Several Presbyterian gatherings have been planned for the first three months of 2017. ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, the Fellowship Community and NEXT Church have all planned National Gatherings to start of the new year.
ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians: ECO’s National Gathering will be held Jan. 24-26, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C.
The theme – “Entrusted” – is based on 2 Timothy 2:2: “What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.”
- Jo Saxton, a leader, visionary and practitioner. “Her message encourages people to engage in missional living and discipleship. Her message specifically equips women for leadership and influence and inspires all believers to engage the world in the same way God does—by going out rather than just reaching out.”
- James Choung, who has been involved in campus ministries for over 23 years. He serves as InterVarsity’s national director of evangelism, and is ordained with the Association of Vineyard Churches. His books include True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In and Real Life: A Christianity Worth Living Out.
- Paul Borden who was the executive minister of Growing Healthy Churches, formerly American Baptist Churches of the West for 15 years. This region of 220 congregations saw over 70 percent of their churches transformed and is now focusing on congregational reproduction throughout the United States and around the world. The region is planting ten churches a year, many starting with 200-500 people at launch.
Fellowship Community: The Fellowship Community will hold its National Gathering Feb. 21-23, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Fla.
According to the web site, “this year’s theme ‘Deep & Wide: Making Missional Disciples,’ will explore the connection between spiritual formation and missional transformation and look at the theological and programmatic changes needed to live out God’s Good News in an ever-changing world. Through inspiring preaching, teaching and discussions, we will be challenged and encouraged by leading missional practitioners, theologians and church leaders as we connect and grow together.”
Various tracks will be offered at the gathering including:
- Leading Toward Missional Discipleship
- Missional Small Churches
- Korean Ministry
- Church Planters
- Ruling Elders
- Global Engagement
More information about the National Gathering can be found here.
NEXT Church: “Wells & Walls: Well-Being in a Thirsty World” is the theme for the NEXT Church National Gathering to be held March 13-15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. The guiding Scripture for the gathering will be the story of the Samaritan woman at the well found in John 4:1-42.
The Gathering’s web page states:
As we look toward the 2017 National Gathering, as we invite local congregations and regional leadership to come together in the nation’s heartland of Kansas City, we recognize there are many walls and wells that manifest in our lives. In March of 2017 —
- we are in the early months of a new US presidency (and after an embittered, fear-based campaign season),
- we watch the global unrest created by the largest refugee crisis in history,
- we continue – 9 months in – with new leadership in our highest PCUSA church offices,
- congregational life continues to be growing slowly for some and declining for most in the North American church,
- we continue to negotiate what it means to be a “big tent” denomination that holds space for minority voices,
- we confess our fears that manifest in racism, homophobia, demonization, and polarization.
In thinking about this national gathering, we want to explore how we — as disciples and as the church — participate in Jesus’ pattern of moving across barriers, new understanding, and life-giving transformation. In short, finding and offering well-being.
More information on the NEXT Church National Gathering can be found here. Registration will open in the fall.