EPNews 2011 12/01

EPNews Converts to a Blog in 2012

EPNews, the primary news media outlet from the EPC’s General Assembly Office, will begin publication as a blog in January 2012. This provides EPNews readers with two new benefits. First, they will be able to read news as it is published instead of in two week digests. Second, they will be able to receive their news as either e-mail messages, web browser updates, or as articles in their news aggregators (like Google Reader).

“This is a big step forward for us,” says Dana Cadman, Director of Communications and Information Services. “With EPNews published as a blog, readers will have new ways to read news and to sort through older articles.”

Visitors to the EPNews blog, located at http://www.EPC.org/Welcome-to-EPNews, will see the most current article at the top of the page; older articles will appear below it. Located to the left of the article readers will find a topical menu that lets them select the type of news they want to read, for example, all articles related to a specific ministry or event. Articles will also be grouped in another menu by month to make it easier to review older articles.

Finally, people will be able to sort articles by keyword, for example, the name of a church or a person. The keywords for all articles will appear in a “tag cloud” to the right of the first blog article. Clicking any of the tags (keywords) in the cloud will retrieve all of the articles that contain that tag. The more frequently a tag is used, the larger that tag will appear in the tag cloud.

To receive the blog posts, EPNews readers will need to visit the EPNews blog. Above and to the right of the first article is an RSS (really simple syndication) icon. Reader can click that icon and a dialog bog will appear asking you how you would like to receive your EPNews updates – e-mail, web browser, or news aggregator. Select the option you want and follow the directions that are displayed.

EPNews Blog ScreensheetFor a time, the General Assembly Office will continue to send bi-weekly reminders that EPNews has been updated, although it will not contain links to individual articles like it has in the past.

“We are really excited about this use of technology to communicate with others in the EPC,” says Cadman. “With the commenting feature of a blog, readers will now be able to ask us questions or provide additional information related to articles. Using a social media tool instead of e-mail for our news will help us become even more of a connectional denomination.”

A video explaining how to subscribe to the EPNews blog and navigate it will be available before January.

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Coming Soon: Student Ministries Snail Mail to a Post Box near you!

Snail mail has lost some of its intrigue.  Even the term “snail” mail implies a loss of stature in our fast-paced culture. However, sometimes sending and receiving a package delivered by those known for their unofficial creed that "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is still the best means of communication. 

Student Ministries is sending a package of information to all EPC churches.   Please take a moment to read the content and pass it along to those working or interested in working with junior and senior high students. 

The package contains an overview of our EQUIP (leadership development and training), PROVIDE (opportunities and resources for ministry), and CONNECT (a place to gather and collaborate) resources available from Student Ministries and web site EPCStudentMinistries.org.

Our hope is that this package will contribute to the ongoing dialogue amongst those who love, serve and disciple students (volunteers, staff, full-time, part-time, parents, veterans and newcomers alike). 

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EPC Sunday at First-Wenatchee, WA

The English and Spanish speaking congregations of First Presbyterian Church in Wenatchee, Washington celebrated their entry into the EPC in a joint worship service on Sunday, November 20.  The first act of this newly received EPC church was to receive and welcome 48 new members to the 550 member church.

After senior pastor Pat McElroy preached the sermon, PresFirst Wenatchee pastors Pat McElroy and Paul Pankey 2011bytery of the Pacific Stated Clerk Ron Bengelink reported that Pastor McElroy and Associate Pastor Paul Pankey (Photo: left to right are Pat McElroy, Paul Pankey) had been examined and received into membership at the October meeting of the Presbytery, and that the church had been received through the work of the Presbytery's administrative commission on November 12.  Commission member Kingsley Fairchild offered the installation questions to the ruling elders and deacons.  Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah offered the installation questions to pastors Pat McElroy and Paul Pankey. 

First-Wenatchee, WA CrossFirst-Wenatchee also marked this historic day with a new cross in the Welcome Center.  Modeled after the EPC cross, it was designed and built by Ruling Elder Bob Butcher. 

As they come into the EPC, First-Wenatchee’s “To Be” list includes:

  1. Be who you are in Christ just as you have been all along.
  2. Be faithful to the call of God on your life in this congregation.
  3. Be committed to the mission of God in our community and you role in that mission.
  4. Be patient as God works through the leadership of the congregation to complete this process. 
  5. Be gracious to all who might disagree whether here in our own congregation or in the community.
  6. Be a witness when this goes out into the community.  Use this as an opportunity to witness the truth of the Gospel throughout the Wenatchee Valley. 

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Dr. Rev. Bill Martin

Bill Martin, pastor of Cornerstone Bible EPC in St.  Petersburg, Florida, recently completed his D.Min. at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. His dissertation is called "Succession in Pastoral Ministry: A Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Process Change in Ministry Transition." Bill is nearing retirement from 35 years of pastoring, and plans to teach pastoral ministry in the future. 

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Trinity Church-Hilton Head welcomes new pastor

On October 1, Rev. Dr. Ian Lamont became the first pastor of Trinity Church on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Trinity Church began at the beginning of the year as a mission church. Rev. Lamont describes the church's 60 members as the most talented, gifted and spiritual folks he has ever pastored.  "They really want to be used by God to minister to others and have made themselves available to that.  Starting a church is not for the weak-hearted."  "We consider ourselves blessed in order to be a blessing... we're looking for ways to carry the gospel into the community."

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"In a Byre Near Bethlehem"

The music team at Cherry Creek (EPC), led by Zac Hicks, produced a raw, pub-style recording of the Zac Hicks Recording_In a Byre Near BethlehemScottish/Irish Christmas song, "In a Byre Near Bethlehem." It's a single recording with a fun, slap-happy men's chorus.  Feel free to pass on this information to others. The song is available for $0.99! Know, too, that if you paste the following link in Facebook, it automatically creates a player so that people can listen right there. Here's the link: http://zachicks.bandcamp.com/track/the-word-of-life-in-a-byre-near-bethlehem

If you would like to read some “behind the scenes” reflections on this song and the recording, check out Zac's post here.  If you want to use iTunes, go here.

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Hartman family departs for Czech Republic

Matt Hartman and family depart for the Czech Republic on December 6 to serve in missions. "It was wonderfully hard Hartman_Matt and Family Dec 2011to walk away from our home. The 'wonderful' was recognizing that our roots were deep. Deep into community and into friendships ... how grateful we are that God gave us history and roots" says Matt Hartman. (Photo: Matt, wife Amy, children Hannah, Caden, Asher and Hayes)

Matt was EPC ordained this year and is serving out of bounds. He had served in the youth ministry at Cherry Creek Presbyterian (Englewood, Colorado) before going to Cherry Hills Community Church (Highlands Ranch, Colorado).  The Hartman's are associated with Josiah Venture.  

Please pray for the Hartman family!

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Children’s Ministry leaders gather at Children’s Pastor’s Conference

The EPC is encouraging its leaders who minister to children to be trained, encouraged, networked, and resourced at the Children’s Pastors Conference. The International Network of Children’s Ministry hosts two annual conferences: CPC Orlando (January 11-14, 2012) and CPC San Diego (February 27-March 1, 2012).  Both conferences provide many opportunities to learn, grow, be refreshed, and resourced. Check out their website at www.INCM.org. Contact Bonny Linder if you would like to join a gathering of EPC children's ministry leaders and workers at the conference or if you have questions.

The Children's Pastors' Conference is a committee commended resource of the EPC's Christian Education & Publications Committee.

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Follow the EPC on Social Media

You can read daily information from the EPC General Assembly Office and converse with other members through the EPC’s many social media outlets. They are:

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