The 102nd Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of the James took place on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA. Nearing the start of my seventh month with you, faces are beginning to look familiar and nametags remain a gift for conversation to be rich. I have been welcomed warmly into your churches through the POJ.
Hebrews 13:2 reads, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” The members and staff of First Charlottesville definitely showed hospitality, even as a major construction project is underway. Thank you for a job well done.
In Christ’s Service,
Fred A. Holbrook
Interim General Presbyter and Stated Clerk
Some of the highlights of the meeting included:
- A welcome from Rev. Aram Bae, associate pastor of First Church Charlottesville.
- Welcoming three new minister members: Rev. Amy Starr Redwine, pastor of First Church Richmond; Rev. Sandra L. Shaner, pastor of St. Andrews Church, Kilmarnock; and Rev. Rebekah Tucker-Motley, pastor of Orange Church, Orange.
- Recognizing Certified Christian Educators Barbara Flynt, Brandermill Church, Midlothian; Leigh Anne Ring, River Road Church, Richmond; and Bruce Harvey, The Presbyterian Church, Fredericksburg. Rev. Allen Fisher, pastor of The Presbyterian Church, honored Bruce’s 40 years as a Certified Christian Educator, 22 of which have been at the church.
- Worshiping with Rev. David Forney, pastor of First Charlottesville, serving as liturgist and Rev. Jill Duffield, editor of the Presbyterian Outlook, preaching a sermon based on Galatians 5:1,13-25.
- Greetings from Rev. Warren Lesane, executive and stated clerk of the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic.
The business of the day included the following matters:
- Approved the February 16, 2019 POJ Minutes.
- Rev. Stephen Hodges, pastor of Providence Forge Church and vice-moderator of the Strategic Planning Team, shared highlights from the team.
- Dissolved the Administrative Commission for the Greenwood Church with sincere appreciation and gratitude.
- Approved the incorporation of Camp Hanover as a 501 (c)(3) charitable and educational corporation. This included $185,000 for initial ministry funding and $1.25 million over two years from the “Dismissed Churches’ Fund” for facilities maintenance and improvement. In addition, POJ will start in July providing monthly disbursements of annual support which will continue into the future with review at the end of 2024.
- Heard a report and presentation from the Mission & Service Team including World Mission Ministry (Rev. Mary Jane Winter) and the Social Justice Ministry (Rev. Janet Winslow).
- Heard a report from the Leadership Connections Team (Rev. Lisa Salita, moderator) including a presentation from Revs. Gary Charles and Jill Duffield who are convening the second cohort of pastors in the Community of Ministry and Worship.
- Elected Ruling Elders Jay Griles and Melissa Phillips to serve on the Committee on Ministry.
- Elected the following persons as commissioners from POJ to the 224th General Assembly of the P.C.(U.S.A.) to be held June 20-27, 2020 in Baltimore, MD.
- Hyun Chan Bae, Teaching Elder, Lord Jesus Korean
- Marilyn Johns, Ruling Elder, Gayton Kirk
- Brint Pratt-Keyes, Teaching Elder, Member-at-Large
- Kenna Payne, Ruling Elder, Westminster Richmond
- Andrew Sanders, Ruling Elder, River Road
- Judy Thomson, Teaching Elder, Honorably Retired and full-communion assistant pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church, Kilmarnock
- Elected alternate commissioners to the General Assembly (ordinarily nominated to serve as commissioners to the 225th General Assembly in 2022)
- Beverly Bullock, Teaching Elder, Member-at-Large
- Ann Cherry, Teaching Elder, Trinity
- Patrick Dennis, Teaching Elder, Tuckahoe
- Bruce Harvey, Ruling Elder, Fredericksburg
- Lamar Lockhart, Ruling Elder, Chester
- Cherry Peters, Ruling Elder, Second Richmond
- Elected Noah Morgan, Westminster Richmond, to serve as Young Adult Advisory Delegate to the 2020 General Assembly and Bethany Reitsma, South Plains, to serve as alternate.
- Granted Member-at-Large status to Rev. Gina Maio and Honorably Retired status to Rev. John Storey.
- Approved allowing Rev. Seth Lovell, associate pastor of Olivet, Charlottesville, to become co-pastor for education and administration effective July 9, 2019. Rev. Albert Connette will become co-pastor for congregational care and outreach.
- Approved minimum compensation guidelines for 2020: $46,600, a 2.09% cost of living increase.
- Approved the sermon and examination of Jess Cook to be ordained to serve as program and communications manager at More Light Presbyterians. Also approved the commission who are given the joy of leading that worship service on Saturday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m.
- Approved the sermon and examination of Humphrey Muraya to be ordained to serve as covenant pastor of AFREIM (African Evangelical International Ministries), a new worshiping community. Also approved the commission who are given the joy of leading that worship service on Sunday, June 30, at 4:00 p.m. at Westminster Richmond.