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Leadership Chair and Treasurer Election Results

Hi Friends!

I am pleased to announce the results of the election for Leadership Chair and Treasurer!

With a unanimous vote of 22 votes, Rev. Rob Ponsford has been elected Leadership Chair and Helen Drivick has been elected to Treasurer. 

The tally from Google Sheets is below. 

They will start their term on January 1, 2021. 

Ballot for Leadership Chair and Treasurer Now Live

Hello Friends,

Voting is now officially open for Leadership Chair and Treasurer. The candidates are listed below with their statements, with the ballot following. Emails will be collected for the ballot to ensure that there is only one vote per person, and will be discarded after the close of the election.

The election will be open from 10 AM US Eastern time today, Sunday 15 November 2020, until midnight US Pacific Time on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

Candidate for Leadership Chair

Bishop Rob Ponsford

As many of you know I have for the last two years been the Member at Large for the PCA, and in that time I have been ordained with the PCA and been elected as Bishop very recently. I like many of us truly believe in the PCA and the force for good it clearly is including the multiple ways in which our ministries take. I am very familiar with the Google Office package of suits and I have loved every minute of being the Member at Large, I feel that running for Leadership Chair is something I am being called, and if Elected I will continue the great work started by our current Chair. I want to help grow the PCA so that on our clergy pages we have a more comprehensive set of materials to help those who are going through discernment and continue to develop those in ministry.

I want to create further links with other groups and churches within the wider Independent Sacramental Movement of which I have already had some success though limited. Not just with what some may consider “traditional” groups but also certain mixed path groups as well so that we have links with those that reflect the diverse practises of our membership.

With Lockdowns and restrictions here to stay for the foreseeable, the work we do both physically locally and online is more important than ever. I will seek to set up online services with a number of PCA Ministers if they are interested to once again show the wide range of practises we have within the PCA. If elected I will do all that my humanely best to exemplify that loving kindness and mercy and forgiveness as taught by Christ.

The PCA has blessed me as Minister as a Priest and Bishop within another Church which many would not do, and I have served the PCA as its Member at Large, Now I believe I can give more and help lead and guide and support the PCA as we continue to grow and more importantly continue to reach out to those who have been left behind as we show and reflect the love of our creator, for all of us are loved as we are and I believe I can help us in this endeavour.

I sincerely hope this short statement helps give an idea of why I am running and I hope my love and dedication to the PCA is able to shine through. Finally I want thank you the membership for taking the time to read this, it is my deepest wish to be able to serve you all as its very core that is what I feel this role entails much like Christ a servant hearted leadership and that is what I firmly believe in.

Thank you all-

Rev Rob

Candidate for Treasurer

Helen Drivick

It’s been a pleasure working with the Board for the past year+ as interim Treasurer. I would like to extend my tenure by running for the position.

I feel that it would be in the best interest of the community to have continuity in the position. While this past year has proved to be a learning curve, having that experience will now free me up to pursue some of the PCA financial goals which will ensure future solubility and sustainability. No organization, not even ours, can run without incurring some financial charges – web servers, non-profit status maintenance, ordinations and other activities have been financially managed in the past, mostly through Board members giving of their time, talents and treasures.

If elected, I look forward to visioning with the Board and with our members ways to enable the Progressive Christian Alliance to continue our growth and presence. We are a necessary counterbalance in a world – especially a church world – of othering. I will do all that I can to be a good steward for the organization and our members.

VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.

Nominations Now Open for the 2021-2023 Term for Leadership Chair and Treasurer

Hello Friends!

It’s board election time again! This year we are holding elections for Leadership Chair and Treasurer to serve a 3 year term (2021-2023).

All potential nominees are reminded that this is a 3 year commitment. Communication is critical in the work that we do! Only 3 unexcused absences from Board meetings are allowed according to our Constitution and Canons. Planned absences can be arranged with the Leadership Chair, but must be communicated in advance. Please consider carefully your ability to maintain your commitment if you do get elected to the Leadership Council. There is plenty of work to be done, and we need committed volunteers! 

It is also important that all nominees are able to work within the Google ecosystem, particularly Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive. The majority of our work is done through these systems since we are an international organization with members all over the world (e.g.: the current Leadership Chair lives in Switzerland!). Familiarity with WordPress is also helpful. All nominees will be required to fill out a Membership Form if they haven’t done so in the last two years, which will be sent to them by the current Secretary when they send in their nomination.

Please review the position descriptions in this post, and if you are interested in running for office, fill out the nomination form below.

Updates from the Chair October 2020: New Ordinations and Board Election Reminder

Hello Friends!

This past Leadership Council meeting was our quarterly review of candidates for Ordination. We are excited to welcome the following new Pastors into the Progressive Christian Alliance family:

  • John Harris
  • Markie Harrison-Febo
  • Aimee Niles

Congratulations, and again, welcome to the family! 

I’d also like to remind everyone that elections for Leadership Chair and Treasurer are fast approaching, and the schedule is as follows:

November 1-14: Nomination form will be posted and nominations will be accepted until midnight PST on the 14th. 

November 15-21: Election form will be posted and elections will close at midnight PST on the 21st. 

December 1: Results will be announced.

Please see last month’s news post to learn more about the positions. There will be a separate announcement for about the nomination form at the end of this month. Also, feel free to contact the Board if you have any questions. 

Lastly, I would like to strongly encourage our United States members to please go out and vote. Check to make sure your registration is valid, or that you have registered at all. Make a plan for how you will get to the polls, and if you are able to, help others to get to the polls. 

Vote as if lives depend on it, because they do. 

Stay well, stay safe, and please vote!

In His Name, 

Rev. Gina

Updates from the Chair September 2020: Preparing for ProgCA Elections and Webmasters needed.

Hello Friends!

It feels very Fall-like here in Switzerland and the days are getting shorter, which means we are getting closer to the ProgCA Elections for Leadership Chair and Treasurer! Because of the US national elections, we have shifted the timeline for the elections:

November 1-14: Nomination form will be posted and nominations will be accepted until midnight PST on the 14th. 

November 15-21: Election form will be posted and elections will close at midnight PST on the 21st. 

December 1: Results will be announced. 

The following are the position descriptions for both positions from the Constitution and Canons.  I would also suggest that nominees must use and be familiar with Google Suite (Docs, Drive, Gmail, Forms) as all of documentation and communications are through this system. 

Leadership Council Chair Responsibilities

1) Sets agendas for the Leadership Council meetings with input from the

membership at large and fellow LC members.

2) Chairs meetings of the Council.

3) Encourages Council’s role in strategic planning.

4) Responsible for the oversight of the financial aspects of the Progressive

Christian Alliance along with the Co-Chair.

5) Serves ex officio as a member of committees and attends their meetings

when invited.

6) Helps guide and mediate Council actions with respect to organizational

priorities and governance concerns.

7) Ensures regular communication of progress with the membership at large.

8) Performs other responsibilities assigned by the Council.

9) Serves a three (3) year term and may not self-succeed into same position.

Leadership Council Treasurer Responsibilities

1) Manages finances of the organization.

2) Administrate fiscal matters of the organization

3) Provide annual budget to the council for members’ approval.

4) Ensures development and council review of financial policies and

procedures.

5) Provides monthly financial statements to council members and, upon

approval by council members, to PCA membership.

6) Maintain records of donations by membership both individual and

congregational and provides end of year tax statements to all who have

donated.

7) Prepare and file all IRS tax forms related to 501(c)3 status, including form

990 and/or other documents required by the IRS.

8) Is able to use software to track all income, expenses, etc.

9) Serves a three (3) year term and may not self-succeed into same position.

Cannot concurrently chair another committee.

If you have any questions about the positions or the election itself, please feel free to contact us.

We are also still seeking WordPress webmasters for our website. If you, or people you know, could volunteer their time for this, please let us know. More information on the positions is here. 

My heart and prayers are going out especially right now to my US siblings in Christ, many of whom are facing so many things at once: forest fires, hurricanes, attending protests, or just trying to stay alive and well during a global pandemic and rocky political situation. I encourage those who can vote in the US, to check their registrations and then vote in the election. Also, keep up the work you can do, wherever you can! Not only do people need social justice work, but they also need spiritual guidance to get through these times. Never doubt that anything you can do as ProgCA clergy is useful, needed, and important!

May all of you stay safe and be well!

In Jesus’ name

Rev. Gina

Updates from the Chair August 2020

Hello friends!

It has been a beautiful summer here in Zurich, and I hope that all of you are having a good August so far!

The Leadership Council is pleased to announce that Rev. Ann Luchterhand has volunteered to replace Rev. Marie as Ordination Committee chair! Thank you Rev. Ann for volunteering and we look forward to working with you!

We are also looking for at least 2 volunteers to become our WordPress webmasters. Click here to learn more. 

November will be our elections for Leadership Chair and Treasurer. Nominations will begin in Mid-October. If you are in discernment about whether you would like to run for either of these positions and have questions, please contact us

I hope you all are staying safe, especially those in the US who are doing the hard work of social justice. May Jesus guide you and watch over you as you do His work. 

In His Many Names, 

Rev. Gina

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: 2 WordPress Webmaster Positions Open

The Progressive Chrisitan Alliance is seeking two experienced webmasters with extensive experience in WordPress. As this is volunteer work, and there’s a good deal that needs to be done, we are looking for at least two people to share the responsibilities. 

We are particularly looking for people who know how to set up and maintain E-commerce solutions, Membership levels/plugins, and personnel directories. The Webmasters will work with the Leadership Council (particularly the Member-at-Large) in order to get these services up and running, along with regular basic maintenance of the website. The webmasters should also be able to work with G-suite as well for forms. 

What the webmasters will be responsible for:

  • Implementing updates and troubleshooting problems. 
  • Choosing and setting up an ecommerce solution for Membership payments. 
  • Setting up member areas and web-forms
  • Setting up the clergy directory and training Leadership Council and Ordination Committee members on how to add new names. 
  • Maintaining user accounts for the Leadership Council and Ordination Committee members (as needed)
  • Contacting the server owners when necessary for troubleshooting.

Again, we understand that this is a good deal of work, which is why we are asking for at least two people to take this on, preferably for at least a year, if possible. 

If you are interested please email me at leadershipchair@progressivechristianalliance.org

Thank you!

Rev. Gina

Updates from the Chair July 2020

Hello friends! 

This month Leadership Council is happy to announce that the following candidates have been approved for ordination: 

  • Jamin Hubner
  • Alanna Ireland
  • Mary Putera
  • Ann Snowberger
  • Elisha VerGowe

Congratulations and welcome to the Progressive Christian Alliance family!

Our Ordination Committee Chair, Rev. Marie Bat’el, is resigning from that position and is moving on to other projects. In her time as Chair, she has done incredible work in improving the ordination process, organizing clergy information, and updating our clergy documentation. Thank you so much for your service Marie, and we wish you all the best!

That being said, this also means that we are looking for a  new Ordination Committee Chair. The chair MUST be able to work with Google Suite (Docs, Drive, Forms, etc) or be motivated to learn it well. Marie has graciously offered to stay on to train the next Chair in our current system. 

We also have need of at least 2 WordPress Webmasters to work with me in implementing member services on our website. I’ve been personally maintaining the website for several years now, but the work that needs to be done is out of my experience. The webmasters MUST have extensive experience with WordPress. Experience in ecommerce and/or creating membership areas would be especially helpful. 

If you feel called to serve, and are interested in donating your time in these positions, please contact the Leadership Council

As a reminder, elections for Leadership Chair and Treasurer are coming up in November. Now is a good time to discern if you feel called to serve in either of these positions. If you do feel so called, we will be taking nominations in October for these two positions. You DO NOT have to be ordained to hold any position on the Leadership Council. (We also highly recommend that if you are interested in these positions that you are comfortable with Google Suite, as all of our communications and documentation are conducted through this platform.)

In order to facilitate updating of our clergy records, we are now offering an address to send photocopies of your records if you’re unable to scan them or transmit them electronically. Please send it to:

Rev. Jenny Howard – Secretary
Progressive Christian Alliance
786 Twin Oaks Dr Apt 2
Decatur, GA 30030

I hope that all of you are staying safe and well during this time. I know it’s hard for everyone right now to maintain faith and hope. May we find hope and joy where we can, and stand up for justice in all the ways that we are able!

In the name of Jesus and God’s many names, 

Rev. Gina Pond

Progressive Christian Alliance Statement: #blacklivesmatter and #translivesmatter

Since the Trump administration came into power in January 2017, the United States has become more hostile to those who are othered in our society. They have consistently spouted racist and transphobic propaganda, and have encouraged their supporters to openly harass anyone that doesn’t fit their standards. 

The murder of George Floyd has been a tipping point. The United States government has failed black people since before it even became a country. The Civil Rights era brought some change, but black and brown people are still treated as slaves with discrimination, low wage jobs, and being sent to prison for crimes that most white people get a slap on the wrist for. The great melting pot experiment that was the United States has, over and over again, failed to address the needs of black people, indiginous people, and other people of color. 

The government has also failed transgender people. This administration, and the Republican party, have continuously passed legislation and executive orders that egregiously erode the rights for transgender persons. It is especially heinous to us that religion is used as an excuse to deny medical care, housing, or any number of essential needs. 

The United States government has failed its people, using hate, fear, and religion as weapons. 

In the Progressive Christian Alliance, we take the teachings of Jesus seriously. It is our mission to try to follow, to the utmost of our abilities, the two commandments that, in scripture, Jesus deemed most important:

“This is the foremost: […] You must love the Most High God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31, The Inclusive Bible)

While individual’s beliefs in our organization may differ in fulfilling the first of these important commandments, fulfilling the second commandment is the foundation of the Progressive Christian alliance. As we say in our welcome statement:

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. We are intentionally radically inclusive and welcome all persons of any race, color, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, familial or relational configuration ( e.g. polyamory, non-monogamy, etc.), body size, gender, religion, or any other difference to become a part of this movement.

To put it simply, we understand that when Jesus stated that loving one’s neighbor as oneself is one of the greatest commandments, there were no conditions on that statement. 

So we say, in solidarity and in faith: Black Lives Matter. Transgender lives matter

The Leadership Council, Clergy, and Laity of the Progressive Christian Alliance have, do, and will continue to stand with our black and transgender siblings not only because we should, or that it is the right thing to do, but because our living faith demands we emulate the love of Jesus in all our actions. 

Emulating the love of Jesus demands that we do the work of educating ourselves to the realities of oppression. It is especially important for  those of us who are white do the work of dismantling the white supremacy that we’ve been taught from the cradle. 

Emulating the love of Jesus demands that we do the work of dismantling the systems that seek to oppress black and transgender lives. 

Emulating the love of Jesus means that, however and wherever we can, we speak Truth to power. If it means flipping the tables in the temple, then those who can, will. If it means convincing one person at a time that the Gospel calls us to stand against white supremacy, bigotry, and hate, then those who can, will. If it means feeding protestors, or hiding them from the police, then those who can will. If it means overthrowing empires of oppression, then those who can will.

Whatever you can do to ease the suffering of black and transgender lives is doing the work of Jesus. It is what is demanded of us as Christians. 

The Progressive Christian Alliance will always stand for justice, stand for the oppressed, and stand for the calling of radical inclusivity that is the bedrock of our faith. 

So we say again: Black Lives Matter. Transgender lives matter.

In the name of Jesus and God, in their many names,

Rev. Gina Pond – Leadership Chair

Rev. Alaina Cobb – Leadership Co-chair

Rev. Jenny Howard – Secretary

Helen Drivick – Treasurer

Rev. Rob Ponsford – Member at Large 

Updates from the Chair: May 2020

Hello Friends! 

I hope you are all doing well, staying safe, and practicing your physical distancing and hygiene rules! Here in Switzerland, our house is just starting it’s fourth month of quarantine. It’s not easy, but we’re doing relatively ok. 

The ProgCA is also doing fine and we’re still working on projects that will make things easier for laity and clergy alike in regards to membership and ordination. 

If you are ProgCA Clergy, please don’t forget to sign up for our Clergy Support Email list. Not only will there be ProgCA updates on the list, but it’s also a discussion list for our clergy to support each other and ask for resources and help. Click here if you are already ordained and haven’t joined yet. Those who are seeking ordination will automatically be added to the list after they are approved going forward. This is particularly important at this time, since I know all of us clergy are doing a lot more work, being it online or on the front lines.

Speaking of Ordination, Rev. Marie is looking for clergy who would be interested in joining the Ordination Committee to be mentors to new ordinands. Rev. Marie is also still asking for folks to update their credentials with her. If you are interested in being a mentor, or haven’t updated your credentials yet, please contact Rev. Marie (rev.mbatel@gmail.com) for more information. 

Also, the Clergy Directory is coming back! All clergy will be added to this list once we are able to upload it to the site. The listings will only include the clergy person’s name, state/region, country, and an email address contact link. If any clergy DOES NOT want their name or email listed, please let Rev. Marie or myself know. 

And finally, this is another reminder that elections are coming up in November for Leadership Chair and Treasurer. Now is a good time to start discernment about whether or not you’d like to run for these positions. It is especially useful if candidates have experience with the Google ecosystem, as we use Google for Non-profits. If you have any questions about what is required, please feel free to email me. 

May God and Jesus bless you all and keep you safe during this pandemic. Hopefully wisdom will prevail, and love abound! 

In Spirit’s Name, 

Rev. Gina