PSWC Celebrates 15 Years of Church Planting

Post a Comment » Written on April 22nd, 2009     
Filed under: News
EL DORADO HILLS, CA (April 22, 2009) – At its Annual Meeting this past weekend, the Pacific Southwest Conference celebrated 15 years of church planting that saw the start of 68 congregations.

A banquet honoring the church planters was held Friday night at Lakehills Covenant Church. More than 70 percent of the pastors or representatives from the congregations attended.

Two of the earliest planters during the 15-year movement hosted the dinner – Ron Short, pastor of Lakehills, and Ray Johnston, pastor of Bayside Covenant Church.

A book, Celebrating Church Planting, 1994-2008, was distributed. The book features a story of the movement plus pictures and highlights from each of the 68 churches. Click here for an excerpt.

Dave Olson, director of church planting and nominee for executive minister of the denomination’s Department of Church Growth and Evangelism, delivered a message, “Pushed by the Gospel, Pulled by the Spirit,” that explained the “why” of the movement. A reader’s theater with visual background captured various ways in which God had impacted lives through the church plants.

The theme for the annual meeting was “Who is my neighbor?” Delegates discussed what it meant to reach out to people “unlike ourselves” in their area as well as around the world.

During the business meeting held Friday afternoon, delegates approved a balanced budget of approximately $2 million for 2010. The conference’s commitment to church planting is reflected in the budget, with 58 percent going to starting or supporting new congregations.

Superintendent Evelyn Johnson said she is grateful for the financial commitment churches have shown despite the recession. The downturn in the economy has led the conference to project no increase in local church giving, however.

There were 153 delegates and 31 advisory delegates. Much of the other business highlighted continued development of the conference:
•    Delegates recommended Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach, California, and Great Exchange Covenant Church in San Francisco, for membership in the Evangelical Covenant Church. They also recommended 18 people for commissioning, ordination or transfer of ordination.
•    Delegates recognized churches that partnered with new congregations.
•    Leaders gave a presentation about the vision for launching the conference’s first church in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2010.

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