Please Vote: Membership and Dues Policy Proposal

This document outlines a proposal for membership levels and responsibilities as well as proposed yearly fees for membership.

Having a clear definition of who is a member, who is affiliated, and who is ordained has been lacking in the PCA and a point of confusion. This is especially true when it comes to voting rights in the organization and being able to accept already ordained clergy without having to go through a second ordination process. We have also not charged yearly dues for our ordained ministers, affiliates, and members, which is standard practice for most organizations of our type. Clarifying our membership levels will help us in overall organization of the PCA, and yearly membership fees will allow for the PCA to have a consistent stream of income, offset ordination costs (website fees, printing and mailing of certificates, etc.), and give members a bigger sense of investment into the organization.

We have tried to keep the dues as modest as possible. For affiliation and ordination, we are assuming that we will find a reasonable background check website where the ordination and affiliate fee will cover the cost. Once this system is put into practice, the fees should be reviewed every year to balance the PCA’s needs with the ability of our members and clergy to pay. It should also be stressed that no one should be turned down for ordination or affiliation for lack of funds, and hopefully the fact that others can pay yearly dues will help offset the costs for those who can’t.

At all levels of membership, members are responsible for paying yearly dues and notifying the PCA of any name or address changes. All clergy are responsible for ensuring that they submit bi-annual background checks after the initial background check that is submitted with affiliation or ordination paperwork.

ALL CLERGY who wish to be recognized on the PCA website and have already been ordained by the PCA will need to submit the following documentation after September 1, 2017 and prior to November 1, 2017.

  • Yearly dues of $10 via PayPal or other means.
  • A complete update of contact information.
  • An updated background check if you were ordained prior to 2014.
  • A signed Ministerial Promise form if you have not already signed one.

Following approval of these membership definitions, the Leadership Council will set up instructions for the documents, payments, and acceptable sites for background checks.

The full outline of Membership Levels and Dues are outlined here: Membership and Dues Proposal (PDF)

Please use the box below to vote on the proposal via Survey Monkey. Voting will close on August 10, 2017 (30 days).

 

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)!

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes: May 2017

Hello friends!

Here are the approved meeting minutes from our May 8, 2017 Leadership Council meeting.

This is also a reminder that the C&C vote is ending this Wednesday. Click here for more information. 

Minutes PCA LC 08May2017

Reminder: Vote on Revised Constitution and Canons Ends June 14

Hello Friends,

There is a week and a half left to vote on the revised version of the Constitution and Canons. Voting will close on June 14, 2017.

Please click here for rational and link for voting: http://progressivechristianalliance.org/please-vote-constitution-and-canons-update/

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 Meeting Minutes – March 2017

Hi Friends,

We hope that you all had a very blessed Easter! Here are the March 2017 meeting minutes.

Mar2017-PCA-LC-Minutes

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

Blessings,

Rev. Gina

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

January and February Leadership Council Minutes

We apologize for the delay in posting these and thank you for your patience. The following PDFs are the approved meeting minutes for January and February.

The Leadership Council will not be meeting in April due to the Easter holidays. Our next meeting will be May 8, 2017.

We hope that you all have a blessed Easter!

Jan2017 PCA LC Minutes

Feb2017 PCA LC Minutes

What Does It Mean to Be a Progressive Christian? – by Dr. Lou Kavar.

What Does It Mean to Be a Progressive Christian?

I sat with a small group of colleagues one Saturday to engage in the discussion.  We describe ourselves as “Progressive Christians,” but we wondered:  what does that really mean?  As expected, there were a wide range of opinions and insights.

It helps to know that all the members of the group have been engaged in ministry for a couple of decades each.  The group is diverse:  African-American, Korean, Japanese descent, and Caucasian women and men.  We each have very different theological education but we all agree that the traditional theological categories make little sense today.  The traditional categories we learned represent social contexts and understandings about life that are no longer held today.

For example, the foundation of much of Christian theology was articulated when people believed that Earth was the center of the universe and that humanity was the height of God’s creation.  Today we know that Earth is a minor planet in the far reaches of the universe and circles an ordinary star.  In addition, we understand that the ages of humans as the dominant creature characterizes this geological era, but there have been other era and other dominant creatures. Also, homo sapiens are only one species of humans in the genus of human beings.  In other words, the understanding of the human context in the universe has changed.  As Progressive Christians, we recognize that our understanding of God must also change.

As a group, it was easy for us to affirm that Christianity is but one wisdom and faith tradition that holds truth for human living.  It’s the tradition of which we are part, but that doesn’t make it better or worse that other paths, like Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam.

We also agreed that the essential importance of Christianity is found in the teachings of Jesus as a moral and ethical guide to living.  Throughout the teachings of Jesus, major themes are quite clear:  carrying for others, giving of self, and treating those marginalized in society with deep respect are hallmarks for what it means to be Christian.

As I thought more about this, it struck me how essentially different Progressive Christian is from the very popular American Evangelical Christian understanding of Christianity.  Among American Evangelicals, salvation in the after-life is more important than anything else.  Salvation is achieved by asking Jesus to come into one’s life and heart.  The funny thing about this Evangelical concept of salvation is that it’s not something that can be found in the teachings of Jesus.  Instead, the teachings of Jesus were real life and practical.  It’s pretty clear in the Gospel attributed to John, where Jesus is recorded as saying, “By this will others know that you are my followers:  by your love for one another.”  Even in the Gospel attributed to Matthew, the final judgment at the end of time is based on what people did for others.

I think that the faulty foundation of American Evangelical Christianity has resulted in Evangelical Christians holding positions that appear to be askew from the Biblical tradition and life in the twenty-first century.  American Evangelicals believe that Jesus was born to die for the sins of the world and so that individuals can go to heaven. If that’s true, then essentially everything that happened between his birth in Bethlehem and the cross of Calvary has not merit.    Instead, as is the practice of Evangelicals, a person can simply ask Jesus to save you and it’s all good.  There’s no need to do the difficult work of putting oneself in second place and put those in need ahead of my interests.  If a person isn’t bound to follow the mandate of Jesus to care for our neighbors as exemplified in the story of the Good Samaritan, then there’s no need to root our prejudice from one’s own life.

For me, as a Progressive Christian, what’s fundamental for being a Christian is striving to embody the way of life Jesus taught.  It’s not about pie-in-the-sky-when-we-die.  Instead, it’s the realization that God’s realm is here and now. As a Christian, it’s critical for me to live in a way that’s rooted in the care of others, our planet, and those who will come after me.  After all, that’s the way of living taught by Jesus.  In the end, my colleagues came to the same conclusion.  It’s that which makes us Progressive Christians.

What’s most important in Christianity?  Going to heaven or treating people well on Earth.

(Photo credit: the Italian voice via Foter.com / CC BY)

© 2017, emerging by Lou Kavar, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.