Category Archives: News

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

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:
Ada Initiative:
Pantheacon Anti-Harassment Policy:
Black Hat Convention:

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.

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 ( 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.


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: 

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Ally Howell

Dear Members,

The Leadership Council is saddened to share with you the death of PCA member and Treasurer, Ally Howell. She suddenly passed away on March 1, 2014. Please, extend her family and friends much love.

We remember and celebrate Ally’s life and wonderful gifts she brought to this world as she worked to bring about God’s kingdom of love here on Earth.

Ann Luchterhand Joyce, Leadership Council Chair
Katharine Royal, Leadership Council Co-chair
Ted Warner, Leadership Council Secretary
Lee Whittaker, Leadership Council Member-at-Large

Please welcome our new Co-Chair!

From the Leadership Council:

It is a great pleasure to introduce you to our new co-chair Rev. Katharine Royal.


Feel free to add to the congratulations through our Facebook page.

Leadership Council Co-chair Voting

On behalf of Leadership Council Chair, Rev Ann Luchterhand Joyce:

If you are a member of the Progressive Christian Alliance, please vote for the new Leadership Council Co-chair. (via SurveyMonkey) Voting will be open until November 19, 2014 11:59 CDT.

For more information about the nominees, please see our Facebook page.

Now taking Leadership Council Nominations

Dear Friends,

As we prepare the documents for filing the 501c3, we are in need to complete our Leadership Council membership. The position of Leadership Council Co-chair is needing to be filled. Please, prayerfully consider nominating someone for this position. Remember to ask the person before you officially nominate them here. We will keep nominations open until November 12, 2014, 11:59 EST.

Description: Co-Chair Job Description:

1. Is a member of the Council

2. Performs Chair responsibilities when the Chair cannot be available (see Chair Job Description)

3. Reports to the Council’s Chair

4. Works closely with the Chair and other LC members.

The Leadership Council meets one time per month via teleconference, with hopes of eventually meeting via Google Hangouts.

Ann Luchterhand Joyce

LC Chair

Welcome to the new (and hopefully improved!) Progressive Christian Alliance website!

Over the coming weeks, there will be more information and features added as members get used to the new look and feel. We ask for your patience as we continue to improve the site. Besides a general back-end clean up of the website itself, we also have the following new features:

  • Leadership and Clergy Directories: If you click on the menu above you’ll see links to pages that show listings for the Leadership Council, Regional Service Leaders, Clergy, and Affiliated Churches. If you use the site search box to the right, it will search these directories as well.
  • New Ordination Information Page
  • New Online Groups Page: This also includes a form to sign up for our new email list. More groups will be added soon.
  • Progressive Christian Alliance Email List: Due to the limitations (and general wonkiness) of Facebook in getting information out to members, it was decided to create an email list for members in order to foster better communication. If you would like to be added to the email list, please fill out the form on the Online Groups page. The bandwidth for the email list was donated to the organization by Sarah Thompson and Rev. Gina Pond.

Other features and improvements will be announced as they are implemented.

I’d like to thank everyone for their patience, and for all the Progressive Christian Alliance members, the Leadership Council, Regional Servant Leaders, and many others for their support in revamping the website.

Many blessings, and glad to be of service,

Rev. Gina Pond