Zoom Book Study—
From TE Brian Martin:
"Canoeing the Mountains is a must-read for pastors and church leaders who want to understand the precarious religious landscape in America today. Seasoned pastor Tod Bolsinger draws on his experience as a church consultant and student of contemporary leadership theory in order to tackle the most pressing ministry leadership issues of our day. Employing Lewis and Clark's experience of exploring the Louisiana Purchase as a driving metaphor for the leadership that is needed in the church, Bolsinger issues a bold challenge to contemporary pastors to learn how to lead all over again. With refreshing honesty and vulnerability about his own ministry, Tod does not allow the reader to wallow in discouragement over the fact that the world in front of us is different than the world behind us. Instead, he insists that this time in history offers pastors and church leaders an unparalleled opportunity to discover a deeper capacity for leadership within ourselves than ever before. He issues a clarion call 'not to try harder, but to start a new adventure' by abandoning our 'canoes' to become risk-taking mountain climbers."
Presbytery Votes to Provide Commission Status to Ministerial Committee
The Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic held a Called Monday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.
The purpose of the meeting was to vote on the following recommendation of the Executive Council. After thoughtful discussion, the motion passed.
The Executive Council moves that the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic authorize the Ministerial Committee to serve as an administrative commission of Presbytery pursuant to BOG 21-A-2, 21-1-C and 21-2-D-2-e. The commission shall be given the power to act on those individuals seeking to:
1. Come under care of presbytery.
2. Be commissioned as Commissioned Pastors.
3. Be ordained and installed as Teaching Elders in the PMA.
4. Transfer the credentials of Teaching Elders from churches in the Reformed tradition.
The commission will make a written report of all of its actions and said report will be inserted in the minutes of Presbytery. The authority of this commission will expire on December 31, 2020. BOG 21-A-2, 21-1-C and 21-2-D-2-e.
The COVID virus continues to hinder the work of the churches and committees of presbytery. The Executive Committee has decided that it would be unwise to attempt to hold the fall Stated Meeting as an “in person” meeting. Therefore, the Council has voted to hold the fall Stated Meeting of presbytery via Zoom link on Saturday, September 26, 2020 (the regularly scheduled Saturday for the fall meeting). That meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m.
Because Presbytery was unable to hold our full spring meeting, but rather held an abbreviated meeting via Zoom, several matters were not brought to the floor of presbytery including matters regarding the work of the Ministerial Committee. The work of the Ministerial Committee has been increasing over the last several months.
At present, there are four members of PMA churches seeking to come under care (Carolyn Holden, Tim Mitchell, Jack Parmelee, Daniel Arachikavitz). Two members of churches are seeking to become Commissioned Pastors (Jesse McDonald, Trey Majure). As many as four candidates are seeking ordination (Eric Shipton, Brett Johnson, Kevin Kyle, Stephanie Vander Lugt) with the last two awaiting the results of their written ordination exams. Four teaching elders are seeking transfer from other churches within the Reformed Tradition (Karyn Cartier, Robert McClelland and Chrishon Ducker, all from within the EPC and Gray Segars from ECO). The examination of all of these people, including their floor exams and hearing sermons preached where appropriate, will require many hours to complete.
The Executive Council believes that in order to move expeditiously, to conduct the exams and ordain and/or install these people in their respective churches, the presbytery will be better served by granting the Ministerial Committee commission authority to complete the process and move these people into service. The granting of commission status is supported in BOG Chapter 21.
June 12, 2020
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,
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