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GA 2020 NETWORKING LUNCHES

A called meeting of the General Assembly is scheduled for May 1 at 4:00 p.m. EST to approve a motion to reschedule the 40th General Assembly from June 23-26, 2020, to September 17-18, 2020. The called meeting will be conducted as a video conference. The motion that the called meeting of the General Assembly will be asked to approve is:

The 40th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is rescheduled from June 23-26, 2020, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee, to September 17-18, 2020, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee.

The proposed September 17-18 meeting will be business only, with no Leadership Institute on Tuesday or Wednesday. Office of the General Assembly staff is exploring the possibility of providing virtual as well as on-site participation for Commissioners.

The information below reflects the schedule and speakers as of March 2020 and is subject to significant change depending on the outcome of the called meeting on May 1. 

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Take advantage of connecting with others with similar ministry interests at the 40th General Assembly. Pick up your lunch in the Hope Church Lobby (near the Hope Shoppe) and enjoy a time of fellowship and enrichment from 12:00-1:15 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, all lunches are on the Hope Church campus.

Wednesday, June 24
Thursday, June 25
Friday, June 26

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24

ARE YOU A GUILT-INNOCENCE OR HONOR-SHAME CHURCH?

Organization: GO Center
Host: Bill Senyard
Location: TBA

As Emerging Adults in the U.S. shift more toward an “Honor-Shame” paradigm, they are beginning to experience a notable cognitive dissonance related to their largely “Guilt-Innocence” churches and denominations. Could this explain the exit from churches by Millennials? Might it also explain why Generation Y feels that their church has become judgmental and insensitive? Bill Senyard will identify important issues in play and discuss intentional ways to shift from being a Guilt-Innocence church to an Honor-Shame church without offending everyone. Central to the discussion is the question: How would an Honor-Shame church differ from a Guilt-Innocence church in the areas of substance and goal of evangelism; messaging (source, substance, and goal); atmosphere of the community; church discipline; and the nature and source of relationship and Shalom.

Bill Senyard is President of Gospel App Ministries. He also serves as Discipleship and Millennial Ministry Specialist for the GO Center of the EPC’s Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic.

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY IN MINISTRY LEADERS

Organization: HopeWell Ministries
Host: Cron Gibson
Location: TBA

Depression, anxiety, and even some form of emotional trauma are common experiences for people in the ministry. Our time together will consist of gaining a Gospel-centered understanding of depression which will take into account what we know from neurobiology, developing a roadmap map for emotional and relational resiliency, and tools with which to help others.

Cron Gibson is Founder and Executive Director of the Hopewell Equipping and Counseling Ministry Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

EFFECTIVE SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR CHURCH LEADERS

Organization: Vanderbloemen Search Group
Host: William Vanderbloemen
Location: TBA

Every pastor is an interim pastor. Your church’s leadership succession plan directly impacts your church’s legacy and long-term health. Not only is it necessary, it’s also biblical. In this session, you’ll learn how to prepare your church, your staff, and your pastor for healthy leadership transitions and succession planning at every level. You’ll learn how to define succession for your church and recognize why it should be reevaluated annually, know when to start planning for succession and establishing a communication plan, and better evaluate the effectiveness of your church’s succession planning.

William Vanderbloemen is the founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group.

FIVE DYNAMICS FOR NAVIGATING CHANGE

Organization: The GO Center
Host: Ken Priddy
Location: TBA

Change is a necessary ingredient and catalyst for church revitalization, but congregations tend to resist change. Five Dynamics for Navigating Change examines the hazardous terrain of leading a congregation through change. Organizations from powerhouses in business and industry, such as Kodak and Sears, down to shrinking, aging churches in America’s small towns suffer from the effects of declining over time. This plateau and decline shows itself as an inevitability, but timely spiritual and strategic intervention can set a church’s course back on track to health, growth, and multiplication. Boost your church’s forward movement with these five dynamics and more.

Ken Priddy is Executive Director of the GO Center of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic.

GORDON-CONWELL SEMINARY CONNECT

Organization: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Host: Danielle DeLong
Location: TBA

Join your fellow Gordon-Conwell alumni for an Alumni Connect Lunch. You’ll have an opportunity to connect with fellow alums and hear updates about the seminary. All alumni and spouses are invited to attend, as well as prospective Gordon-Conwell students.

HOW YOUR WORK BRINGS SIGNIFICANCE TO YOUR GENEROSITY LIFESTYLE

Organization: EPC World Outreach and EPC Generosity Resources
Hosts: John, Bob Welsh
Location: TBA

Our Lord wants each of us to be active participants in His Great Commission. “Come Find Your Place” as we will cover in detail a handful of ways to utilize your business and professional experiences, gifts, and talents. See how the Great Commission and having a generous lifestyle brings significance to your life.

John serves as International Business as Mission (IBAM) Coordinator for EPC World Outreach. Bob Welsh is Field Representative for EPC Generosity Resources.

MORAL INJURY AFFECTS EVERYONE

Organization: EPC Chaplains Work and Care Committee
Host: Jan McCormack
Location: TBA

This Networking Lunch is designed for Chaplains and anyone interested in Chaplaincy. McCormack’s presentation is her final session of the Chaplains Workshop but is applicable to anyone who has a passion for ministering their workplace.

Jan McCormack is Associate Professor of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling, and the Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado.

PASTORAL FLOURISHING: LEARNING TO LEAD WITH HEART

Organization: Tin Man Ministries and Kardia Collective
Host: Brandon Addison
Location: TBA

Leading others and pastoring congregations in our current cultural moment requires an integrative approach that addresses the whole person. Now more than ever, most people live life alone and trapped in the prison of their own intellect, morality, and self-will. Despite being hardwired for intimate relationships, our fear and shame keep us detached from our own hearts hiding from God, ourselves, and others. This is not living fully—this is barely surviving.
 Congregations, pastors, and church planters all have been affected by this reality. How do lead ourselves well? How do we create space for lasting change without burning out? How do we lead with heart?

Join Sarah Lawrence Allen and Brandon Addison, who both coach and guide executive and ministry leaders through Tin Man Ministries, a coaching, consulting, and counseling organization that is rooted in Scripture, informed by the Spiritual Root System, and grounded in a deep understanding of the pressures, conflict, and moral issues faced by leaders in today’s fast-paced work environment.

Sarah Lawrence Allen is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Brandon Addison serves as Pastor of The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado, and is co-founder of Denver City Forum, an organization that promotes civility and curiosity through engaging divisive topics of our day. 

TOPICS IN REFORMED THEOLOGY

Organization: Westminster Society
Host: Zach Hopkins
Location: TBA

Details to come.

Zach Hopkins serves as Pastor of Edgington Presbyterian Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois, and is the current Chairman of the EPC’s Theology Committee.

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

Organization: EPC Women’s Resource Council
Host: Shannon Basso
Location: TBA

What is the gospel? It’s a word Christians use regularly. But what does it really mean, and how are we to share it and live a life that reflects its truth? Come and be equipped to understand and share the gospel as you “go” into the world with Christ. 

Shannon Basso is the Director of Women’s Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida, and Founder of BECOMING Magazine. She is passionate about educating and equipping women with life-changing biblical truth and is grateful to be a part of a community of women who devote themselves to this cause. Shannon and her husband, Justin, have three children: Evelyn, Will, and Olivia.

WHAT DOES YOUR “PERSONAL WELLBEING” LOOK LIKE?

Organization: EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
Host: Bart Francescone
Location: TBA

Are you too busy to take time to manage your own financial, physical, and mental wellbeing? Sheep need a healthy shepherd, and financial stresses and health concerns can drag us down. Come to hear some sobering facts about the toll our stressful lives are having on our bodies and mental outlook. This session is designed to promote awareness of some of the ugly statistics, discuss solutions, and point participants to health and financial management resources available through EPC Benefit Resources, Inc., and our benefit partners.

Bart Francescone is Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI).

THURSDAY, JUNE 25

BUILDING YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS

AND USING YOUR MINISTERIAL HOUSING ALLOWANCE

Organization: EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
Host: Bart Francescone
Location: TBA

Join BRI’s Executive Director for an informational session about the EPC’s 403(b)(9) Retirement Plan, and the investment counseling and retirement planning resources available to help you build your retirement savings and guard against losses. Information on the Ministerial Housing Allowance and how to use the tax-free benefit will also be presented. BRI and Fidelity staff will be available to field any benefit-related questions.

FEMALE TEACHING ELDERS (AND CANDIDATES)

Organization: EPC Women’s Resource Council
Host: Anne Horton
Location: TBA

All female Teaching Elders (and female candidates for TE ordination) are invited to join us for an opportunity to connect, encourage, and pray for one another. Please note that this lunch is specifically designed and reserved for female Teaching Elders (and ordination candidates).

Anne Horton serves as Pastor of Cedarville United Presbyterian Church in Cedarville, Ohio.

FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF A VITAL CHURCH

Organization: The GO Center
Host: Ken Priddy
Location: TBA

Much is said these days about church vitality and church revitalization. Why? Because the American church is largely in plateau or decline, experiencing little to no conversion growth. Churches will not regain evangelistic vitality by accident, but will through intentional and sacrificial decision-making that addresses both spiritual and strategic realities. Fundamental Elements of a Vital Church presents and briefly examines a number of categorical actions that, when taken with robust commitment, lead a congregation to greater Great Commandment and Great Commission vitality. The harvest is plentiful and these fundamentals will help your church expand its labor force in both number and effectiveness.

Ken Priddy is Executive Director of the GO Center of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic.

HELPING YOUR CHURCH REGAIN ITS VOICE FOR LIFE

Organization: Presbyterians Protecting Life
Host: Deborah Hollifield
Location: TBA

The language of life is the vocabulary of relationship, beginning with the relationship between God and His people in terms of courtship, romance, marriage, and childbearing. The commodification and cheapening of human life affects everything from healthcare, abortion, education, women’s rights, gender issues, pornography, human trafficking, prostitution, child abuse, domestic violence, adoption, suicide, assisted suicide, euthanasia, and basic human rights. Help your congregation connect the dots between these difficult issues and the relationship difficulties we face on a daily basis. When we are able to enter into life conversations from God’s point of view, we will equip them to have the confidence to speak words of life into their church, work, school and family contexts. Deborah Hollifield shares practical steps for equipping Presbyterians to champion life at every stage.

Deborah Hollifield is Executive Director of Presbyterians Protecting Life, based in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania.

NO LITTLE PEOPLE, NO LITTLE PLACES

Organization: EPC Smaller Church Network
Host: Ed McCallum and Scott Downing
Location: TBA

A church small in number does not have to be small in mission, vision, calling, or in the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Pastors of smaller churches are not small in service to the people and places of their calling—they are there by God’s purpose. Enjoy a time to connect with others in smaller (ordinary) ministry settings and talking about a theme Francis Schaeffer once preached: “No Little People, No Little Places.”

Ed McCallum is Associate for Site and Program Management with the International Theological Education Network of EPC World Outreach. He previously served as Assistant Stated Clerk for the EPC for 20 years. Scott Downing serves as Coordinator/Coach for Rural Community, based in Danville, California.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A COACHING RELATIONSHIP

Organization: PastorServe
Host: Wade Brown
Location: TBA

During this Networking Lunch, you’ll learn more about the effectiveness of a coaching relationship and the difference coaching is making in the lives of EPC pastors. The PastorServe Team will interview a panel of EPC pastors who are currently in a coaching relationship.

Wade Brown serves as Regional Executive Director (Rocky Mountain Region) for PastorServe.

THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERVIEWING THE SPOUSE IN THE HIRING PROCESS

Organization: Vanderbloemen Search Group
Host: William Vanderbloemen
Location: TBA

In all the years I’ve helped churches find their leaders, I’ve seen that there is no greater dealmaker or deal-breaker to a successful pastoral transition than the health of the pastor’s marriage and family. Most churches tell their pastoral candidates that the church has little or no expectations of their spouse, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that interviewing the spouse is not a necessary part of the hiring process. The spouse being supportive and excited about a transition is a big part of making a successful pastoral hire. In this session, you’ll learn why interviewing the spouse is a critical part of the interview process, how to incorporate the spouse into the process, and questions you should ask to make sure you’re making the right hire.

William Vanderbloemen is the founder and CEO of the Vanderbloemen Search Group.

THE VALUE OF SELF-AWARENESS IN LIFE AND MINISTRY

Organization: PIR Ministries
Host: Roy Yanke
Location: TBA

The hidden secret of healthy and effective ministry is a growing sense of self-awareness. We will focus our time on strategies and tools to enhance our self-awareness for ministry leadership. As a result, we can sharpen the shape of our calling and lean into our strengths for God’s glory. This lunch includes an introduction to the PRO-D Assessment.

Roy Yanke is Executive Director of Pastor-in-Residence (PIR) Ministries and a Ruling Elder for Grace Chapel EPC in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 

TOPICS IN REFORMED THEOLOGY

Organization: Westminster Society
Host: Zach Hopkins
Location: TBA

Details to come.

Zach Hopkins serves as Pastor of Edgington Presbyterian Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois, and is the current Chairman of the EPC’s Theology Committee.

WHAT IS A TRANSITIONAL PASTOR AND WHY DO WE NEED ONE?

Organization: Presbytery of the Alleghenies
Host: Bob Stauffer
Location: TBA

Join Bob Stauffer and explore the area of transitional leadership and in particular ask the question, “why do we even need a transitional pastor?” The discussion is intended to answer for pastors, churches, and presbyteries the question of why they should even consider utilizing transitional pastors and what is involved.

Bob Stauffer is the Regional Church Development Coordinator for the Presbytery of the Alleghenies.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26

AN ITEN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU!

Organization: EPC World Outreach
Host: Bruce Anderson
Location: TBA

We have grown! ITEN’s work is now at a new stage where we need ‘champion churches’ to adopt our sites for long-term engagement and to identify potential candidates for our staff. You will hear some stories from ITEN staff, existing “champion churches,” and a joint project with Third Millennium. ITEN is EPC World Outreach’s ministry for theological education and leadership development among those with least access to the gospel. ITEN assists 72 proven leaders in more than 10 countries to grow their training sites for missional expansion from their 1,252 churches. ITEN’s work involves much more than simply sending short-term teachers. We provide a wide range of services that develop all aspects of a theological school. We are also eager to hear what captivates you about this kind of work.

Bruce Anderson serves as Coordinator of EPC World Outreach’s International Theological Education Network (ITEN).

ASSESSING CHURCH PLANTERS

Organization: Aspen Grove Church Planting Network
Host: Shane Sunn
Location: TBA

Details to come.

Shane Sunn serves as Lead Pastor of Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado, and directs the EPC’s Aspen Grove Church Planting Network.

DISABILITY MINISTRY AND MY CHURCH

Organization: Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic
Host: Michelle Munger
Location: TBA

Our churches often have barriers up everywhere the disabled can see that most do not. In this lunch hour we will quickly explore those barriers, then we’ll take time to share specific instances of how we overcame a barrier to be better welcoming. Do you have an unhappy story? Please come and share and together we will discuss ideas on how to make it right.

Michelle Munger serves as Associate Director of the Faith Inclusion Network of Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia. She holds a Masters in Religious Education from Liberty Theological Seminary and is the author of Margins of Grace: Becoming Champions of Faith and Family in the Midst of Disability.

EQUIPPING WOMEN FOR FAITHFUL FLOURISHING IN A SEXUALIZED CULTURE

Organization: EPC Next Generation Ministries Council
Host: Brandy Miller
Location: TBA

Insecurity, anxiety, eating disorders, suicide, and self-harm are rising in our young women more than any other group in the country. At a time in which women can run for President and fly fighter jets, there is utter confusion about what it means to be an empowered woman. This is just as true in our churches. The church often lacks tools to equip women with truth about their intellect, beauty, body, sexuality, and ultimately their ability to uniquely bear the Image of God in the world. This talk will present an overview of the mixed messages culture offers to young women and how those messages affect how she sees herself and understands her identity. We will discuss ways to equip and empower a young woman toward what is good, true, and beautiful about themselves and what they have to uniquely offer to those around them.

Brandy Miller is the founder of Redeeming Beauty, a ministry that equips young women to navigate culture and empowers them to live out biblical womanhood in discipling relationships. Her husband, Matt Miller, is Pastor of Woodland Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

GLOBAL CHURCH AND IMPLICATIONS FOR MISSION

Organization: EPC World Outreach
Host: Robert A.
Location: TBA

We rejoice that the Church around the world has grown and the majority of Christians are outside of the Western countries. What are the implications for how we work together as EPC to see the least reached peoples hear the gospel?

Robert A. serves as the Northeast Area Associate for Mission Advancement for EPC World Outreach.

IN THE GAME OF LIFE—YOU NEED A COACH!

Organization: PIR Ministries
Host: Gail Goolsby
Location: TBA

This discussion is designed to illuminate the benefits of life coaching for ministry leaders. Join a PIR-credentialed coach, and hear a personal testimony from an EPC pastor who has utilized coaching services from PIR ministries.

Gail Goolsby is a certified Life Coach and member of the EPC’s Women’s Resource Council.

THE LAST PART OF A MAN TO BE SAVED IN HIS WALLET

Organization: EPC Generosity Resources
Host: Bob Welsh
Location: TBA

Join us for discussion of how to double your church’s income without asking for money, the five stages of giving, redemptive stewardship training, and how your church can start a generosity ministry.

Bob Welsh is Field Representative for EPC Generosity Resources.

LGBTQ: LOVING WELL THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE LETTERS

Organization: One by One/Where Grace Abounds
Host: Scott Kingry
Location: TBA

How can we as a church provide care for the men, women, adolescents, and families in our congregations who are struggling (or not struggling) with issues surrounding sexuality and gender? In this workshop we’ll take a few minutes to discuss some factors to consider and pastoral questions church leaders can proactively be asking. We’ll spend the bulk of the time running some possible scenarios, such as: a gay couple begins to attend your church; a long time friend “comes out” and is in church leadership; an adolescent in the youth group begins to transition to the opposite gender; and more. Some churches already are navigating these complex issues, so we’ll discuss these together and gather the collective wisdom. Pray for a rich and helpful conversation!

Scott Kingry is Program Director for Where Grace Abounds, a ministry to guide and support men and women who seek to understand sexuality and relationship, and to inspire all people to know and personally appropriate God’s plan for their sexuality and relationships.

THE GREAT COMMISSION ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

Organization: CCO Campus Ministry
Host: Jen Burkholder
Location: TBA

More than 20 million students from around the world are studying at U.S. colleges and universities. Only 2 percent of those students are being reached by gospel ministries—this makes the university campus one of the most strategic mission fields in the world! CCO Campus Ministry works to see a generation of college students transformed by the power of Jesus Christ and His gospel, in partnership with the local church, reaching the world for the glory of God. Come and hear more about the work God is doing in the lives of students and how your church can partner with the CCO to make disciples of every nation through campus ministry.

Jen Burkholder is Western Pennsylvania Partnership Coordinator for the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) and Chair of the EPC Next Generation Ministries Council.

TOPICS IN REFORMED THEOLOGY

Organization: Westminster Society
Host: Zach Hopkins
Location: TBA

Details to come.

Zach Hopkins serves as Pastor of Edgington Presbyterian Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois, and is the current Chairman of the EPC’s Theology Committee.

WHAT DOES YOUR “PERSONAL WELLBEING” LOOK LIKE?

Organization: EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.
Host: Bart Francescone
Location: TBA

Are you too busy to take time to manage your own financial, physical, and mental wellbeing? Sheep need a healthy shepherd, and financial stresses and health concerns can drag us down. Come to hear some sobering facts about the toll our stressful lives are having on our bodies and mental outlook. This session is designed to promote awareness of some of the ugly statistics, discuss solutions, and point participants to health and financial management resources available through EPC Benefit Resources, Inc., and our benefit partners.

 

Bart Francescone is Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc. (BRI).

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