March 2017 Stated Meeting Hi-Lites


Sue Rutford
 Vice Moderator
The Rev. T.J. Parlette
 PLT Chair
The Rev. Denise Dunbar-Perkins



The Rev. William Chadwick
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church
The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson
Stated Clerk of PC(USA) delivered the sermon, presented a workshop and served on a panel.
Kelley Jepsen was presented for Candidacy by the Committee on Preparation for Ministry


 Ken Latham from the Committee on Congregational Vitality announced
"Bucket 1" grants for 2017.
The Rev. Brenda Alexander reported on grants available through the Mission and Witness
The Rev. Heidi Bolt was introduced as the new COM Coordinator

 A wonderful time of fellowship.

Meeting Summary
By Bill Davnie, Stated Clerk

One hundred seventy-seven animated Presbyterians (no, that’s not an oxymoron!) filled the halls and meeting rooms of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church last Saturday, March 11, for a Stated Meeting with a twist – actually, several twists – on our usual practice.

The principal attraction, certainly, was the presence of The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly. Elected last summer in Portland, Dr. Nelson has drawn much attention – both as the first person of color in that position, and as a well-known preacher and speaker across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and beyond from his service as Director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.

Nelson began his brief stay in the Twin Cities on Friday evening. Accompanied by Presbytery officers, the transitional executive presbyter, and the Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen, he joined the Shabbat service at Temple Israel in Minneapolis. This visit was planned with Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of that congregation as a show of the support and solidarity of Presbyterians with the Jewish community, which has been shaken by numerous telephone threats, including here in the Twin Cities, and acts of vandalism across the country.

Saturday morning, Stated Clerk Nelson preached at worship, with the title “Fear Not.” He called Presbyterians to creative flexibility and confidence in the ultimate sovereignty of God as we reform ourselves to be faithful in our current social context.
Worship included celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and remembrance of church officers – ruling and teaching elders and deacons – who had died in 2016.

After worship came the first twist in the day. Rather than turning to business matters, Presbytery commissioners and visitors headed off to a wide range of workshops, arranged by a planning team consisting of Moderator Sue Rutford, Rebecca Erickson, Katie Estes, and Lisa Johnson (plus Risa Anderson and Jeff Japinga). With topics ranging from “Holy Conversations” to “Transgendered People – A Gift from God” to “Remember Those Who Forget”, nine morning workshops were offered. A relaxed lunch hour then offered ample time to catch up with friends and colleagues, talk with presenters, and enjoy fellowship around the tables.

The afternoon started with a second twist. The formal business meeting was paralleled by seven more workshops. Commissioners could attend the business meeting, while other interested attendees populated workshops such as “A Green Church Isn’t Just Irish”, “Better Health Care for Mental Health and Addiction Issues in the Parish”, and “Evangelism as a Presbyterian”.

At the business meeting, after opening formalities and adoption of the consent agenda, Presbytery heard Inquirer Kelley Jepsen read her statement of motivation to become a candidate for ministry. Her thoughtful presentation was well received, and Vice-moderator T.J. Parlette posed to Kelley the constitutional questions, and declared her enrolled as a candidate for teaching elder.

Ken Latham, a ruling elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Woodbury, and a member of the Committee on Congregational Vitality, then presented to Presbytery news of the first awards from the Presbytery’s Congregational Development grant fund.. Check the Presbytery minutes for a list of those churches and projects receiving funds in this year’s round of applications.
From another part of the Presbytery’s support for creative mission, Teaching Elder Brenda Alexander let the Presbytery know of the Mission and Witness Committee’s grants. Referring to the morning sermon of Stated Clerk Nelson, she called them signs of hope that could lift the vision and heart of the entire Presbytery.

Committee on Ministry Co-chair Richard Buller introduced recently arrived co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Red Wing Heidi Bolt as the new COM Coordinator, a part-time position authorized by Presbytery in January.

The final twist was a regathering together of workshop attendees and business meeting commissioners to hear a panel discussion on The Church in the Public Square – Being Church in Our Day. Stated Clerk Nelson was joined by Minnesota Council of Churches CEO Peg Chemberlin and Ruling Elder and former Minnesota State Representative Kathleen Vallenga for this discussion, moderated by Pastor Tim Hart-Andersen, Westminster-Minneapolis. A lively hour passed quickly as the panelists responded to questions submitted in advance as well as from the floor on how to be the church in the world in our days.
This meeting was an experiment, fulfilling a goal often talked about but not previously tried in this Presbytery. It could not have happened without more-than-usually-needed help from the Oak Grove Church staff, as well as the willingness of people from national church staff to local teaching and ruling elders to lead workshops and participate actively in the day. If you were there last Saturday and have comments on the day, let the Presbytery Office know what you thought, or respond to an online survey coming your way soon. And if you couldn’t be there – it was a good day, so look for and plan to be at the next experiment, whatever and whenever that may be!

Meeting Information for May 9, 2017:

Presbytery Meetings:

Stated Meetings of the Presbytery consists of the teaching elder members of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and ruling elders who are commissioners. The purpose of the Stated Meetings is to oversee the mission and governance of the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area. The PTCA gathers in stated meetings at least twice and normally hold up to six meetings per year, in January, March, May, September and November, and whenever called into special session.  The May meeting is the Annual Meeting.

The Officers for 2016-17 are:
  • Rev. Bill Davnie, Stated Clerk
  • Ruling Elder, Sue Rutford, Moderator
  • Rev. T. J. Parlette, Vice-Moderator
  • Rev. Denise Dunbar-Perkins, Chair - Presbytery Leadership Team
  • Rev. Steve Robertson, Treasurer

The Dates and Venues for Upcoming Regular Stated Meetings are:

 Tuesday, May 9, 2017 4:00 p.m.
 First, Rochester, MN
 Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:00 p.m.
 Tuesday, September 12, 2017
 First, Red Wing, MN
 Tuesday, November 14, 2017
 Church of the Way, Shoreview

Presbytery Meeting Minutes:

Please contact Stated Clerk Bill Davnie concerning questions or for earlier Meeting Minutes. Below are the meeting minutes from the most recent Presbytery Meetings.

January 21, 2017
March 11, 2017

January 23, 2016
March 12, 2016
May 10, 2016
July 12, 2016
September 13, 2016
November 15, 2016

2015 Stated Meeting Minutes

2014 Stated Meeting Minutes

Below are packets from recent Presbytery Meetings.
Please note that Presbytery Packets are archived for one (1) year after the Presbytery meeting.

January 21, 2017 Presbytery Packet
March 11, 2017 Presbytery Packet

January 23, 2016 Presbytery Packet
     Faith, Minnetonka Separation Agreement - as of 
     Transitional Executive Presbyter Report
March 12, 2016 Presbytery Packet
May 10, 2016 Presbytery Packet
July 12, 2016 Presbytery Packet
September 13, 2016 Presbytery Packet
November 15, 2016 Presbytery Packet

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