The February minutes are posted on the Leadership Council page for your perusal.
The February minutes are posted on the Leadership Council page for your perusal.
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/
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!
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!
Rev. Gina Pond
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.
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!
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 email@example.com.
The Leadership Council looks forward to working with you!
Rev. Gina Pond
Leadership Council Chair
Here are the results for the elections of Leadership Chair and Treasurer. Screenshots are taken directly from SurveyMonkey.
Total Votes: 31
Rev. Gina Pond: 22
Rev. Jerry Joyce: 9
Votes Skipped: 0
Total Votes: 27
Matthew Self: 27
Votes Skipped: 4
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
Rev. Gina Pond
Interim Leadership Chair
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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
Nominations are now closed and elections have begun for Leadership Chair and Treasurer.
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.
“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.
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.
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.Thanks,Matt Self