By Jon Heering, Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg, VA
I have always loved the gospel account of Peter walking (briefly) on water and so I have also loved the song “Oceans” with the refrain “… Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, And my faith will be made stronger, ...” Now in many ways the song is a prayer, even as Peter’s, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) was a prayer and the kind of prayer our Lord loves to answer in the affirmative.
March 29, 2019—World Renew is responding to the enormous needs of families affected by Cyclone Idai in southern Africa. Thousands of people throughout the region are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. World Renew is raising funds to provide life-saving assistance to families in Malawi and Mozambique. “Across southern Africa, this crisis is only beginning,” said Kenneth Kim, World Renew’s Director of International Disaster Response. “The immediate needs, including food, shelter, and clean water, are huge. However, there are also long-term concerns. Food stocks and crops have been wiped out, leaving families with few paths to recovery.”Read more
Have you ever wanted to be involved in global missions but are unable to join an international mission trip? Are you financially and prayerfully supporting a global mission organization but do not feel connected to whom you are partnering with? Since poverty consists of broken relationships, how do we be in a righteous relationship with the “least of these”, our brothers and sisters in need around the world?Read more
My name is Chloe and I am a part of Goodland Church, a church plant in Santa Barbara, California. I teach English and lead Young Life at Santa Barbara High School, and spend as much time as possible hanging out with my pastor, Becky, gleaning whatever I can from her about church planting.Read more
In March, Pastor Jack McClelland of Fredericksburg Presbyterian, an ECO Church in Fredericksburg, Ohio, volunteered with 14 other men in Port Arthur, Texas through ECO’s disaster relief partner, World Renew. Pastor McClelland recently reflected on his experience with World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS).Read more
ECO friends, as we continue to pray for South Texas and the clean-up efforts along the Gulf Coast, we are now compelled to widen our prayers to include our sisters and brothers in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and possibly other states as Hurricane Irma heads towards the East Coast. We ask everyone to pray that the storm shifts east and does not directly hit any coastline of the Eastern United States.Read more
The ECO Book of Confessions is a very special collection of documents that give witness to the system of doctrine embraced by countless reformed and Presbyterian believers over many centuries. Each document has played an important part in our history as a church and continues to guide us through the present and into our future together. Upon the formation of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians it was decided that all of the current confessions of the PC(USA) would be kept as our founding documents. Therefore the ECO Book of Confessions stands as it was at the moment in time that ECO came into existence. This was a wise and faithful decision as the vast majority of incoming members had taken vows in support of this Book of Confessions. There was also a commitment made that there would be further study and reflection upon this decision after the denomination was established.Read more
Shepherd’s Heart Ministry has been serving Pastoral Couples since 2004 in one of their many retreat centers around the world, and has partnered with ECO to assist in supporting their Pastoral Couples in Issues such as burnout, conflict in their ministry assignments, marriage issues and moral failure which are just a few of the challenges that face those serving in ministry. ECO believes strongly in caring for their Pastoral Couples and has set up several resources to help you on your journey.Read more
The Elder Leadership Institute (ELI) began several years ago under the direction of Sara Singleton, and later Lisa Johnson became the assistant director. At that time, the ELI program was a ministry under the Fellowship of Presbyterians. A little less than two years ago, the ministry was given over to Flourish: a ministry arm of ECO that serves churches of different denominations. When the ministry moved to Flourish, Lisa became ELI's new director.Read more
I am currently the Head of Staff at Littlerock Community Church and a candidate for ordination through ECO. Our church joined ECO just about a year ago and God has truly blessed us in the past year. We are a small church located in California's Antelope Valley and so some of this may seem quite insignificant compared to our larger sister churches. But in the past year, we started an adult Sunday School class which now averages around 15-17 every week and growing! We also re-started a children’s Sunday School class that now has between 8-12 children each week. We started a Saturday morning book study (currently reading through Max Lucado’s book on Grace) which has around 8 people each week. Our growth had been stagnant, but during the past year, we have added 6 new members and I have had the privilege of baptizing four individuals!
Our people now truly feel challenged to “think outside of the box” and as a result, in addition to our normal Christmas caroling to members who are shut-in, we contacted a local “senior” mobile home park and asked if there were any residents that would like us to come. We were given several names, so we were able to minister to them on a Friday night. Every home that we sang to wanted to know the name of the church that we represented and we are already seeing some of their relatives coming to visit us!
We strongly desire to grow in our ethnic diversity, but realize that if we are to fully live out our 5th core value of egalitarian ministry: unleashing the invaluable gifts of every ethnic group, we must seek assistance from those on the outside who have expertise in this area. One of the ways ECO has taken steps forward is by purchasing a Multi-Ethnic Learning Community cohort from Exponential for 25 participants. Interested in participating? We have great news: spots are still available!Read more
Earlier this year we moved from the Middle East to North Africa where only 1 in 11,000 people know the Father. In fact, few people have any access to the gospel. This means that if a random person in this country wanted to learn about our Savior, there would probably not be anyone to tell him. There would not be a church or bookstore to visit where they could ask or learn about Jesus. How then will people learn? Probably through an encounter with someone like us who are here to share the Good News.Read more