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Five Focuses for a New Year
by Dana Allin, 
Synod Executive


Happy New Year! It is exciting to reflect on how far ECO has come in the last couple of years. We launched in January 2012 and had our first congregation join in May 2012. Fast forward to today, and our total number of member churches has passed 100! As we cross this milestone and launch into 2014, I want to articulate five areas of focus for ECO this year.


1. New Presbyteries: We are in the process of multiplying from two into nine presbyteries. ECO began with the Presbytery of the East and Presbytery of the West, but our growth necessitates more differentiation - and we pray it also results in more connectionalism for congregations. We are devoting energy this month to helping the new presbyteries launch well and equipping leaders to navigate challenges that emerge. 


2. Church Planting: Church planting is a core initiative of ECO. Since most churches didn't come into ECO with an aggressive church-planting DNA, we have to work hard to help them embrace and invest in it, as well as build up a pipeline of church planters. It has been fun to partner with congregations and see their imagination for church planting grow.


3. Congregational Vision: We are committed to helping congregations determine "what is next" after they enter ECO. Going through discernment and dismissal can be an arduous, emotionally taxing process. Leaders of these churches need to balance helping their congregations heal from the process, while also leading them into a new context. I have been doing retreats and gatherings to help churches live into the reality of ECO. Other churches are engaging with our Missional Leader and Coach Training process or finding value in a Mission Affinity Group. Still others are engaging strategic consultants or investing in the Elder Leadership Institute. We want to expand opportunities for training, both inside ECO and The Fellowship of Presbyterians, as well as outside our tribe.


4. International Missions: I am so thankful for the ministry of Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship (led by Bill Young, an ECO Pastor), as well as The Outreach Foundation and The Antioch Partners, who are collectively functioning as the international mission arm of ECO. They are very proficient at training missionaries and finding spots where people can serve and use their gifts. They are helping us identify 2-4 international projects for ECO as a whole to focus on. We don't want to take away from what a church is already doing just to join an ECO project; however, if a church is looking for ways to begin or deepen involvement in foreign mission, we'd love to work together. You can read my recent blog in which I shared a vision for this process and about my trip to the Middle East. These three partner organizations are also available to work with your church individually and be a resource for those considering the mission field.


5. Churches in Transition: We continue to work with congregations discerning their future denominational relationship. More than 120 more churches have declared they plan to join ECO once dismissed, and many others are still deciding whether or not to affiliate with ECO. Our goal is never to persuade people to join ECO, but to faithfully communicate who we are and help their leadership discern if ECO is a good fit. While I lead a fair amount of these types of meetings with churches, I am thankful for the increasing number of volunteers who can represent ECO well.


There is a lot ahead of us in this new year! I pray for all of us in the ECO movement. As we launch ahead, I'm eager both to share updates and hear stories of the great things God is doing in your churches! 


In Christ,


104 Churches!  
ECO has crossed a milestone! Bethel Presbyterian Church in Columbus, OH was the 100th church to join ECO! We then immediately welcomed four more churches, bringing the total number of ECO congregations to 104. Here are all the churches that have joined ECO since our November news update.  
Bethel Presbyterian, Columbus, OH
Bridgewater Presbyterian, Beaver, PA
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian, Lexington, SC
Spring Hill Presbyterian, Staunton, VA
Maple Valley Presbyterian, Maple Valley, WA
Welcome to these new ECO churches. We praise God for His faithfulness and look forward to growing together in 2014!
John Terech Joins 
as Director of Operations
As we celebrate ECO's growth, we know growth requires intentionality to sustain it while still fulfilling our missional DNA. To that end, we are thrilled to announce the addition of John Terech in the role of Director of Operations. Brenda Smith, who has served as COO for ECO and The Fellowship of Presbyterians, is reducinher role to part-time. John will assist Brenda in business operations, including legal, insurance, and financial matters. He will also support Dana Allin in ecclesiastical operations, including resourcing congregations and presbyteries, enabling Dana to devote more time to vision implementation.

John Terech previously worked nearly 15 years on Wall Street, including serving as Senior Vice President/Head of Operations at Collins Stewart. John and his family relocated to Florida in 2005, where he accepted Christ through the ministry of Palm City Presbyterian Church. John joined the staff of PCPC, serving as both Chief Operating Officer and Director of Youth & Family Ministries. John is now pursuing his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. John and Patty Terech have three children.


Read John's story of coming to faith - including how  9/11 in NYC shaped him - on the ECO BlogYou can contact John (and welcome him!) by emailing him at

Introducing our New Presbyteries

We're growing coast to coast! ECO began with two presbyteries, Presbytery of the East (moderated by John Terech) and Presbytery of the West (moderated by Rev. Dr. MJ Romano), but soon will be nine. We thank both John and MJ for their service during such a formative time. The new presbyteries in development are listed below. 

Presbytery of the East is re-forming as four: 
  • Presbytery of Florida
  • Presbytery of the Northeast (Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and states to their east and north)
  • Great Lakes Presbytery (Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, & Wisconsin)
  • East Central Presbytery (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and remaining southern states east of the Mississippi River, including Louisiana)
Presbytery of the West is re-forming as five: 
  • Presbytery of the Northwest (Oregon, Washington, & Alaska)
  • Presbytery of Texas 
  • Presbytery of Northern California 
  • Presbytery of Southern California
  • Presbytery of the West (all other states west of the Mississippi River, including Minnesota) 
Join us in prayer for these new presbyteries, their leadership, and their current/future member churches
Connect via Facebook

ECO posts updates on Facebook several times a week, including links to each new blog post. Stay connected to ECO news, leaders, ideas, and ministry resources by liking our Facebook page.

Registration will open February 1.
Pray that God will provide the financial resources needed for this ministry, and that people will give generously to the mission of building flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Pray for congregations in the discernment process, that they would follow the Lord's leading.

Pray for the formation and leadership of emerging ECO presbyteries. 


January 28-31, 2014Global Church Advancement Training Seminar  | Orlando, Florida (Recommended for those interested in church planting with ECO) 

Summer 2014 - ECO Church Planting Assessment Event. Specific dates TBA; contact Beth Allin ( with questions or to begin the application process.

The mission of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians is to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. Founded in January 2012, ECO's name represents its commitments to connect leaders through grace-based relationships (Covenant) and unite around standards of life and ministry (Order) for the ultimate purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ (Evangelical). ECO is a Reformed denomination that is structured to feel like an association, with an emphasis on nimble governance, relational networks, and autonomy for local congregations. By investing in churches and pastors, ECO exists to advance a Gospel movement to make Jesus Christ known. 


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