Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Brief Review of My EPC Examination

It has been one week since I was received as a teaching elder in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church's Presbytery of the Pacific.  I went into my floor examination down in Orange, California, at the interesting independent Covenant Presbyterian Church [not a member of any presbytery, though it has called an EPC pastor].  I could fill a number of paragraphs describing the location, the overwhelmingly loving hospitality I received there (with Elder Dave Bishop) and the prayerful tone of the proceedings, but it let it be suffice to say that it, in the words of my little Marian, made my heart happy.
I was given James 5:16 as my text to give my sermon.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
My sermonette (five minutes) concentrated on Christ overcoming both the evil we do (sin) and the evil that befalls us (sickness) on the cross .  The righteous person, then, has power in prayer because Christ, the Righteous One, is our intercessor.  As the Church, the community of Christ, his bride, we confess our sins and pray for another for healing because this is the way of Christ.
Following my sermon, I was asked four questions, each of which will be a blog post in the coming weeks.
  1. Since you have been ordained for only five years, what has this transition been like for you?
  2. Explain your sense of call to the rural church.
  3. Tell us about your commitment to Calvin's lectio continua preaching style.
  4. What has been most challenging to you in ministry?
I look forward to exploring these questions further through the blog in the coming weeks.
Long story short, though, I was received as was the congregation pending our dismissal.  The Session, our negotiation team and the Presbytery of Central Washington still have work to do as we move toward dismissal, but we are moving and the end is in sight for this process.  Praise the Lord.


  1. Powerful verse. But a difficult one to obey even with the fantastic promise attached to it. Nearly impossible, I would think, if one isn't involved in a small group of some kind.