Evangelical Presbyterian Church to conduct annual General Assembly in Memphis

Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) poised to form 2 presbyteries and ratify amended means for ordaining women ministers

The EPC will meet June 21-25 in Cordova, Tennessee, at Hope Presbyterian Church for its 31st General Assembly. General Assemblies are the annual gatherings of the EPC, where church representatives vote on committee recommendations and reports, vote on presbytery overtures, and conduct other business of the denomination. There are also workshops, other training opportunities, and times of worship and prayer available during the 4-1/2 day gathering.

This year’s votes concern:

* Ratifying last year’s recommendation, approved by the required three-fourths of the presbyteries, to amend the EPC Book of Government so congregations that want to elect a female teaching elder (TE), but exist in a presbytery that would not approve a female teaching elder candidate, can petition to become part of a neighboring presbytery that does permit congregations to elect a female teaching TE.

* The formation of two new presbyteries – the Allegheny Presbytery (eastern Ohio, western New York, western Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia) and the Presbytery of the Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, western Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington).

* The recognition of and a request for formal relations with the Association of Reformed Churches of Kazakhstan (ARCK). The ARCK formed primarily from EPC church plants.

* The creation of a new executive-level position – Chief Operating Officer – to oversee the business/non-program departments of the EPC’s Office of the General Assembly.

* To extend by one year the Ministerial Vocation Committee’s study for a greater definition of the calling of chaplains, especially in light of the increasing number of corporate chaplaincies.

This will also be the last meeting of the New Wineskins Transitional Presbytery. This non-geographic presbytery was established to receive churches dismissed by the Presbyterian Churches in the USA [PC(USA)] and will dissolve at the conclusion of the 32nd General Assembly in 2012.

Wednesday’s all-day workshop speaker is Ed Stetzer who will speak on the topic of transformational churches. Mr. Stetzer is the Director of Lifeway Research. He has planted churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia; trained pastors and church planters on five continents; and written dozens of articles and books.

More than 950 people from around the world are expected to gather in Memphis for this year’s General Assembly; this is the second highest attendance of any of the EPC’s 31 General Assemblies. At this Assembly, 474 voting commissioners are registered who will represent 183 of the EPC’s 306 churches, which are both all-time attendance records. Also attending will be 40 exhibitor and official guests from the ARCK, the Christian Reformed church in North America, San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Yucatan, Mexico), and the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB).

More than 115,000 people attend EPC churches nationwide. To learn more about the EPC, visit www.EPC.org. To learn more about the New Wineskin Association of Churches, visit www.EPCNewWineskins.org [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]