Blessed Easter and News from the Leadership Chair

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all having a very blessed Easter Sunday! May the Light of the Risen Christ shine brightly on all that you do!

Some of you may have seen my post about this on Facebook by now, but I am moving to Switzerland with my wife. We have several reasons for this, which I talk about in this video: https://youtu.be/fb-ivS5_IGc Overall, though, we’re really excited about this change, even given some of the political reasons for it.

There may be some of you who may be concerned that this move will affect my ability to serve as Leadership Chair. The fact that I’m moving to another country, however, will only have a slight impact on my term and the ability to carry out my duties as Chair. Remember, our organization is international, with clergy and members from Europe, Asia, and other areas of the world. There are some organizational duties that will primarily fall on the US members of the Leadership Council, since our 501(c)3 incorporation is based in the United States, but these are already duties that are delegated to these members regardless of where I, personally, happen to live.

My wife and I plan to move sometime in June or July. I will still be available to folks for any questions, concerns, or suggestions they may need to have addressed during that time. Please do know, that during the actual move, I might be delayed in answering emails.

I’m also pleased to announce that we are finally able to move forward with our new Membership Policy in the next few months (we had a couple of setbacks that were beyond our control), which I will still be able to work on with the Leadership Council during the move. I recommend that folks subscribe to the news blog via email so that you can always have the most recent updates.

We do have some exciting plans coming after we sort out the website membership capabilities and our clergy listings, including the possibility of Leadership Chair live chats, a virtual convocation, and the ability for PCA churches and groups to showcase what they are doing in their communities. We ask that you give us your grace and patience while we put these processes into place, as it will take time to test and implement them.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at leadershipchair@progressivechrisitianalliance.org. I usually answer emails within one business day.

Again, may you have the most blessed of Easters, and I thank you all for the blessings you have given me!

In your service,

Rev. Gina Pond

Leadership Chair

February Minutes are Posted

Hi Friends!

The February minutes are posted on the Leadership Council page for your perusal.

Click here: http://progressivechristianalliance.org/leadership-council/

Meeting Minutes Posted

Hello Friends,

The meeting minutes for December and January have been posted on the Leadership Council page. We apologize for the delay in posting.

Click here to read the files: http://progressivechristianalliance.org/leadership-council/

 

Progressive Christian Alliance Now Able to Endorse Chaplains

The Leadership Council is pleased to announce that the Progressive Christian Alliance is now recognized as a Faith Group Endorser for the purposes of board certification through the Board of Certified Chaplaincy, Inc (BCCi). This means that any clergy who would like to become chaplains can use the Progressive Christian Alliance as their endorsing body.

We are thrilled to be able to now offer this to PCA clergy! Special thanks to our Co-Chair, Rev. Beth Abbott for making sure this became a reality for our clergy!

Leadership Council appoints Interim Councilor-at-Large

Friends,

The Leadership Council is pleased to announce that Kim Shinabery has accepted the appointment of Interim Councilor-at-Large for the remainder of the 2016-2018 term that was vacated when Rev. Gina Pond became Leadership Chair.

We are very excited to have her on the team, and she will begin serving immediately!

Many Blessings,

Rev. Gina Pond

Leadership Chair

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

A Statement from the Interim Chair about our Online Groups

Friends,

 

We have closed our Progressive Christian Alliance Facebook and online groups temporarily. They will be open again to posting in seven days. I, as interim Chair, am not going to hash out all the details of why, except to say that I hope that this week will help folks cool off.

 

I want to give you some ideas to think about during this time, however. When my wife and I were doing activism in 2012 against Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, we had a large group discussion with a mixed group of these women and members of the transgender and queer communities. My wife, who is also a Buddhist, went around the room and said the following to each person there, regardless of what they thought of her, a transgender woman:

 

“I love you unconditionally and I surrender to your compassion.”

 

I now say this to all of you: I love you all unconditionally, and surrender to your compassion. We come from very diverse backgrounds. We have very different ideas about what progressive Christianity is and is not. We have very different ideas about how even the Progressive Christian Alliance is supposed to be run. This is a horrific time for people who care about our fellow human beings. There are so many things that are just wrong with the world right now.

 

But there is one thing I’ve observed, especially online, and it’s that the progressive world is forgetting compassion. That in our grief and anger we have forgotten that there are human beings at the other end of the screen. Human beings that screw up, say stupid things, and don’t do things the way *you* think they should. What saddens me is that there is a lot of verbal abuse that has deemed to be “ok” in the name of progressive thought. There is no one way to be progressive. Many of us have come out of churches that subscribed to the One True Way idea, and I ask you, friends, when did that kind of thinking become “ok” and “right” in progressive circles?

 

My teacher, Bishop Yvette Flunder of City of Refuge Church in Oakland, CA, taught me that radical inclusion doesn’t mean that a group doesn’t have boundaries. We need the boundaries to keep group cohesion and for the safety of the group. Our Covenant, which applies to all of our online groups, is our agreement with all of you that you will make our groups a safer place to talk about our Christian beliefs, regardless of how your path manifests. She also taught me to have grace and compassion for those who mess up, who don’t make the mark, or, in some circles, “sin” because, while you may have a boundary that leaves them out of shared space, it doesn’t mean you can’t be compassionate and help them to where they need to be.

 

However, our group is not static, and the covenant is a dynamic document. If you have suggestions on how to make it better, you can email us at pcafacebookgroup@gmail.com with any comments you’d like to make. If you’d like to talk to me personally about the groups, or PCA as a whole, I am always available via email at worthyadvisor@gmail.com.

 

The Leadership Council is trying hard to shore up the foundations of the PCA so we can do more for all of you, clergy and laity. It may not seem like enough at the moment, since there’s so much injustice going on, but you can’t support a stone house when your foundation is made out of toothpicks. We are striving to make a foundation out of stone so that we *can* be able to fight the good fight and do much more than we have in the past.

 

But I ask you all for your patience, and most of all, I again surrender to your compassion. We all take Jesus as our inspiration and center of faith. If he could show compassion for Mary Magdalene, for Judas, and even for those who tortured and killed him, we can certainly find compassion for each other. We are, after all, Christians, are we not?

 

I love you all unconditionally, and I surrender to your compassion.

 

In the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,

 

Rev. Gina Pond

Interim Leadership Council Chair