Evangelical Presbyterian Church General Assembly, Day 1
The EPC, my denomination, is having its annual national meeting this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We meet for only three days of business, partially because we’re a smaller body (364 churches, approximately 125,000 members), partially because we have as a matter of policy a lot less overhead than the typical denomination. That being the case, we can get everything done in three days, while taking plenty of time for worship and fellowship.
We began this morning, mostly with reports, rules, and introductions of various kinds. The one thing we did that was particularly striking was to have read a list of those PCUSA congregations that have transferred to the EPC. It took a while, and was greeted with wild applause.
This afternoon, we took our first look at a proposed revision of our Book of Order, which has been under development for three years. The purposes of the revision are several: to update out-dated language, to clarify language that is not clear, to standardize a variety of terms and usages, etc. It was received, and will now be open for comment by all EPC members between now and the end of the year.
Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, in his report, noted that five years ago, in June of 2007, the EPC had 182 churches, and has since doubled in the number of congregations that call it home. He also described a vision of his for the denomination to grow to 1000 churches. He had no specific plan or strategy, but described this as the future the Lord has for us, though he did say that the flood of transfers from PCUSA is bound to stop, and that most of this growth would come from church planting, both in the United States and around the world. This vision was enthusiastically received by the commissioners, who unanimously re-elected Jeremiah to a third three-year term as stated clerk.
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