11,391 (2.1 percent) lower than the amount received in the same period in FY22. September PMA/POI support of $138,641 lowers the 12-month rolling average for monthly contributions to $189,968—3.9 percent less than the rolling average as of September 30, 2021.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we’re experiencing the effects of high inflation and the current economic climate,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “In the midst of this difficult season, I am grateful for the continued support from our churches.”

Of the $520,482 received, $104,096 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA/POI contributions, $417,719 in designated gifts were received through September 30. This total was $181,549 (30.3 percent) lower than the $599,268 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY22.

“While we never like to see a drop in restricted giving, much of the difference can be attributed to more than $80,000 in donations last year to our Emergency Relief Fund following hurricane Ida; $22,000 in donations to the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund; and $70,000 in gifts to the World Outreach ministry in Lebanon,” Weaver said. “If we don’t consider those three funds, giving to EPC ministries and causes is within $6,000 of last year’s total.”

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 Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings.

Of the total, $407,194 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $10,525 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 EPC’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 denomination with 1 percent of undesignated receipts. The shift will phase in over three years, with full POI implementation expected at the start of FY26 in July 2025.

Dean Weaver, Brad Strait to host March 2023 Israel pilgrimage tour

 

In March 2023, EPC Stated Clerk Dean Weaver and NLT Chairman Brad Strait will lead a “Best of Israel” spiritual renewal tour of the Holy Land.

“More pastors than ever are discouraged, depressed, struggling in their relationships, or burning out,” Strait said. “As a denomination, we are working to create ‘refilling moments’ that can strengthen our fellow pastors and encourage their love, faith, relationships, preaching, and effectiveness in Jesus’ church. This renewal trip to Israel for pastors, their spouses, and other leaders is one part of this effort.”

“We will see the best Israel has to offer—places that will fan every person’s faith and magnify their biblical knowledge. Every day is filled with ‘wow’ moments of Jesus and biblical times and places. Each stop is a living encounter with the words of Scripture, and a sermon waiting to be preached,” Strait noted.

The tour is March 7-16, 2023, and costs $3100 per person, all-inclusive from New York City.

For complete information, see www.epc.org/israeltour2023.

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!