107th Stated Meeting Materials and Instructions

107th stated meeting feb 20_Zoom_sm

The presbytery meeting will proceed as planned on Saturday, February 20.

Presbytery of the James (POJ) will hold its 107th stated meeting on February 20 virtually using Zoom. This memo outlines the plans that have been developed and the steps that attendees should take to prepare for the meeting.

Please direct all questions or concerns as soon as possible to Barbara Espigh, associate for administration and support. Barbara can be reached via email (preferred) or at 804-262-2074, ext. 301.

General Meeting Information

The virtual Zoom meeting room will open at 9:00 a.m. An overview of Zoom will begin at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will be convened promptly at 9:30 a.m. We project the meeting will end at approximately 2:30 p.m.

  • Please view the meeting materials in advance of the meeting.
    Agenda (6 pages, 291 KB)
    Reports (83 pages, 1.6 MB)
    VISION 2020 Report for reference, from June 2017 (5 pages, 178 KB)
  • It is important that sessions elect a ruling elder(s) who will serve as a voting commissioner(s) to this meeting as soon as possible. Please send those names to Barbara Espigh when elected.
  • All meeting participants must register no later than Friday, February 19, at 9:00 a.m. We require this to ensure the electronic security of the POJ meeting.
  • View the training video to learn about registering for and participating in POJ meetings via Zoom.

Agenda Overview

Ordination Examinations

As part of the Committee on Ministry report after lunch, there will be ordination examinations for two candidates. Each will preach and field questions about the sermon in a virtual break-out room.

Participants can choose to be assigned to a particular room or can be assigned to one by the Zoom hosts (see additional comments in the Advance Registration section below). These sermons will take place concurrently.

After both ordination sermons are complete, the candidates and attendees will return to the full body, where the participants will each answer examination questions from the floor. Then the body will vote on the approval of the examinations.

You must advance register to attend this meeting if you wish to hear and see any part of the exam process as a Guest. See the procedure on advance registering (below).

Lunch Break

To accommodate the order of the day, a lunch break will be observed during the meeting from 12:00 to 12:20 p.m. Please leave your computer or phone on and connected to the meeting during this period, even if you step away from the computer. You may turn off your video within the Zoom menu while you are away.


We are projecting the meeting will adjourn at approximately 2:30 p.m.


The meeting packet includes the full agenda agenda (6 pages, 291 KB), reports (83 pages, 1.6 MB), and VISION 2020 Report for reference, from June 2017 (5 pages, 178 KB).

Meeting Via Zoom

The meeting  will be held via the meeting format of the Zoom platform. In this format, the hosts of the meeting will control the muting and unmuting of attendees, the ‘chat’ function will be partially enabled, and each attendee will be able to see other faces, in either the ‘speaker’ view of the ‘gallery’ view.

There are ways for participants to ask questions, make comments, and to vote, and all ways will be available at all times.

Participants are required to join the meeting on an individual device – one person on one device. We encourage participants to join the meeting on a desktop or laptop computer. A tablet, smartphone, or basic phone are acceptable alternatives, if a computer is not available.

Participating using a computer, tablet, or smartphone

If you use a desktop or laptop computer, please make sure you have high-speed internet access, sound output device (speakers, headphones, or earbuds), and microphone capability. Being close to your wi-fi router during the meeting may help the connectivity.

If joining by desktop or laptop is not available, a tablet or smartphone may be used, using the free Zoom app. The app is available at your device’s app store.

Zoom regularly upgrades their product to enhance security and functionality issues. If you have not recently upgraded Zoom on your device, and to have the best viewing experience, please upgrade your Zoom software as soon as possible:

Need help? Try this page.

Participating using a phone

You may also join the meeting by dialing into the meeting with a basic phone. The confirmation email you receive after registration will have the phone number to use.

After registering, please contact Barbara Espigh at the POJ office to provide the phone number you will be using and to receive instructions for asking questions, making comments, and voting.

On the day of the meeting, POJ staff will watch for your phone number to arrive at the meeting as you dial in. Staff will update Zoom to show your name on the screen instead of your phone number. You will be reminded of the instructions to ask questions, make comments, vote, etc., during the meeting.

If you think you might have any connectivity problems at all, please contact Barbara Espigh at the POJ office as soon as possible.  We will work with you to try and solve any such problems you might have.


Advance Registration

To keep track of the number of participants who have registered and to provide some internet security, all participants must advance register to attend this meeting. You can register for the meeting until 9:00 a.m. Friday , February 19.

As you go through registration, you will need to provide your name and your role at the meeting. While most roles are self-explanatory, you’re reminded that:

  • RULING ELDER COMMISSIONERS are elected by a church’s Session to attend the meeting as a voting Commissioner.
  • Ruling Elders who are not commissioners to this meeting should register as GUESTS.
  • Family and friends of the ordination candidates should register as GUESTS.
  • Visitors should register as GUESTS.
  • Observing members of other presbyteries (both Teaching and Ruling Elders) should register as GUESTS.

When you register to attend the meeting, you will be able to choose which of the candidate sermons you wish to attend. If you don’t choose, you will be assigned to a virtual room to hear one of the sermons.

Once you have registered for the meeting, you will receive an email confirmation, which will include a link to join the meeting. Save that email - you will need that link to join the meeting. Each registration generates a unique confirmation link, so you will not be able to share the link. This is one feature we rely upon to provide security and monitoring of the meeting.

Tips Before the Meeting

  • View the training video to learn about registering for and participating in POJ meetings via Zoom.
  • Make sure your wi-fi has a strong and stable signal. Connect to the meeting while close to your router.
  • Make sure your displayed name is correct and appropriate to this meeting. Please change it if necessary.
  • Get your water or coffee before you sit down at the meeting. Use the bathroom before you join.
  • Get your headphones set up. They will help reduce background noise during the meeting.
  • Please check what is behind you in your room and remove from view anything you prefer that others not see.
  • Keep the registration email with the Zoom link at the ready. If you become disconnected, Zoom should automatically reconnect you, but you may need it to re-enter the session.


Tips For / During the Meeting

  • Join the meeting early - it takes a few minutes to join. The Zoom meeting room will open at 9:00 a.m.
  • There will be a brief orientation and review of the Zoom features at 9:20 a.m.
  • We encourage all Commissioners to review the entire packet--agenda (6 pages, 291 KB) and accompanying reports (83 pages, 1.6 MB)--prior to the meeting.
  • The stated meeting will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. We are projecting the meeting will adjourn at approximately 2:30 p.m.
  • Our meeting will open with worship. Scripts for responsive readings, scriptures, and music will be provided on the screen.
  • If you are recognized to speak (and you are not on a landline), your face will be spotlighted on the video.
  • If you must step away from the computer and camera, consider halting the video until you return (do not leave the meeting).
  • Use CHAT to send messages to the meeting leaders. During the meeting, ‘chat’ between attendees will be disabled.
  • Use RAISE HAND via the ‘participants’ icon to seek recognition to speak on a motion or to make a motion.
  • Once the meeting begins, you will be muted by the Zoom hosts, unless you request to speak and are recognized by the Moderator. If you are recognized to speak, you will be reminded to unmute yourself after the Zoom hosts unmute you.
  • If an item of business requires a vote, the body will be asked to vote by using the ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ buttons within the ‘participants’ icon. The Moderator will explain the procedures at the appropriate time.
  • If you are not attending as a voting commissioner (a Ruling Elder or Teaching Elder or Certified Educator), you may not vote.


There is a lot to remember for this meeting. Here’s a checklist for you to use:

  • Elect Ruling Elder (RE) Commissioner(s) and provide RE Commissioner(s) names to Barbara Espigh
  • Teaching Elders (TE): request an excused absence, if needed, by emailing Franklin Reding
  • Review the meeting packet in advance
  • Update your version of Zoom to the latest
  • All attendees: register by February 19 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Log in/call in to Zoom between 9:00 and 9:20 a.m. on February 20