The 33rd General Assembly meeting of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church will be held at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., June 18-22. Stated Clerk Jeffrey Jeremiah said the theme, “’In Christ Alone,’ points us to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, our only source of salvation and our true source of life and hope.”
Assembly preachers include Presbyterian layman and former U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong, career missionary and head of the EPC’s Engage 2025 global initiative to the Muslim world, Dr. Greg Livingstone, Moderator Ken Roberts, host pastor Dr. Jim Dixon and new to the EPC pastor Jim Noble of Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Ariz. During the assembly the moderator-elect, Bill Dudley, pastor of the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church outside Chattanooga, Tenn., will become the EPC moderator.
The June 19 pre-assembly workshop will focus on mobilizing the people of the church for evangelism and mission that matters. Featured speakers will be well-known Christian authors, cultural diagnosticians and Christian apologists Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg. June 20-21 will feature the “business” of the assembly, which includes worship, networking lunches, standing committee meetings and four business sessions.
A big part of the assembly will be the integration of hundreds of new delegates from churches that have realigned their denominational affiliation to the EPC in the past 12 months. Every minister member of the EPC and a complement of elders from every EPC congregation may be seated as commissioners. With more than 400 churches now in the denomination, 1,000 commissioners is not unreasonable to expect.
The business of the assembly is expected to include discussion of a resolution from the Committee on Administration which reads, “In light of the uncertainty, complexity, and risk of implementing of Obamacare, the Committee on Administration (COA) of the EPC proposes … the 33rd General Assembly gives commission power to the COA effective July 1, 2013, to determine whether EPC Medical Benefits Plans should be retained, revised, outsourced or terminated.” Anticipating that many members and their families currently covered by the EPC Medical Benefits Plans will be interested and concerned, the EPC GA has posted video and print resources on its website: www.epc.org/benefits/coa-resolution-to-the-ga/
The assembly also is expected to deal with requests from presbyteries that need to divide geographically in order to accommodate the dramatic growth in the EPC in some regions of the country. Two new presbyteries were formed at the 2012 GA (Pacific and Alleghenies), and it is expected that two more will be formed this year.
One unique and joyful feature of the EPC GA is its intentional design for families. Throughout the assembly there are opportunities for clergy spouses and children from the cradle through high school to fellowship, learn and worship as a part of the EPC experience.
Follow the EPC GA via the denomination’s EPC-community which you can connect with at www.epc.org.