On the Plains of Moab Blog
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June 17, 2014, 8:56 PM

Day One EPC General Assembly

World Outreach Emphasis...

Today, we arrived in Knoxville for the 34th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.  Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is a large church situated on the western side of the city.  Quite an impressive complex, complete with a beautiful sanctuary, family life center, spacious education wing, stand-alone youth center complete with a full service restaurant.  And, part of the parking lot turned into a massive banquet room with LED mood lighting for the tight tent roof.  Well done.  We were greeted with a goody bag with an RC Cola and a Moonpie.  Southern hospitality!  The facilities are more than adequate for a gathering such as this.

I must say, it is truly pleasant not encountering the kind of circus environment that I am accustomed to in previous years.  No politics.  Period.  I have never had the luxury of attending a GA without worry over what could go wrong.  Far from it.  Today, World Outreach held a meet and greet.  A few hours of getting to know the missionaries of the EPC.

Many stories today.  We heard from couples preparing to hit the field in Siberia, Lebanon, Congo, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Afghanistan.  It was encouraging to hear about the ways that these missionaries are prepared to serve.  Some are educators.  Some are lawyers who will use their expertise to help small businesses get off the ground.  Doctors and nurses who will serve the poorest of the poor.  However, the main reason they are going, is to share Jesus Christ.  There is a concerted effort in the EPC to take the Gospel to the Muslim world.  To bring the love of Jesus to parts of the world that know only terror and mayhem.

I am impressed with the boldness and ambition of these missionaries.  It certainly makes the routine work of local pulpit ministry seem quite tame!

I am looking forward to meeting up with a group of Former PC(USA) pastors tomorrow for dinner.  We have all hung together via a FaceBook group.  Their stories have encouraged me at times when I was at a low point.  So many friendly voices.

Tomorrow morning, we have workshops focusing on transformation and church vitality.  After dinner, Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City will be preaching the opening worship service.  Good night.

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