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2018-2019 MINISTRY REPORT

In the EPC, contributions are put to work achieving our shared mission and vision. This 2018-2019 Ministry Report explains how these contributions from churches and individuals will help the EPC function “Better Together” through Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations in Fiscal Year 2019.

Use these quick links to navigate to a specific section:

EPC Overview
Collaborative Ministries
Connectional Support
Custodial Operations
Conclusion

Click here to download this Report in printable, pdf format.

Our Mission

The EPC exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus as a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations.

Our Vision

To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to embody and proclaim Jesus’ love as a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective biblical leadership.

Our Motto

In Essentials: Unity.
In Non-Essentials: Liberty.
In All Things: Charity.

EPC OVERVIEW

Your contributions are dedicated to advance the EPC mission and vision “Better Together” through Collaborative Ministries, Connectional Support, and Custodial Operations. The EPC fiscal year is July 1–June 30.

FY2019 BUDGET: $2,550,000

Collaborative Ministries: $1,150,000 (45%)
Connectional Support: $730,000 (29%)
Custodial Operations: $670,000 (26%)

 More than 600 churches in 14 presbyteries, including 42 church plants ($2.5M national budget).
70 World Outreach global workers in 30 countries ($5M annual cash flow in addition to 20% of PMA income).
65 chaplains ministering in many opportune venues.
14 permanent and 4 special committees/ministry teams.
1,200 participants at annual 4-day General Assembly (GA) gathering.
$20M employee benefit plans and $125M retirement plan through EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
24 devoted staff in the Office of the General Assembly (OGA).

We advance our mission and vision better together than alone, which means we pool our resources for greatest leverage and impact. Funding is via “Per Member Asking” (PMA) contributions from EPC churches giving 75% of the asked amount of $23 per member.

EPC OVERVIEW—NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM (NLT)

SUMMARY OF 2017–2018 MINISTRY YEAR

1. Strategic Initiatives
Interacted with leaders Tom Ricks (Church Planting), Ken Priddy (Church Revitalization), and Phil Linton (Global Movement / World Outreach). Metrics Team developed measurements by which progress and effectiveness are tracked.

2. Financial Development
Various endeavors plus God’s blessing has yielded funding from Per Member Asking at levels sufficient to fund essential operations plus continue investment in strategic initiatives.

3. Relief Funds
$1.2 million was contributed to three funds dedicated to counter the effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

4. Interim Committee Recommendation
The January 2018 NLT meeting was dedicated mostly to strategic, long-term planning, and thereby spent considerable time discussing where God is calling the EPC in the next decade. As a result, the NLT recommends that an interim committee be appointed to study how the EPC can better become a denomination that faithfully embraces and serves our neighbors from every nation, tribe, people, and language (Revelation 7:9).

5. Corporate Restructure
Since a risk assessment in 2014, the NLT has led a migration to a legal structure that would protect and limit the liability of the EPC and each underlying entity (Benefit Resources, Inc., and World Outreach). Prior General Assemblies have approved that BRI and World Outreach be structured as wholly owned but separate entities; as a final step, the NLT proposes corporate bylaws as a clear and simplified governing document that summarizes—but does not conflict with—EPC constitutional documents.

6. Rules for Assembly
The NLT recommends an amendment to define and clarify its role.

7. Clergy Housing Allowance
The NLT is closely monitoring and appropriately representing pastors’ interests in unfolding legal developments as they rise in the court system.

8. Executive Leadership
After thorough review, the NLT recommends an additional three-year term for the current Stated Clerk as it plans for transitions in the next three to five years.

Click here for a complete report of the work of the National Leadership Team during the 2017–2018 ministry year.

Click here for the independent auditor’s report of the EPC FY2017 Combined Financial Statements.

COLLABORATIVE MINISTRIES

Collaborative Ministries serve and support local church and presbytery initiatives to achieve our shared mission and vision Better Together than separately.

FY19 BUDGET: $1,150,000

Global Movement: $580,000 (50%)
Effective Biblical Leadership: $230,000 (20%)
Multiplication (Church Planting): $220,000 (19%)
Transformation (Church Revitalization): $120,000 (11%)

Global Movement
Lead and administer World Outreach ministry serving mostly “hard places,” especially among Muslims.
Fraternal relations with like-minded evangelical missional organizations.
Explore how and where God may expand EPC ministry and influence outside the U.S.

Effective Biblical Leadership
Provide Leadership Institute at the annual GA.
Facilitate 10 national ministry teams/peer gatherings.
Recruit, endorse, and provide pastoral care for 65 chaplains.
Aid demographic ministries: Next Generation, campus, and Women

Multiplication (Church Planting)
42 active plants in 17 states; 8 in under-resourced areas.
Church-planting community and encouragement.
Church planter pipeline and development.
Church-planting leadership team support.

Transformation (Church Revitalization)
Leverage the resources and impact of the GO Center.
Recruit and develop vision team coaches, trainers, coaches, and presbytery coordinators.
Guide and assist more than 150 participating EPC churches.

We facilitate and promote our EPC vision and strategic initiatives, putting funds to work locally and globally.

COLLABORATIVE MINISTRIES—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2017–2018 MINISTRY YEAR

Church Planting Team
 Working with 42 active church plants (7% of all EPC churches), a very healthy amount.
Led church planters retreat for 58 church planters, presbytery Church Development Committee chairs, and Church Planting Network leaders.
Key outcomes:
—Three church plants became localized congregations.
—Two new church planting networks were created.
—New church plants being formed in underserved neighborhoods of Memphis, St. Louis, Oakland, Detroit, Nashville, and Charlotte.
—First church-planting partner from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM).
Launched our first church-planting cohort for EPC church planters in their first year of planting.

Church Revitalization (GO Center)
 Expanded personnel: 12 of the EPC’s 14 presbyteries now have a Coordinator to bring the ministry of the GO Center to their respective presbyteries, and bring the revitalization needs and interests of their presbyteries to the GO Center. Also, a cadre of GO Center Vision Team Coaches has been established to assist churches as they implement the GO Center revitalization process.
 Expansion of Resources: Numerous training curricula have been updated and/or fully developed to expand the GO Center menu, both on-site and online.
 Expansion of Engaged Churches: Since the launch of the national church revitalization initiative three years ago, 200 EPC churches have engaged with the GO Center for training, coaching, consulting, or assessment. Additional churches are added every month. With trainers, coordinators, coaches, and curricula now in place, the GO Center is able to provide holistic and sustained ministry.

Next Generation Ministries Council
Expanded number of partner churches with Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), our strategic partner for campus ministries. Currently, there are 28 partnered positions in 16 EPC churches. Seven EPC churches are in various stages of future partnering with CCO. Six EPC churches provide significant support or resources to CCO ministries in—or beyond—their communities.
Growth of Reformed Youth Ministries’ (RYM) training and network support of our churches’ student ministries.
Continued progress of developing a Children’s Ministry support strategy.
Completed transition to the Next Generation Ministries Council with new vision and mission statements.

Women’s Resource Council
Reorganized to include a chair that serves three years and leaders in specific areas.
Blog and Facebook are operational and functioning well.
Promoted development of mentors and making disciples through a WRC video and EPC website resources (www.epc.org/thewell).
Facilitated development of networks in some presbyteries.

World Outreach Committee
Missionary candidate assessment and approval process was completely revised.
Completed thorough mid-term evaluation of Engage 2025.
Engage 2025 Team Leaders (and their families) were brought together and given new tools, resources, and training to carry out their task.
Developed and approved a manual for Business as Mission (BAM).
Developed multi-year ministry plans to deliver specific goods and services to our International Theological Education Network (ITEN) partners.
Recommended one additional cooperative and two approved mission agencies.

Fraternal Relations
Explored a fraternal relationship with the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) and invited ECO to send a representative to the EPC 38th General Assembly.
Addressed the status of planting Hispanic churches in the U.S. and the need for improving communications between EPC churches and the presbytery leadership of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM).
Notified the Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterian Church of Peru (ERPCP) of our intent to enter into a fraternal relationship with them.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2017–2018 ministry year.

CONNECTIONAL SUPPORT

Connectional Support Ministries ensure that EPC constitutional mandates unite and align churches, sessions,  presbyteries, and committees with the General Assembly—Better Together than separately.

FY19 BUDGET: $730,000

Relational Commitments: $330,000 (45%)
General Assembly Event Management: $170,000 (23%)
Communications and Development: $150,000 (21%)
Committee Meetings: $80,000 (11%)

Relational Commitments
Provide fabric and force to connect the EPC: annual GA business sessions and records; ministry, judicial, and special committees; advice and counsel.
Liaison and resource to presbytery Stated Clerks.
Prepare for executive leadership transitions.

General Assembly Event Management
Plan and coordinate all arrangements with host church.
Provide venue for EPC business, worship, equipping, and bonding.

Communications and Development
Inform and inspire all in the EPC to uphold our ethos and better achieve our mission and vision.
Provide EPC materials for churches to make and build Christ-followers and develop leaders.
Promote missional and financial alignment and commitment throughout the EPC.
Website, EPConnection, public and media relations, directed email, Jeremiah Journal video blog, social media, and other digital communications.

Committee Meetings
Travel and meet to plan and achieve more of our vision and mission together than if done separately.

We plan and support activities and actions that protect and bind us together to carry out our mission Better Together as a connectional system.

CONNECTIONAL SUPPORT—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2017–2018 MINISTRY YEAR

Ministerial Vocation Committee
Revamped the Teaching Elder Annual Report to include components of clergy well-being.
Hosted two gatherings of the presbyteries’ Ministerial and Candidates Committees Chairs for mutual encouragement and sharing of best practices.
Revised the Polity Exam, in addition to providing careful oversight of the new Original Language Exam.
Interviewed three candidates as part of Candidates Education Equivalency Program (CEEP) and made appropriate recommendations to their respective presbyteries.
Oversaw the distribution of funds to assist with pastor coaching (through PastorServe) and well-being (through Quiet Waters), with particular focus on helping smaller churches access these resources.

Interim Committee on Ministerial Education
Recommended that Kent Matthews (TE, Presbytery of the Great Plains) be designated Director of the Mentored Apprenticeship Program (MAP) and that he report directly to the Ministerial Vocation Committee (MVC).
Continued study and evaluation of the current Commissioned Pastor (CP) description in the Book of Order in preparation for a recommendation to the General Assembly.
Presented MAP and CP updates to Ministerial and Care of Candidates Chairs.
Proposed CP ministry description changes.

Chaplains Work and Care Committee
Endorsed eight new applicants into both civilian and military chaplaincy, increasing the total number of chaplains from 57 to 65 in June 2018, up from 36 in 2012. Seven more candidates are in the process.
Due to the rapidly growing number of chaplains and related workload increase for the CWCC and Endorser, the CWCC recommended increasing Committee size by 50%.
The CWCC and Endorser streamlined the endorsement process into a much clearer format and results have been highly beneficial and appreciated.
Made critical corrections and edits to the Chaplains and CWCC Procedure and Policy Handbook.
The Endorser revised the EPC Chaplaincy webpage.

Permanent Judicial Commission
Reviewed proposals from the Interim Committee on Ministerial Education (ICME) and overtures from the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic for clarity and consistency of language and for compatibility with other provisions of the Constitution of the EPC.

Presbytery Review Committee
Recommended approval of the Minutes of the presbyteries with exceptions requiring responses by December 31, 2018.
Recommended approval of the responses of the presbyteries to exceptions issued by the 37th General Assembly.
Recommending change in the Rules for Assembly increasing the committee members from four to six.

Nominating Committee
Nominated the Moderator and Moderator-Elect for 2018.
Reviewed vacancies and needs of various committees.
Proposed slate of nominees for various permanent committees for approval by the 2018 General Assembly.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2017–2018 ministry year.

CUSTODIAL OPERATIONS

Custodial Operations ensure prudent stewardship, protection, and management of EPC assets, integrity, finances, information, and employees.

FY19 BUDGET: $670,000

Office Operations and Management: $350,000 (52%)
Finance and Administration: $160,000 (24%)
Technology Infrastructure: $120,000 (18%)
Risk Management: $40,000 (6%)

Office Operations and Management
Support all EPC functions, entities, employees, systems, and churches effectively and efficiently.
Provide office space, equipment, supplies, transaction fees.

Finance and Administration
Protect financial and personnel integrity of the Office of the General Assembly.
Steward contributions to best serve the EPC as commissioned by the GA and designated by donors.
Provide services for World Outreach and EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
Administer the $800,000 Church Loan Fund.

Technology Infrastructure
Provide data, voice, and audio/video tools and systems to boost productivity and effectiveness of committees and Office of the General Assembly staff.
Manage information to serve churches and fulfill our mission.
Oversee effective and secure use of 100% cloud-based systems, network, and hardware.

Risk Management
Maintain proper audits and insurance coverage.
Utilize legal expertise when needed to protect EPC assets, people, interests, and operational freedom.
Oversee four connected (but separate) legal entities to mitigate liabilities.

We supply essential support functions that protect the integrity and boost efficiency of our global operations.

CUSTODIAL OPERATIONS—PERMANENT AND INTERIM COMMITTEES

SUMMARY OF 2017–2018 MINISTRY YEAR

Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI) Board of Directors
Approved its mission statement.
Retirement Plan:
—Grew to $125 million with 1,984 participants from $102 million with 1,889 participants.
—Opened the Brokerage Window to the maximum number of investment alternatives permitted by Fidelity, reduced the number of recommended mutual funds, changed from Fidelity to comparable Vanguard Target Date Retirement Funds, and reduced overall fees but increased their transparency.
Medical Plan:
—Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) was implemented in 2014, the number of participants in the EPC Plan has grown 50% while the average premium per participant has declined by 9%.
—With the exceptions of emergency contraceptives and the gender reassignment procedure, the Plan is consistent with the ACA and its rules and regulations.
—Within most ZIP codes, the premiums for each EPC Medical Plan are competitively priced with comparable Individual insurance policies.
—The medical and other benefit plans broke even financially during 2017. The Medical Reserve Fund during 2017 increased by $100,000 to $7.5 million.
—BRI’s functions were consolidated with the other OGA functions into the Orlando office, and new Executive Director and Benefits Administrator were hired.

EPC Foundation
Completed creation of the Legacy Planning Seminars.
Obtained external financial support for Foundation Field Representative.
Partnering with EPC GO Center to assist their fund-raising efforts.

Click here for complete reports of the work of these committees during the 2017–2018 ministry year.

CONCLUSION

Contributions to the EPC of $23 per member are pooled to help us accomplish ministry that can be done “Better Together” than could be realized separately. This reminds us of an African proverb: “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.”

The Bible provides witness to this truth in both the Old and New Testaments of how Christ’s followers and churches are Better Together:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5).

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:12,14).

Our efforts on behalf of Andrew Brunson are a current and poignant example of how our blend of collaborative, connectional, and custodial infrastructure combine for amplified effect. The advocacy/awareness campaign by EPC leadership representing the 145,000 members of the denomination on behalf of our EPC Teaching Elder wrongly imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016 have contributed to a greater level of prayer support, family encouragement, international awareness, and U.S. Government involvement than could have been accomplished by a single individual, church, or presbytery on their own.

Thank you for your generous support of the ministries of the EPC as we serve “Better Together.”

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