Category Archives: Announcements

Election of Leadership Chair and Treasurer

Nominations are now closed and elections have begun for Leadership Chair and Treasurer.

Statements From Candidates

The following statements are from the candidates who put their names forward for election. Statements are listed in the order they were received, along with nominations.

Candidates for Leadership Chair

Rev. Gina Pond

“My name is Rev. Gina Pond, and I’m running for the position of Leadership Chair. I started
volunteering for the Progressive Christian Alliance in 2014, shortly after my ordination, as
webmaster. I volunteered to clean up the main website and establish the first iteration of our
clergy directory. In 2015, I decided to run for the Councillor-at-Large position of the Leadership
Council so that I could expand my role from just being the webmaster. During the last year and
a half of service I’ve supported the Leadership Council as we gained 501(c)3 status, helped to
update and upgrade the website, authored the new Membership policies, and helped to update
PCA documents, in addition to general maintenance and updating of the website. My main goal,
if I should be elected to Chair, is to firm up the organizational foundations of the PCA so that we
can be more of an asset to our members, particularly our clergy. This includes: putting into
writing and firming up policies and processes in regards to membership, ordination, affiliation,
and churches; creating a committee for and organizing a long needed in person convocation
(that will also be accessible online); finalize our ability to be an endorsing organization for
chaplains; and create a fundraising committee and other opportunities as needed for members
to allow them to invest their time and/or money into PCA ministries, causes, and events. It is
important as an organization to realize that our progressive voice is needed now more than
ever. However, we can only become that voice if our organization has a firm rock to stand on.
Like Jesus said of Peter (Matthew 16:18), the PCA needs to shore up the rock to build our
Beloved Community so that, in these times, those who are called can speak truth to power and
speak for those who can not do so themselves. While these are an ambitious set of goals, I
know that we accomplish them, and I hope to be able to build a rock that will last long past my
tenure as Leadership Chair.”

Rev Pond self nominated and was also nominated by Rev Lyle Devine: “I nominate Gina Pond, she has demonstrated her willingness to consistently go above and beyond for the betterment of the PCA, has offered solutions when unexpected challenges arose, such as when the ownership of the PCA website was in dispute. I can think of no one better suited for the position.
-Lyle

Rev. Jerry Joyce

My name is Rev. Gerald David Joyce, Jr.. Much, much better known as Jerry or JJ.

I am a chaplain currently serving French Village Fire Department in Fairview Hieghts, Illinois, MedStar Ambulance of Illinois, and a volunteer evening-midnight chaplain for Memorial Hospital of Belleville, Illinois. (Part of the BJC Health System)

 A graduate of the LIFE Institute of Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri and did my CPE at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

As a chaplain I have worked for several hospitals in the St. Louis Metro area, on both sides of the river.
As the Chair I want to continue the growth of the PCA throughout the world. With the PCA being the melting pot of all of God’s people. A place where everyone is truly welcome. A place where God’s table is really open to all. A place where labels means something and nothing at the same time. A place where the LGBTQ community and straight can join together as one loving community. Bring our peronness (*) to the table in love and respect. Being God’s people into a true family.
Bringing all Religions together as God’s people. In my practice as a chaplain I have stood with people of many religions and religious leaders. Sitting one night with a Wiccan Elder and a bishop of a very closed Christian society I heard the bishop say, ” why do we feel we have to keep ourselves in our own little corner? Why can’t we admit we believe this way and celebrate together? Let’s be people of one Earth. And share our gods’ (Godde) love with each other.” The amazing part about this story is that these two were best friends. The Elder and myself were supporting the bishop as is his father was dying.
This is what my vission is for the PCA. Being a part of this Earth Family. And sharing this Holy Love throughout the world.”
Rev. Joyce self-nominated.

Candidate for Treasurer

Matthew Self

I would like to nominate myself for treasurer. I came into the PCA Leadership Council as Interim Treasurer, but I would like to continue the work I have started. I have a little basic accounting experience under my belt, and I have worked as treasurer for a local church when I lived in Wisconsin. I am in the process of helping the PCA save money and come into the modern age with technology, and I would love the opportunity to continue doing so.
Thanks,
Matt Self
 Please use the following SurveyMonkey to vote for these positions. Make sure to answer both questions. This election will end on October 31, 2017 at 10 PM CDT. Results will be announced on All Saint’s Day, November 1, 2017.

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Nominations Open for Leadership Chair and Treasurer

Dear Sisters and Brothers of The Progressive Christian Alliance,

Last week, we shared with you our saddness that H. Lawton Higgs, Sr. had to retire as Chair of The Progressive Christian Alliance. His leadership has had a great impact both on the individuals of the Leadership Council, and on the future of The Progressive Christian Alliance as a living organization.

In spite of our grief, the LC recognizes that the PCA has been offered an opportunity. In the past, all of the Leadership Council positions have all been filled every three years. This meant that there was little continuity from Council to Council. This year, we’ve filled the Treasurer’s position with an interim (Mathew Self) and now we have an interim Chair (Gina Pond who was elected 2 years ago as Member at Large). This seems the perfect opportunity to hold an election for these two positions with the elected officers taking office in January to begin their 3 year term. The Co-Chair, Member at Large and Secretary positions will be elected in the Fall of 2018 to begin January 2019. This creates 2 years with the same members and one year of overlap where new ideas can be brought to the table along with folks who have knowledge of past decisions, policies and processes.

We will be accepting nominations and self-nominations for the positions of Chair and Treasurer from today through October 16th, 10 PM CST. Applicants should include a paragraph of why they feel qualified and what their vision is for the future of PCA. They can be electronically submitted by email in PDF format to: progcainfo@gmail.com. If you are nominated by another person, sending in your paragraph will be your acceptance of that nomination.

Members will be invited to vote through a link on Facebook and through an email link starting October 17th. Watch for the Survey Monkey and make your voice heard! Voting will close on Oct. 31 at 10 AM CDT.  On All Saints Day (November 1st) we’ll announce the new officers.

We thank you in advance for spending time in prayerful consideration of whether this is a call to ministry that Godde is calling you to answer.

Warm regards,

Beth Abbott, LC Co-Chair

Retirement of Rev. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr. from Leadership Council

Friends,

The Leadership Council is saddened to announce that Rev. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr is retiring from his role as Leadership Council Chair. Lawton has been an active member of the PCA for several years and has served as the Southeast Regional Servant Leader before serving as Leadership Council Chair for the last year and a half.

During Lawton’s tenure as chair, the Progressive Christian Alliance has finally reached it’s goal of becoming an official non-profit organization, getting IRS designation as a 501(c)3 organization, working towards becoming an endorsing body for chaplains, and revising the membership policies to create a stronger foundation for the organization.

We thank him for his service to the Progressive Christian Alliance and send him prayers for good health and wish him and his family well.

Rev. Gina Pond will be taking on the role of interim Council Chair, and more information will be forthcoming about Leadership Council elections.

Sincerely,

The Leadership Council:

Rev. Gina Pond – Interim Chair

Rev. Beth Abbott – Co-chair

Rev. Fred-Allen Self – Secretary

Matthew Self – Treasurer

Results: Membership and Dues Proposal

Hi Friends!

Thanks to all those who voted on the proposal, the results are as follows:

(Image taken from SurveyMonkey)

Yes: 51

No: 7

Other: 2

The two other votes were “Maybes” according to the responses.

The proposal has passed. Watch this space for more information and instructions.

Rev. Gina Pond

Councillor At Large

Don’t forget to vote on the Membership and Dues Proposal!

Hi Friends!

Don’t forget to vote on Membership and Dues Proposal before voting closes on August 10!

Click here to go to read the PDF of the proposal and to vote. 

Please Vote: Membership and Dues Policy Proposal

This document outlines a proposal for membership levels and responsibilities as well as proposed yearly fees for membership.

Having a clear definition of who is a member, who is affiliated, and who is ordained has been lacking in the PCA and a point of confusion. This is especially true when it comes to voting rights in the organization and being able to accept already ordained clergy without having to go through a second ordination process. We have also not charged yearly dues for our ordained ministers, affiliates, and members, which is standard practice for most organizations of our type. Clarifying our membership levels will help us in overall organization of the PCA, and yearly membership fees will allow for the PCA to have a consistent stream of income, offset ordination costs (website fees, printing and mailing of certificates, etc.), and give members a bigger sense of investment into the organization.

We have tried to keep the dues as modest as possible. For affiliation and ordination, we are assuming that we will find a reasonable background check website where the ordination and affiliate fee will cover the cost. Once this system is put into practice, the fees should be reviewed every year to balance the PCA’s needs with the ability of our members and clergy to pay. It should also be stressed that no one should be turned down for ordination or affiliation for lack of funds, and hopefully the fact that others can pay yearly dues will help offset the costs for those who can’t.

At all levels of membership, members are responsible for paying yearly dues and notifying the PCA of any name or address changes. All clergy are responsible for ensuring that they submit bi-annual background checks after the initial background check that is submitted with affiliation or ordination paperwork.

ALL CLERGY who wish to be recognized on the PCA website and have already been ordained by the PCA will need to submit the following documentation after September 1, 2017 and prior to November 1, 2017.

  • Yearly dues of $10 via PayPal or other means.
  • A complete update of contact information.
  • An updated background check if you were ordained prior to 2014.
  • A signed Ministerial Promise form if you have not already signed one.

Following approval of these membership definitions, the Leadership Council will set up instructions for the documents, payments, and acceptable sites for background checks.

The full outline of Membership Levels and Dues are outlined here: Membership and Dues Proposal (PDF)

Please use the box below to vote on the proposal via Survey Monkey. Voting will close on August 10, 2017 (30 days).

 

Updated Constitution and Cannons Voting Results

The Updated Constitution and Cannons has been APPROVED by the membership. The results breakdown is below.

Thank you to all who voted (and this is double the amount of people who voted last time)!

Reminder: Vote on Revised Constitution and Canons Ends June 14

Hello Friends,

There is a week and a half left to vote on the revised version of the Constitution and Canons. Voting will close on June 14, 2017.

Please click here for rational and link for voting: http://progressivechristianalliance.org/please-vote-constitution-and-canons-update/

Please Vote: Constitution and Canons Update

Dear PCA friends,

I greet you in the name of the Historic Jesus and the Cosmic Christ.

Your Progressive Christian Alliance Leadership Council has been hard at work strengthening our Progressive Christian Alliance Community. In the current spiritual environment of our nation and world, a strong Progressive Christian witness is needed. We are experiencing a response to this need by the number of people God is calling into ordination through our organization. This is very exciting to us and we are sure that you share our excitement and our commitment to meet this need.

We are very pleased and grateful for the 501©(3) designation we have received from the IRS. This designation gives us the official status needed to begin the process of requesting acceptance of PCA ordination as valid clergy designation to apply for chaplaincy certification. In the process of making the chaplaincy certification application we discovered that there were some needed refinements to be made to our Constitution and Cannons. Your leadership Council has been at work several months working to revise our Constitution and Cannons to meet those requirements. We have labored to make sure that the document stays true to the spirit our founders intended and that the vision of the Progressive Christian Alliance remains clear and unchanged in this revision. It is very important that we make this revision in order to be able to receive certification for chaplaincy designation for our clergy.

We are sending out this draft copy of our revised Constitution and Cannons for your review, comment, and vote. Thank you for giving it careful consideration to provide a basis for strength as we move into the future. There will also be a Survey Monkey that will be posted in order to allow you to vote on the revision.

Thank you for your time and prayerful consideration.

The Rev. Dr. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr.

Chair, PCA Leadership Council

Constitution and Canon Update 14May2017 (PDF)

Please vote using Survey Monkey below. Voting will close on June 14, 2017.
Create your own user feedback survey

Leadership Council Needs Interim Treasurer ASAP

Dear PCA Friends,

We are so grateful that our former treasurer J.T. Ramelis filed successfully our application for a 501©(3) status with the IRS. We are pleased now to be operating as a 501©(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit religious organization. Since that time Mr. Ramelis has resigned from the Leadership Council as our Treasure. The Progressive Christian Alliance is in need of a PCA volunteer to serve as Treasurer on our Leadership Council, a person who has experience managing the finances of a 501©(3) nonprofit, tax-deductible organization.

We would appreciate anyone in our Progressive Christian Alliance connection who knows a person affiliated with the PCA or, who would like to serve in that position themselves, to make a nomination or self-nomination, to serve in the role of Treasurer. Please submit a short résumé for yourself or the person nominated to the Progressive Christian Alliance Leadership Council for our consideration to be appointed to serve out the term of J.T. Ramelis.

The following is the job description for the Treasurer for The Progressive Christian Alliance detailed in the proposed changes for our Constitution and Cannons:

Leadership Council Treasurer Responsibilities 
1. Manages finances of the organization.
2. Administrate fiscal matters of the organization
Provide annual budget to the council for members’ approval.
3. Ensures development and council review of financial policies and procedures.
4. Provides monthly financial statements to council members and, upon approval by council members, to PCA membership.
5. Maintain records of donations by membership both individual and congregational and provides end of year tax statements to all who have donated.
6. Prepare and file all IRS tax forms related to 501(c)3 status. 7. Use software to track all income, expenses, etc.
8. Serves a three (3) year term and may not self-succeed into same position. 9. Cannot concurrently chair another committee.

Thank you for your prayerful response. Please send nominations to higgslawtonsr@gmail.com.

Grace & Peace,

Rev. Dr. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr.

Chair, Leadership Council

04/07/17