Resources for Racial Justice Response
EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah provides a letter to all EPC congregations.
June 12, 2020
To: TEs, Commissioned Pastors, Chaplains, Presbytery Stated Clerks, Committee Members
From: Jeff Jeremiah
Subject: NAE Racial Justice Resources
Dear EPC colleague,
Thank you for how you are bringing the hope and truth of the gospel to your congregations and communities in these unsettled days. As you consider how to address the cultural firestorm raging around us, the National Association of Evangelicals has developed some resources on racial justice response from a biblical perspective. These are available on their website at www.nae.net/racialjustice.
Because the EPC can only issue official statements on topics that have been approved by the General Assembly (by way of Position Papers), we often point people to the NAE’s statements in areas that we haven’t publicly addressed as a denomination. Among these is the NAE’s “Statement on Racial Unrest and Call to Action” issued on May 29. It is available on the website linked above.
I also want to let you know that we have posted the recording of our webinar from earlier this week, “Leading EPC Sessions and Congregations in Issues of Race and Justice,” on our website at www.epc.org/june10webinar. If you did not participate in this one-hour event, I hope you will take the time to hear Michael Davis, Rufus Smith, Dean Weaver, and others address this important topic. Plans are underway to continue the discussion; we will of course announce the details as it comes together.
May we continue to be the voice of peace, love, and reconciliation that our communities, country, and world so desperately needs today.
Thank you, and remember: He is risen!
Resources for Reopening Churches
Available on EPC Website
An article at EPC Connection provide resources for reopening churches as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
With many jurisdictions around the country loosening shelter-in-place restrictions, the EPC Office of the General Assembly has curated a variety of resources on how and when churches can begin to open their doors for public worship and other ministries. The materials offer guidelines and suggestions for churches seeking to safely welcome worshippers back into their facilities. Sources include EPC partner ministries and other reputable organizations.
“It is very likely that our pre-lockdown church experience will not be what we experience going forward,” said Jeff Jeremiah, Stated Clerk. “I hope our churches and leaders benefit from the guidelines and suggestions as they look to safely welcome worshippers back into their facilities.”
Included are checklists, guidance, and other helps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ChurchLeaders.com, the Family Research Council, The Gospel Coalition, the National Association of Evangelicals, Smart Church Solutions, Vanderbloemen Search Group, and others.
The resources are available at www.epc.org/reopeningchurches.
PMA Pastors' Weekly Hour of Prayer
Monday, May 18, 2020
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The last eight weeks of prayer have been a blessing to all who have had the opportunity to participate. As this commitment drew to an end, many asked us to consider continuing to offer a regular prayer opportunity for the pastors of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic. In answer to that, we are launching the PMA Pastor's Weekly Hour of Prayer on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. until further notice. This is for any Teaching Elder, Commisioned Pastor, Missionary and Candidate Under Care. The more the merrier! We prayerfully considered many options for day and time, but in the end realized that this would be the time when the most pastors could arrange their schedules to attend. We also recognize that not all will attend every week. But, the opportunity is there for all who desire this time of connected prayer.
We are going to change the format a bit and probably continue to make adjustments so as to make this commitment of your time valuable enough that you will not only attend often, but also feel its absence when you cannot. Every Tuesday the zoom link will open at 8:45 a.m. for you to gather and connect with other pastors. At 9:00 a.m., Stated Clerk Ron Horgan (or me in his absence) will take five minutes to advise of any information that is helpful to all. Jeff Smith will then transition us into worship with James Bank leading us through prayer and worship.
We have learned a lot about zoom the last eight weeks—we mute everyone except the worship leader during the music, which has allowed us to prayerfully worship undistracted. We will, however, leave all unmuted for creeds and prayer. The time will end around 9:50 allowing those who need individual prayer to stay and receive the love, encouragement and prayer of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will be using this recurring Zoom link until further notice.
We are committed to this because we believe God is calling us to align our hearts and wills to His by the power of His Holy Spirit through Spirit-Filled prayer. We hope you can adjust your schedules to attend as often as possible. A special shout out to our missionaries—join us when you can so we can pray for you, your families and your ministries.
If you have a specific need or simply want to chat, Ron and I are available via Zoom, cell phone and email. May the Lord bless and keep each of you as we seek Him together through prayer.
Your friend and brother in Christ,
40th General Assembly Meeting Rescheduled for September 17-18, 2020
As announced on EPC Connection, the 40th EPC General Assembly meeting has been postponed for September 17-18, 2020. More details below, or at epc.org/ga/ga2020/.
In a called meeting on May 1, Commissioners to the EPC’s 39th General Assembly approved a motion to reschedule the 40th General Assembly from June 23-26 to September 17-18, 2020. The called meeting was conducted virtually with electronic voting.
The 40th General Assembly will be held at Hope Church in Cordova, Tenn., with the theme of “Always,” based on 2 Corinthians 2:14.
“Given the uncertainties with the coronavirus pandemic, our National Leadership Team recommended that we reschedule the Assembly from June to the fall,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “A number of states around the country have begun to lift their shelter-in-place restrictions over the past few days, but I believe postponing our meeting is wise.”
Tom Werner, National Leadership Team Chairman and a Ruling Elder from the Presbytery of Mid-America, said the National Leadership Team (NLT) worked closely with Hope Church leadership to ensure that a September 17-18 meeting would not disrupt the church’s fall schedule.
“I am thankful to Pastor Rufus Smith and his team at Hope for being flexible and gracious hosts,” Werner said. “They are in the same boat we all are, trying to minister to their congregation and community and at the same time keep their staff and members safe and secure. I know they will be ready to host us in September with their usual Hope Church level of excellence.”
Jeremiah noted that the now-September General Assembly will be “business only” with no Leadership Institute. The Office of the General Assembly staff is exploring the possibility of providing virtual as well as on-site participation for Commissioners.
“Because there are so many moving parts and guest speakers involved in our Leadership Institute, the schedule change gave us no option but to take this year off,” he said. “But this is only a brief hiatus—the Leadership Institute will be back next year and for the foreseeable future. In fact, we have already discussed with our plenary speakers the possibility of being with us at a future Assembly.”
Online registration will open on July 1. Registration fees have not been finalized, but Jeremiah said he “fully expects the registration fee to be reduced, with a strong possibility that meal costs will be included to make the process easier on everyone.”
For more information and regular updates about the 40th General Assembly, see www.epc.org/ga2020.
Ken Priddy Offers New Book
VACANCY: Finding Who's Missing & Bringing Them Home
Numerical growth in the church is a maligned subject these days as champions swell with pride over growth-at-all-costs spiking while critics shrinkwith pride over uncompromising allegiance to self-inflicted isolation. What does God say about numerical growth in His word and what does He mean by what He says? Ken Priddy spent three years probing for answers to these questions and discovered something surprising. Numerical growth in the church is not about numbers, it's about names, names that are recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life. The journey is covered in VACANCY: Finding Who's Missing & Bringing Them Home, Ken's Manuscript Edition. It's yours to download FREE with permission to share it with anyone. Enjoy!
The GO Center
See more Resources from Ken and other presbytery authors here.
Multiplication Transition Newsletters
The Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic Multiplication Transition Team is offering regular updates on our plans to transition to three missional regions and ultimately into three distinct Presbyteries.
Please click on this link for the latest news.
Transition Prayer Initiative
Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic asks all of its churches to be in prayer about our ongoing transition to three Missional Repions and ultimately into three presbyteries. To help with this initiative, we have created a bulletin insert for use in your church.
You can download an PDF version of this insert here.
Proposed PMA Transition Timeline
Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic Multiplication Transition Team proposed the timeline above to move from one presbytery in three missional regions to three distinct presbyteries. The transition will occurs in several steps outlined above.
PMA to Multiply into Three Missional Regions
At its 91st meeting, the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic voted 136-11 to move forward with the vision of multiplying from one to three presbyteries. Initially, we will begin to move toward three missional regions and when structure and finances are developed in each of the regions, the PMA will multiply into three new presbyteries. This will likely take us 3-5 years and will require approval of the General Assembly. Thanks to the Presbytery Multiplication Study Team led by Dr. Bill Enns and including Moderator Duke Lineberry, Scott McGregor, Ken Priddy, Powell Sykes, Jan Teagle, and Wes Vander Lugt.
Read this important information to learn more about our future.
PMA Multiplication Study Team Report - Dr. Bill Enns
Dr. Ken Priddy's Presentation re PMA Multiplication
FAQ - PMA Multiplication Study Proposal
PMA Multiplication Study Team Motion and Rationale for 91st PMA Meeting, January 2019