Category Archives: World Outreach

Thanksgiving offering to support World Outreach Family Gathering

 

2017ThanksgivingOfferingThe 2017 EPC Thanksgiving Offering has been designated for the World Outreach Family Gathering. To help facilitate contributions, a bulletin insert is available in printable pdf format on the EPC website.

Family Gathering, held every four years, is six days of fellowship, worship, and renewal for all World Outreach global workers. The 2018 Family Gathering will be held in Greece.

“These gatherings are a delightful respite for our workers, many of whom are lonely for Christian fellowship, or just plain weary from the demands of ministry in the Hard Places,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach. “Contributions will augment the World Outreach Family Gathering budget and help pay for expenses such as travel, lodging, and food.”

The annual Thanksgiving Offering supports a project approved by the General Assembly each June, alternating between World Outreach and Church Planting and Revitalization.

For more information, contact World Outreach at wo@epcwo.org or 407-930-4328.

World Outreach Forum hotel deadline approaching

 

Forum2017The annual World Outreach Forum is coming to Orlando in November, and the deadline to secure the group hotel rate is October 13.

This year’s Forum will focus on “Mobilizing Our Churches for Global Movement” and features a look at ways EPC congregations can:

  • Directly engage unreached people groups nearby,
  • Impart vision to reach the lost through short-term mission trips, and
  • Strategically send their own sons and daughters long-term through Engage 2025.

The Forum is a time of training, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC. It is a great opportunity for presbytery Missions/World Outreach Committee members, church mission directors, and other mission-minded laymen, working on projects such as Engage 2025 to sharpen and learn from each other.

The workshop will be held November 13-14 at the Marriott SpringHill Suites Orlando Airport, starting at 1:00 p.m. with lunch on Monday and concluding after lunch on Tuesday.

“Representatives from EPC churches at the cutting edge of missions will share their stories, and we’ll explore how World Outreach can help all of our congregations,” said Phil Linton, Director of EPC World Outreach.

The cost is $79 per person and includes registration, two lunches, and one dinner. Lodging is available for $129 per night through October 13. Hotel rates increase after that date.

For more information and to register and make hotel arrangements, see www.epcwo.org/forum or contact the World Outreach office at wo@epcwo.org.

World Outreach Forum to highlight ways to mobilize the local church

 

Forum2017The 2017 World Outreach Forum will address the topic of “Mobilizing our churches for global movement” by addressing ways EPC congregations can:

  • Impart vision to reach the lost through short-term mission trips,
  • Directly engage unreached people groups in their local communities, and
  • Strategically send their own sons and daughters long-term through Engage 2025.

The workshop will be held November 13-14 in Orlando, Fla., starting at 1:00 p.m. with lunch on Monday and concluding after lunch on Tuesday. Come and collaborate with presbytery and church mission leaders and the World Outreach U.S. Team for a time of sharing, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC.

“The mission initiatives of our churches are a treasure, and the Forum is where we get to look at the crown jewels,” said Phil Linton, Director of EPC World Outreach.  “Representatives from EPC churches at the cutting edge of missions will share their stories, and we’ll explore how World Outreach can help our congregations.”

The cost is $79 per person and includes registration, two lunches, and one dinner. Lodging is available for $129 per night and the deadline to secure the group rate is October 13.

For more information and to register and make hotel arrangements, see www.epcwo.org/forum or contact the World Outreach office at wo@epcwo.org.

Meet World Outreach global workers at the 37th General Assembly

 

2017GAbannerRegOnlineMore than 50 World Outreach global workers and staff are registered to attend the 37th General Assembly, June 20-23 at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, Calif. Attendees have numerous opportunities to get to know them and their ministries.

WOlogoTuesday Evening World Outreach Banquet
This ticketed-only event on Tuesday, June 20, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. will feature “field reports” from WO global workers in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. The guest speaker for the evening is Emily Foreman, author of We Died Before We Came Here.

Wednesday Networking Lunch: Global Worker Meet-and-Greet
Grab a boxed lunch on Wednesday, June 21, in the Nelson Family Life Center Rec Hall and head to Conference Room C/D for the WO Global Worker Meet-And-Greet Networking Lunch from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday Breakout Dinner: Global Worker Presentations
For those who purchased tickets for Wednesday dinner at Fair Oaks, join us in Conference Room B/C for a breakout dinner and hear ministry updates from Brian and Keri (East Asia), Asaph and Lynn (South Asia), Robert and Joyce (Middle East), David and Meg (Central Asia), and Chris and Kirsten (Europe).

Thursday Networking Lunch: International Theological Education Network
ITEN is World Outreach’s ministry to train global leaders so that they can train and send their own missionaries to unreached peoples. Join Bruce Anderson and Stephen Woodworth on Thursday, June 22, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center, Conference Room B, and hear inspiring stories, get information about ITEN sites developing around the world, share your ideas and experience, learn from specialists working in the field, and find out how you can be involved.

Thursday Networking Lunch: International Business as Mission
Grab a boxed lunch and come to Room 12 on the first floor of the Kids and Youth (KAY) Center on Thursday, June 22, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. and hear Randy H., an entrepreneur who has worked in Southeast Asia for 17 years; Harry T., an entrepreneur actively seeking God’s direction on how to be involved; and John M., World Outreach stateside IBAM global worker. This panel will explain how to use your business talents and experiences in mission; how to coach and mentor entrepreneurs and businesses; how to financially support business as mission; and how to do vocational workplace ministry in your own neighborhood.

Thursday Evening Worship
The featured speaker for the Thursday evening worship service, 7:30 p.m. in the Fair Oaks Worship Center, is World Outreach’s own Mike Kuhn. Kuhn serves as Lecturer in Discipleship and Biblical Theology for the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, new World Outreach global workers will be commissioned. Please note that due to potential security concerns, the commissioning portion of this service will not be streamed.

Friday Networking Lunch: Sending our EPC Sons and Daughters
Historically, the pioneers from America to Korea, the Arab Middle East, Turkey, and Iran were Bible-soaked Presbyterians. World Outreach has embraced that challenge once again—sending long-term teams of 6-8 individuals to people groups without biblical churches and where very few nationals are able and willing to go. Who will you prepare and send from your church? Join Shawn Stewart and Greg Livingstone on Friday, June 23, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Fair Oaks Family Life Center, Conference Room B.

World Outreach exhibit area
Many of our global workers will have displays about their ministries at the World Outreach exhibit area in the Nelson Family Life Center Rec Hall at Fair Oaks. Stop by any time between Tuesday and Friday afternoon and get acquainted!

  • Bruce Anderson, ITEN
  • Rob, Mobilization
  • John and Allison, Central Asia
  • Brian and Keri, East Asia
  • Asaph and Lynn, South Asia
  • David and Mindy Fenska, Mobilization
  • Chris and Debbie Gibson, Member Care
  • Alison, South Asia
  • Randy and Martha, Southeast Asia
  • Robert and Joyce, Middle East
  • Stephen Kelley, Muslim World
  • Jacqy, New Appointee
  • Greg and Karen, Muslim World
  • Mike, Middle East
  • Greg and Sally Livingstone, Mobilization
  • John and Jan, IBAM
  • Ed and Nan McCallum, ITEN
  • Mike and Tammy, Southeast Asia
  • Greg, Middle East
  • David and Meg, Central Asia
  • Elizabeth, Middle East
  • Shawn and Lisa Stewart, Mobilization
  • Phil Thrash, Mobilization
  • Dan Tidwell, Communications
  • Mark and MJ, Mobilization
  • David and Debbie Walker, Southeast Asia
  • Stephen Woodworth, ITEN
  • The Youngs, South Asia

Note: Some last names have been omitted for security reasons.

#epc2017ga

General Assembly Networking Lunches offer more than mid-day meal

 

2017GAbannerRegOnlineNetworking Lunches at the EPC 37th General Assembly provide opportunity for connecting with others with similar ministry interests on June 21-23 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. For more information, including descriptions and meeting locations, see www.epc.org/ga2017networkinglunches

Wednesday, June 21

  • Church Planting (hosted by the EPC Church Planting Team)
  • For the Church, For the Generations (hosted by Reformed Youth Ministries)
  • How to Build a Contagious Church Culture (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • How to Make Progress on Leadership Challenges (hosted by PastorServe)
  • Joy Together in Ministry and Mission (hosted by Serge)
  • Jump-Starting Church Revitalization (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Presbyterians Pro-Life (hosted by Presbyterians Pro-Life)
  • What Is the Westminster Confession? (hosted by the Westminster Society)
  • Who Is My Neighbor? (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • World Outreach Global Worker Meet-and-Greet (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Young Ministers in the EPC (hosted by the EPC Young Ministers Network)

Thursday, June 22

  • Building a Culture of Generosity (hosted by the EPC Foundation)
  • Conflict Management: What Seminary Never Taught You (hosted by Pastor-In-Residence Ministries)
  • EPC Benefits “Lunch and Learn: Retirement Plan Changes” (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • International Theological Education Network (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Reaching Millennials (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Reaching the Next Generation of College Students for Christ (hosted by the Coalition for Christian Outreach)
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria and the Transgender Experience (hosted by OnebyOne)
  • Who Will Lead After You? A Guide to Effective Succession Planning (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Women Teaching Elders and Candidates (hosted by the EPC Office of the General Assembly)
  • World Outreach Needs Business Professionals (hosted by EPC World Outreach)

Friday, June 23

  • Clerks of Session (hosted by the EPC Presbytery of the Pacific)
  • Coaching Church Revitalization (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Come to The Well: Women’s Ministries Resources (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • Engaging Muslim Communities for Christ Through Literacy (hosted by Literacy and Evangelism International)
  • EPC Benefits “Lunch and Learn: Retirement Plan Changes” (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Growing Your Church Through Small Groups (hosted by Hope Church, Richmond, Va.)
  • How to Lead Your Team to Fulfill Your Church’s Vision (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Leaders of Small Churches (hosted by the EPC Z–4:10 Network)
  • Sending Our EPC Sons and Daughters (hosted by EPC World Outreach)

GA World Outreach Dinner features missionary widowed by al Qaeda

 

WeDiedBeforeWeGotHereEmily Foreman, author of We Died Before We Came Here, is the featured guest speaker at this year’s World Outreach Dinner in conjunction with the 37th General Assembly. The dinner and program will be held on Tuesday, June 20, at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, Calif.

Foreman—which is a pseudonym due to security concerns—is a YWAM missionary in a Muslim country in North Africa where Christianity is illegal. Her husband was assassinated by Al Qaeda there, leaving her widowed with four children. She has since remarried and returned to North Africa with her family to reach Muslims for Christ, in addition to inspiring Christians across North America to see the Muslim world through a lens of faith.

Click here to listen to a 2016 interview with Foreman conducted by American Family Radio.

For more information about the 37th General Assembly, see www.epc.org/ga2017. For details about the World Outreach Dinner, contact Erin Rhoden, World Outreach Assistant, at erin.rhoden@epc.org or 407-930-4313.

January Jeremiah Journal discusses 2016 EPC budget allocation

 

In the January edition of The Jeremiah Journal, EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah discusses how the 2016 EPC budget was allocated between the four Strategic Initiatives (Global Movement, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, and Effective Biblical Leadership) and a fifth category, “protecting the EPC.”

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 EPNews and the EPC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church set for November

 

idop2017While every Sunday is a good Sunday to remember our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ throughout the world who suffer for their faith, November 6 and 13 have been designated International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

The WAE reports statistics showing persecution as “a daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world.” Now marking its 20th year, the IDOP has grown substantially and is observed in more than 100 countries. This year’s theme is “If one suffers we all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12.26).

Free IDOP church resource kits are available online at www.opendoorsusa.org, www.idop.org, and www.persecution.com.

We believe that standing with—and praying for—persecuted Christians is part of God’s vision for the EPC. As a “global movement of churches,” we’re committed to:

  • The global mission of EPC World Outreach
  • Fraternal partnerships with other churches (for example, our recent partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico), and
  • Awareness of and solidarity with persecuted Christians.

September Jeremiah Journal provides strategic initiatives update

 

In the September edition of The Jeremiah Journal, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah provides a status update on the EPC’s four strategic initiatives: Global Movement, Multiplication (church planting), Transformation (church revitalization), and Effective Biblical Leadership.

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

World Outreach Forum to address “Engaging Our Presbyteries in Mission”

 

WOForum2016We believe God has called the EPC to be a global movement of Evangelical Presbyterian Churches. A significant way to create a structure suitable for a global movement is to solicit as much input and buy-in as possible. A gathering of presbytery missions leaders at the 36th General Assembly in June was a step in that direction. In an effort to build on that effort, the topic of this year’s annual World Outreach Forum is “Engaging Our Presbyteries in Mission.”

The workshop will be held November 14-15 in Orlando. The two-day event will equip and challenge missions leaders in each presbytery to:

  • Help all the churches of the EPC in their missions callings and missions health
  • Help connect and gather the churches of each presbytery in mission endeavors
  • Help our churches to strategically engage with EPC World Outreach

“The Forum is designed to strengthen relationships and to channel our energies toward the fulfillment of the EPC’s vision,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach. “We will take time to listen to you and hopefully inspire you with World Outreach’s high calling to go to those with the least access to the gospel—not just to send others, but to go ourselves.”

The Forum is a time of training, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC and is designed especially for church and presbytery mission/world outreach committee team members, mission pastors and directors, and other point people working on World Outreach projects.

Linton said attendees can expect to hear progress reports on Engage 2025, the International Theological Education Network (ITEN), refugee response, and the Malay breakthrough prayer effort.

“We believe that God will continue to do great things through the EPC,” Linton said. “Let’s spend some quality time together in Orlando and see what God wants to do through us.”

For more information, see www.epcwo.org/forum2016.

Global Movement the focus of World Outreach Forum

 

WOForum2016

This year’s World Outreach Forum will address the topic of “creating a structure for a global movement,” one of the EPC’s four strategic initiatives. Come to Orlando on November 14-15 and collaborate with presbytery and church mission leaders and the World Outreach U.S. Team.

The two-day workshop will equip and challenge missions leaders in each presbytery to:

  • Help all the churches of the EPC in their missions callings and missions health
  • Help connect and gather the churches of each presbytery in mission endeavors
  • Help our churches to strategically engage with EPC World Outreach

“We want to get ready for the time when each presbytery has asked to have an active missions committee and broader team of leaders who have a key role on their councils to empower their churches,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach.

The annual Forum is a time of training, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC and is designed especially for church and Presbytery mission/world outreach committee team members, mission pastors and directors, and other point people working on World Outreach projects like Engage 2025.

“We are committed to becoming a missional family of churches as we refocus our mission and reach out to serve others for Christ in the 21st century,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Lead Pastor/Stated Clerk. “The annual World Outreach Forum helps keep that in front of us.”

Click here for more information and to register.

Potential partnership with National Presbyterian Church of Mexico holds church planting promise

 
INPseminary

Leaders of the EPC and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INP) met in Mexico City in March to discuss a possible church planting partnership. From left: INP Secretary Adolfo Arias Job, EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, INP President (Moderator) Amador Lopez Hernandez, EPC Fraternal Relations Committee chair Gerrit Dawson, EPC Moderator Mike Moses, EPC Ruling Elder Bill Hammill, INP Vice President Danny Ramirez Celis, INP Treasurer David Monroy Adane, and EPC home missionary John Bueno.

 

A March meeting between the leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INP) in Mexico City resulted in the two denominations proceeding toward a fraternal agreement for approval at each body’s General Assembly this summer.

The EPC was represented by Moderator Mike Moses, Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, Fraternal Relations Committee chair Gerrit Dawson, EPC home missionary John Bueno (who served as translator), and Bill Hammill, a Ruling Elder at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, N.C. (where Moses serves as Pastor). The INP leadership delegation included Secretary Adolfo Arias Job, President (Moderator) Amador Lopez Hernandez, Vice President Danny Ramirez Celis, Treasurer David Monroy Adane, and Camirillo Velazquez, General Director of the Juarez Institute.

INPvalasquez

Camirillo Velazquez, General Director of the Juarez (Mexico) Institute.

Discussions about a potential ministry partnership began in October 2015, when INP Secretary Adolfo Arias Job invited Moses and others from the EPC to visit Mexico to discuss the possibility of a fraternal relationship that would focus on church planting. Specifically, INP wants to send missionaries to plant churches in Hispanic communities in the United States.

“I believe this is an historic ‘God moment’ for the EPC and INP in church planting,” Jeremiah noted. “In the providence of God, they reached out to us in the year that Mike Moses—an experienced church planter and member of the EPC Church Planting Team—was our Moderator.”

During the meetings, the members of the EPC team and INP leaders agreed that both groups were committed to the same love and passion for Christ and His gospel, and to the same Reformed doctrine.

“We were overwhelmed with the warm welcome and generous hospitality of our hosts and impressed with how easily we connected on a personal level,” Jeremiah said.

He added that the invitation to a church planting partnership is unique in that it encompassed two of the EPC’s strategic initiatives—global movement in addition to multiplication.

“An element of global movement includes exploring partnerships with groups in the global church with the same values and commitments as the EPC,” Jeremiah said. “The leaders of INP don’t want to work independently; they want to partner with us. They also are hopeful that we can help them with outreach and church planting in northern Mexico, where the INP has very little presence and where many EPC churches send short-term mission groups.”

The EPC team visited the INP national office; four churches in Mexico City, Toluca, and Morelia; one of the INP’s seven seminaries; an educational institute (preschool through high school); and a hospital. One of the four congregations, La Paz Church in Mexico City, was formed in 1954 and since has planted 39 daughter churches as well as established an INP church planting training center.

The EPC Fraternal Relations Committee has been working with INP counterparts on a proposed fraternal agreement. The leadership of INP has been invited to attend the EPC General Assembly at Ward Church in suburban Detroit in June.

“If the Assembly approves the agreement,” Jeremiah said, “we will send representatives to the July 18-22 national gathering of the INP in Chiapas, Mexico.”

The INP has two million members and is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the western hemisphere. The majority of the INP’s churches are in the Mexico City area and southern Mexico. INP’s minimal presence in northern Mexico is attributed to the 1919 “Cincinnati Plan,” in which American denominational leaders decided that Presbyterians would minister in the southern part of the country, while Methodists and others were given the northern part (no Mexicans participated in this decision).

Under the leadership of then-President Danny Ramirez Celis, the INP severed ties with the PCUSA in 2011 when the mainline approved the ordination of homosexuals.

George Carey installed as Kingman, Ariz., pastor

 
GeorgeCarey

George Carey

George Carey, former EPC World Outreach Director, has been installed as pastor of Kingman Presbyterian Church in Kingman, Ariz.

Carey noted that Kingman is in northwest Arizona, and is famous for having the largest remaining stretch of the old Route 66 highway.

“If you are ever traveling I-40 on Sunday morning, stop by and visit our worship services at 9:00 or 10:45!,” he said.

Carey added that the congregation is comprised of a high percentage of retirees who have moved into Kingman from other states—especially California—due to the area’s drastically lower cost of living.

“Nita and I are very excited to serve these wonderful people and we look forward to ministering to them and the entire community.”

World Outreach seeks Associate Director

 

WOlogoApplications are being accepted for the position of Associate Director of World Outreach of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). The Associate Director will collaborate with the Director of World Outreach, manage the Personnel function, and supervise the Mobilization and World Outreach Office operations. The growing World Outreach ministry currently supports more than 60 commissioned family units working in more than 20 countries around the world. The 2016 budget for this ministry exceeds $3 million.

The ideal applicant will have a vibrant relationship with Christ, a passion for the Great Commission, outstanding management and personnel skills, and be ordained or able to be ordained as an EPC Teaching Elder or Ruling Elder. The applicant should be committed to a Reformed perspective on missions and the missional direction of our denomination. Locating to Orlando, Florida, (with moderate domestic and international travel) is required.

Click here to download the Position Description in pdf format. Click here for more information about World Outreach. Click here for the WO Master Plan summary document.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to della.cullins@epc.org. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2016.

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.

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?