Due to a change in local conditions (every ICU and Intermediate bed in our 3 local hospitals are full with Covid patients- personally verified by myself) and due to current professional guidance (our internal LFC medical counsel and elders agree with county, state and national counsel – masking indoors is the best way to keep kids in school and businesses open and save lives) Lake Forest Church-Huntersville’s current masking policy will cover all persons on campus during our Presbytery meeting. The policy is as follows:
Masks are required indoors at all times (lobby, meeting rooms, worship center) except for:
When a person is seated, for eating, drinking, or meeting purposes
When seated during the business sessions of Presbytery in our worship center or in meeting rooms
NOTE: when standing and singing/worshipping in worship center masks will be required
Friday evening’s on-campus dinner with be outdoors, no masking needed
Our campus has ample outdoor areas for visiting with friends during breaks
It is extra important to follow these guidelines on our campus, due to the fact that we have a full-time preschool, an independent coffee shop, and public-use meeting spaces on our campus. These missional uses of our building blessedly make us a public ‘third’ space in this part of Huntersville, so even on our campus we are being public witnesses for Christ.
We don’t “like” wearing masks at all, but we like preserving life so much that we are willing to bear with one another in this matter, in the spirit and way of Christ. This is how our church is choosing to stay unified on ‘non-essentials’ like this, and we invite Presbytery members to enter our campus in that spirit.
Rev. Dr. Mike Moses
A letter from TE Kevin Cauley, Moderator of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic.
Dear Members of the Presbytery of Mid-Atlantic,
As I write this letter of invitation to the Presbytery meeting on September 24-25, 2021 at Lake Forest EPC in Huntersville, NC, it is with mixed emotions as we come to this last in-person meeting of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic.
The Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic is more than a governing body, it is our family. Think of all the friendships enjoyed through the years and surely, we feel regret we will not all be together in the future. For many of us, the PMA was a theological and missional refuge, which sparked in us a flame of renewal as we joined others deeply committed to Jesus Christ and His work. Thanks to Howard Shockley and other great leaders, the PMA not only shaped the future of the EPC, but also our own lives and ministries. So, it’s not really a sadness that marks this last meeting. This last meeting represents a culmination of God’s Work for which we can only express gratitude for the privilege of sharing in the story of God’s amazing work in the PMA.
Yet, joy also fills our hearts as we anticipate the growing outreach of the Gospel through the birth of three new Presbyteries out of the PMA. Our longing is to see the multiplication of EPC Churches in the Carolinas and Virginias who are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine the new churches that will arise because of what we do? Can you see the once dark faces that will shine because they know Jesus through new and renewed churches? What may seem like a funeral of a presbytery is more like a planting of a fruit-bearing seed that will give life to three new fruit-bearing trees. As we come together to express gratitude for what has been, we also gather to celebrate the future of God’s amazing work through these three new presbyteries.
On Friday afternoon, during our Resource time, we will reflect on who we are as the EPC. We are blessed with dynamic leaders who have been part of the growing identity of the EPC. They will speak to the four distinctives (Reformed, Presbyterian, Evangelical, and Missional) that make us who we are. They will remind us why these distinctives matter for the future of our three new presbyteries. The ethos of the EPC is meant to drive us out into the world to carry the Gospel to all people. Our prayer is for God to fan the flame of the faith that fuels our passion for His churches to make disciples of Jesus Christ who make disciples.
To mark this special occasion, you’re also invited to join us for dinner on Friday on the Lake Forest campus (suggested $10 donation) before our worship service where Dean Weaver will deliver the message.
Make plans to join us for this special time together and let us gather to give thanks to God as well as celebrate the future of God’s amazing work among us
We are anticipating a successful multiplication of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic (PMA) into three new presbyteries as a result of the Lord’s blessings on our Presbytery. The Executive Council of the PMA, as well as transitional leadership teams for each of the new presbyteries, have been hard at work for over a year now. Our goal has been to build on the successes and strengths of the PMA while addressing the unique mission and ministry needs of each new presbytery. Each new presbytery has their unique vision for supporting and furthering the growth of disciple-making and church-planting churches in their region.
The Lord’s consistent blessings upon PMA have provided for us in that we are going into this time of multiplication with some cash reserves. We are forever grateful for your faithful giving. We have been very conservative in our budgeting, but, as we go into the next eight months or so, we will be putting a strain on those reserves. There are some costs that are unique to this process of multiplication. There are some overlapping costs, for example, the salaries of the PMA staff and the salaries of the new staff of the presbyteries as they come on board and ramp up their ministries. There are also one-time-only costs such as legal fees for set-up and incorporation and technological costs for media capabilities including new websites.
In light of these needs, we are asking each Session to prayerfully consider how they might assist their new presbytery. A one-time gift in 2022 of 25% over their normal presbytery per-member giving would assist us in paying for the transition to the new presbyteries and provide critical seed money to fully engage in making disciples and planting new churches. The receipt of this gift before the end of the 2021 year or early in 2022 would certainly lighten the load on the transitional leadership teams so that they can focus on supporting you and expanding the kingdom.
Please make checks out to Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic and designate in the memo line “Transitional Gift to ________ (designate the new Presbytery—Central Carolinas, Coastal Mid-Atlantic, New River). Checks should be mailed to Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic, 2514 Plantation Center Drive, Matthews, NC 28105.
All checks written for a particular region will be placed in the proper account for your regional presbytery.
With prayers for God’s richest blessings on you and your congregation,
TE Kevin Cauley
Moderator, Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic
RE Don Kirkey
Vice Moderator, PMA and Transitional Moderator, Presbytery of the Central Carolinas
RE Scott McGregor
Vice Moderator, PMA and Transitional Moderator, Presbytery of Coastal Mid-Atlantic
TE Ed Pettus
Vice Moderator, PMA and Transitional Moderator, New River Presbytery
Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic is offering
to the first 10 PMA Teaching Elders or Commissioned Pastors
who register for this training.
The training will be led by—
Rev. Dr. William Enns
Retired Associate Executive for Collaborative Ministries of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Congregational Consultant, Pastoral Coach
Dr. Paul Borden
Director of Church Health Initiative
Rev. Dr. Tim Fearer
ECO Certified Transitional Pastor and Spiritual Director
Rev. Nate Dreesmann
ECO’s Executive Director of Ecclesiastical Support
The loss of a pastor, regardless of the reason, precipitates a disruption in the emotional, spiritual, and organizational life of any congregation. Many leaders in congregations have not borne the responsibility like this before and, feeling responsible, they seek to return to normalcy as quickly as possible—and this is completely understandable. However, church leaders often fail to consider they have not only lost an employee, but also relationships, a stabilizing presence, and a trusted confidant.
You are invited to participate in this Transitional Pastor Training Seminar where you will learn, together with your peers, how to recognize the issues congregations face, how to provide a consistent non-anxious presence, how to guide the leadership and the congregation to envision God’s preferred future for them. In the process, you will give the search team and the congregation the space they need to prepare for the next called pastor.
PMA Pastors' Weekly Hour of Prayer
Every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
God is calling us to pray as a Presbytery—a connected and gathered people of God in this place and time. Would you please consider arranging your calendar to join us? Our connection is needed more now than ever before.
The zoom link will open every Tuesday at 8:45 a.m.TE James Banks will lead us through prayer and worship. Our prayer time ends 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.
God is calling us to align our hearts and wills to His by the power of His Holy Spirit through Spirit-filled prayer.
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
Join a Missional Region Facebook Group
Michelle Munger (see other things Michelle does on our Resourses page) has created new Facebook groups for each of the Missional Regions. These groups allow those who are members of that group to post directly for real time interaction with one another. Please welcome and invite your region brothers and sisters.
The groups are growing and in need of an administrator for each group. If you can help with that, please contact Michelle Munger.
We can change the names of groups once we are settled on each region's name.
Our Missional Director, Bucky Hunsicker, shared a testimony about the effectiveness of B90. Here is the video of his comments.
This letter from Bill provides more information.
Would you love to see your church:
Grow as a community,
Deepen spiritually, &
Reach neighbors with the Gospel?
Scripture Awakening exists to help you do just that. And we make this possible without costing your church a penny. Members who get involved pay a nominal fee to have our new program, Bible in 90 Days Plus (B90+), delivered to their inbox.
Bible in 90 Days Plus is like a daily multimedia coach that comes alongside those who sign up to assist them as they read through the entire Bible in 90 Days. Participants who want to join the reading program but don’t have time to read every page, can choose the overview mode, which takes only 12 minutes a day, and which provides a rich and full overview of the entire Bible.
We also encourage you to consider using the regular, hardcover version of Bible in 90 Days, with accompanying videos and guides. Ideally, offer both options to your church members; they work beautifully together.
By planning ahead, you can form small groups around your church’s reading of the Bible, and invite the unchurched to join in. In addition, the pastor has the option of preaching through the Bible as people read, building unity around key Biblical themes and applications.
To learn more about B90+ and how to sign up, please go here. And be sure to read our best practices PDF. A three-minute video is available, providing you an overview of Scripture Awakening. Please email our church consultant with questions and to send us a key contact in your church. Finally, consider joining our upcoming B90+ training webinar; it will be full of time-tested insights and will offer you opportunity for live questions and answers.
We’re here to serve you, as you seek to bring the power of God’s Word into the lives of your people and into your community. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Missional Region Resource Events The Next Reformation:
Thriving During and After COVID-19
Our Church Development Committee offered three Missional Region Resource Events to equip our communities on the evenings of February 22-24. These events provided an encouraging look at how congregations can forge ahead during and after the ongoing pandemic. Current practices, next practices, ways to encourage leaders, and hope for a bright future were shared each evening.
While the topics covered were the same each night, different speakers shared perspectives in their own ways. You’re encouraged to review or take a new look at each recording and the resources offered by each missional region.
Zoom recordings and public chat comments are linked below. Chat comments include links to different resources mentioned during the meetings. Any pre-recorded messages are included in the recording as well.
At our Presbytery meeting in September 2020, Andrew & Norine Brunson shared their vision for ministry moving forward, as well as their needs for rebooting their ministry. We also became aware that the Brunsons were are completely starting their household over again. We encourage you to give if you can. And continue to be in prayer for the Brunsons and their ministry. For more information on their new ministry, please go to WaveStarters.org.
Get to know the Brunsons by viewing this video.
William’s Place is a ministry begun by members of Christ Community Church, Montreat, NC and was highlighted at a previous presbytery meeting.
Please read more about how this wonderful ministry is meeting an important need as they serve those suffering with addiction issues.
Robert and Jane McRae of Eagle Rock, VA are offering a beautiful cabin in Eagle Rock as a place for respite. Robert was pastor of Galatia EPC in Eagle Rock. They served Galatia for 32 years.
They describe the cabin as "a mountain cabin for ministers, missionaries, family, friends to rest, rejuvenate, relax, rejoice..."Set in a beautiful location with mountain views, the cabin offers a full kitchen, three bedrooms and beautiful deck to relax outside and enjoy the mountain air.
If you need a time to rest and refresh your spirit, please contact Robert and Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Munger is available to help PMA churches develop or enhance their website and social media presence. Michelle manages several websites herself and uses social media to connect people and help communicate the Good News! Michelle has offered to help PMA churches get online. Please contact Michelle with any questions you may have. She has written a Social Media Primer to help churches. Download the Social Media Primer here.
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
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.