EPNews 2012 01/12

EPNews to be published as a Blog in the near future

EPNews, the primary news media outlet from the EPC’s General Assembly  Office, will soon be published as a blog.  Look for it at your computer in the near future.

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Online Giving Now Available

Credit Card and Bank Transfer Giving is Now Available Online!

You may set up one-time or recurring credit card or bank account transfers.

Churches or individuals can use this system for Per Member or Missionary and Benevolence gifts.

On the home page at www.epc.org, click on "Giving," then click on the "DONATE TODAY" button! ... or click here.

If you have any questions or need help, call Gerri at 734-838-6954 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

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FREE Online Course in Youth Ministry Jan-Mar 2012

There’s still time!  Join our FREE online course in Youth Ministry from Jan-Mar ‘12.

Contact 248.345.2913

Student Ministries is excited to offer its first online course in Youth Ministry from January 16 to March 2012.

Youth Ministry is taught by Covenant Seminary professor, Mark Davis, through their worldwide class room. Mark Steimer, Student Ministries Committee member and youth pastor at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, TN will facilitate the class.

Youth workers will benefit from quality training without leaving home; yet, benefitting from interaction with “classmates” from around the EPC.

The course is ideal for all EPC youth workers (volunteer, part-time, fulltime, interns, veterans and newbies alike). Whether you are a volunteer hoping to get something started for the students at your church or a staff member looking for some continuing education this course, the cost (did we mention it’s FREE) and interaction with other EPCers has it all.

Those taking the course will listen to 2 audio lectures each week and thereafter interact with the group through an online chat room/bulletin board. Conference calls will be scheduled to cover the supplemental reading.

Suggested reading: Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, Doug Fields; Starting Right: Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry, Dean, et. al.; Connecting, Larry Crabb

If you are interested or have question, contact Mark Steimer at or Susan Holland , 248.345.2913.

Click for instructions to sign up for this free online course.

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Conference for Leaders of Small Churches

A networking conference for leaders of small churches will be held at GracePoint in Dubuque, Iowa March 28-30.  The conference is designed to be highly interactive.  If the conference achieves its goal, you will go away with some concrete next steps for ministry and a group of people standing with you in prayer and encouragement.  Ed McCallum, the General Assembly's Assistant Stated Clerk, will be the main presenter.  Prior to his ministry at the General Assembly, Ed served as the pastor of a small congregation and did his Doctor of Ministry work on missional small churches.  More details will be coming in the very near future. Contact Ed at if you want to be included in informational mailings about the conference.

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Interested in becoming a Missionary with EPC World Outreach or know someone who is interested?

The EPC World Outreach department will host “Encounter WO 2012” at the EPC headquarters in Livonia, Michigan on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17.  Those people sensing God’s call to cross cultural missions ministry, to be part of a church planting team “where the church isn’t” should contact us immediately for the registration materials to attend this life-challenging event.

Participants will meet and get to know the nine denominational World Outreach Committee members from across the U.S.A., the World Outreach home staff and field staff, as well as several World Outreach missionary couples direct from the field and some preparing to go to the field, who will be sharing their stories of how God led them to their ministries.

Rev. Dr. Greg Livingstone will lead a session on Engage 2025, Rev. Phil Thrash will speak about the new World Outreach Missionary Prayer Network (MPN), Rev. Dr. Jim Murphy will speak on the new World Outreach Member Care Department and Rev. Bruce A. will speak about the new World Outreach International Theological Network (ITEN).

Registrants will also hear the EPC World Outreach vision to recruit youth throughout the EPC denomination to full time missionary ministry to go to the remaining hard places on earth where the church does not exist (yet).

Those interested in being challenged at “Encounter WO 2012” should contact Patti Moore at or (734) 838-6945.

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

by Jeff Jeremiah

Late December-early January has always been a great time for me to reflect back with gratitude for all the blessings God has graciously given me in the previous year.  As I think about the EPC in 2011, I’m amazed at the way He used us to make a difference for the Gospel and the Kingdom.

On May 8, GA Moderator Rob Liddon led an EPC delegation that included World Outreach Director George Carey and former Directors Dick Ostreicher and Jeff Chadwick that celebrated the formation of the Association of Reformed Churches of Kazakhstan.  EPC World Outreach missionaries were critical to the planting of this new denomination of six churches in central Asia.

In June at our General Assembly, we commissioned World Outreach missionaries Jim and Barbie Murphy, Bruce and Ellie Anderson, Dave and Rivers Partin, Pat* and George and Cynthia*.  In addition, we commissioned Home Missionary John Bueno who is helping us pursue Hispanic and multi-ethnic outreach in the U.S.

The Lord continued to bring new churches into the EPC; in 2011 we grew from 297 to 323 churches. The way our new churches and their leaders have enthusiastically embraced the doctrine, commitments and culture of the EPC has been a great encouragement to all of us.  To help accommodate this growth and to ultimately strengthen the life and mission of our presbyteries, three new presbyteries - Rivers and Lakes, Pacific and Alleghenies presbyteries were formed and began their ministries.  From the outset, the leadership of our three newest presbyteries has been outstanding.

What can we anticipate the Lord has for us in 2012?  I trust that we will continue to humbly and faithfully follow the leadership of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  He is on a mission and calls us to give our all to His work.  I believe in the coming months He will open more doors of opportunity for us in the U.S. and around the globe.  In all these opportunities, I hope we will move forward together with confidence, hope and joy in Him!

(*full name not included due to field of service)

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EPC Women In Ministry Against Human Trafficking

So how are you beginning the new year?

Kathy Burr (Cherry Hills Community Church, Highlands Ranch, CO) and Sherry Irvin (Christ EPC, Houston, TX) are beginning 2012 by joining 46 international women to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa as participants in The Freedom Climb sponsored by Operation Mobilization. Funds generated by the climb will affect the lives of 10,000 women and children who have been victims of trafficking by supporting projects that break the cycles of poverty, shame, slavery and despair.

The climb is now underway as the climbers from around the world gathered in Nairobi earlier this week.  On Wednesday, January 11, National Anti-Trafficking Awareness Day, they began the 4 ½ day climb to reach the summit.  To return trip will take 1 ½ days.  They have been training for months and are accompanied by professional guides.

The choice of this initiative isn't just random. These women are physically making a statement.  Mt. Kilimanjaro's summit is Uhuru Peak.  Uhuru is Swahili for freedom.  As these women make this climb, they are symbolizing the huge climb to freedom that millions of enslaved women and children worldwide face daily.

Kathy and Sherry are showing the powerful and creative ways that are possible to engage in the fight against the evils of human trafficking.  We are hearing more stories of how God is moving among women in the EPC to get involved. The Freedom Climbers remind us to never underestimate what we are capable of doing.

In February, EPC Women In Ministry will launch a new initiative to engage our women in the fight against trafficking through the "Set Free Project".  An essential aspect of the project is the educational resources to be used by leaders in encouraging and equipping women in our churches to become modern-day abolitionists of human trafficking in their place of ministry.  These resources will be available in February 2012.

Kathy Burr _ Cherry Hills Sherry Irvin _ ChristEPC.HoustonTX
Kathy Burr (Cherry Hills Community Church) Sherry Irvin (Christ EPC, Houston, TX)

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