GOD CALLS US TOGETHER The Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley of the Synod of Living Waters of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met in the Stated Meeting on February 12, 2015 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Throughout these minutes, Teaching Elders are indicated by an asterisk (*).
The meeting was called to order at 9:45 a.m. by Moderator Coke Clark, who then offered the convening prayer. MOTION: To elect ruling elder Jim Toomey as Vice-Moderator was adopted. Teaching Elder, the Reverend Lou Ann Sellers and Ruling Elder Jim Toomey were presented for installation as the 2015 Moderator and Vice Moderator of the Presbytery. Following the constitutional questions and prayer, the newly installed officers were warmly welcomed. The Moderator’s cross was transferred from Coke Clark to Lou Ann Sellers*. The cross was fashioned by a local artist in the Congo. The cross is made of copper and has been worn by every Moderator and reminds us of our connection with the Congo through William Lapsley and Samuel Sheppard.
Lou Ann presented Coke with a token of the presbytery’s appreciation by way of a donation to Living River in his name. Interim Stated Clerk Tom Winter presented Coke and his wife, the Reverend Molly Clark, with a gift certificate to the Olive Garden.
The body joined in singing Called As Partners in Christ’s Service. On advice of the Stated Clerk, a quorum was declared by the Moderator.
Adoption of the Docket
The docket was adopted by common consent.
Seating of Corresponding Members
The Reverend Thomas Herwig, Evangelical Reformed Church of Germany was seated as a corresponding member. Recognition of First-time Elders and Visitors
The Moderator recognized all first-time elders who were introduced to the body.
Election of Bills and Overtures Committee
The Moderator nominated Cat Goodrich*, Barrett Abernathy* and Elder Duke Park, Korean, Tuscaloosa for the 2015 Bills and Overtures Committee. Approved
Executive Council Members/Presbytery Officers w/Vote
Present (4) Excused (1) Absent (1)
Carter, Eva P Hamrick, Debbie E
Frennea, Rick P Park, Duke P
Jenkins, Tyler A Smith, James P
Christian Educators, Presbyterian Women and Trustees Moderator w/Vote
Jenny Thagard P Carolyn Jordan P Bill Stribling P
Number in parenthesis by church name indicates the number of commissioners authorized. “NR” indicates that the church did not have elder representation. There are eighty-three churches in Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley. Fifty Commissioners were present.
Tuskegee Institute Westminster (1) Judith D. Baldwin
Union Springs Union Springs (1) NR
Wetumpka First (1) Nancy Borders
Selma 1965 and Us – Joe Scrivner* - Selma reminds us of many hard Truths (See Appendix A)
A prayer of reconciliation was then offered by Thomas Herwig* followed by the body joining together to sing Lift Every Voice and Sing. (See Appendix B)
Living River – Board Chair Keener Hudson announced the Grand Opening of Living River to be April 26, 2015. Keener introduced John Erdman, the new Executive Director of Living River, who was given a warm welcome. Pictures of the Camp were shown with narration by Robert Hay
Presbyterian Home for Children – Mark Howard, President of Presbyterian Home for Children, briefly shared with the body new ministries that are being implemented at the Home. The Home now has a new transitional housing program that ministers to Alabama homeless children and their female caregivers. The first homeless family was received from First Light in January and others have followed from across the state. The new Transition to Adult Living Program for homeless single girls from the ages of 19-24 has opened a second cottage and t he first resident was received from the Mobile area. Churches and organizations may now make referrals directly to and partner with the Presbyterian Home for both programs. The first homeless House Mother has been hired from the Birmingham area to be a mentor to the younger girls. If you know of someone who could benefit from either of these new ministries please have them contact the Presbyterian Home directly.
After giving a prayer of illumination, Past Moderator, Coke Clark used Colossians 3 to deliver the message titled, “A and B; D or D; B of B.” The assembly joined in singing Called as Partners in Christ’s Service. Executive Council – Lin Veasey
Motion: That Jim Bannon be approved to serve on the Living River Board. Approved. (SeeAppendix C for full report) Faith Journey and terms of call for Transitional Presbyter effective May 1, 2015 were provided. (Appendix D)
Vote on General Assembly Amendments to the PC(USA) Constitution
The proposed Amendments to the Constitution approved by the 221st General Assembly (2014) were presented to the Presbytery for vote.
Motion: Item 14-1 - Amending the Book of Confessions to include the Confession of Belhar.
Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14-A – Amending G-2.0509, Renunciation of Jurisdiction. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14-B.1 – Amending G-2.0607. Final Assessment of a Candidate. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14.B.2 – Amending G-2.0610 - Accommodations to the particular circumstances of an individual seeking ordination. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14-C – Amending G-3.0106 to add a Child Protection Policy. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14-D – Amending G-3.0301 on the minimum composition of a Presbytery. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: Item 14-E – Amending G-5.0102 – Interreligious Stance. Approved by a majority vote. Motion: 14-F – Amending W.-4.9000 – Marriage. After approximately 50 minutes of floor debate, the Motion was Approved by a ballot vote of: 75 Affirmative and 39 Negative votes. Neil McCarter offered a warm welcome to those in attendance followed by a blessing for the meal. The meeting was temporarily suspended to gather for lunch.
The meeting reconvened following lunch.
The body joined in singing Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and the Doxology followed by collecting offering that will be divided equally between CPM for candidates and the Presbytery Discretionary Fund. A prayer of Thanksgiving was offered.
Stated Clerk Report – Tom Winter*
1. To record that the minutes of Chapel, Five Mile, Second, Southminster, Shepherd of the Valley, and Leeds have been read and approved with minor or no exception.
2. Approval of the November 20, 2014 (stated meeting at First-Anniston) Presbytery minutes.
3. First-Bessemer to change their name from First Presbyterian to Shepherd of the Valley.
4. To record the receipt of the minutes of the Commission to install Rev. Nick Reed and Rev. Kathy Wolf Reed as co-Pastors at First-Auburn Presbyterian on January 25, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
5. To record the receipt of the minutes of the Commission to install Catherine Goodrich as Associate Pastor at First-Birmingham on December 7, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
6. In conjunction with COM, the Stated Clerk moves that Riverchase church be granted a one- year waiver on Trustee term limits according to the Book of Order G-2.0404 due to the size of their membership.
7. Approval of excuses received for the February 12, 2015 Presbytery meeting. Those requesting to be excused are: Doris Chandler*, James Ephraim*, Lisa Tice*, Shelaine Bird*, Richard Brooks*, Richard Hanna*, Charlie Durham, Joe Slane.
To Record as Information
1. In accordance with Presbytery standing rules, there is no imbalance between teaching and ruling elders for 2015.
2. The deadline for Clerks of Session to enter statistical data in the PCUSA system is February 15. Clerks or congregations who are not able to enter their data should contact the Presbytery office immediately for assistance as the deadline is near.
3. The 2013 presbytery minutes sent to the Synod were approved without exception.
4. Dates and locations for reading of minutes and training for Clerks of Session are: Saturday, February 21, 9am-Noon, Covenant Tuscaloosa; Saturday, March 21, 9am-Noon, at First-Jacksonville; and Sunday, April 18, 9am-Noon, Location TBD. Another date will be set later in the Birmingham area for any churches that were not able to make it to any of the above training sessions. The Clerk respectfully requests that any minutes from 2013 or prior that have not been read be submitted no later than July 13, 2015.
5. The Stated Clerk thanks the 69 Sessions who paid their per capita for 2014 enabling the work of the larger church to continue. Tenchurches did not pay their per capita.
6. The Stated Clerk received an Administrative Commission Report from Westminster-Montgomery
Motion: That the Motion from the Administrative Commission for Bryan Memorial be delayed until the May 14, 2015 meeting. Approved Necrology Report
“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Hear now the 2014 Necrology of the elders of our churches who have departed the earthly service of their Lord Jesus Christ and have gone to live eternally in God’s heavenly kingdom. These names were read by the Stated Clerk, Tom Winter*.
William T. Jones – June 3 and John Kirstein – August 3
Ruling Elders Bethel Bobbie W. Leslie – November 24
Brown Memorial Irene Windham Hubbard – September 3
Chapel in the Pines Donald Meffert – July 7
Church of the Good Shepherd William W. Watson – August 3
Covenant—Tuscaloosa T. C. Wilkins – February 26, Doris Burton – September 17
Ginny Nichols – December 4
Eastminster Tom Stalnaker – October 31
First-Alexander City Doyt Leon Alford – April 11
First-Anniston Barbara Vaden Sproull – April 23
First-Birmingham Muriel Teague – July 12
First-Dadeville Belmont Lamar Evers – April 9
First-Eufaula Edna Ruth Archibald – February 24, Ben Frank Bowden – March 19
Barbara Hastings Sonnen – March 20, Annie Laurie Alderson – April 11, Edwin Mizio – May 24
First-Sylacauga Eleanor Collins–April 27, Robert Collins–June 4
Murray Remson–December 11
First-Talladega Frank McAlpine Toole – May 29, Myron Waits – June 28
First-Tuscaloosa Gene Keller – March 24, Martha Williams – April 9, R. A. Demis – July 20
Park Patton – October 13, Bob Almon – November 19
First-Wetumpka Howard Peck – May 24, Howard Brenner – June 19
Five Mile Jacqueline Sue Childs – August 27, Catherine C. Hodges – October 4
J. D. Teal – November 13
Goodwater Millard Gary Robbins – October 29
Green Pond Willner Colley Caldwell – April 8
Hadden Mildred Dearman – June 18
Independent Pidgie Dismukes – January 21, Leigh Brown – February 16
Montevallo William Elliott Peters – October 2
Second Nancy Shrum – July 1
Shades Valley Frank Burge – June 13, Logan Ritchie – November 8
Shepherd of the Valley George Barry Norton – October 23
South Highland Dr. Henry Laws – February 25
Southminster Thomas J. Hager – June 22, Joe B. Pierce – September 29
Springville Dorothy Sue Pearson – January 6, Ron Black – October 13
Union Springs Mack Hixon – November 26
University William Henderson – February 9, Mattie Katherine Martin Ellis – December 10
In joyful celebration of the lives of these saints who have gone before, the body joined in singing, O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go. Commission on Ministry – Ben Arellano
Items for Information:
1. Churches requesting permission to continue supply relationships:
a. Calvary requests permission to continue relationship with Rev. Lisa Winston
b. Church of the Good Shepherd requests permission to continue relationship with James
R. Wilson, Jr.
c. First-Phenix City requests permission to continue relationship with Rev. Taylor Brown
d. Gardendale requests permission to continue the relationship with CRE Jeff Bonner
e. Goodwater requests permission to continue the relationship with Pete McElrath the first 3
Sundays and Jeff Coker the 4th and 5th Sundays.
f. Green Pond requests permission to continue the relationship with CRE Beverly Dodson
g. Hadden requests permission to continue the relationship with Joe Fast
h. Springville requests permission to continue the relationship with Tom Winter
i. Union Springs requests permission to continue the relationship with CRE Dr. William Sauser
j. Valley Creek requests permission to continue the relationship with Rev. Cecil Williamson
k. Woods requests permission to continue the relationship with CRE Ben Arellano
l. Westminster-Tuskegee requests permission to continue the relationship with Rev.
2. Received and approved CRE report from Dean of Training Bev Dodson.
3. Reviewed reports from members-at-large.
4. Transferred Richard Hawks to Flint River Presbytery effective 1-15-15.
1. Approve the call from Memorial Presbyterian to Nan Adams effective January 4, 2015. Statements appear as Appendix E. Terms of call: Salary and housing $50,000; BOP $18,250; SECA $2,677.50; Professional Expenses $4,000;.Total Package $74,927.50. Installation date is March 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm, Memorial Presbyterian, Montgomery. Installation commission:
Teaching Elders: Elizabeth O'Neill, Leeann Scarborough, Yoochang Bang , Robert Edwards. Ruling Elders: Gordon Carter, Memorial; Martha Morgan, Immanuel and Gayle Sandlin, First-Wetumpka. Sitting with the Commission: Guest Teaching Elder: Rev. Dr. Hugh Hamilton, Trinity Presbyterian, Pensacola, FL, Florida Presbytery. Guest Ruling Elder: Earl Hawthorne, Trinity Presbyterian, Pensacola, FL, Florida Presbytery. Approved.
2. Examine Terry Tingle for Membership-at-large. Statements appear as Appendix F. Approved
3. Examine Rev. Dr. Michael Anderson for membership as Transitional Pastor at First-Tuscaloosa effective January 1, 2015. Statements appear as Appendix G.Approved
4. Appoint an administrative commission to dissolve Robinson Memorial at the request of the clerk of session. Commission consists of: Teaching Elders, Jeff Coker and Charles Sims and Ruling Elders, and Eve Pangburn (First-Dadeville), Mary Dalrymple (First Auburn). Trustee to be appointed by COM moderator. Approved
Trustees Report – Bill Stribling
1. Approve the sale of Eastminster Presbyterian Church property to SerraAutomotive for a price $1,951,000 (G-4.0203 Church Property Held in Trust).Approved
2. Approve sale of First Presbyterian Church Bessemer property, the move of the congregation to McCalla and the purchase of facilities at the new location (G-4.0206a Selling or encumbering Congregational Property).Aprpoved
3. Trustees propose REJECTING an offer of $300,000 by Evergreen Real Estate to purchase the presbytery office.Approved
4. Recommend presbytery assign to trustees authority to both list and negotiate any property transactions assigned in accordance with the Book of Order (G-4.0205) and amend the Standing Rules (SR-6.0401a) to reflect the change. Approved
5. Give permission to Westminister, Montgomery to sell their facility and relocate. Approved
This item was moved from the Trustee’s “For Information” report.
Commission on Nominating and Representation – Jeff Bonner Approved
1. The Presbyterian Home for Children Board: Jason Turner and John Haley (both from IPC)
2. Synod Nominating Committee: Neil McCarter*
3. Trustees, Class of 2016: Beverly Dodson
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
Cathy Hoop* and Mark McCormick* officiated in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper..
The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 3:00pm. The closing prayer was offered by Vice Moderator, Jim Toomey with a Benediction and Sending declared by Lou Ann Sellers*.
The next Stated Meeting will be held on May 14, 2015, at Living River: A Retreat on the Cahaba.