While 2020 has been a challenging year for our churches, the IPHC has continued worshiping in Spirit and truth, loving our neighbors well, and declaring the nearness of the Kingdom of God. Our local churches have demonstrated love and creativity in responding to their communities’ needs. From offering online and drive-in services, to helping pastors thrive, to manufacturing PPE for local hospitals—the links below highlight some of the ways we’ve seen IPHC churches act in love for God and neighbor.
While the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected up to 205 countries, areas, and territories, the global church remains steadfast. Many IPHC missionaries and national leaders have taken to the frontlines to help their respective neighborhoods, cities, and countries by providing essential needs and the message of hope during this crucial time. The IPHC’s COVID-19 International Relief Fund has disbursed more than $600,000 to meet emergency needs in 61 countries. Read more about the Relief Fund.
The IPHC joined a number of other denominations in rescheduling its international meeting. The quadrennial General Conference originally scheduled for July 2021 is now scheduled for July 2022. Read more about the 29th General Conference’s rescheduling.
The IPHC launched a new emphasis on prayer in 2020, Arise in Prayer. Just after the COVID-19 quarantines were announced, members worldwide began sharing in a daily call to prayer on social media platforms, continuing through Pentecost and 30 days in the Book of Acts. The emphasis took final shape with IPHC prayer consultant (and PCCNA Prayer Commission chair) Doug Small leading webinars and training for IPHC ministers. Read more about Arise in Prayer.
One IPHC church saw an opportunity to “put God’s strength on display” in their community. Pastor Travis Lowe of Crossroads Church in Bluefield, WV, partnered with other churches in creating a community creative space called Crea Community. The church used its resources to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospital workers. The effort earned national attention in the Washington Post. Read more about Crossroads Church and Crea Community.
The IPHC has sought to support our ministers in several ways this year. Thriving throughout the Seasons of Pastoral Ministry, a program funded by the Lilly Endowment and led by former IPHC Clergy Development director Dr. Lou Shirey, had to reimagine its retreats due to social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions. Still all three of its cohorts have now met for initial retreats, with two meetings conducted as hybrid in-person/online events. Read more about the Thriving program.
The IPHC also created a Clergy Care team that has provided several webinars and resources for pastors. Arise in Hope has given pastors messages of hope and encouragement for this season, allowing them to hear from other pastors, in and outside of the IPHC. Speakers have included Dr. Mark Rutland, IPHC pastor Anthony Craver, and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship pastor Dr. Tony Evans. Read more about Arise in Hope.