Independent Presbyterian Church

Deadline: Monday, February 20

The year was full of wonderful change and one of moving forward for IPC.  As we look to the future, here are some of the highlights of the past year. Please nominate men and women who you believe possess not only the spiritual gifts, but also a willingness to serve. We ask you to review the requirements of the offices, commit the matter to prayer and complete the nomination form as you feel led. CLICK HERE for more information.


A letter from Verna Lyons

It has been an honor to serve as your president. 2016 has been a year of planning, organizing and restructuring. The year was full of wonderful change and one of moving forward for IPC.  As we look to the future, here are some of the highlights of the past year. 

We had several major personnel changes in 2016.  Bobbie Epting announced her retirement (effective July 2016) in January 2016 and Mary Ann Morrow announced her retirement (effective May 2016) in February of 2016.  Lucy Turner requested moving from Congregational Ministries to Stewardship and Development. The congregation approved Lucy’s request and an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee was formed for the Congregational Ministries position.  Brian Lays was approved by the congregation to fill the Congregational Ministries position.  Honora Gathings was hired in April as our Director of Communications.  Ryan Hamilton resigned as of July as Director of Youth Ministries and we rehired Catherine Goudreau as Director of Youth Ministries and hired Gann Wright as Assistant Director of Youth Ministries. CLICK HERE to read full report about Strategic Planning, finances, Christian Education, Worship, Music & Fine Arts, Highland Hall, Witness, and Congregational Care.


ISlideshow ndependent Presbyterian Church is home to 2,300 people. They give the church 2,300 hearts and bodies to continue carrying out Jesus Christ's ministry. IPC's strength is not just in numbers. It's also the capacity to spur positive change. 

To recognize and celebrate the work being done, IPC member Cathy DeLozier will write about the People of IPC in a blog. It's dedicated to the ministries and God-given talents of its members who are Joining God in the World, Welcoming our Neighbors

Here's an excerpt from her blog one the Youth Grant Team:
To see these youth in action is to be inspired. They are all involved in hours of other extracurricular activities including sports, choir and debate practice, STAIR Tutoring, AP courses and other homework, as well as Standardized Testing and college tours and applications. The amount of time and energy they put into the team and the seriousness with which they take their responsibility is moving.

Foundation Sunday, January 28

Every summer, grant applications start coming in to the IPC Foundation- requests for help sending children to school, for assistance purchasing medical equipment and building much-needed hospitals, and for support keeping programs that employ adults with special needs and centers that help people in times of crisis running. The Foundation received 94 applications from people around the world and in our neighborhood who are on the ground trying to make a difference.

The IPC Foundation will now help 79 of those ministries, organizations and mission agencies in 2017. The grants will cover scholarships at Spring Valley School- a special school in Birmingham for children with learning differences. The money will also go towards the construction of a new medical clinic in India designed by Samford students and a new mobile medical clinic in Sudan. A grant will also help pay for the YWCA's crisis line, which helps people here in the Birmingham area escape domestic violence. Those are just a few of the ways the Foundation is using its resources to help change lives and carry out Christ's ministry.

This grant selection process began in early June with a meeting of the IPC Foundation Grant Making Committee. The members of the committee made site visits throughout Birmingham and via phone. Each grant request was thoroughly researched and discussed before the final selections were made in mid-November. 

The Youth Grant Team underwent a similar process reviewing 50 grant applications and going on six site visits.

In December, the grant cycle for the IPC Foundation ended with the mailing of grant letters to the 79 ministries, organizations and mission agencies that were awarded grants for 2017.

The grants totaled $1,837,900; this amount was 60% of the amount requested in the 94 applications. As you can see, the needs in the community and in the world are great. The IPC Foundation has been blessed by many generous donors over the years. As the IPC Foundation continues to grow through contributions and bequests, even more people will be served in the years to come. Below is a breakdown of the grants.

You can make a difference in the world in the name of Jesus Christ through your support of the IPC Foundation.  If you would like to discuss ways in which you may contribute to the IPC Foundation, please call Rev. Lucy Turner, 933-3729.  

Christian Education's Winter Term Starts January 11

Winter Term is here starting with the return of Wednesday night dinner and new classes! Dinner will be served in the Great Hall starting at 5 pm. Adult classes will run Wednesday nights January 11- March 8. New classes include Beginning Yoga, MOMs (formerly known as MOPS or Mothers of Preschoolers), People Photography with Virginia Jones and Parents' Roundtable.

The Parents' Roundtable will be facilitated by Lisa Burton and Caron Lassiter. They'll discuss topics that are important to those who are trying to live and parent faithful in a confusing world. Join other parents for a discussion about marriage, personal and family prayer, as well as other topics that challenge our faith. Every week, knowledgeable leaders will help led conversations to equip parents to respond in ways that strengthen them personally and as a family. Here's a look at part of schedule:
  • January 11-- Marriage Talk with Rev. Dr. Stewart Jackson
  • January 18-- Lord, Teach Me to Pray with Kathy Thomson sharing her experience with centering prayer and Allison Seamon discussion how to pray as a couple and lead your family in prayer
  • January 22-- Tough Talks with Allison Seamon and Dr. Sean Vanlandingham leading a discussion about how to talk to your children about sex
  • February 1-- Tough Talks II
  • February 15-- Poverty and Race with Joan Witherspoon-Norris of the YWCA of Central Alabama

For those interested in Beginning Yoga, please read this important information about what to expect and what to bring to the first class.

There are also be a few special programs scheduled: Epiphany program on January 4, Religious Arts Festival program on February 8, Ash Wednesday service on March 1, special presentation by Presbyterian Historical Society president Beth Hessel on March 8, and children’s musical on March 15.  

More details about classes can be found in the adult education winter brochures and at


by Dr. William J. Carl III, IPC senior pastor

The presents are unwrapped. The Christmas decorations are stored. Most of the sweets lying around the house are already gone. No doubt many of you have turned your attention now to the New Year and your New Year's resolutions. I made one months ago. By the end of 2017, I want every IPC member and child to have updated pictures in the membership directory.

When I make birthday calls, I like to pull up your pictures in the directory. I want to make the connection between your voice, your face, and your story so I can recognize you when I see you at the church. But here's the problem- many of you don't have pictures in our directory! I really want to get to know you, but it's hard when I don't know what you look like. 

I know Christmas cards were sent out recently. Go ahead now before you forget and log into yourmembership directory account online and upload that picture. Or simply email any picture of yourself or your family to Marsha Harbin. Below you'll find more detailed directions for uploading a picture. We also plan on having a photographer here on some Sundays to take pictures, so look for dates in upcoming eUpdates. 

For those of you with January and February birthdays, please update your photos now. I want to see your smiling faces as I wish you a "Happy Birthday."

That's my New Year's resolution, and I will never be able to keep it unless you help me!

Quick Way to Access the IPC Website & Online Directory

Want a quick and easy way to access the new website and online directory?
Click here to follow these simple steps to create an app on your iPhone or iPad (this will work on Android, too)

Related Links

IPC Publications:

eUpdate weekly online news

Window monthly printed publication Window Archive

Update weekly printed
calendar & lectionary

Pathways, Guide to spiritual growth and service opportunities at IPC.

Other Links:

The Daily Lectionary

Funeral Notices

Church Website Software from E-zekiel