Category Archives: Emergency Relief

Emergency fund launched for Hurricane Irma relief

 

EPNewsHurricaneIrmaReliefIn anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s potentially devastating impact on Florida and the Southeast, as well as in response to the storm’s havoc in the Caribbean, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help with recovery efforts.

“This hurricane is the most powerful and potentially destructive storm to hit the Southeast in recent memory,” EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah said. “Even as our friends in Houston are facing a long recovery from Hurricane Harvey, millions of people are in the path of Irma, and it already has caused significant damage in the Caribbean. We are praying that Irma ends up not being nearly as ruinous as we all fear.”

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Irma Relief (507)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Irma Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822

Donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches in areas affected by the storm.

EPC churches in Puerto Rico ‘doing very well’ following Hurricane Irma

 
IrmaPuertoRico

Waves from Hurricane Irma hit Fajardo, on the eastern tip of Puerto Rico, on September 7. (photo credit REUTERS/Alvin Baez)

Juan Rivera, pastor of Iglesia Presbiteria Westminster in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, reported on September 7 that the EPC’s three churches on the island emerged from Hurricane Irma in good condition.

“Thanks be to God!” he said. “We are doing very well; Westminster, Anasco, and Mayaguez also. Praying for all in Irma’s route and giving thanks for the EPC family.”

The Miami Herald reported that nearly 1 million people in Puerto Rico lost power after the storm skirted the island on September 6, and some areas could be without power for up to four to six months.

A Hurricane Irma Emergency Relief Fund will be launched soon for people to donate funds for recovery and cleanup in areas affected by the storm.

Hurricane Harvey relief fund surpasses $66,000

 
CornerstoneKatyFlooding

A deacon from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Katy, Texas, reported that flood waters in the Canyon Gate neighborhood in Katy, Texas, rose an additional four feet after this photo was taken from his living room.

As of September 5, more than $66,000 has been donated to the EPC’s Hurricane Harvey emergency relief fund as the denomination’s churches in southeast Texas continue to minister during the cleanup effort. In many cases, the relief and recovery extends to their own members and families.

Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church (CEPC) in Houston is serving Samaritan’s Purse as the volunteer housing center for central Houston. Richard Harris, pastor of CEPC, said local volunteers can show up to the church at either 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. (for those who can only work half a day) for orientation with Samaritan’s Purse and to go out with their teams to clean out houses. The local Samaritan’s Purse cell number is 713-851-5493, and the church address is 8300 Katy Freeway. Volunteers coming from out of town who can arrange their own accommodations can come to CEPC at either 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., while volunteers who need a place to stay must arrange lodging through Samaritan’s Purse at www.spvolunteernetwork.org.

For more information on CEPC’s efforts, see www.cepc.org/discover/flood-relief/

Alan Trafford, pastor of Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Lake Jackson, Texas, said the members of the congregation “are in the thick of it” by feeding refugees, filling sandbags, and distributing supplies.

“We are hopeful that the church itself won’t flood,” he said, “but about a dozen families have already had water in their homes.”

Trafford requested prayer for Brazoria County, south of Houston. The Brazos river crested over the Labor Day weekend and is 11 miles wide in the northern part of the county.

“Northern parts of Lake Jackson are under mandatory evacuation orders,” he said, “and most of the surrounding cities are expected to be under water. Thousands of people have been displaced. The level of devastation in Southeast Texas is simply unprecedented.”

Daniel Situka, EPC chaplain in the Houston area, reported that he has not been able to assess his home yet.

“It seems like we lost our cars, but don’t know about the house because we are not allowed to go back,” he said. “We slept in a shelter one night but have now moved to a motel for seven days. We hope we will be approved for FEMA for temporary residence till our home is fixed.”

Evangelist Daniel Nguyen from the Bellaire Vietnamese Fellowship in Houston reported that his home was safe and none of the church members’ homes were flooded, though one family’s rental residence had a roof leak that causing rain to drip through the ceiling.

He added that while some of their people lost income due to not working during the hurricane, “we now trust in Jesus even more and humbly stand firm on His promise ‘for God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’”

“Please keep praying for the Vietnamese EPC mission group as we earnestly reach out to the Vietnamese people with the gospel of Christ Jesus,” Nguyen added.

The EPC’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will remain open for people to assist with recovery efforts in southeast Texas. In collaboration with the Presbytery of the Gulf South, donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches in the greater Houston area affected by the storm. Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Harvey Relief (506)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822

Gulf South church leaders assess hurricane damage, plan recovery efforts

 
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Volunteers prepare donations received by the EPC’s City of Refuge Church as the congregation helps meet needs of its neighbors near downtown Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Amidst the devastation in southeast Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey, a number of EPC congregations in the region have been affected. On August 31, the Presbytery of the Gulf South hosted leaders of Houston-area EPC churches via conference call to assess damage from the storm and discuss recovery strategies for their congregations and communities.

Participants included presbytery leaders Kory Duncan, Bob Vincent, and Michael Herrin; EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah; Richard Harris, pastor of Christ EPC in Houston; Ikki Soma, pastor of City of Refuge Church in Houston; Carter Sanger, pastor of Cornerstone EPC in Katy, Texas; Alan Trafford, pastor of Covenant EPC in Lake Jackson, Texas; and Michel Yonts, pastor of Edna EPC in Edna, Texas. Edna is about 90 miles northeast of Rockport and is the closest EPC congregation to where the hurricane made landfall on August 25.

During the conference call, the church leaders reported that all members of their congregations are safe and accounted for, though some families and individuals responded to mandatory evacuation orders and have yet to be reached. However, some church members’ homes have been flooded, and they will need significant help in the days to come. The church properties only sustained minimal damage. The pastors’ homes were not damaged, with the exception of Harris’ which received minor damage.

Christ EPC suffered some electrical problems at their church building, but the facility received no major flood damage. Harris said the church is making plans to help church members and the community.

Soma reported that City of Refuge, located five miles from downtown Houston, has been helping their neighbors, volunteering, and directing donations to flood victims for several days. The only damage to church property was the loss of some ceiling tiles, though he said 20 percent of the congregation suffered damage to their homes.

Cornerstone in Katy had no damage to their church building, but Sanger said that some church members have not yet been able to determine the amount of flood damage to their homes. He also said they plan to offer space to other congregations whose places of worship were damaged.

Covenant EPC in Lake Jackson is downstream from Houston, so Trafford said they are waiting on the waters to rise to see how much of their area will be flooded. They are making preparations to serve as a shelter for local residents if necessary.

Yonts reported that that town of Edna suffered significant wind damage, but the church building did not flood. He said they were under a mandatory evacuation order, so many of the church members are still out of town. He added that the area is only “just now” getting electric power restored.

Herrin, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Gulf South, said that EPC Chaplains Daniel Situka and Aaron Laenger were both flooded out of their homes.

Evangelist Daniel Nguyen—who works among the Vietnamese community in the Houston area—reported that he’s in the same situation as Lake Jackson, waiting to see how high the rivers will rise to know whether his house will flood. He has made contact with his church members and discovered one had their home flood.

Each pastor noted that they are still evaluating the needs in their congregation and community, and will have to identify what will (and will not) be useful in a recovery effort that will last for months.

Jeremiah encouraged people across the country to donate to the EPC’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. In collaboration with the Presbytery of the Gulf South, donations will be sent to EPC churches affected by the storm. Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Harvey Relief (506)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822

As of September 1, more than $30,000 had been received into the fund.

Emergency fund launched for Hurricane Harvey relief

 

EPNewsHurricaneHarveyReliefIn response to devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help with recovery efforts. Harvey hit the Southeast Texas coast on August 26 as a category 4 hurricane, and torrential rains continue to inundate the region.

“I’m sure by now we have all seen pictures of the devastation from the winds and flooding in southeast Texas,” EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah said. “The EPC is at its best when we help our member churches and others in times of need like this.”

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Harvey Relief (506)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822

In collaboration with the Presbytery of the Gulf South, donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches in the greater Houston area affected by the storm.

Thank you for providing help to those in need.

Hurricane Matthew emergency fund expanded

 

epnewshurricanematthewreliefThe EPC’s Hurricane Matthew emergency relief fund has been expanded to help provide aid to communities in North and South Carolina affected by flooding as a result of the storm. The fund initially was launched on October 11 to provide relief in the Bahamas, which the storm hit as a category 3 and 4 hurricane on October 5-6.

As Matthew continued on its track from the Caribbean and up the southeastern coast of the U.S., many areas experienced severe flooding and are facing long-term cleanup and rebuild efforts.

Keith Cobb, pastor of Hollywood Church, EPC in Greenville, N.C., said that waters have mostly receded, but the hard work to restore communities in the region is just beginning.

“We have families in our church who have been affected by significant flooding,” he reported. “Some our church members had just a foot or so of water in their homes, but within a 10-mile radius of the church we have people who had 8-10 feet of water covering their roofs.”

Cobb said the long-term recovery needs presents a unique opportunity to share the gospel.

“There is a missional ministry aspect, and an opportunity to do things relationally that you don’t have a chance to do in the fast-paced immediate response. We can’t help the vast number of people who need it, but we can certainly come alongside some and that’s what we are doing.”

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Matthew Relief (505)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Matthew Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL  32822

Gifts will be directed to EPC churches where relief is most needed, unless the donor uses the Comments section to specify the area (Bahamas or Carolinas) to which they prefer those funds be directed.

Churches or individuals who would like to assist in recovery efforts in the Greenville, N.C., area should contact Keith Cobb at daswordslinger@gmail.com or (304) 741-2379.

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

Emergency fund launched for Hurricane Matthew Bahamas relief

 

epnewshurricanematthewreliefIn response to devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew across the Bahamas, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help with recovery efforts. Matthew hammered the Bahamas October 5-6 as a category 3 and 4 hurricane. Donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches ministering to those affected by the storm.

The EPC has three churches in the Bahamas: St. Andrews Presbyterian Kirk in Nassau, Lucaya Presbyterian Church in Freeport, and Kirk of the Pines in Abaco. Bryn MacPhail, Pastor of St. Andrews, noted that Nassau and Freeport suffered significant damage from the storm.

“Poverty-stricken areas of Nassau and Freeport were especially hard-hit,” he said. “Any financial support would be applied to our mission to the impoverished community just to the south of us, where partial roof collapses were quite common. Thank you for your prayers and support.”

Click here to see photos of the damage throughout the Bahamas.

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Matthew Bahamas Relief (505)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Matthew Bahamas Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL  32822

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

Emergency fund launched for Louisiana flood relief

 

EPNewsBatonRougeFloodReliefIn response to unprecedented flooding in southern Louisiana, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help meet the affected population. Donations to the fund will be sent to First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge and other EPC churches ministering to the thousands of people displaced by flooding in the region.

On August 14, CNN was reporting that at least three people had lost their lives and one was missing. Tens of thousands of people had been forced from their homes, and more than 7,000 had been evacuated.

Gerrit Dawson, Pastor of First Baton Rouge, said that rising water had inundated neighborhoods that previously had never flooded. “It is devastating,” he said. “This will take years to mend, but it could be a great opportunity to work for reconciliation in our community,” he said.

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Baton Rouge Flood Relief (504)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Baton Rouge Flood Relief,” and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
17197 N. Laurel Park Dr., Suite 567
Livonia, MI 48152

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

Responding to the persecution of Christians—we will not “Sing a Little Louder”

 

JeffJeremiahby Jeff Jeremiah

“Global Movement” is one of the four strategic initiatives in the EPC as we move from “transfer to transformation” growth. It includes the continued outstanding ministry of our World Outreach department led by Phil Linton. It also includes exploring potential partnerships with denominations and groups in the global church in which the synergy from the partnership could produce Kingdom growth we couldn’t imagine doing on our own. Moderator Mike Moses led a group of EPC leaders to Mexico City earlier this month to meet with leadership of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. A report of that trip will be released soon.

ISISA third aspect of Global Movement is the reality that brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world are suffering persecution and martyrdom for their faith. Who can forget the video of the beheading of the 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in February 2015? Did you know that only 20 of those young men were Christians when they were brought to beach for their execution? The twenty-first was a Muslim. When he observed the testimony and faith of his friends, he confessed Jesus as his Savior and Lord and subsequently was martyred for his faith.

In the last several months, the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities in ISIS-held territory in Syria and Iraq has made headlines. The Assyrian Christian community there, once 1.3 million strong, now is estimated at no more than 300,000.

NReligious rights advocate Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom for the Hudson Institute, has written, “The last Christians to pray in the language spoken by Jesus are being deliberately targeted for extinction. Christians have been executed by the thousands. Many of their clergy have been assassinated and their churches and ancient monasteries demolished or desecrated.”

What can we do? As we continue to remember our suffering brothers and sisters to the Lord, we also can advocate for them by encouraging our government to acknowledge that this persecution of Christians is genocide. The US State Department is required by law to make a report with an evaluation to Congress of “the persecution of, including attacks against, Christians and people of other religions in the Middle East, and determine whether such attacks constitute genocide.” The deadline for this report to the Congress is March 17.

Will you set aside time in your worship services on Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, to pray for Christians suffering for their faith in ISIS-held territory, and also pray that the State Department will report to Congress that the horrors they endure is genocide?

Additionally, you can email Secretary of State John Kerry by clicking the “Contact Us Request Form” on the U.S. Secretary of State website at http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi. Without a genocide declaration by the world’s leading nations, the international community will continue to do little as Christians and other religious minorities in this region suffer.

Genocide is defined in international law in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

In November, Cindy and I enjoyed an informative and challenging trip to Israel. One of the topics addressed on the trip was religious persecution in the region. While there, we viewed the powerful and convicting “Sing a Little Louder” video. I urge you to invest less than 12 minutes at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofcs9Y7qL4s. The video highlights the response of Christians of another era when confronted with the persecution and destruction of a religious minority. Your response may be to wonder what you would have done then, but let’s be certain about our response for our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who face suffering simply for their faith today.

Emergency fund launched for Flint, Mich., Water Crisis relief

 

FlintWaterCrisisReliefIn response to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help meet the affected population’s need for clean water, as well as other needs resulting from drinking, cooking, and washing with lead-contaminated water.

Two EPC churches in Flint—Peace Presbyterian (David Galbraith, Pastor) and Calvary Presbyterian (Pete Scribner, Pastor)—are ministering to affected residents.

“Solving this problem will be a long-term matter,” Galbraith said. “But any help that can be given to meet the immediate needs of people who are suffering in this crisis is greatly appreciated.”

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Flint Water Crisis Relief (051)” from the second pulldown menu), or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated Flint Water Crisis Relief, and send to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
17197 N. Laurel Park Dr., Suite 567
Livonia, MI 48152

All donations given to the fund will be sent to the leadership of Peace and Calvary churches for distribution.

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

2015: Finish Strong

 

JeffJeremiahby Jeff Jeremiah
EPC Stated Clerk

Since the 2014 General Assembly, our Vision Statement has been, “To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to embody and proclaim Jesus’ love as a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective biblical leadership.”

Four strategic opportunities are embedded in that statement: 1) global movement, 2) transformation (church revitalization), 3) multiplication (church planting), and 4) effective biblical leadership. We are finishing the year strong as we pursue these four opportunities.

Global Movement

Global movement includes EPC World Outreach (WO) and partnership opportunities with other denominations of the global Church. For WO, all eight of our global workers in Lebanon are working with relief groups ministering to Syrian civil war refugees. These refugees are very open to the good news of Jesus Christ, and many are coming to saving faith. To help take advantage of this open door of opportunity, the EPC has established a Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. Donations to the fund will:

  1. Provide the Bible (in Arabic and Kurdish) on mp3 audio players to a church-planting team on the Turkish/Syrian border;
  2. Send disciple makers (who are fluent in the native languages of the refugees) to work with evangelical German refugee welcome centers; and
  3. Help World Outreach workers in Lebanon provide physical and spiritual aid to refugees.

In addition, World Outreach hosted 31 prospective candidates and inquirers for global worker status at its annual “Encounter” event in early December.

MikeMoses

EPC Moderator Mike Moses will meet with leadership of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico in February about a potential church planting partnership.

An exciting partnership possibility has come to us from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM). With more than 6,000 churches, the NPCM is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the Western Hemisphere. The leaders of the NPCM are aware of large Hispanic communities in the United States where there is no gospel presence, and at the same time God is raising up church planting missionaries in NPCM. Their leadership has invited us to Mexico City to discuss a potential church planting partnership.

Is it possible that the Lord is calling the EPC into partnership with the NPCM to help their missionaries plant churches in these communities in the United States? An EPC delegation led by GA Moderator Mike Moses will discuss this question in Mexico City the week of February 29.

Multiplication (church planting)

Tom Ricks, leader of the Church Planting Team, reports that we now have 30 church plants in the EPC. Two of these launched since our General Assembly in June: Grace Presbyterian in York, Pa., and Resurrection Church-Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, N.Y.

GraceYork

Grace Presbyterian Church in York, Pa., held its first worship services October 18, with Rob Norris bringing the message.

Grace—which is taking a unique planting path—held its first worship service on October 18. Rather than a single “parent church,” a “partner church team” of three rural congregations has worked for the past year to lay the foundation for the October launch. The partner churches are Bethlehem Steltz Reformed Church in Glen Rock, Pa. (John Dorr, pastor); Guinston Presbyterian Church in Airville, Pa. (Daniel Moore, pastor); and Round Hill Presbyterian Church in Cross Roads, Pa. (pastorate vacant).

Further, a lay leadership team of Ron and Joan Webb and Kevin and Carolyn Mosser is leading the church, while pulpit supply is provided by Rob Norris (currently on sabbatical from Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Md.), Aaron Anderson, and Keith Greer.

Joan Webb told me that the preaching team is working great, their regular attenders come from seventeen households, and they have new visitors every week.

SheepsheadBayLaunch

Resurrection-Sheepshead Bay held its first worship service on November 22.

Resurrection-Sheepshead Bay held its first worship service on November 22. Pastor Brian Steadman told me that they also are off to a tremendous start. He said they have had new visitors at each of their services, as those attending one week are bringing friends and family the next week. Further, he noted that a majority of their worshipers haven’t been to church in decades. As Brian put it to me, “They’re hearing the gospel and coming back to the gospel.”

The new plant is part of the multi-site Resurrection-Brooklyn church led by Matt Brown. Brian led the church’s Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief ministry from 2012-2015, and through that effort became known as “The Pastor of Disaster.” Sheepshead Bay was one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane. For more information about the church, see www.resurrectionsheepsheadbay.org.

Transformation (church revitalization)

KenPriddy

Ken Priddy

Members of the GO Team (Ken Priddy, Bob Stauffer, and Bill Rasch) have been extremely busy since our General Assembly in June. From July 1 to March 1, they have no less than 123 appointments with presbyteries, churches, and groups of churches to explore revitalization. By means of the “Great Commission Matrix,” the GO Team leads congregations and presbyteries to evaluate their ministries in light of the Great Commission to “make disciples.”

This ministry’s effectiveness is on display in the transformation taking place in congregations. Earlier this fall, we celebrated the turnaround that Ardara Presbyterian Church has enjoyed. You can see more at www.epcepnews.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/celebrating-gods-faithfulness-a-church-revitalization-story. We look forward to sharing other “Ardara stories” as more of our churches embrace revitalization.

Effective Biblical Leadership

CCO—EPC Partnership

In 2007, the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) became a preferred ministry partner with us. In 2015, our Next Generation ministry has moved to deepen this relationship into a thriving partnership that equips and connects EPC church with campus ministries in strategic university cities. CCO has the resources to train and deploy campus ministries and EPC has the national scope of churches to expand the ministry. For more information about CCO, see www.ccojubilee.org.

To develop this partnership, our Church Planting Team met October 26-27 with CCO leaders in Pittsburgh. Dean Weaver (a member of the EPC Committee on Administration), Bill Enns, and I also participated. We believe this partnership is consistent with our vision and can greatly enhance our church planting ministries, and we have begun the process of implementation.

Leadership Institute 2016

To be a “global movement of congregations,” leadership development is essential. We held our inaugural Leadership Institute the day before General Assembly convened. Thom Rainer was our featured plenary speaker on Tuesday morning, and four leadership tracks were held on Tuesday afternoon. Those four tracks focused on the four Strategic Initiatives. As we prepare for 2016 General Assembly, we have eleven tracks planned. Topics range from developing children and youth in biblical knowledge to helping congregations seeking a pastor with the search process. The Leadership Institute seeks to prepare every kind of ministry for greater effectiveness. More information will follow in the registration information for General Assembly.

Per Member Asking update

These exciting kingdom opportunities God has for us can only become a reality with your support. If the Lord provides you with additional funds at the end of December, will you please consider funding these?

Emergency fund launched for Syrian refugee relief

 

SyrianRefugeeReliefIn response to what is being called “the worst humanitarian crisis of our time,” the EPC has launched an Emergency Relief Fund to help with the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. Due to the ongoing civil war in Syria, half the country’s pre-war population—more than 11 million people—have been killed or forced to flee their homes. Survivors face a decision to struggle to survive inside Syria, or risk their lives to try to reach Europe. The onset of winter weather conditions makes life even more difficult for these refugees, and thousands upon thousands are becoming receptive to the gospel for the first time.

“The Syrian refugee crisis has created a spiritual crisis,” said Phil Linton, EPC World Outreach Director. “Dissatisfied with Islam, many refugees are seeking answers to life-and-death questions, and Arab Muslims are turning to Christ in unprecedented numbers.”

The EPC is joining with church partners in Lebanon, Turkey, and Germany to not only help refugees with physical needs, but also explain how Jesus will meet their spiritual needs.

Under the direction of the EPC World Outreach Committee, donated funds will be disbursed to:

  • Provide the Bible in Arabic and Kurdish on mp3 audio players to a church-planting team on the Syrian border, distributed under the direction of an EPC elder (initial cost: $30,000).
  • Purchase food, clothing, medical, and discipleship materials for distribution to refugees in Lebanon under the direction of World Outreach global workers (initial cost: $50,000).
  • Send EPC disciple-makers who are fluent in the native languages of the refugees (Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, Urdu, etc.) to spend two weeks to three months assisting evangelical refugee welcome centers in Europe (initial cost: $20,000).

Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Syrian Refugee Relief (503)” from the second pulldown menu) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated Syrian Refugee Relief, and sent to:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
17197 N. Laurel Park Dr., Suite 567
Livonia, MI 48152

Thank you for helping provide relief to those in need.

Emergency fund launched for Hurricane Joaquin Bahamas relief

 

BahamasEarthquakeReliefIn response to devastation caused by Hurricane Joaquin across the Bahamas, the EPC has launched an emergency relief fund to help with recovery efforts. All donations to the fund will be sent to the Caribbean Youth Network (CYN), a Pennsylvania-based mission organization that fosters the planting, partnering, and networking of Christ-centered youth ministry in the Caribbean. The organization has set up a hurricane relief fund to help the people of Long Island in the southern Bahamas.

Gabe Swing, an EPC Teaching Elder and World Outreach global worker, serves as CYN Ministry Coordinator for Long Island.

“Hurricane-force winds did not let up for over 30 hours,” Swing said, noting that Joaquin strengthened to a category 4 storm with winds speeds of 130 m.p.h. as it slowly crossed the Bahamas.

“Joaquin was the worst storm to hit Long Island in more than 150 years. Flooding was extensive, and the storm damaged or destroyed many homes,” he added.

Bryn MacPhail, Pastor of St. Andrews Kirk (EPC) in Nassau, the capitol of the Bahamas, said the congregation raised $3,000 on Sunday, October 4, “but much, much more is needed.” He added that Swing works with three missionaries on Long Island who together minister to about 300 families.

Donations can be sent directly to CYN at www.caribbeanyouthnetwork.org/donate or to the EPC Office of the General Assembly at 17197 N. Laurel Park Dr., Suite 567, Livonia, MI 48152. Online giving through the EPC is available here; choose “Emergency Relief” from the category menu, then “Hurricane Joaquin Relief (502)” from the subcategory menu. All contributions received by the EPC will be forwarded directly to CYN.

EPC recommends Samaritan’s Purse for refugee crisis relief

 

SamaritansPurseRefugeeReliefAs the Syrian refugee crisis rages in Europe and the Middle East, the EPC is recommending Samaritan’s Purse for those churches and individuals who wish to contribute.

The organization headed by Franklin Graham has deployed a multinational team of personnel to Hungary, Serbia, and other affected countries to meet the immediate needs of displaced people. Samaritan’s Purse is supporting trusted, local Christian partners with the aim of facilitating as many intersections between them and refugees as possible—offering physical relief and gospel witness.

Since anti-government demonstrations began in Syria in 2011, more than 4 million people have fled the country—almost 20 percent of the pre-war population. According to the U.N., more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for months, if not years.

For more information or to donate, see www.samaritanspurse.org/article/samaritans-purse-responding-to-refugee-crisis-europe.

EPC recommends two agencies for Nepal earthquake donations

 

EPNewsNepalEarthquakeReliefIn the wake of the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the EPC is recommending World Relief and One Challenge (OC International Ministries) as relief agencies to which donations can be sent. OC International has been a co-op agency with the EPC for many years and has a significant presence in Nepal.

“It is hard to comprehend the level of destruction and need,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “Ministries in Nepal—like One Challenge—that desperately want to minister to their neighbors are themselves suffering from the destruction and lack of basic resources.”

Churches and individuals can donate to relief efforts in any of three ways:

More than 5,500 people died in the magnitude-7.8 earthquake, and more than 11,000 were injured. The United Nations estimates that the disaster has affected 8 million people.