Category Archives: Ministries

Administration, others celebrate Andrew Brunson release

 
AndrewBrunsonLeavingCourt

Andrew Brunson (left, wearing red tie and glasses) leaves the court in Aliağa, Turkey on October 12 after being convicted of terrorism charges but released on time served. (Photo: AP / Emre Tazegul)

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and others took to social media to celebrate the release of Andrew Brunson on October 12. Brunson was convicted by a Turkish court on terrorism charges and sentenced to 37 months in prison. The judge reduced his sentence to two years for good behavior, and ordered Brunson released on time served.

He was originally detained on October 7, 2016, and held until July 25, 2018, when he was released from prison to house arrest.

Brunson is scheduled to be flown to a U.S. air base in Germany by military transport on October 12 before returning to the United States.

In a statement to the court before the verdict was issued, Brunson tearfully refuted all the allegations.

“I’m an innocent man,” he said. “I love Jesus. I love this country.”

Brunson’s defense attorney, Ismail Cem Halavurt, said the verdict was “the best of a bad situation. He is going to go (to the United States) but I hope he is able to come back. He is someone who absolutely loves Turkey.”

EPC church planting efforts continue to bear fruit

 

One of the EPC’s four current strategic initiatives is to promote and resource church planting. In the months since it was identified as a priority (along with promoting and resourcing church revitalization, creating a leadership development culture, and creating a structure suitable for a global movement), church planting is increasingly becoming part of the fabric of the EPC.

Several new Church Planting Networks—consortiums of churches in a city or region that join forces and leverage their collective resources to plant new congregations—have launched. In many cases, these networks work in partnership with the appropriate presbyteries to plant new EPC churches.

The following seven networks are already working or beginning to come together:

  • Memphis Church Planting Network, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Aspen Grove Church Planting Network, Denver, Colo.
  • Resurrection Brooklyn Church Planting Network, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Bay Area Church Planting Network, San Francisco, Calif.
  • St. Louis Area Church Planting Network, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Gulf Coast Church Planting Network, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.; southern Mississippi; and Alabama.
  • Detroit Area Church Planting Network, Detroit, Mich.

In addition, several more church planting networks are in their formative stages in other regions and cities.

Further, the EPC now has 27 church plants, which represents approximately 4.7 percent of the EPC’s current total church count of 571. Researchers such as the Barna Group and Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research have stated that a healthy, growing denomination should have new church plants represent 5-7 percent of its churches. By this measure, the EPC is making progress—but there is still work to do. The goal is for every EPC church to be a “parent, partner, or patron” of church planting, and the strategic initiative provides an outlet for every congregation to be intentional in growing God’s kingdom by helping start new congregations.

For more information about how you or your church can get involved in these—or future—EPC church planting networks, contact Tom Ricks of the EPC Church Planting Team at tom@greentreechurch.com.

Help Us to Provide You with Communications Tools

 

The Christian Education & Communications Committee has created a survey to collect information about how churches are approaching their communication ministry. This 12-question survey should take less than 10 minutes to provide us with the data we need to find or create resources to help you with your ministry.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VNTZSMC

Thank you for your time and your input.