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.
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
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.
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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Thanks to all those who voted on the proposal, the results are as follows:
(Image taken from SurveyMonkey)
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
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)!
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr.
Chair, Leadership Council
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
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:
- General question from several people: “I’m already ordained, do I need to go through the ordination process again?”
- 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.
- From Ford Frazar: “Where do we get a PCA stole?”
- 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.
- From Deborah Hill: “Would PCA be an Association of Professional Chaplains (BCCi) approved endorsing body?”
- 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.
- Jim Tarvid asked about the minutes as legal documents, and “990’s”
- 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.
- Jim also wondered if $10/mo is enough, and about the clergy roster.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
Posted in News
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
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.
The Leadership Council
Voting is now closed for the Proposed Change to the Constitution. The results from SurveyMonkey are shown below:
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!
The Leadership Council