NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
The National Leadership Team (NLT) report to the 42nd General Assembly of its work during 2021-2022, plus recommendations for consideration by the Assembly.
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RE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies
SUMMARY OF WORK
1. Supported, evaluated, and contributed to the changes within the Office of the General Assembly consistent with the leadership our new Stated Clerk, Dean Weaver.
2. Continued the oversight of the strategic priorities of church planting, church revitalization, effective biblical leadership, and global movement of churches—specifically the importance of their alignment in the service of the Great Commission, evangelism.
3. Conducted the business of the church by examining structures, administering processes, and stewarding the resources of the EPC, including evaluating and developing the potential future funding model that has come to be known as “POI” (Percentage of Income).
4. Evaluated the call and the need to address the weighty issues of the coming persecution of the American Church and separately, the ongoing issues of race.
42-08 That the 42nd General Assembly approve the FY2023 Administration Budget.
42-09 That the 42nd General Assembly approve the FY2023 Special Projects.
42-10 That the 42nd General Assembly approve the establishment of a Moderator-appointed Ad Interim Committee to write a Pastoral Letter of Racial Lament and Hope.
42-11 That the 42nd General Assembly approve the transition from “PMA” (Per Member Asking) to “POI” (Percentage of Income) as the primary means of funding the EPC’s mission and vision.
42-28 That the 42nd General Assembly approve the Minutes of the 41st General Assembly.
WORK OF THE COMMITTEE
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
It was an exciting year to conduct business in the Office of the General Assembly. We welcomed Rev. Dr. Dean Weaver into the fullness of his position as Stated Clerk. Along with him came a new dynamic to the office. Included at the table with the NLT were many valued members of the OGA Staff. Information flow and collaboration were the hallmarks of the new working style.
Recognizing that we are in a new ministry era, the NLT began the year with a book study. In our August meeting at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver, we discussed Tod Bolsinger’s book Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. The study gave us many insights and prepared us well for the challenges of adaptive leadership.
We are very blessed to have so many gifted people working on behalf of the General Assembly.
The NLT established a Strategic Priorities subcommittee that works alongside our other subcommittees: Personnel Committee and Finance Committee. Also, we now have in place a staff person in the Office of the General Assembly responsible for each of the Strategic Priorities. Structures are being changed and resources are being spent to ensure that these priorities are more than just aspirational.
Gabriel de Guia has completed his first year as Executive Director of World Outreach, working diligently alongside Assistant Director Jason Dunn. Effectively gathering information from the World Outreach organization, they have revised the World Outreach Master Plan. In addition to this, the Fraternal Relations Committee is making significant efforts to refresh their work. The NLT monitored their progress over the course of this last year. Thanks to their efforts the EPC is positioned nicely to advance the gospel around the world.
Effective Biblical Leadership:
This year, work was begun by Assistant Clerk Jerry Iamurri and then concluded by CCO Michael Davis to bring us this year’s Leadership Institute. Thank you to both of these men. Michael Davis, also new to his role, has been busy creating a culture of collaboration. The conversations he is facilitating and the best practices he is gathering should produce much fruit across the denomination. Pipelines and pathways to pastoral leadership are being discussed and decided. Pastor and spouse retreats were sponsored and held, along with other efforts made, to address the keeping and care of our pastors and their families. The NLT recognizes the breadth and importance of this Strategic Priority to the future of the EPC.
Thanks to the passion and persistence of veteran leader Bob Stauffer in his new role as Director of Church Health, a National Church Health team has been established. Cooperating with most Presbyteries, 14 Church Health Coordinators have been hired and the work of revitalizing our churches is being shared. In many conversations around the NLT table, valuable resources have been presented and reviewed. Among the most promising is the Three Circles tool for evangelism.
The other example of bringing the right people to the NLT table, Tom Ricks will soon assume his role as the National Director of Church Planting. Over the course of this past year the team has heard numerous updates from Tom. Planting opportunities are outpacing our ability to find planters. Coming out of a difficult time, our current church planters and planting efforts remain strong.
The October and April meetings of the NLT are primarily focused on business and housekeeping. Strategic planning discussions that have happened in the other two meetings culminate in motions and recommendations. The Personnel Committee and the Finance Committee presented their work. We heard from OGA staff Marti Ratcliff (Human Resources Manager) and Pat Coelho (Chief Financial Officer). The budget was discussed and approved.
We were pleased, through special giving, to be able to help with disaster relief efforts both domestically and around the world. Internally our most pressing challenge is the funding of the future as we pursue our Strategic Priorities. This year, acting on the recommendations from the Giving Culture Study Committee, the NLT took the idea of switching “PMA” (Per Member Asking) to “POB” (Percentage of Budget) to each of our Presbyteries. Responding to information gathered in the fall presentations, it was decided that the “POB” would become “POI” (Percentage of Income). With increased participation over time, we believe that “POI” as a funding model will meet our financial need. Revisiting the “POI” in the spring, we found broad support for this model. Therefore you see that the NLT is recommending the switch to “POI” (Percentage of Income) as our funding model.
PERSECUTION AND RACE
We were pleased to support and encourage the work of our Moderator, Brad Strait, in collaboration with Rev. Dr. Andrew Brunson. They worked over the course of this year to develop a video series and corresponding resources to prepare the American Church for coming persecution. The calling and conviction of these two men was evident as they brought their concern to us. We are pleased to be featuring a portion of their work along with a panel discussion as part of this year’s Leadership Institute. We anticipate that the resources that they have created will have long-term value and we appreciate their work.
It has been placed on the heart of many and brought to our attention by others that the EPC should speak to the issue of race more definitively. For this reason the NLT took on a moderated book discussion and spent a significant time in conversation and prayer about what we as the church might do to address the topic of race. The resulting recommendation is that a Moderator-appointed Ad Interim Committee be established to write a Pastoral Letter of Racial Lament and Hope. This is not in response to any particular incident, but instead a carefully considered work in the course of perhaps two years to speak the truth of the Bible regarding race. Lament is appropriate, and more importantly the hope of the gospel is powerful. Therefore, The NLT recommends to the Assembly that they approve this Moderator-appointed committee.
PERSONAL REMARKS FROM GLENN MEYERS
It has been a blessing and an honor to have met and worked with so many talented people. It has become obvious to me that we are indeed saved for good works prepared ahead of time for us. It is clear that God has gifted each of the people I have worked with and has given them a heart for the work He has called them to. To all of the people I have worked with over the course of this past six years, to all of the staff of the Office of the General Assembly—including Zenaida Bermudez, Bart Francescone, and Brian Smith—I am so thankful for your help, for your gracious hospitality, and for your loving fellowship.
The NLT recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the FY2023 Administration Budget.
The NLT recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the FY2023 Special Projects.
The NLT recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the establishment of a Moderator-appointed Ad Interim Committee to write a Pastoral Letter of Racial Lament and Hope.
The NLT recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the transition from “PMA” (Per Member Asking) to “POI” (Percentage of Income) as the the primary means of funding the EPC’s mission and vision.
The NLT recommends that the 42nd General Assembly approve the Minutes of the 41st General Assembly.
Glenn Meyers (Chairman)
RE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies
RE, Presbytery of the Great Plains
RE, Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes
John Ivy Jr.
RE, Presbytery of the Central South
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Southwest
TE, Presbytery of the East
Brad Strait, Moderator
TE, Presbytery of the West
Dean Weaver, Stated Clerk
TE, Presbytery of the Alleghenies
RE, Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean
RE, Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic
RE, Presbytery of the Midwest
RE, Presbytery of the Gulf South
RE, Presbytery of the West
TE, Presbytery of the Southeast
Rosemary Lukens, Moderator-elect
RE, Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest
August 16-18, 2021: Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church (Denver, Colorado)
October 12, 2021: Video/in-person hybrid, Office of the General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
December 20, 2021: Email exchange
January 18-19, 2022: Office of the General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
April 19-20, 2022: Office of the General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
Glenn Meyers, Chairman