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"!
The Invaluable Significance of Lay Leaders
by Dana Allin, ECO Synod Executive
In ECO’s vision statement, we identify the key to the larger impact we envision, which is the development of a great quantity and quality of leaders. Specifically, we envision 1,000 vocational leaders and 10,000 highly invested lay leaders. 

Much of our effort needs to surround those 1,000 vocational leaders. These initiatives include the development of new pastors and church planters; the support of first call pastors; and the assistance in retooling pastors for an ever changing world.  

In addition, we really want to emphasize the importance of developing lay leaders. Personally I struggle with the term lay leader for a variety of reasons, but it is a familiar term and helps people know who we are talking about. Every Christian movement throughout history has been highly or exclusively dependent upon lay leaders...
2021 National Gathering Update
The Flourishing Church Podcast
Dana Allin and Eric Jacobsen (Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, WA) discuss the importance of creating a culture of belongIng to defend against the feeling of loneliness in our society. They explore how living in a digital world surrounded by screens affects all aspects of our lives. They discuss Eric’s book, Three Pieces of Glass and look at how being in the midst of a global pandemic, which has increased isolation, has changed and added to the ideas Eric discusses in his book.
Three Pieces of Glass by Eric O. Jacobsen
Loneliness is increasingly recognized as a major public health crisis that is on the rise and impacting people of all ages. Addressing the crisis of loneliness from a fresh perspective, this book introduces belonging as an overlooked but critical aspect of a flourishing Christian life. View Book
Missional Communities in a COVID World
by John Terech, By Director of Operations, ECO
In 2019, I had the opportunity to be part of a cohort of Missional Community (MC) leaders and those interested in forming MCs from all across ECO, led by Alex and Hannah Absalom. Having led and continuing to lead an MC from the start of 2015 with my wife Patty from our home has been a highlight of our ministry together. And truthfully, without the Absalom’s help, we would probably be stuck in some bad habits of leading “too much,” and not developing leaders from within to multiply our community and start new ones. I found the education so valuable that we began another cohort with the Absaloms in 2020, a cohort that was presented with another challenge in a global pandemic. But Alex and Hannah are continuing to lead this group through the hurdles that COVID has created. 

These are unprecedented times for ministry. That is the understatement of the year. But in this time where we are all trying new things in order to adapt to our current situation, MCs provide one of the best places to develop lay leadership for the church... Read More
Starting Tuesday September 22nd @ 10am PST
Using online content from Fuller's new online learning platform, Fuller Formation, this 5-week cohort will help you discern whether God has called, gifted, and equipped you to plant a church and to discover your next practical steps on the journey. Together we'll cover four key questions:
Cohort Includes:
Mutual Learning
You'll share your church planting journey with the cohort using Slack, an online forum.
Interactive Content
You'll read, watch videos, and interact with online content from FULLER Formation.
Expert Facilitation
Your weekly videoconference calls will be facilitated by veteran church planter Len Tang.

Theology Team Recruitment
We are looking for applications and recommendations for the next class to serve on ECO's Standing Theology Committee. We have 3 open positions to fill. The term length is 4 years and the time commitment is on average 1hr/week. Email greg@eco-pres.org for more info & application.
Revised Confessional Standards (2020)
Now Available!
At our Synod business meeting in 2020, we voted on the updated language version of ECO’s Confessional Standards. As this has now been ratified, we have published this new version. It is available as a digital PDF or in paperback format.

Click the button below to view.
Fall CLP Cohort!
Do you want to be better equipped to serve in ministry? The Commissioned Lay Pastor Online Fall Cohort is forming now! Click the button below to learn more details and apply!
Commissioned Lay Pastor Stories!
ECO deeply values lay leadership development as being foundational to becoming a movement that builds flourishing churches who make disciples of Jesus Christ. We seek to undo the clergy-centered ecclesiology that has plagued the church for too long and truly reclaim the biblical vision of the priesthood of all believers. ECO’s Commissioned Lay Pastor program is doing exactly that.

Read what our CLP students and graduates are up to! 
An Unprecedented Embrace
by Sharon Hoover, Centreville Presbyterian Church (VA)
We were in a quandary. By mid-April, the Covid-19 pandemic began impacting missionaries’ furloughs and our short-term teams. Plans got postponed, postponed again, then ultimately cancelled. The loss of in-person gathering was disappointing, but the potential for far-reaching implications was especially troubling.

A recent study by the Barna Group (The Future of Missions, 2020) noted relationships with missionaries as a key factor for young adults to take next steps toward missions. Whether considering a call to the mission field or giving prayer and financial support to missions, connection with a missionary emerged as a significant motivator. In these non-travel days, how can the church lead the way to build these relationships?

Connecting our congregation with global partners is a critical aspect of my role as a missions leader. We needed to figure out new ways for missionaries and congregations to come together. Enter the internet...
Korean Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX
Alhambra True Light Presbyterian Church
Alhambra, CA
ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians | eco-pres.org