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Presbytery Digest
A summary of actions and information from the meetings of Pittsburgh Presbytery

December 11, 2014 meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery:

Presbytery Staff led worship with the Rev. Dr. Beverly James preaching 

Received $1,372.76 in offering at the worship service to be divided between the Lazarus Fund and the Hunger Fund

Continued a conversation on the cost of racism as organized by the Executive Committee, the National Black Presbyterian Caucus Pittsburgh Chapter, and the Amos 5:24 Ministry Team with role play, video presentation, and small group discussion

Seated following Corresponding Member: The Rev. John McCall, H.R. a member of Kiskiminetas Presbytery

Welcomed the following: first time commissioners; Linda Valentine, Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency; and Jon Moore, Engagement Advisor, 1001 New Worshipping Communities to the meeting.  Valentine and Moore brought greetings later in the meeting.

Referred a new business request regarding clarification of the previously revised Gracious Separation Policy now known as A Process for Discerning God’s Will in the Relationship between Pittsburgh Presbytery & Congregations to the Executive Committee

Declined a request to reschedule the vote on the proposed Marriage Amendment to the Book of Order from the 221st General Assembly. The Belhar Confession will be voted on at the February presbytery meeting and all other proposed amendments will be voted on at the May meeting of the presbytery

Received a report from the Great Ends of the Church Fund (GECF) Committee including the announcement of the approved grants for 2015 and follow-up on a number of the projects funded by GECF grants for 2014

Expressed appreciation to the individuals completing their term of office on the Executive Committee

Approved the request of the Hebron Presbyterian Church (Clinton, PA) for the granting of an oil and natural gas lease and for a natural gas pipeline right of way lease

Approved the request from the Administrative Commission for the First United Presbyterian Church of Turtle Creek for permission to sell the real property for the best terms available in excess of $35,000

Elected Elder Carla L. Campbell, Esq. of the Southminster Presbyterian Church to be the Stated Clerk of Pittsburgh Presbytery effective January 1, 2015, approved the presented terms of call, and voted to modify the job description for the Stated Clerk position from half-time to part time in according with the negotiated terms of call

Approved the 2015 terms of call for called members of the presbytery staff

Welcomed Rebecca DePoe as a Candidate under care of the presbytery

Approved the oral parts of trial for ordination for Candidate Karie Charlton

Approved the following calls: The Rev. Conrad C. Sharps as Pastor of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church effective December 1, 2014; the Rev. Michael Rucker as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood effective December 1, 2014; and the Rev. Melissa Morris as Pastor of the Swissvale Presbyterian Church effective December 1, 2014

Dismissed the Rev. William Jackson to the Beaver-Butler Presbytery effective December 11, 2014; the Rev. Michael Wilson to the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee effective December 11, 2014; and the Rev. David Thornton to the Presbytery of Chicago effective December 11, 2014

Received the Rev. Conrad C. Sharps as a member from Sheppards & Lapsley Presbytery, the Rev. Robin Lostetter, honorably retired member of Monmouth Presbytery, and the Rev. John McCall, honorably retired member of Kiskiminetas Presbytery

Dissolved the pastoral relationship between the Rev. Sung Hee Lee and the Korean United Presbyterian Church effective December 14, 2014

Granted the requests of the Revs. Jeri-Lynne Bouterse and Wendy Keys to be enrolled as members at large of Pittsburgh Presbytery

Granted the requests for the services of the following Temporary Pastors: the Rev. Thomas Ribar for Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Thomas Moore for the Carnegie Presbyterian Church; the Rev. John Sweitzer for the Neville Island Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Calvin Wilson for the Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Ronald Schermerhorn for the Crafton United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Linda Ruby for the Whitehall United Presbyterian Church; and the following Temporary Associate Pastors: Karie Jarvis Charlton to be ordained to the position at Third Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Carolyn Cranston for the Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. Sarah Robbins for the Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church

Appointed the following Moderators to congregations: the Rev. Thomas Ribar for Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Lori Bass Riley for McKeesport Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Thomas Moore for the Carnegie Presbyterian Church; the Rev. William Gracey for the Riverdale United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Larry Ruby for the Korean United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Linda Ruby for the Whitehall United Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. Bruce Schlenke for the Deer Creek United Presbyterian Church

Validated the following ministries: Director of Pastoral Care-Bereavement Services at Gateway Hospice, the Rev. Elizabeth Hewett serving in this position; and the House of Manna Faith Community, the Rev. Eugene Blackwell serving in this position

Granted permission for the Rev. Sung Hee Lee to Labor Outside the Bounds of Pittsburgh Presbytery, serving The New Church of Greater New York (Reformed Church in America)

Granted the request of the the Rev. Jay Hollinsworth for honorable retirement effective November 15, 2014

Renewed the contracts for Commissioned Ruling Elder Robert Henry at the request of the Logan’s Ferry Presbyterian Church; and for Commissioned Ruling Elder Paul Nigra at the request of the Hawthorne Avenue Presbyterian Church

Approved the 2014 Terms of Call as presented for members of the presbytery

Elected the Rev. Jay Lewis, Esq. as Senior Vice Moderator for the presbytery in 2015, and elected the following to Standing Committee/Commissions:

Executive Committee
Ruling Elder Chris Martin, East Liberty PC (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder Robert Dressing, Pleasant Hills Community PC (2017B/South)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Carol Divens-Roth, At-Large (2017A/East)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Dirk Lesnett, Elfinwild PC (2017B/North)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Donna Giver-Johnston, The Community PC of Ben Avon (2017A/West)

Commission on Ministry
Ruling Elder Susan Cramer, Shadyside PC (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder Roger Stuart, UPC of Universal (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder Mary Jo Buffo, Hiland PC (2017B/North)
Ruling Elder Ron Minkus, Pleasant Hills Community PC (2017A/South)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Dr. Trent Hancock, Glenshaw PC (2017A/North)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Dr. Janice Holmes, Olivet UPC (2017B/South)
Teaching Elder the Rev. Dr. John Barker, Brentwood PC (2017A/South)

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Ruling Elder Harriet McCray, Grace Memorial PC (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder Andrew Wilson, Forest Hills PC (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder Bob Lindemann, Elfinwild PC (2017A/North)
Ruling Elder Marilyn Beckstrom, Bethel PC (2017B/South)
Ruling Elder Nancy Stanny, Concord PC (2017A/South)
Ruling Elder Tom Smart, Emsworth UPC (2017B/West)
Ruling Elder Nancy Merrill, Sewickley PC (2015B/West)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Doug Marshall, Sharon Community PC (2017B/East)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Page Creach, At-Large (2017A/North)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Sharon Stewart, At-Large (2016A/South)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. James Evans, Montours PC (2017B/West)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Brian Snyder, Bower Hill Community PC (2017B/West)
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Ben Robbins, Valley PC (2017A/West)

Foundation
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Doug Portz, Pittsburgh Presbytery (2017A/North)
Ruling Elder, Doug Gilbert, Shadyside PC (2017B/East)
Ruling Elder, Jim Martin, Southminster PC (2015A/South)
Ruling Elder, Dwight Howes, Sewickley PC (2017B/West)

Synod Budget and Finance Committee
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Doug Portz, Pittsburgh Presbytery (2017A/North)

Synod Commissioner
Teaching Elder, the Rev. Dr. Johnnie Monroe, HR (2017B/East)

New Clerk of Session training will be held at the Presbytery Center on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 9:00 AM-noon;  New clerks are encouraged to attend, but all are welcome

The report of the Annual Session Minutes, Rolls & Register Review reading done in 2014 for the calendar year 2013 was presented

Commissioned the International Partnership South Sudan Travel Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery (trip scheduled for January 15-26): the Rev. Dave Carver, First United Presbyterian Church (Crafton Heights); Ruth Portnoff, Friendship Community Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Susan Rothenberg, Emsworth United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Sharon Stewart, At-Large; the Rev. Ken White, Southminster Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. Gary Willingham-McLain, Friendship Community Presbyterian Church


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