The 113th stated meeting of the Presbytery of the James was held on February 18, 2023, at Westminster Church (Richmond) as a hybrid meeting. Participants, in person and via Zoom, included 110 teaching elders and 92 ruling elders representing 61 congregations.
Moderator Dan Jordanger (Providence, Gum Spring) called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. with prayer.
Rev. Sarah Schutte (Milford), moderator of the Examinations Committee, welcomed new ministers to the presbytery:
- Gary Hatter (Member-at-large, and then Covenant Pastor, Meadows)
- Jason Leonard (Pastor, Blackstone)
- Kimberly Harper Coyle (Chaplain, Bon Secours)
- Mike Watson (Associate Pastor, Fairfield)
Morning worship was led by Rev. Shavon Starling-Louis, co-moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Rev. Dr. Flo Barbee-Watkins. Special music was provided by the Hampton University Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Omar Dickerson.
During worship, Dan Jordanger led the presbytery in the installation of the 2023 moderator, Rev. Rosalind Banbury (Bethlehem), and 2023 vice-moderator, Ruling Elder Cherry Peters (Second, Richmond). At the conclusion of worship, Kenna Payne, on behalf of Mission Council, thanked Mr. Jordanger for his service.
Rev. Banbury then assumed leadership of the meeting.
Rev. Jess Cook gave a presentation about the $20,000 grant that Every Table New Worshiping Community received from the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic.
The minutes of the October 18, 2022, meeting were approved.
The three presbyters gave a presentation explaining the role each plays in the further development of the congregations in the presbytery and for the presbytery in general.
Natasha Taylor, vice moderator of the Leadership Connections Team, introduced Rev. James Moseley (Campbell Memorial) to report on a retreat Small Church Ministry is hosting March 2-3.
For the Mission and Service Team’s report, Rev. Mary Jane Winter (HR) introduced Ruling Elder Lamar Lockhart (Chester), moderator of the Self-Development of People Ministry. Mr. Lockhart invited Robin White, a representative of Joining Hands to Support Those in Need, to share information about the organization and the impact of the $6,000 grant they received from SDOP in 2022.
Rev. Seth Lovell (Olivet), moderator of the Commission on Ministry, introduced several recommendations by COM. The presbytery adopted the motion to increase the membership of COM from 18 to 28 members. The new 10 individuals will serve at large and in classes. The body also adopted the motion to increase the Board of Pensions’ percentage to 39% for 2023, subject to minimums and maximums.
Rev. Katherine Fiedler (Second, Richmond), reported on behalf of Camp Hanover.
For the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Ruling Elder Chad Wayner (South Plains) requested that inquirer Hannah Miller be examined and raised to candidate. Following Ms. Miller’s examination, she was duly elected and received as a candidate.
Rev. Walter Canter, (Blue Ridge), moderator of the Committee on Nominations, nominated the following who were approved by presbytery:
- Commission on Ministry
- Rev. Seth Lovell (Olivet)
- Rev. Kelly-Ann Rayle (River Road)
- Rev. Joanna Sydnor (Grace Covenant)
- Donna Powell (First United)
- Glenna Finnicum (Ginter Park)
- Rev. Crystal Parker (Salisbury)
- Mission Council/Trustees Presbytery of the James, Inc.
- Rev. Kerry Foster (Amelia)
- Dan Jordanger (Providence, Gum Spring)
- Synod Commissioner
- Rev. Katherine Jackson (Bott Memorial)
Ruling Elder Kenna Payne (Westminster, Richmond) presented three motions from Mission Council. One motion addressed revisions to the Manual of Administrative Operations. Another motion formed the creation of a team to study the presbytery’s structure, ministries, and purposes. The final motion adopted the 2023 budget, as amended without change to the bottom line. All were adopted.
Dan Jordanger (Providence, Gum Spring), president of the Trustees of Presbytery of the James, Inc., presented a motion to authorize sale of Trinity Church for no less than 86.66% of the appraised value of $375,000, or $325.000. The motion was adopted.
Rev. Rosalind Banbury, moderator, closed the meeting with prayer at 2:22 p.m.