I had the privilege of attending the annual gathering of The FC (Fellowship Community) and ECO in Dallas, TX this last August.
I was commissioned by the PRMI Board of Directors to represent PRMI at this event.
From the start, I was pleasantly surprised. As an observer, I attended an annual gathering for a new denomination, ECO (A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, I know, it’s not an acronym. (See Rod Pinder’s excellent article for more on the name.)
Equally pleasing and surprising was my experience as an observer of an ECO presbytery meeting.
This meeting also included worship, reports of significant growth and spontaneous prayer for the new leader of the presbytery with everyone gathering around for blessing and the laying on hands. And this meeting only lasted one hour.
What do these short but rich meetings say to me?
They say that the FC and ECO are more of a movement than a denomination.
To me, modern denominations seem to be or are becoming an increasingly rigid structure defining the life of one part of the Church universal.
Too often denominations seem to act as if the mission of the local church is to promote the life of the denomination.
In both the FC and in ECO it is clear that the larger body exists to empower and support the mission and ministry of the local church.
Further, instead of maintaining a highly defined way of “doing church” the FC and ECO have the refreshing and exhilarating risk-taking qualities more often associated with a rising, entrepreneurial Silicone Valley success stories than with the modern, western Church.
At the beginning I mentioned the Fellowship Community.
You may not be familiar with that name because it just came into being at this gathering.
You may have heard of the Fellowship of Presbyterians, a renewal organization that included people in ECO and in the PC(USA) (see http://eco-pres.org/who-we-are/our-story/ for further explanation of the origin and relationship of these organizations.)
You may also be familiar with the organization called Presbyterians For Renewal. In Dallas the two organizations merged into one, called the Fellowship Community.
The rest of the three-day national gathering was devoted to worship, fellowship and the study of the Word. Of particular interest to me was the last of three presentations on the Trinity, focusing on the Holy Spirit. The presentation was titled, “Ghost Protocol: An Introduction to the Holy Spirit”, given by Mateen Elass, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, OK.
Pastor Elass gave a meticulously supported, biblically founded portrayal of the Holy Spirit. While a bit long on detail and perhaps a tiny bit short on practical application, this talk would otherwise fit into one of the first few sessions of a PRMI Gateways workshop.
I enjoyed meeting with and speaking with several of the FC and ECO leaders. I am looking forward to seeing what relationships and partnerships God intends to build between PRMI and FC/ECO.
Rev. Tom Willcox
We were so very blessed this past weekend at the Alaska Dunamis Fellowship, Victory Bible Camp ,Sutton Alaska.
The topic stream was Growing the Kingdom Community in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The schedule was very full and filling. I would HIGHLY recommend this course of study to every Shepard that desires his or her flock to grow in the power through the direction of the Holy Spirit rather than mans congerings.
Since the mid 30’s when many of America’s churches went from Father ,Son and Holy Spirit to Father, Son and man failing at doing the work of the Holy Spirit ,the western church has been disempowered. For those that continued to seek the Holy Spirit ,these are the power centers of the western church. In our generation the church bodies that seek to be led by God grow in God, Those bodies that seek a flush bottom line$ first may grow in $ yet very few grow in God.
Arise my brothers and sisters desire to grow in God. The Dunamis project offers a safe and thorough Biblical foundation to Leaving the $ number mindset and turning our desire to growing in God and His Kingdom through power of the Holy Spirit.
REVIVAL THROUGH REFIRED FRIENDS ANS SERVANTS OF THE LIVING GOD