Category Archives: News

Membership Proposal Q&A #1

Hello Friends,

Since the Membership Proposal that was posted earlier is going to be a big change for the PCA as a whole, we are having a 30 day comment and suggestion period. Since a good deal of questions have already come through both on Facebook and from our mailing list, I will be collating the questions and posting these Q&A posts weekly until the comment period is over.

If you have questions, feel free to comment here, on Facebook, and through the mailing list.

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. General question from several people: “I’m already ordained, do I need to go through the ordination process again?”
    1. No. Already ordained clergy will be grandfathered in and only required to pay the yearly dues ($10) and get a new background check if they haven’t done so in the last year.
  2. From Ford Frazar: “Where do we get a PCA stole?”
    1. We haven’t been able to find the original supplier, but we are looking for an alternate one. If anyone knows where the original stoles came from, please send that information to the LC.
  3. From Deborah Hill: “Would PCA be an Association of Professional Chaplains (BCCi) approved endorsing body?”
    1. Not yet, but our Co-Chair, Beth, is now working on the documentation to make us so. This was one of our first priorities after completely the 501(c)3 process. Please keep an eye on our website for updates.
  4. Jim Tarvid asked about the minutes as legal documents, and “990’s”
    1. This is J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer: As of right now we are not required to file a Form 990, as per our 501c3 Approval letter. If that changes, I will certainly file a Form 990.
  5. Jim also wondered if $10/mo is enough, and about the clergy roster.
    1. Re: Dues: We welcome suggestions of what you think would be a reasonable rate. We intentionally were keeping rates low since the clergy business doesn’t exactly make one rich. Also, we are planning to eventually have ordination scholarships for those in financial hardship.
    2. Re: Clergy Roster: Unfortunately, there was some document loss in the last few years between changing of boards, and our current records are incomplete. The online roster was also not a complete record of clergy, since the online listing was voluntary. We are hoping that with this process we’ll be able to have, and then maintain, an up to date roster of all PCA clergy.
  6. From Antinoë Magdalene on Facebook: As an ordained Wiccan priest, would I be a layperson or affiliated clergy? Or, is the affiliation only for other Christian denominations?
    1. Since the PCA is a nominally Christian organization, the affiliation process would be for other ordained Christian denominations. As a Wiccan Christian, however, you can get your Christian ordination through the PCA.

Again, if you have more questions, please feel free to comment at the places listed above, or through our contact page.

Thank you for your questions!

Rev. Gina

Councillor-at-Large

Exciting News! (501c3 Update)

The Leadership Council is excited to announce that we are now an official 501(c)3 organization! This opens up a lot of opportunities for our members and the organization as a whole. The Leadership Council is very excited, especially since this status opens us up as a body for sponsoring chaplains, having regular convocations, and being able to do more to support ministries! (This also means that any contribution you make from here on out is tax deductible!)

We’d like to particularly thank our treasurer, J.T., for his heroic feat of paperwork filing that made getting 501(c)3 status not only possibly, but fast!

Thank you all for your support while we went through this process, and we will be grateful for your continued support as we move forward!

Many blessings, and Happy New Year from your Leadership Council!

R. Lawton Higgs, Chair

Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair

J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer

Fred-Allen Self, Secretary

Gina Pond, Councillor-at-Large

501(c)3 Update

We are pleased to announce that we have been informed by the IRS that our paperwork has been received and that they are in the process of reviewing our application.

We’d like to thank all of our donors who helped us raise the funds to file our application! We really appreciate the faith and hope you have invested into the Progressive Christian Alliance.

Many thanks,

The Leadership Council

Proposed Change to Constitution Voting Results

Hello Friends,

Voting is now closed for the Proposed Change to the Constitution. The results from SurveyMonkey are shown below:

surveyresults

There were 30 total votes with 29 “yes” and one “no.” This means that the change has passed.

This means we will update the Constitution and Canons accordingly and move forward with our 501(c)3 filing.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this process!

Sincerely,

The Leadership Council

501(c)3 Filing Fundraiser!

Friends,

We are nearing the finish line with our application for 501(c)3 status! All the paperwork is in order and our initial incorporation is done, but now the Progressive Christian Alliance needs your help! In order to actually file the paperwork, we need to come up with the $400 filing fee.

This is where you come in: we need your donation to help us be able file for our non-profit status so that we can do more for our members and clergy than we can do right now. Getting this status means we can be an official ordaining body for clergy who would like to do chaplaincy. We’ll be able to do more fundraising for special ministry projects. It’ll help make it possible for us to do annual, or even regional, conferences and gatherings. This status will also help pay for the little things: printing ordination certificates, paying for background checks clergy, and other basic office type necessities.

In short, getting 501(c)3 status will allow us to have the necessary tools to help this organization, and it’s ministry of radical inclusion, grow and move forward!

Click here to go to our donation page and help the Progressive Christian Alliance meet our goal! We suggest a $25 donation, but every little bit counts! Even $1 will help us toward our goal!

Many Blessings and Much Thanks,

The Leadership Council:

R. Lawton Higgs, Chair

Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair

J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer

Fred-Allen Self, Secretary

Gina A. Pond, Member-at-Large

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – July 2016

 Progressive Christian Alliance

Leadership Council Meeting

Friday, July 20, 2016 @ 6 PM CDT

 

Minutes recorded by Fred-Allen Self

 

In attendance: Beth Abbott, Gina Pond, Lawton Higgs, James Ramelis,

                                      Fred-Allen Self

 

  • Opening Reflection and Prayer by Lawton – Spoke on the Festival of Mary Magdalene, which falls on today. Then Lawton opened in prayer.
  • Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting – Motion to accept by Beth Abbott.  Seconded by Gina Pond. Approved unanimously.

 

Old Business

501c3 discussion; fund raising and fund management   – led by JT Ramelis.

  • JT has opened a bank account for the Progressive Christian Alliance. Unfortunately, this account will cost $15 per month until we can get our 501(c)3.
  • JT will be setting up a PayPal account within the next couple of weeks and will work with F-A and Gina to get a donation button on the website.
  • We need $400 to file the non-profit application. The LC discussed different options for receiving donations. It was decided that we will use a PayPal donation button through the website.
  • It was decided that the fiscal year should be January – December. This way a new fiscal year will begin as the LC changes.
  • Constitution and Canons will be used as bylaws for 501(c)3 application.
  • Unanimously adopted a Conflict of Interest statement by acclimation.

Report from Wild Goose Festival July 7-10, 2016

  • Lawton and JT both attended.
  • JT enjoyed most of the experience and felt that there is huge potential there for an organization like the PCA.
  • Lawton made some comments during an interview that were included on a podcast. There was a significant amount of interest in the PCA.
  • The first question asked by nearly everyone who came to the tent was, “What do you believe?” There were a number of people looking to see if they could pursue chaplaincy through the PCA.
  • There were great compliments on our open Facebook page and how great it is!

RSL Pacific Region and other RSL needs

  • There is still no Pacific Region RSL.
  • Lawton has made a few phone contacts with current RSLs.

 

New Business

Affiliation & Ordination Documents & Process

  • We need a form for the affiliation with the PCA. Our material mentions affiliation, this needs to be a formal process.
  • It was discussed that there could be a small fee for the affiliation process. There could be a checkmark on this for those interested in ordination, but it would also be a way for people to be engaged with and connected with the PCA as members.
  • F-A and Lawton will work together on creating an affiliation form for the website with Jotform.
  • Ordination document still needs more revision. Beth had sent an email with some details that she would like to have revised. F-A received the email, but failed to finish updating the document. F-A will finish the update within the next couple of days and send it to the Leadership Council.
  • Discussion Questions:
  1. What do we believe?
  2. What does ordination in the PCA cost?
  3. What training does the PCA require for ordination?
  4. What does this training cost?
  5. How does a seeker access the training?
  6. How long does it take to be ordained in the PCA?
  7. Who recognizes PCA ordination?
  8. What sacred office does an ordained PCA minister hold?
  • PCA Strategic Planning (Vision; Short & Long Term Goals) & Social Media Content Management Strategy (Website, Facebook Groups & Facebook Page) Possible Resource: Content Strategy for the Web, Second Edition by Kristina Halvorson & Melissa Rach.

PCA Annual Conference at Wild Goose 2017? Cost? Programming?

  • We can reserve a larger tent for $3000 or an even larger one for $10,000. There are fundraising partners that could partner with us for the tent to share some of the programming time.
  • This would allow us to have a larger presence and host programming at the next Wild Goose festival.
  • It would be possible to use this as our Annual Conference for the Progressive Christian Alliance so that our connection could come together and actually meet face-to-face and get to know one another and fellowship and learn from one another.
  • An unfortunate drawback to this approach is that there is no Wi-Fi available at Wild Goose which presents a dilemma for an organization such as ours since we do have mostly a web presence.
  • Gina mentioned that there are definitely accessibility issues with Wild Goose.

 

Other Business

                   Next meeting date & time: August 12, 2016 @ 6:00

 

Approved by the Leadership Council on 12 August 2016

Update: Wild Goose Festival Anti-Harassment Policy Now Live!

The Leadership Council is please to report that the Wild Goose Festival has taken our letter to heart and has come up with a more detailed anti-harassment policy and statement of inclusion. We are quite pleased that we were able to help them ensure the inclusion and safety for LGBTQI persons at their event!

Now, we hope, just like the organizers of the Wild Goose Festival, that the leaders of North Carolina will repeal HB2 to ensure the civil rights and safety for LGBTQI people in that state, particularly transgender persons. The Progressive Christian Alliance stands with Wild Goose Festival and other faith leaders in North Carolina in their fight to repeal this un-Constitutional law!

Open Letter to the Organizers and Volunteers of the Wild Goose Festival

April 27, 2016 – For Immediate Release

Contact: R. Lawton Higgs, Leadership Council Chair at info@progressivechristianalliance.org

To the Organizers and Volunteers of the Wild Goose Festival:

We, the Leadership Council and members of the Progressive Christian Alliance, have been very excited about the Wild Goose Festival and had even been planning to have a meetup of our board and members at this year’s festival. However, in light of the passage of HB2 by the state legislature of North Carolina where the festival is held, and the fact that there is no clear anti-harassment policy on your website, we have decided that we will not be attending Wild Goose Festival this year.

While we appreciate the statements of inclusion that you do have on the website (on your about page and your blog statement posted on March 24, 2016), there is no clear definitive statement of inclusion on its own and there is no listing of a clear and detailed anti-harassment policy. It would be wonderful if all attendees could be counted on to follow the way of inclusion that Jesus intended, but as we are all humans, there is no guarantee, of any kind, that harassment will not occur. Harassment of all types is a sad reality at any convention or festival and a particular issue for transgender and gender-variant persons.

We recommend looking at the anti-harassment policies of other conventions and festivals, as well as training your volunteers on how to listen to victims without shaming and judgment. Compassionate responses are especially important for transgender persons, who, despite your calls for support in your blog post, have an extremely high likelihood of harassment even in the most progressive of communities.

For examples of clear anti-harassment policies, we’d recommend the following:

Geek Feminism Wiki: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy
Ada Initiative: https://adainitiative.org/continue-our-work/conference-policies/
Pantheacon Anti-Harassment Policy: https://pantheacon.com/wordpress/con-policies/anti-harassment-policy/
Black Hat Convention: https://www.blackhat.com/code-of-conduct.html

While these aren’t specifically from Christian groups, they are groups who are at the forefront of instituting policies that not only have clear expectations and consequences around sexual harassment, but also around harassment and bullying of others for belief, gender identity, age, race, body size, or other differences.

We do support the aims of the Wild Goose Festival and all the good it has done since it began in 2011. It would be wonderful to be able to bring our members to this event in the future but until the event has a clear, detailed statement of inclusivity, an anti-harassment policy to ensure the wellbeing of others (particularly LGTBQA persons), and the North Carolina legislature repeals HB2, we cannot in good conscience recommend that our members, many of whom are LGBTQA persons, to attend the Wild Goose Festival.

Signed,
R. Lawton Higgs, Leadership Council Chair
Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair
J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer
Fred-Allen Self, Secretary
Gina A. Pond, Councillor-At-Large


About the Progressive Christian Alliance:

The Progressive Christian Alliance (http://www.progressivechristianalliance.org) is an international, transdenominational association of Christian ministers, ministries, and laypersons. We are a diverse fellowship inviting others to share in our common spiritual journey while walking our unique and sacred pathways. We believe that following Christ’s example means working for social justice and hospitality to all people, especially those who have not found hospitality elsewhere, and a heartfelt, thoughtful approach to being in relationship with God.

 

Full Time Pastoral Opening in Champaign, Illinois

We received this announcement about a pastoral opening from New Covenant Fellowship. Please send all inquiries to the email address in the linked job description below:

Hello from New Covenant Fellowship in Champaign Illinois.

We are a nondenominational congregation with a full time pastoral opening
(we will begin considering applications February 28). If an appropriate
channel exists, please share this announcement with your members.

Blessings,

Angela Wiley

NCF Pastor announcement

From the Leadership Council: Nominations for Leadership Council Members are Open

It is that time of year to take nominations for positions on the Leadership Council. The following positions are available: Chair, Co-chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Member At-large. Please, make your nominations in the comment section by naming the person and the position to which you nominate them. If you are nominated, please let us know if you accept the nomination.

We will begin nominations today and complete them on 16 November 2015.

Following are the descriptions from The Constitution and Canons for each position:

A. Council Member Election

Council members shall be elected by a majority vote of the Progressive Christian Alliance membership.

B. Leadership Council Members and Responsibilities

1. Leadership Council Members

a. Regularly attend council meetings and important related meetings via electronic means. Policy matters will be brought to the greater body within 72 hours for a vote that will be completed within five (5) business days from the
posting. Can miss no more than three consecutive meetings prior to being asked to step down by the Chair or Co-chair.

b. Makes serious commitment to participate actively in council work.

c. Volunteers forand willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time.

d. Stays informed about both council and committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and
comments on minutes and reports.

e. Gets to know other members and builds a collegial working
relationship that contributes to consensus.

f. Is an active participant in the committee’s annualevaluation and planning efforts.

g. Serve a three (3) year term and may not self-succeed into same position. Cannot concurrently serve as chair of another committee, conference or auxiliary organization within the Progressive Christian Alliance.

Leadership Council Position Descriptions: 

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