Category Archives: General Assembly Meeting

2019 Leadership Institute: Leading as a Shepherd

 

GA2019LI6-ShepherdDudleyAs a portion of his 2019 Leadership Institute seminar Leading as a Shepherd, Bill Dudley provided guidance on how Teaching Elders can shepherd the members of a church Nominating Committee tasked with recommending a slate of Ruling Elders for the congregation.

“It’s the holy wisdom that Jethro had and Moses had that a Nominating Committee also needs to understand as they recommend church members for leadership roles. It’s not that they have a just list of names, but that they recommend people who are gifted and called. These people will be serving and facilitating for mission and outreach, and not just preservation of the past.”

Dudley’s session was part of the Leadership Institute “Leadership” track. He serves as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Southeast and was the Moderator of the 33rd General Assembly.

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2019 Leadership Institute: The Church and Its Common Doctrine

 

GA2019LI5-WestminsterHopkinsIn the 2019 Leadership Institute seminar The Church and Its Common Doctrine, Zach Hopkins discussed some of the distinguishing characteristics of the Reformed tradition.

“We are a confessional people. But what does that mean to be ‘confessional?’ As Presbyterians, we adhere to a “good faith subscription” to the Westminster Confession of Faith; what (EPC Stated Clerk) Jeff Jeremiah describes as an ‘open and honest’ subscription.”

Acknowledging the well-known saying that “Doctrine divides,” Hopkins noted that in the EPC, “our doctrinal unity is the foundation upon which our fraternal unity exists. We are united in our doctrinal convictions.”

Hopkins’ session was part of the Leadership Institute track on Reformed Theology. He serves as pastor of Edgington Presbyterian Church in Edgington, Illinois.

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2019 Leadership Institute: Transitional Pastors Training

 

GA2019LI4-TransitionalPastorsIn the 2019 Leadership Institute seminar Transitional Pastor Training, Ken Priddy described the stages in the life of a local church—incline, recline, and decline—and presented some tell-take signs of a declining church.

“A church on the incline is usually driven by vision, while a church on the decline becomes structure-driven. In the absence of vision and programs, church leaders tend to keep the machinery running—having the meetings and the things that are already in place. But they don’t do it with much impact.”

He also noted that while inclining churches are more likely to be innovative in methodology, a declining church tends to be complacent and lapse into routine.

“Not complacent like ‘we don’t care,’ but complacent in the sense that they don’t have the wherewithal to make it any different.”

Priddy’s session was part of the all-day training workshop for Transitional Pastors. He is Team Leader for the EPC’s Church Revitalization Task Force and Executive Director of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic’s GO Center.

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2019 Leadership Institute: Chaplain’s Workshop

 

GA2019LI3-ChaplainsWorkshopIn the 2019 Leadership Institute seminar Biblical Leadership and Decision Making, Michael Moyles asked some poignant questions of those attending the annual Chaplains Workshop.

“What is important to you? What do you use day-to-day to make important decisions? Are you are making life-changing, irreversible decisions based on mistaken priorities? What would it take to change it?”

A five-time brain cancer survivor who has undergone 10 brain surgeries, 42 rounds of radiation, and 29 rounds of chemotherapy, Moyles noted that his wife has sat in a waiting room for 11 hours, 10 times, praying.

“I have undergone three major surgeries—including brain surgery—in the past two months. My wife was adamant that I not take this engagement today, because her priority is my health. Now, I am with my tribe here—speaking to and being with chaplains and military—so I made it a priority to be here. But I have every expectation that she will be proven right tomorrow.”

A retired Air Force Colonel, Moyles is a popular Christian speaker, teacher, and writer.

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2019 Leadership Institute: Unstoppable Youth Ministry

 

GA2019LI2-YouthMinistry.jpgIn the 2019 Leadership Institute seminar Unstoppable Youth Ministry: Self Care, Andrew Mills offered some practical tips on maintaining healthy life-ministry balance as a youth worker.

“One of the most important thing you can do is to set and maintain boundaries. There is no shortage of good things you can do, so you have to say ‘no’ to some good things. Not all good ideas are great ideas—some produce great results and others would hardly be noticed if you stopped doing them. Know what the truly valuable things are and do those. Don’t feel like you need to try every good idea.”

Mills’ session was part of the all-day Leadership Institute track, “Unstoppable Youth Ministry.” He serves as Associate Pastor/Director of Youth Ministry for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss..

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2019 Leadership Institute: Children and Family Ministry Training

 

GA2019LI1-ChildrenFamily.jpgIn the 2019 Leadership Institute seminar Transformational Family Ministry: Catch the Vision!, Becky Shultz discussed the importance of prayer to a local church’s ministry to children and families.

“I encourage you to pray for your children’s ministry, the children who are in it, and the volunteers who serve in it, and listen to what God tells you. Take those steps in obedience and join Jesus in the work He’s doing. And know that your children’s and family ministries might look different than the children and family ministries down the street. And that’s okay. There’s no formula; just pray and follow Him and He will lead.”

Shultz’s session was part of the all-day Leadership Institute track, “Children and Family Ministry Training.” She is the Community Engagement Director for FamiliesAlive in Centennial, Colo., and co-author of the Words of Grace family devotion series.

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39th General Assembly check-in underway

 

GA2019CheckInUnderwayThe check-in disk at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colo., is a busy place as commissioners and guests arrive for the 39th General Assembly. Among those checking in on June 18 are (from right) Lisa and Gary O’Keefe from Fellowship Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Lyon, Mich., where he serves as a Ruling Elder, and (left) Dean Weaver, Moderator of the 37th General Assembly and current Chairman of the National Leadership Team.

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Updated mobile app, Commissioner’s Handbook, Committee Reports available for 39th General Assembly

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerThe 39th General Assembly Commissioner’s Handbook and reports from the EPC’s permanent and interim committees to the Assembly are now available for download in pdf format at www.epc.org/ga2019documents and in the GA mobile app. The Handbook is available in its entirety as well by individual sections.

The Assembly is at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colo., June 18-21.

In addition to the GA Documents page of the website and app, all permanent and committee reports for the 2018-2019 ministry year are available at www.epc.org/committees/reports.

GA2019AppThe GA mobile app has been updated with information and content for the 39th General Assembly and is available for Apple iOS and Android operating systems.

The app includes a wide variety of information, including daily schedules, all GA-related documents including daily dockets, committee reports, standing committee information, and more. The app offers one-touch access to EPConnection (the EPC’s news and information service) and the denomination’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Users also can view live streams of Assembly business sessions and worship services, and send prayer requests to the Cherry Creek prayer team.

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

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.

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Brief video provides high-level GA overview of schedule, business items process, Commissioner’s Handbook

 

In a four-minute video, Assistant Stated Clerk Jerry Iamurri provides a high-level overview of the 39th General Assembly, including the schedule, features of the Commissioner’s Handbook, and an explanation of where the GA business items originate and how they come to the floor for consideration by Commissioners.

“First-time Commissioners to an EPC General Assembly will especially benefit from taking a few minutes to watch this,” Iamurri said.

This year’s General Assembly is June 18-21 at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colorado.

Click here for more information about the 39th General Assembly, including a full schedule, speaker bios, Leadership Institute details, Networking Lunch locations, downloadable Commissioner’s Handbook, reports from permanent and interim committees, and more.

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#epc2019ga the official General Assembly hashtag

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerAdd your voice to the proceedings of the 39th General Assembly by including the hashtag #epc2019ga on your social media posts. Connect your message with others on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

If you are not attending the Assembly, you can watch the live stream and monitor the social media feed at the same time at www.epc.org/ga2019livestream.

Let’s start talking!

#epc2019ga

39th General Assembly in final preparation stage

 

GAFinalPrepIn an annual tradition, it’s “all hands on deck” for the staff of the Office of the General Assembly (and a few volunteers) assembling registration packets for the 39th General Assembly. From left, Samantha Fisher, Caroline Swanson, Marti Brenner, Rebeca Santana, Lisa Francescone, Wosene Scott, Holly Francescone, Vanessa Seda, Janet Linton, and Becky VanValkenburg ensure that each Commissioner’s lanyard receives the proper credentials, meal tickets, and more.

The 39th General Assembly will be held June 18-21 at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colo.

Click here for complete GA information, including schedule, worship speakers, business session documents, and more.

#epc2019ga

General Assembly registration deadline approaching; fees double June 1

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerIf you have not yet registered for the 39th General Assembly, June 18-21 at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colo., don’t delay—registration fees double on June 1. Click here to register now.

Why the increase in fees? Think of it as encouragement to “live considerately with one another.” 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 parking, transportation, meeting room assignments, and meal planning. Since we implemented the fee increase a few 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 Committee Reports and Commissioner’s Handbook. These and other Assembly documents will be posted at www.epc.org/ga2019documents when they are available.

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. You can start the online registration process at www.epc.org/ga2019.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in Denver!

General Assembly Networking Lunches an opportunity for connections, ministry helps, more

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerNetworking Lunches at the EPC’s 39th General Assembly provide avenues for connecting with others with similar ministry interests on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 19-21, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo. For more information, see www.epc.org/ga2019networkinglunches.

Wednesday, June 19

  • Beauty of the Local Church: Preparing for Worship (hosted by the Westminster Society)
  • Building Your EPC Retirement Plan Savings and Using Your Housing Allowance Benefit (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Crossing Your Red Sea (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • Disability Ministry and My Church (hosted by the EPC Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic)
  • Dynamics of Change Management (hosted by the GO Center)
  • Effective Prayer for Missions (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Engage 2025 Presbytery Home Teams (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • How to Establish Staff Values (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Specific Ways to Re-Engage Nomad and Exile Millennials (hosted by the GO Center)
  • The Mission Field in Your Back Yard: Reaching the College Campus (hosted by Coalition for Christian Outreach)
  • Winning the Burnout Battle (hosted by PIR Ministries)

Thursday, June 20

  • Beauty of the Local Church (hosted by the Westminster Society)
  • Building Your EPC Retirement Plan Savings and Using Your Housing Allowance Benefit (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Diagnostic Assessment Process (hosted by VitalChurch)
  • Female Teaching Elders and Candidates (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • GO Business: The Great Commission at Work (hosted by the GO Center)
  • Gordon-Conwell Seminary Alumni Connect (hosted by Gordon-Conwell Seminary)
  • How to Hire the Right People (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Short-Term Mission Trips with World Outreach (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Six Relationships Every Pastor Needs (hosted by PastorServe)
  • The Risks and Rewards of Church Planting (hosted by the EPC Church Planting Team)
  • Unstoppable Giving (hosted by EPC Generosity Resources)

Friday, June 21

  • God is Using Business Professionals (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Helping Your Congregation to Speak Words of Life (hosted by Presbyterians Protecting Life)
  • How to Take Care of Your Local Church Planter (hosted by the EPC Church Planting Team)
  • Leaders of Small Churches (hosted by the EPC Smaller Church Network)
  • LGBTQ Youth: Obstacles They Face and Pastoral Care (hosted by OnebyOne)
  • The Church’s Beauty Through the Old and New Testaments (hosted by the Westminster Society)
  • Training Session for Clerks of Session (hosted by the EPC Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest)
  • With Her Last Breath: A Tale of Suicide and the Hope of Heaven (hosted by Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church)

For more information about the 39th General Assembly, including online registration, daily schedules, and more, see www.epc.org/ga2019.

GA worship speakers include Andrew Brunson, Léonce Crump, Brad Strait

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerThe EPC’s 39th General Assembly features a dynamic slate of worship service speakers. This year’s Assembly will be held June 18-21 at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colo.

  • Chris Piehl, Cherry Creek Pastor of Students and Families, will speak prior to the opening business session at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.
  • Léonce Crump Jr., Senior Pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta, Ga., will preach on Wednesday evening, June 19.
  • Brad Strait, Cherry Creek Senior Pastor, will deliver the message at the Morning Worship Service at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 20.
  • Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey from October 2016 until his release in October 2018, will preach in the Global Worker Commissioning Service on Thursday evening, June 20.
  • Tom Werner, Moderator of the 38th General Assembly, will lead the Moderator’s Service of Communion and Prayer at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 21.

“Every year, people who attend GA thank me for making sure that vibrant preaching and worship are so well integrated into our Assembly,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “Pastors especially—even though they regularly and deeply study God’s Word—tell me how much they are refreshed and refueled through the GA worship services. I am excited about how God will speak to all of us through this year’s speakers.”

BradStrait

Brad Strait

Brad Strait is the Senior Pastor of this year’s General Assembly host church. He has served as Chaplain for the Colorado House of Representatives, several fire and police departments, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver Rescue Mission. He holds several advanced degrees and teaches Leadership, Spiritual Formation, and Pastoral Counseling at Denver Seminary. He co-authored the EPC’s Leadership Training Guide: A Resource for Pastors, Elders, and Churches. He and his wife, Cathy, have been married for more than 35 years and have three adult daughters.

ChrisPiehl

Chris Piehl

Chris Piehl serves as Pastor of Students and Families for Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church.

LeonceCrump

Léonce Crump Jr.

Léonce Crump Jr. is an author, international speaker, and the founder and Senior Pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta, Ga. He has been in ordained ministry for nine years and holds graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee and Resurgence Theological Training Center. He is currently a Master of Divinity student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a member of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He was an All-American wrestler and defensive end for the University of Oklahoma Sooners, and went on to play professional football for the New Orleans Saints. He and his wife, Breanna, have two daughters and one son.

AndrewBrunson

Andrew Brunson

Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine, were appointed as missionaries to Turkey by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) in 1993. He transferred his ordination to the EPC’s Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic in 2010.

The Brunsons, who were applying for Turkish permanent residency, were detained on October 7, 2016, in the coastal city of Izmir (biblical Smyrna). Norine was released on October 19 but Andrew remained imprisoned. At the time of his arrest, he was serving as pastor of Izmir Resurrection Church.

On December 8, 2016, (after being detained for 63 days), Andrew was formally charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and sent to prison. On August 24, 2017, a Turkish court added three new charges, including gathering state secrets for espionage, attempting to overthrow the Turkish parliament and government, and trying to change the constitutional order. On March 21, 2018, the Turkish court accepted a 62-page indictment against Andrew and scheduled his first hearing for April 16, 2018.

Following each of the first three hearings in his trial (on April 16, May 7, and July 18, 2018), Andrew was returned to prison. Under consistent public and private pressure from the United States and others, the Turkish court released Andrew to house arrest on July 25, 2018, until the fourth hearing on October 12, 2018.

Following testimony in the fourth phase of his trial on October 12, 2018, the prosecution requested and received lifting of Andrew’s house arrest and travel ban. The judge issued a conviction, and imposed a sentence of 3 years, 1 month, and 15 days but released Andrew on the equivalent of time served. Andrew and Norine left Turkey later the same day.

On October 13, 2018, Andrew and Norine arrived in the United States. They and their family met with the President, Administration staff, lawmakers, and others in the Oval Office.

The Brunsons are currently serving in a recuperating capacity as Missionaries-in-Residence for their home church, Christ Community Church in Montreat, N.C.

TomWerner

Tom Werner

Tom Werner is a Ruling Elder for Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Mo. A graduate of Depauw University, St. Louis University Law School, and Washington University Law School, he worked in law firms in St. Louis, followed by serving a St. Louis technology company as General Counsel and in various business capacities.

Werner served on the EPC Theology Committee and contributed to the EPC Leadership Training Guide. He has also served on the Ministerial Committee and as Moderator for the Presbytery of Mid-America, and has participated in mission projects to Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Honduras, and Albania. He and his wife, Susan, have been married for more than 40 years and have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Click here for more information about the 39th General Assembly, including daily schedules, links to online registration, and more.

Chaplains Workshop offers helps for life-ministry balance, open to all Leadership Institute attendees

 

GA2019ThemeArt-WebBannerThe Chaplains Workshop track of the fifth annual Leadership Institute will feature biblical leadership and decision making insights from retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Moyles, and the impact of misplaced identity on the family from U.S. Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife, Heather. The Turners’ story was portrayed in the acclaimed 2018 movie “Indivisible.”

MichaelMoyles

Michael Moyles

A five-time brain cancer survivor, Moyles also will offer perspectives on perseverance and pursuing God through his experience with 10 brain surgeries, 42 rounds of radiation, and 29 rounds of chemotherapy.

The Workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 18, at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo.

“In many ways, Chaplains are the ‘unsung heroes’ of ministry,” said Mark Ingles, EPC’s Chaplain Endorser and himself a retired Air Force Chaplain. “In many cases they serve alone in a secular setting, and of course when military Chaplains are deployed to conflict zones they face daily life-and-death situations that most pastors can only imagine.”

Ingles added the purpose of the annual Chaplains Workshop is to provide practical ministry helps as well as an opportunity for connection, networking, and camaraderie among peers—noting that the EPC currently has more than 60 Chaplains serving in both military and civilian roles.

“While we design the event for our Chaplains,” Ingles said, “the speakers and topics are very relevant for all ministers and we hope that many pastors and other General Assembly attendees will join us.”

IndivisibleThe film “Indivisible,” starring Sarah Drew and Justin Bruening, is based on Darren and Heather Turner’s experiences before, during, and after his deployment to Iraq in 2006. Fresh from seminary and basic training, newly commissioned Army Chaplain Turner and his family arrive at Fort Stewart, Ga. Before they can even unpack, Darren is deployed. Heather is left taking care of their three young children alone, as well as serving the families of the other deployed soldiers.

An extended deployment and deeply etched battle scars result in a long-awaited homecoming that is much different than anticipated. Carrying burdens the other can’t comprehend, the Turners must decide if they’re willing to face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

DarrenHeatherTurner

Darren and Heather Turner

Following a showing of the movie, the Turners will share about their marriage and family journey as depicted in the film.

What the movie doesn’t show—but that the Turners said was at the heart of their near-divorce— was the issue of identity. Darren was not prepared for the temptations of Army life as an active duty Chaplain, including a rugged mission, awards and badges, courageous annual reports, and ministry on the front lines of combat. At the same time, Heather needed Darren to engage at home, but he went where the praise was—the Army. As she grew more frustrated, he ran more toward his job. By God’s grace alone, both of their hearts were broken and healing could finally begin.

In the workshop’s afternoon session, the Turners will discuss their journey of recovering, believing, and realizing who Christ says they were, are, and will be.

In Moyles’ sessions on Tuesday morning, he will emphasize the need for a biblical worldview and well-established life priorities as the basis for biblical leadership and decision making.

Moyles is a nationally requested Christian speaker, teacher, and writer/blogger. Prior to his retirement in 2017 after 25 years of active duty, he served as Chief of Information Technology for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain, Colo.

Click here for more information about the Chaplains Workshop.

Click here for more information about the 39th General Assembly, including daily schedules, links to online registration, and more.

May Jeremiah Journal offers 39th General Assembly highlights

 

In the May 2019 edition of the Jeremiah Journal, Assistant Stated Clerk Jerry Iamurri provides some highlights of the upcoming 39th General Assembly, June 18-21 at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in suburban Denver, Colorado.

The Jeremiah Journal is a monthly video blog hosted on the EPC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/EPChurch80. Each month’s update also is posted to EPConnection and the EPC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

For a transcript of this month’s edition in printable pdf format, click here.