Category Archives: Denominational News

Good Friday prayer and fasting emphasis adds NAE, ARP, ECO, CRC, others

 

GoodFridayPrayerFastingOn March 31, the EPC announced an ecumenical Call to Prayer and Fasting for Good Friday, April 10. Other participant denominations included the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).

As the event has gained traction in the evangelical community, additional groups are providing resources for a Good Friday prayer and fasting emphasis. These include the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Converge network of churches, and the National Association of Evangelicals.

“When the leaders of the PCA and ACNA and I first discussed this, we had hoped that many of our 550,000 total church members would take part,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “Between one and two million people are now involved through their denominations and networks. It’s almost hard to imagine that many people humbling themselves and earnestly seeking the Lord.”

A variety of resources to help churches prepare and participate are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/goodfridayprayerfastingresources.

GoodFridayPrayerFastingResources

EPC joins ecumenical Call to Prayer and Fasting for Good Friday, provides resources

 

GoodFridayPrayerFastingThe EPC and its 143,000 members are uniting in prayer and fasting with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) on Good Friday, April 10. The historic, ecumenical effort is a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping North America.

“I am thrilled that our three denominations have united for the first time to pray for God’s mercy and healing,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ On April 10, we are going to humble ourselves and pray to almighty God for His grace, mercy, and love to heal us, restore us, and relieve us from this crushing burden of disease.”

The Call to Prayer and Fasting is “for all believers in Christ in the PCA, EPC, and ACNA to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help in addition to a day of worship,” Jeremiah said.

“Our goal is for all 550,000 members of these three churches to have the opportunity to participate,” he added. “Other denominations are aware of the planning for this event and have asked to be invited. Among these are the National Association of Evangelicals and ECO. Should these groups participate, we could have millions of Christians joining their hearts in prayer.”

The EPC is providing three resources to help churches prepare and participate:

“We are sending these resources ten days in advance of the event to give our pastors and church leaders time to review and consider their use,” Jeremiah noted. “Of course, churches are free to use other materials that would be helpful to their congregation. Whatever resources are used, the leadership of the PCA and ACNA join me in hoping that we will all unite in prayer to God on Good Friday.”

These resources also are available at www.epc.org/goodfridayprayerfastingresources.

GoodFridayPrayerFastingResources

TE Timothy Russell succumbs to COVID-19

 
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Tim Russell

Dear EPC family,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the death late Monday night (March 30) of TE Tim Russell. He had been hospitalized with COVID-19 for about two weeks. He served as Assistant Pastor for Middle Adults at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis and was a member of the EPC’s Revelation 7:9 Task Force.

Please pray for his wife, Kathe, and the entire Second Pres family. I am reminded once again during this time of crisis of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, that we do not grieve as others do, who have no hope. Our hope is in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Tim has seen His face!

I’ve known Tim since 2006, when I met him while on a trip to Memphis. We spent an afternoon together as he showed me and talked about the Memphis College of Urban and Theological Studies (MCUTS), where he was the President at the time. He was passionate about the opportunity to provide theological education to urban pastors. Tim made an indelible impact for Jesus Christ in Memphis and beyond, and will be missed tremendously.

Jeff Jeremiah
EPC Stated Clerk

CARES Act provides benefits for churches during coronavirus crisis

 

CaresActCapitolOn March 27, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation provides many benefits to individuals and churches. The purpose of this article is to provide information solely about how EPC churches may apply for federally guaranteed loans during the COVID-19 crisis. A subsequent article will address individual benefits.

“Please note that this is our best understanding of the CARES Act on March 30,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “The implementation of this program hasn’t been finalized yet, so we will continue to monitor developments related to the CARES Act as they occur and provide updates as quickly as possible.”

Q: How can my church benefit from the CARES Act?

A: The CARES Act allows for any 501(c)(3) organization with 500 or fewer employees that has been substantially affected by COVID-19 to borrow under the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) program—the Paycheck Protection Program Loan. The EPC is a 501(c)(3) organization, which means all EPC churches enjoy this status.

Q: Why are EPC churches eligible for this loan program?

A: The purpose of these loans is to help small businesses to keep their workers employed and compensated through the COVID-19 crisis. This program incentivizes employers to keep their employees instead of laying them off and shutting down their businesses.

Q: When will the SBA begin taking applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans?

A: On March 29, Larry Kudlow, Director of the United States National Economic Council, announced that the SBA would begin taking applications on Friday, April 3. This date may change given the fluidity of the impact of COVID-19.

Q: What is the duration of the Paycheck Protection Program?

A: The Paycheck Protection Program covers the period beginning February 15, 2020 and ending on June 30, 2020 (the “Covered Period”).

Q: What is the loan amount a church may apply for?

A: That amount is determined by the church’s payroll and related employee expenses for the period February 15 through June 30, 2020.

Q: How much can a church or ministry borrow?

A: The amount that may be borrowed is the total average monthly payroll costs for the preceding 12 months (March 2019 through February 2020), multiplied by a factor of 2.5. For example, if the average payroll costs for the preceding twelve months were $20,000, the maximum amount of the loan would be $20,000 times 2.5 for a total of $50,000. The maximum amount available for a Payroll Protection Loan is $10,000,000.

Q: What costs are considered payroll costs?

A: Salary or wages, payments of a cash tip, vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave, health benefits, retirement benefits, and state and local taxes.

Q: Is there a salary maximum that the loan can cover?

A: Yes. Salary expenses above $100,000 per employee are not eligible for consideration as payroll costs. Loan proceeds may not be used to pay salaries above $100,000 per employee.

Q: Is the pastor’s housing allowance included in the computation of payroll costs?

A: The SBA needs to issue guidance on how housing allowance will factor into the payroll cost calculations.

Q: Are there any other ways in which this loan may be used?

A: The loan proceeds may also be used to pay mortgage interest (not principal) payments, rent payments, utilities, or interest on other loans outstanding at the time of the pandemic. As stated above, the total amount of the loan can be up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs for the one-year period preceding the date of the loan. However, the only amount eligible for forgiveness is the total spent during the eight-week period beginning on the date of the loan on payroll costs including benefits (except for staff with salaries over $100,000), mortgage interest payments (not principal), rent, and utilities.

Q: How will the church need to document how its Paycheck Protection Program loan is used?

A: The church is required to make a “good faith certification” that the loan is necessary due to economic conditions caused by COVID-19. The church will need to demonstrate that the loan was used to retain employees, maintain payroll, and pay rent and utilities.

Q: How soon must the church, ministry, or pastor repay the loan?

A: A Paycheck Protection Program loan may include a term of up to 10 years from the date of application.

Q: What is the interest rate for a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

A: The maximum interest rate for this loan is 4 percent per year.

Q: May payments under the loan be deferred?

A: Yes, for a period not less than six months but not to exceed more than one year from the date of the loan.

Q: May all or part of the Paycheck Protection Program loan be forgiven?

A: Yes, the program is designed to encourage employers to retain employees and loan forgiveness is a key feature of these loans. A church under a covered loan can have all or a portion of the principal of the loan forgiven in an amount equal to payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, or utility costs during the eight-week period following the origination of the loan. The forgiven amount, however, may be reduced based on a formula that compares the ministry’s employment in prior pre-COVID periods with the number of employees and each employee’s wage or salary in the eight-week period following the origination of the loan.

Q: How does my church apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

A: Churches will apply for this loan through an approved SBA lender, which includes most local banks.

Q: What can the church do immediately to prepare to apply for a loan?

  • Confirm the church’s bank is an approved SBA lender. If it is, inform it that the church wants to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan ASAP. Ask the bank to provide the church with loan document documentation requirements. The bank will assist the church in completing the application.
  • Take whatever action is required for the church to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan (Session and/or congregational approval). Depending on local social distancing or meeting limitation regulations, this meeting may need to be virtual.
  • Ensure the church’s 2019 financial statements are complete and first quarter 2020 financial statements are prepared ASAP.

 

Information is gleaned with appreciation from Batts, Morrison, Wales & Lee (the audit firm of the EPC), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), Horizons Stewardship, and Baptist Press of the Southern Baptist Convention, which utilized a Q&A approach in its report.

EPC Benefit Resources, Inc., announces waiving of co-pay for coronavirus testing, new smartphone app for text-based primary care physician visits

 

BRIlogoFollowing White House guidance, EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI) has made arrangements with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to waive the normal co-pay costs for coronavirus (COVID-19) lab tests when prescribed by a physician. The co-pay waiver applies to participants in all five Medical/Prescription Plans offered by BRI: Platinum, Gold, Gold HDHP (High-Deductible Health Plan), Silver, and Bronze HDHP.

“I am very pleased that Highmark worked with us to get the co-pays removed for coronavirus testing,” said Bart Francescone, BRI Executive Director. “The situation is so prominent in the news and on social media, we want our Plan participants to be able to know if they are affected without any additional burden. Also, we want them to be able to have peace of mind without having to worry about an unexpected expense.”

Francescone noted that the co-pay waiver applies only to the coronavirus test. All normal office visit co-pays will still apply.

Coinciding with heightened health concerns, BRI has expedited implementation of 98point6, a text-based primary care app for smartphones and tablets. This new benefit begins Saturday, March 14, and is provided to all EPC benefit plan participants.

Through 98point6, a U.S.-based, board-certified physician is available by text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is provided with no co-pay for participants in the Platinum, Gold, and Silver PPO Plans, and only a $5 co-pay for participants in all other benefit plans.

Francescone said the BRI Board of Directors had earlier approved this new benefit to be announced and put into place in April, but pushed its release earlier in light of coronavirus concerns.

“Given the current situation, we knew we needed to make it available as soon as possible,” Francescone said. “I hope our plan members will take advantage of 98point6 when they have questions about episodic care, diagnosis, prescriptions, or other medical questions. I think it will be a useful tool for their health care—as well as for their covered family members.”

For more information about 98point6, see www.98point6.com/how-it-works. To register, see the one-minute video at www. youtu.be/TSu0XKj5CVg.

For more information about the EPC benefit plans, see www.epc.org/benefits.

Responding to coronavirus: EPC collates resources to assess situation as churches consider canceling worship services

 

CoronavirusResponseAs the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in North America, EPC Stated Clerk Clerk Jeff Jeremiah said churches should avail themselves to the most current information and monitor how local authorities are dealing with the unfolding situation.

“I am grateful for the way EPC leaders are using their networks and social media to exchange information as they respond to COVID-19,” Jeremiah said. “We know that local conditions vary widely, so we encourage our pastors and church leaders to follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and the actions taken by their state and/or local governments.”

In some cases, a church’s decision to cancel worship services or provide an online worship experience only has been made for them by local authorities.

“The mayor of San Francisco asked that non-essential large gatherings not take place,” Jeremiah noted, “and the Governor of Kentucky has requested that churches not hold worship services this weekend.”

Numerous organizations and governmental agencies have made information and other helpful resources available. These include:

Jeremiah reported that the EPC’s permanent committee meetings scheduled for April at the Office of the General Assembly in Orlando will conduct their business virtually in online video conferences. These include the National Leadership Team, the Next Generation Ministries Council, and the World Outreach Committee.

In addition, Jeremiah responded to a request from the Presbytery of the Southeast to hold its spring meeting virtually rather than as an in-person gathering.

“I wrote a provisional opinion that gives EPC presbyteries the ability to provide for virtual presence and participation of commissioners at their spring meetings,” Jeremiah said. “This gives our presbytery leaders the freedom to conduct their business in whatever way they feel is best for their safety and peace of mind.”

Jeremiah emphasized that preparations for the 40th General Assembly are proceeding as normal.

“At this point, we are not planning on postponing or canceling GA,” he said. “But if that changes, we will use every means at our disposal to keep the EPC informed quickly. The Hope Church team is watching the situation too, and they will be prepared.”

February 2020 EPC budget report: PMA contributions 4 percent above FY 2019, above FY 2020 budget projection

 

As of February 29, Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions received by the Office of the General Assembly since the July 1 start of Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) total $1,668,492. The amount received is 4 percent higher—$64,055—than the same period in the previous fiscal year (FY19). The EPC’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

Fiscal-year-to-date contributions are $2,947 above the $1,6695,545 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations.

“I am very thankful for our churches’ faithful commitment to Per Member Asking in the early months of 2020,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “PMA is our financial lifeblood as a connectional body, and when we closed the books on February it was the first month in this fiscal year that PMA support eclipsed our projected budget expenditures. I am grateful that the shortfall in December has passed for the time being. At the same time, we are being very careful with our expenses in light of economic uncertainties related to the coronavirus situation.”

Of the $1,668,492 received, $333,580 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $4,210,219 in designated gifts were received through February 29. This total was $371,292 (9.7 percent) higher than the $3,838,927 in designated gifts received in the same period in FY19. 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, $3,482,043 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $728,176 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.

Among the donations received in February designated for specific projects were a $35,000 gift for the World Outreach general fund, and a $25,000 gift to the EPC Emergency Relief Fund. Each of these gifts was donated by an individual or family—not a church or other organization.

“Giving to PMA and designated funds since July 1 together is more than $5.8 million,” Jeremiah added. “I am so grateful for the generosity of churches and individuals who support the ministries of the EPC in such a sacrificial way.”

2019-20 Book of Order now available

 

Book-BookOfOrder2019-20600FrontThe spiral-bound, printed edition of the 2019-20 Book of Order is now available for purchase through EPC Resources.

The cost per book is $8.80 plus shipping.

“The 2020 Book of Order has a fresh new look, and includes all the decisions ratified by the 39th General Assembly last June in Denver,” said Jerry Iamurri, Assistant Stated Clerk. “Each of our pastors and clerks of session should have this valuable reference in their libraries.”

This 252-page document is Volume 1 of the EPC Constitution and includes amendments to the Book of Order and Rules for Assembly ratified by the 39th General Assembly (2019), as well as Acts of the 39th General Assembly. The Book of Order is comprised of the Book of Government, Book of Discipline, Book of Worship, Rules for Assembly, Acts of Assembly, and Forms for Discipline.

The Constitution of the EPC consists of the Book of Order, the Westminster Confession of Faith (including the Larger and Shorter Catechisms), and the document “Essentials of Our Faith.” All these are subordinate to Scripture, which is “the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.”

Church Pivot podcast features church planting discussion with Tom Ricks

 
TomRicks

Tom Ricks

The third episode of Case Thorp’s “Church Pivot” podcast features the Moderator of the 39th General Assembly talking with Tom Ricks, leader of the EPC Church Planting Team.

In their discussion, Ricks reflects on his years in church planting and explains what it takes to plant churches in a connectional denomination like the EPC in the 21st century.

Click below to listen. The 61-minute recording also is available on the EPC’s Podbean channel, or search “Evangelical Presbyterian Church” on Spotify or iTunes.


A veteran EPC church planter, Ricks serves as Lead Pastor of Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Mo.

Thorp is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean. He serves as Senior Associate Pastor of Evangelism for First Presbyterian Church in Orlando.

“Church Pivot” is a series of articles and audio podcasts in which Thorp focuses on issues of pivoting toward a robust future of ministry, spiritual growth, adult conversion, and more.

World Outreach receives $50,000 gift for Lebanon early childhood development center ministry

 

Nearly 70 at-risk children in Lebanon and their families will benefit from a $50,000 donation to the Philemon Project Grow Center, a ministry headed by a World Outreach global worker in the region. The online donation was submitted in January and is the second major gift received by World Outreach in the past six weeks.

“The Grow Center is a vibrant ministry that shares Jesus’ love with children of migrant workers and Syrian refugees, as well as other at-risk children in Lebanon,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach. “The Center also works to help break the cycle of disfunction by offering mentoring programs to the parents. The work they are doing is quite amazing.”

The Philemon Project was started to provide migrant workers in Beirut with high-quality, reasonably priced childcare. The organization has developed into a non-governmental organization (NGO) and is under the auspices of Resurrection Church Beirut. The Grow Center is a Christian-led early childhood development center and adult mentoring program. It welcomes underserved children and families from all ethnicities and religious backgrounds and provides a healthy place for children ages one to four to grow physically, cognitively, socially, and spiritually. The Center’s adult mentoring program helps parents develop skills to create lasting, healthy, and active relationships with their children.

For more information on giving to the EPC or EPC World Outreach, go to www.epc.org/donate or www.epcwo.org/support, respectively.

January 2020 EPC budget report: PMA contributions 2 percent above FY 2019, below FY 2020 budget projection

 

As of January 31, Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions received by the Office of the General Assembly during Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) total $1,459,172. The amount received in the first seven months of the fiscal year is $28,472 more than the $1,430,700 received during the same period in Fiscal Year 2019. The EPC’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

While PMA contributions are up about 2 percent from the previous year, year-to-date contributions are roughly 2.4 percent ($36,264) below the $1,495,436 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations.

“It is very encouraging to see PMA support rebound from our lowest December PMA contribution report since 2013,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “When churches support Per Member Asking, they are saying with their financial resources that they value not only the resources provided by the national level of the church, but also—and perhaps more importantly—the connectionalism so central to who we are.”

Of the $1,459,172 received, $291,834 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $3,723,555 in designated gifts were received through January 31. This total was $270,635 (7.8 percent) higher than the $3,452,920 in designated gifts received in the same period in Fiscal Year 2019. 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, $3,036,387 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $687,168 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.

Monthly EPC budget report: December fiscal-year-to-date PMA contributions slightly ahead of December 2018, below 2019 projection

 

As of December 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 $1,253,044. The amount is $3,764 more than the $1,249,280 received from July 1 through December 31, 2018.

While PMA contributions are up slightly in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) compared to FY19, year-to-date contributions are $56,865 (4.3 percent) below the $1,309,909 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations.

“PMA support is the lifeblood of the EPC as a global movement of Evangelical Presbyterian churches, and I am thankful that so many of our congregations keep PMA in their ministry budget,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “Unfortunately, December PMA support was our lowest since 2013. It’s obviously too soon to know if this is the beginning of a trend. We certainly hope not, and perhaps our churches felt the effects of the changes in tax law regarding charitable contributions which in turn could have affected their ability to contribute to PMA in December.”

Of the $1,253,044 received, $250,609 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $3,261,372 in designated gifts were received in the first six months of the fiscal year. This total was $276,591 (9.3 percent) higher than the $2,984,781 in designated gifts received from July 1 through December 30, 2018. 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, $2,615,816 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $645,556 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.

“We are still rejoicing over the major gifts we received in December, including $250,000 for church planting and $50,000 for one of our World Outreach global workers,” Jeremiah added. “Non-PMA gifts were very strong in the first half of the 2018-2019 fiscal year because of donations to the ‘Welcome Back, Andrew!’ Fund and in response to Hurricane Florence. Yet we are very blessed that designated giving in 2019 has exceeded that.”

World Outreach receives $50,000 gift

 

The ministry of a World Outreach global worker who serves in a secure location overseas will benefit from a $50,000 gift the EPC received in December. The donation was the second major gift of the month, following a $250,000 contribution for church planting.

“It’s such a blessing to see what happens when believers respond to our Lord’s prompting,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach. “All of us in World Outreach are confident that many people will come to Christ through this very generous gift.”

Linton also noted that the gift, which was donated through the global worker’s secure online donation form at www.epcwo.org, was made prior to the announcement of the gift for church planting.

“God is obviously at work in the hearts of His people,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “It’s exciting to think about the possibilities of how God is using the EPC through the gifts of generous donors to grow God’s Kingdom.”

To make a secure online donation to the EPC or EPC World Outreach, go to www.epc.org/donate or www.epcwo.org/support, respectively.

EPC receives $250,000 donation for church planting

 

An anonymous donor has gifted the EPC a quarter of a million dollars for church planting. The Office of the General Assembly received the online donation in mid-December.

EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah said the gift was unexpected.

“Obviously, it is extremely exciting—and humbling at the same time—to see this tangible evidence of God’s working in this fellow believer’s life,” Jeremiah said. “When Pat Coelho, our Director of Finance, called me to say we had received this gift through our online donation system, I was surprised and grateful for this affirmation of EPC church planting. When I called Tom Ricks to tell him about it, he had much the same reaction.”

Jeremiah said he did not know the donor, who has asked to remain anonymous.

Ricks, chair of the EPC Church Planting Team, said the group has already began prayerful discussions on how to best invest the funds in denominational church planting efforts.

“This generous gift is confirmation of several things,” Ricks noted. “First and foremost, the Holy Spirit’s leading one of our fellow disciples to give so generously to help create multiplying congregations. Secondly, it is a result of our entire denomination responding to Jeff’s vision for church planting. Thirdly, I believe it is our Father’s confirmation we’re going in the right direction.”

He added that the gift “is God’s challenge to us for even greater efforts and more generosity in sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus through new EPC congregations all across our country. We’re just getting started!”

Interested in making a year-end gift to the EPC, even if it is less than $250,000? Go to www.epc.org/donate.

Monthly EPC budget report: Per Member Asking up 5 percent from November 2018

 

As of November 30, Per Member Asking (PMA) contributions received by the Office of the General Assembly during fiscal year 2020 (FY20) total $944,416. The amount in the first five months of the EPC’s fiscal year is $45,352 more than the $899,064 received through the same period in fiscal year 2019. The fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

While PMA contributions are up 5 percent in FY20 compared to FY19, year-to-date contributions are $2,704 (0.3 percent) less than the $947,120 budgeted projection to support the EPC’s Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations.

“I am very thankful for the continued support of the EPC through Per Member Asking,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “These PMA contributions demonstrate commitment on the part of our pastors and churches to the connectional system of being ‘Better Together’ that’s so central to who we are as a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, evangelical, and missional congregations.”

Of the $944,416 received, $188,810 (20 percent) was contributed to EPC World Outreach.

In addition to PMA contributions, $2,326,763 in designated gifts were received in the first five months of the fiscal year. This total was $109,351 (5 percent) higher than the $2,219,412 in designated gifts received from July 1 through November 30, 2018. 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, $1,970,103 was designated for World Outreach workers and projects, and $356,660 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.

“As important as PMA support is to how we are able accomplish our mission and vision as a denomination of churches, PMA is only about 40 percent of total donations to the EPC,” Jeremiah noted. “I am very grateful for the trust that our church leaders and congregation members place in us that their financial contributions to the EPC will be used wisely to grow the Kingdom.”

Two Minute Topics video series continues with child protection policies

 

In the second episode of the EPC’s video series, “Two Minute Topics,” Assistant Stated Clerk Jerry Iamurri emphasizes the importance of child protection policies and introduces a variety of helpful resources for helping churches protect the children they serve. The resources are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/churchprotection.

“Two Minute Topics” are short, informative videos that address questions that the Office of the General Assembly frequently receives.

The videos are available at www.epc.org/news/twominutetopics, as well on the EPC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/EPChurch80.