September 16, 2015 — by Becci Curtis-Lillie

Egalitarian Ministry: Women in Church Leadership

The summer before my 10th grade year in high school, my family moved halfway across the state to (what I considered) the “Middle of Nowhere.”  It felt like the worst possible thing you could do to a teenage girl.  And while my first year in our new hometown was pretty rough, I also found some relief and some hope in connecting with a new church, a new youth pastor, and a new bible study leader.  God used these amazing people to transform my heart and my life.  And it was then that I knew that I wanted to be used by God in similar ways to help transform other people’s lives for the better.

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September 14, 2015 — by Jeff Ritchie

Reality Check: Reflections from the Ruins of Ancient Ephesus

I have just been to Turkey for a family wedding. My brother, whose son was the one getting married, suggested that we go early and visit some of the biblical sites. Our itinerary included Ephesus and Miletus, featured prominently in Acts 18-20. Our guide was well-versed in both the general history and in the biblical history. He made Paul and his missionary band come alive for us on a sweltering August day. (Note to readers: try a fall visit to Ephesus. The weather is much more pleasant!)

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September 10, 2015 — by Jerry Fourroux

Egalitarian Ministry: Women in Church Leadership

Both men and women are important to the Church. This sentence doesn’t seem like it should be shocking or even necessary to state, but years of church history deem it necessary. For years, women in churches have been treated as second-class citizens. They have been marginalized to women’s and children’s ministry and the Church of Jesus Christ has suffered because of it.

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August 31, 2015 — by Denise Sciuto

Education In A Place Of Crisis

Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship (PFF) helps churches focus on the 2.5 billion people who have no way to learn about God’s love and grace through Jesus. This focus connects us to people in some of the poorest and most oppressive places in the world—such as among the unreached people in Darfur, Sudan.   

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August 25, 2015 — by Dana Allin

ECO's Fifth Core Value: Egalitarian Ministry

I love how our 5th Core Value, Egalitarian Ministry, encompasses both our commitment to upholding the roles of women in all aspects of the church, as well as the need to deploy, celebrate, and support leaders from every ethnicity.

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August 13, 2015 — by Kirsten Berry

ECO Mission Affinity Group Q&A

We conclude this month's blog focus on Accountable Community with an excellent viewpoint of the inner workings of an ECO Mission Affinity Group.  Kirsten Berry is an Elder at Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield, Minnesota.  Hope Church has joined with two other ECO churches in the greater Minneapolis area – Faith Church and Prairie Community Church and met for the first time on May 9th.  Following is a Q&A with Kirsten about her experience.

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August 7, 2015 — by Anna Kent

Accountable Community Through MAGs

Advocate: The dictionary[1] might define the term like: a person who speaks or writes in support of or in defense of a person, cause, etc. or a person who pleads for or in behalf of another.   I love the idea of an advocate, particularly because John makes reference to it in relation to Christ ~ My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  (I John 2:1)  In ECO, we have advocates that help us in our work as followers of The Advocate

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August 6, 2015 — by Donald Marsden

Missions: Faith And Fellowship

At a mission conference I attended around 1991, a theme emphasized was this: “The church that really believes in mission does not only send money to support mission, but also sends its children into the mission field.” I’ve been pondering this theme since attending the New Wilmington Mission Conference late in July. NWMC has been meeting every summer since 1906. Its purpose is to ignite in young people an understanding of and passion for serving Jesus in global mission. 

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July 30, 2015 — by Claire Ripley

Coming Together: ECO Mission Affinity Groups

Return on Investment: We live in a world that measures the benefit of every investment by its performance and potential payoff. These are busy times for church leaders. While some may be hoping to squeeze in one more break this summer, most are ramping up to meet the demands of a hectic fall schedule. Commitments and calendars weigh heavy on our minds. Trying to plan an “extra” meeting where three or four sessions gather seems like an impossible task, which quite frankly may just not seem that valuable. Is being in a Missional Affinity Group really worth our time and effort?

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July 30, 2015 — by Tim Fearer

Building Flourishing Churches that Make Disciples

The mission of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians is to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.” Our mission statement is a declaration of who we aspire to be and increasingly become. It is a single sentence that defines the “business” we are in. It is an over-arching, controlling idea that should determine and then evaluate all we are about.

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