Category Archives: News

Leadership Council Page, Meeting Minutes, and Regular LC Meeting Time

Hello Friends!

We have now created a page that lists the Leadership Council and relative contact information. This page will also list the year’s Council Meeting Minutes. All meeting minutes will be posted there as well as being posted on this blog as they become approved.

Click here to go to the new Leadership Council Page and see past Leadership Council minutes.

Also, at our meeting last night we set up a regular stated Leadership Council meeting time. Our regularly stated meetings will be the 1st Sundays of the month at 5 PM Central time. If you would like to submit anything to the Leadership Council for consideration, please send your submission to the Council Chair one week prior to the stated meeting.

Here are October’s approved meeting minutes: PCA Leadership Council Minutes for October 21, 2017

We hope you all have had a good Fall season, and wish you many blessings as we enter the Advent and Christmas season!

Repost: Call for Volunteers for New Committees!

Over the last year or so, we’ve had several people ask about volunteering for the PCA in some sort of capacity. We are now at a point in our process where we feel we can start asking for volunteers for committees that will not only help with the administrative side of the organization, but also provide ministerial outreach. What follows is a list of committees we’d like to see actually start or continue to grow. If you are interested in any of these committees, or would like to see a committee be formed that isn’t listed here, please email us at progcainfo@gmail.com.

  • Ordination Mentoring Committee (Continuing)
    • This committee is made of of mentors to help those who wish to affiliate or be ordained through their respective processes.
    • Committee is active and chaired by Rev. Lyle Devine, who also works through the LC Co-chair. Please contact him at rev.ldevine@gmail.com for more information about the committee’s current needs.
    • Members must be ordained PCA clergy who feel called to mentor others through the ordination process.
  • Convocation Committee (New)
    • This committee will plan and run either an annual or bi-annual in-person convocation for PCA members and clergy.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Fundraising and Scholarship Committee (New)
    • This committee will work with the LC Treasurer to create fundraising drives and set up scholarships for those who need help with ordination and membership dues.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Ministerial Support (New)
    • This committee will provide support for clergy who are trying to set up ministries, house churches, or other types of congregations with either helping to find resources, or working with the fundraising committee to provide fundraising support.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Transgender/NB Outreach Committee (New)
    • This committee will provide support, mentorship, and resources for Transgender/Non-Binary clergy and laity.
    • Leadership of this committee is open to any Transgender/NB clergy or laity who wish to serve in this position. Additional members can be Transgender/NB clergy or laity, and cisgendered clergy and laity allies.
  • People of Color/Indigenous Outreach Committee (New)
    • This committee will provide support, mentorship, and resources for People of Color and Indigenous clergy and laity.
    • Leadership of this committee is open to any PoC/Indigenous clergy or laity. Additional members can be PoC/Indigenous clergy or laity, or allies.

Again, if you are interested in forming or being on any of these committees, please send an email to progcainfo@gmail.com or send an email through our contact page.

The Leadership Council looks forward to working with you!

Blessings,

Rev. Gina Pond

Leadership Council Chair

Election Results

Hi Friends!

Here are the results for the elections of Leadership Chair and Treasurer. Screenshots are taken directly from SurveyMonkey.

Leadership Chair

Total  Votes: 31

Rev. Gina Pond: 22

Rev. Jerry Joyce: 9

Votes Skipped: 0

Treasurer

Total Votes: 27

Matthew Self: 27

Votes Skipped: 4

 

Congratulations to Rev. Gina Pond and Matthew Self!

 

Update and Call for Volunteers

Friends,

I thank you all for your patience during this time. We are still on track to open the groups back up on Friday. We have been having many good conversations and getting great ideas from several of you in the last few days. Thank you all for your feedback.

One of the first things we are going to do is have a video conference call with the admins of all of the PCA’s Facebook groups in order to go over the covenant and to clarify the purpose of each of our groups. We hope to be able to have this call this in about a week or so. If you would like to suggest changes to the covenant or clarifications, please send them to pcafacebookgroup@gmail.com by October 30.

Over the last year or so, we’ve had several people ask about volunteering for the PCA in some sort of capacity. We are now at a point in our process where we feel we can start asking for volunteers for committees that will not only help with the administrative side of the organization, but also provide ministerial outreach. What follows is a list of committees we’d like to see form or continue to grow. If you are interested in any of these committees, or would like to see a committee that isn’t listed here, please email us at progcainfo@gmail.com.

  • Ordination Mentoring Committee
    • This committee is made of of mentors to help those who wish to affiliate or be ordained through their respective processes.
    • Committee is active and chaired by Rev. Lyle Devine, who also works through the LC Co-chair. Please contact him at rev.ldevine@gmail.com for more information about the committee’s current needs.
    • Members must be ordained PCA clergy who feel called to mentor others through the ordination process.
  • Convocation Committee
    • This committee will plan and run either an annual or bi-annual in-person convocation for PCA members and clergy.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Fundraising and Scholarship Committee
    • This committee will work with the LC Treasurer to create fundraising drives and set up scholarships for those who need help with ordination and membership dues.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Ministerial Support
    • This committee will provide support for clergy who are trying to set up ministries, house churches, or other types of congregations with either helping to find resources, or working with the fundraising committee to provide fundraising support.
    • This committee is open to all clergy and lay members.
  • Transgender/NB Outreach Committee
    • This committee will provide support, mentorship, and resources for Transgender/Non-Binary clergy and laity.
    • Leadership of this committee is open to any Transgender/NB clergy or laity who wish to serve in this position. Additional members can be Transgender/NB clergy or laity, and cisgendered clergy and laity allies.
  • People of Color/Indigenous Outreach Committee
    • This committee will provide support, mentorship, and resources for People of Color and Indigenous clergy and laity.
    • Leadership of this committee is open to any PoC/Indigenous clergy or laity. Additional members can be PoC/Indigenous clergy or laity, or allies.

Also remember that the election for Leadership Chair and Treasurer is still going on. More information and the link to vote can be found here: http://progressivechristianalliance.org/election-of-leadership-chair-and-treasurer/

Lastly, our Co-Chair, Beth Beyer Abbott, has been working with BCCi, the professional organization for chaplains, to get us the ability to be an endorsing body for those looking to go into chaplaincy. At this time, our application has been accepted and we are waiting on the final word about our status. We will update you as soon as we know their decision.

Again, thank you all for your patience during this time, and we are grateful for the grace of Spirit that has been shown by many.  

 

Blessings,

Rev. Gina Pond

Interim Leadership Chair

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.

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

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

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)!

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

 

The Alley Family needs your help!

Progressive Christian Alliance ministers Sheldon and Amanda Alley just recently lost their home and all of their possessions to arson. From their YouCaring page:

“We are devastated to have to tell everyone our home was deliberately burned to the ground. For the immediate future thanks to generosity of family we do have a home with basic furnishings and appliances. But this will be temporary. We lost everything. Furnishings and appliances and all basic household things. Even more so we lost all our sentimental items spanning our lifetimes. We have lost various irreplaceable heirlooms, all of Sheldon’s mementos from his time in the Marines, my wedding dress that my daughter wanted to use, my engagement ring, most all our children’s baby photos and keepsakes, our children’s special toys, our Bible collections, our extensive book collection, our special signed books of people we admired, numerous sentimental childhood items, our church supplies including ordination chalices, stoles, etc. It has been ruled an arson and the State Police investigating. Unfortunately because we were buying our farm through a land contract we do not have any insurance on the home and we didn’t foresee the need to get insurance on the contents of the home. We are going to rebuild as soon as we are financial able because we are still making payments on the property. This was our dream farm. This was our slice of heaven on earth. Our early years in ministry was spent in parsonages. We saved as much as possible and invested our life savings into the farm and home. Our ministry focuses on Veterans, PTSD and Domestic Violence support. With this most all the people we serve are unable to support us financially. We have managed to support ourselves through small scale sustainable farming over the years. Due to the events of the vandalism and harassment leading up to the arson we will not be able to farm as effectively this year. Our children are having a difficult time with the situation. Our youngest two have never known any other home. This will be one of our toughest trials but we will recover. We have a wonderful network of family, friends, and colleagues. Anything you do to help will be greatly appreciated.”

Their YouCaring page is here, and there is also more information there if you would like to contribute in other ways. If you can’t contribute financially, please spread the word so that they can get as much help as possible.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the whole Alley family during this time.

The Leadership Council