Registration is under way for the 2014 National Gathering of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians and the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP).
The gathering will take place Aug. 18-20 in Dallas, Texas, at the Intercontinental Dallas Hotel. It will be the first gathering since January 2013 when the groups met in Orlando, Fla.
The theme of this year’s gathering is “From Consumerism to Community.” More than 1,200 people are expected to gather from across the Reformed family for two days of worship, connection, training, Gospel teaching, prayer and inspiration. Stories of missional community and growth in PCUSA and ECO churches also will be shared.
Confirmed speakers for the event include Jim Singleton, president of FOP; Alan Hirsch, founding director of Forge Mission Training Network; Katherine Leary Alsdorf, co-author of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work; Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken, co-authors of Renovation of the Church and co-pastors at Oak Hills Church; Kevin Ford, chief visionary officer of TAG Consulting and co-author of The Leadership Triangle; and Anna Kent, director of Mission Affinity Groups for ECO and FOP.
The event kicks off Monday, Aug. 18 with an ECO Synod meeting at 9 a.m., and opening worship, led by Singleton, starts at 1 p.m.
In addition to discussions led by the featured speakers, there will be a number of breakout sessions offered on a variety of topics throughout the gathering.
The registration fee, which includes lunch on Aug. 19, is $180 on or before Aug. 1 and $225 after Aug. 1.
To view a short video promotion for the event, visit http://www.2014nationalgathering.com/.
To register for the National Gathering, visit https://www.intre.org/index.php?168.
The Fellowship of Presbyterians got its start began in January 2011 as a conversation between seven Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors who wanted to find new ways to encourage each other in common faith, ministry and mission. Those pastors expressed concern about the health of the PCUSA as a denomination, where membership has dropped steadily over 40 years and ongoing disputes over theology and bureaucracy were creating a culture of contention rather than Kingdom vitality.
The seven pastors issued a nationwide call to others of like mind who envisioned a new future for congregations to connect and grow while sharing a Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical heritage. In August 2011, more than 1,900 people of diverse ages and ethnicities answered that call in Minneapolis.
In January 2012, a Covenanting Conference in Orlando solidified The Fellowship of Presbyterians, and they launched the new Reformed body, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Between the Minneapolis and Orlando gatherings, 1,159 unique congregations were represented.
In August 2012, two regional gatherings in Colorado Springs and Atlanta gave attendees a first-hand experience of what life in The Fellowship and ECO would be like. Since that time, hundreds of congregations and individuals have joined The Fellowship of Presbyterians and begun the process of affiliation with ECO, which already has 118 congregations and nearly 200 pastors since it launched more than two years ago.