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Highlights of the 117th Presbytery Meeting

The 117th meeting of Presbytery of the James was held June 18, 2024. It was a hybrid meeting held simultaneously at the Early Center at Union Presbyterian Seminary and on Zoom.

Moderator Cherry Peters called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and led the presbytery in prayer and made a statement of land acknowledgement. A quorum was present. Moderator Peters introduced Steve Hicks, who acted as Parliamentarian at the Stated Clerk’s request, and Corresponding Member Warren Lesane. New Minister Members were welcomed: Annie Franklin Arvin, Lauren Voyles, and Elizabeth Smith-Bartlett. New retirees Ray Roberts, Jim Dunkin, Steve Cobb, Brenda Walker, Cindy Kissel-Ito, and Dan Hrach were recognized.

Madison Cody, Candidate for Ordination (Presbytery of Eastern Virginia) preached a sermon based on Luke 6:27-38 during the morning worship. Madison was examined following worship and approved for ordination to ministry of the Word and Sacrament. She will serve as staff chaplain at Cedarfield.

Stated Clerk Barry Parks moved to ratify the Mission Council’s election of Warren Lesane as a Temporary Stated Clerk to oversee a Judicial Process, which was seconded and approved. Barry noted that an Investigating Committee has been appointed.

The consent agenda was adopted: to ratify the Mission Council’s election of Temporary Stated Clerk Barry Parks; formation of an Administrative Commission to work with the Mechanicsville Presbyterian Church to close the congregation; and the formation of an Administrative Commission to work with Forest Hill Presbyterian Church to work with the congregation in envisioning their future.

Candidate Noah Morgan (Presbytery of the James) preached a sermon and was examined and approved for ordination to ministry of the Word and Sacrament.

On behalf of the Commission on Ministry, TE Kelly-Ann Rayle moved to approve the Relation of Former Pastors to Congregations Policy. The policy was approved.

Inquirer Addison Schmitt (Westminster Richmond) was examined for candidacy for the ordered ministry of the Word and Sacrament, and was received as a candidate.

Madison Cody
Madison Cody
Noah Morgan
Noah Morgan
Addison Schmitt
Addison Schmitt

RE Joslyn E. Shipman, Co-Moderator of the Anti-Racism Committee, gave a moving testimonial about the racist past and present that informs her ministry in the POJ. Co-Moderator Robert Johnson testified that telling and hearing such stories is essential to our repentance and repair.

The nominations of RE James Allison to the Commission on Ministry and TE Sandi Goehring to the Mission and Service Team were approved.

The POJ Manual of Administrative Operations was amended to make changes to Section Five, Item E, The Presbytery Budget, Items D7 and D8, Committee on Nominations and Committee on Representation and Item C, Committee on Representation. The wording presented in the packet was approved, without any changes.

TE Mike Watson reported that there will be a called meeting July 30 from 7-9 p.m. to receive the report of the Strategic Plan Review Task Force, with the location to be determined.

The SDOP Ministry is planning several community workshops to discuss current grants which are available from both the One Great Hour of Sharing funding (the amount varies annually) and from denominational level grants (maximum amount $15,000.00). The SDOP grant application closes on November 1, 2024.

Moderator Peters thanked all those who helped to make this meeting happen. She led the presbytery in prayer and declared the meeting adjourned at 2:32 p.m.


Special Meeting, July 30, 2024

118th Meeting, October 19, 2024




Agenda and Reports