Hello ECO Community! Hope you enjoy this month's newsletter! Make sure not to miss the end! Click on the blue link at the very bottom of this email that says "View entire message"!
How ECO is striving to reach our goal of 1000 flourishing churches by 2030
A Message From Dana Allin, Synod Executive

One goal of our 2030 vision is to have 1000 flourishing churches and micro-expressions of churches within ECO. The intent of this goal is to indicate that we need to focus on both a greater quantity and quality of churches that will have the Kingdom impact we envision.  

I want to share a little bit more about developing the quantity of churches within ECO and our continued push to create an environment that catalyzes church planting. Admittedly, church planting is one of the most challenging aspects of our vision. There are many factors that work against creating a robust church planting culture. Some of these factors have to do with the changing dynamics of church planting across the country regardless of denomination, and others are unique to who we are in ECO. This reality causes us to continually evaluate and consider how best to develop and support a church planting environment...
CHURCH PLANTING
The Spring Midtown
Phoenix, AZ
A word from Luke Parker, Pastor

The Spring Midtown was started when a church I had previously helped to plant reached out to my wife and I about planting a new church at the same time we were processing a new sense of call to love our neighbors. From there, Midtown was a church of two. Months later, it was a living room church in my house on Sunday mornings full of unchurched people, semi-Christians, deconstructors who were all wanting to hear more about Jesus.  

Every person who comes to know Jesus feels like a huge victory. Every baptism is a great joy. When deconstructors decide to believe again, we feel like we are doing incredible work. We recently moved to a new space called Hope Women's Center which serves at-risk women in Phoenix and partnering with them to serve our neighbors during Covid has been incredible. Struggles have been things like: children's ministry (our church keeps having babies), consistent space to rent, resources, and new, non-Christians who have no rhythm of serving, tithing, or regularly being a part of a church. 

People around us are hungry for the Gospel, and desperate for someone to tell them.
Q&A with Clint Leavitt, Pastoral Apprentice

How did you get involved at The Spring Midtown?
In the middle of my time at Fuller Theological Seminary, my wife and I were invited by Luke Parker to check out The Spring Midtown, which had been planted a little over a year earlier out of Luke's home. We immediately felt that it was a place we could plug into quickly and participate in some powerful Kingdom work; the church's ability to respond to major cultural topics, provide a healthy space for good questions, and meet the needs of the neighborhood all made it seem like it was home for us. 
What has your role been as an apprentice?
We began attending the church in July 2018, and I started working as an apprentice at Midtown in October 2019. My role has three major components: a) Discipleship development at the church: preaching and teaching, expanding community groups, creating a discipleship pathway, website and social media management, etc., b) Outreach and Service: connecting and working with local ministries and nonprofits to work for the good of the city and the growth of the church, and c) Mentorship - I have built a Rule of Life, committed to extended reading and writing, mentored community group leaders, and been mentored directly by Luke Parker in my time. 

What are you learning?
I have learned how to build healthy rhythms in my life that enable me to shepherd my community while protecting home life. I have learned how to become a better preacher and teacher, and how to most effectively activate others towards their own spiritual growth. I have learned the joys and challenges of church planting in a practical way. I have learned effective discipleship strategies. I have learned much about ECO and their polity and vision. In general, I have become equipped for the long, faithful road of ministry in every part of my being.

What is your next step?
I have been hired as an adjunct professor of Christianity and Culture at Grand Canyon University, and plan to continue into a second year at Midtown in conjunction with this teaching opportunity. This second year of my apprenticeship will involve potentially discipling new first year apprentices, along with researching and potentially starting the ECO ordination path. My passion lies at the intersection of Christianity and culture, learning to connect with skeptics and bring Christ into dialogue with our cultural artifacts and movements.
Renew Ministries
Jerome, ID
Renew Ministries is an ECO church plant in Jerome, ID that runs a coffee shop in town.

Shay is one of the amazing staff members at Renew, who is leaving for college soon. Hear in her own words about how working at Renew has changed the way she sees people.   

  
"I started working at Renew in October 2019. I started knowing that my work ethic and responsibility would be strengthened, but I had no idea how much my heart would change.

In my interview, Will told me that as part of the ministry, it was important that I see every person as made in the image of God. I put that in my tool belt, but didn’t realize how much it had impacted me until the first week in June. Our Idaho weather had reached up to 95°F that week, so everyone was doing what they could to cool off. I had a customer come in wearing a revealing tube top and shorts, and it was that moment I realized how much my job here had changed my heart.

Instead of thinking, “Wow, can’t they just cover up?” I thought, “This customer is made in the likeness of God, and should be treated that way.” It blew my mind. After that day, I started thinking back to all of the time in Renew, and even outside, and realized that this wasn’t the first time this happened. 

I thought of the guy at church that didn’t smell the best and realized that I didn’t focus on that, but on the fact that he was worth talking to. I thought of the mom that came into the shop with rowdy, misbehaved kids, and realized that they weren’t little monsters, but young masterpieces of God. There were many other instances like these, and because of those, my eyes are opened and my spirit is empowered. My heart has transformed from judgmental to compassionate, open to every person that walks through those shop doors. 

My time at Renew will carry on as I move on in life. I no longer see people through the eyes of society, but through God’s eyes. I see them as children of God, made in His image, just like I was." 
      -Shay Young (age 18)
Perch.Church and Missio
Pasadena, CA
Perch.Church and Missio are on a church planting journey - together! 
Missio and Perch.Church are very intentional about working towards racial reconciliation in their community. Check out their joint worship service here and how they structure their Cultural Curiosity Discussion Groups: 
"Missio has wanted to be a church-planting church from the start so when Al and I began discussing a residency less than a year after Missio's public launch we were thrilled to partner with an ECO planter in our own backyard. Al's gifts for preaching, leading worship, and relating to people have been a gift to Missio for the last 18 months as he's been building his own launch team. We're excited to send him out to plant Perch.Church and to make disciples." - Pastor Len Tang, Missio, Pasadena, CA

"The journey of church planting can be a very lonely and difficult one, which is why I am so grateful to have began my journey with a church plant residency with Missio Community Church. My experience of planting Perch.Church alongside my residency with Missio has been invaluable in so many ways in learning the nuts and bolts of church planting in a way that my previous seminary and ministry experience did not train me for. Now that my 1.5 year long church plant residency recently concluded, I’m realizing that the lessons I’ve learned during that time will help me for many years to come." - Pastor Al Han, Perch.Church, Pasadena, CA
Missio and Perch.Church are very intentional about working towards racial reconciliation in their community. Check out their joint worship service here and how they structure their Cultural Curiosity Discussion Groups: 
Justice In the Time of Corona
What does it mean to live justly? That's a harder question than you might think. Everyone wants justice, but the way people understand and define justice looks different.
Pioneer Mission Community
Brenham, TX
The unique ministry of Pioneer is celebrating one year anniversary this summer! 

After one year of ministry, barbecue and building community, Pioneer Mission Community is developing a great following! A faithful group of worshippers gather weekly at the pastor-owned Texas barbecue joint (Pioneer Smokehouse) in central Texas. Because of the unique nature of this entrepreneurial church plant, new customers and visitors to the restaurant find out about worship every week. First time guests are common at the weekly 5pm worship service, as people are curious about Jesus and the barbecue pastor!   

Much of Mark’s ministry happens during the week as he builds relationships with customers and the community through casual conversations about life and the Gospel. God has opened many doors for spirit-filled conversations with those that are not currently active in church.   

Pioneer can offer a unique blend of hospitality and truth in a way that reaches those on the fence about Jesus and skeptical yet curious about church. 
Ministry:
Barbecue:
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“Pioneer Mission Community” (Church)

& “Pioneer Brenham” (Business)
Learn more about Pioneer Mission Community and church planter Mark Renn: 
Contact Mark at:
to learn more about this new model for entrepreneurial church planting and/or offer financial support or prayer and encouragement for this missionary effort. 
ECO ORDINATION
Will you help us????

We need BETA testers for the new
Ordination Outcomes Assessment!
We have recently launched the Ordination 2.0 process and are in the developmental stage of the Ordination Outcomes Assessment. This assessment helps candidates gauge areas where they need growth and development.

We are asking for feedback and testing from our wider ECO community. If you have the time (10 minutes), would you please take this assessment? There is a spot on the last page for you to write in any errors or feedback that you might come across. Thank you so much for your help as we seek to develop high quality leaders in ECO! 
PODCAST
Check out the newest Flourishing Church Podcast episode!
Ep 28: Heidi Cottle - Reopening Your Church in the Midst of a Pandemic
John Terech and Heidi Cottle discuss important regulations and concerns to consider when reopening churches during the pandemic. They go through specific OSHA guidelines as well as different resources that we can use through the process of reopening.
GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT
By Martha Kuhn, Part-time Assistant to the Director of Global Engagement for ECO
We have all seen our lives shift in countless ways over the past several months. We have also seen the way we do ministry make various changes. As I was working in youth ministry one of the biggest shifts we had to make was how we approached our mission weeks. At the beginning of each summer we dedicate a week for middle school students and a week for high school students to go on a mission trip.

These weeks have been a staple in many of our students' lives and played significant parts in their walks of faith. This year our mission trips had to adapt to the circumstances. However, mission is not a switch we flip on and off depending on the week and our circumstances. Due to the reality of COVID-19, we saw an opportunity to actively show our students what it looks like to serve even when expectations and plans change. After our usual Middle School Mission Trip to San Antonio was cancelled, we shifted to having a virtual mission week our students could do from their home with appropriate social distancing and safety precautions...
ONLINE SEMINARY COURSES
Visit www.flourishmovement.org/online-seminary-courses/ or email registrar@flourishmovement.org if you have any questions!
RESOURCE
Racial Reconciliation Resources
Several of our ECO churches have engaged in racial reconciliation conversations with other leaders in their communities in recent weeks. Here are just a few from around the country that will help all of us as we continue to take steps to learn and grow in this area. 
Maple Valley Church
Maple Valley, WA
Conversations on Race and Justice
Hope Community, Wilmington, NC
A Conversation
About Race
New Life At Calvary & Bay Presbyterian Church
Cleveland, OH
Race and Race and Reconciliation
RESOURCE

AXIS - Community Leader Intensive
Become the Axis of Your Community!
An online training to teach you how to translate teen culture and help others connect with their teens.
The Community Leader Intensive is an online conference by Axis in partnership with ECO! The content in this conference is created specifically for the ECO denomination and will encourage discussion and interaction. Breaks will be scheduled throughout.

The Community Leader Intensive is made possible by your denomination, at no cost to you. It is designed to help caring adults navigate teen culture through a biblical lens to equip them for meaningful conversations that build lifelong connections.
Monday, August 17, 2020
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (PDT)
ADDRESS
5638 Hollister Ave Ste 210
Goleta, CA 93117
EMAIL
office@eco-pres.org 
SOCIAL
WEBSITES
eco-pres.org
flourishmovement.org
econationalgathering.org
© 2019 ECO A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians All rights reserved.