November Called Meeting Materials and Instructions

Nov called meeting banner

At the stated meeting on October 17, Moderator Leigh Anne Ring called a meeting of the presbytery for Saturday, November 21, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will include the following business: reports by Dismantling Racism Ministry and Strategic Planning Team, committee nominations, an examination for ordination, and a commissioning of two ruling elders to serve as pastors.

This memo outlines the plans that have been developed and the steps that you and your church’s Commissioners should pursue to become fully prepared 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 called meeting of the Presbytery of the James will be convened via Zoom at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2020. We project the meeting will end at approximately 12:30 p.m.

  • Please view the meeting materials in advance of the meeting.
    Agenda (5 pages, 224 KB)  * Updated 11/12/20 
    Reports (15 pages, 368 KB)
    Supplemental Report (6 pages, 277 KB)  * Added 11/12/20 
  • Clerks or ministers must provide the name(s) of commissioner(s) elected by the session to represent the congregation to Barbara Espigh. Commissioners may be the same as those elected for the October meeting. Send the name(s) of elected commissioners (whether the same as October or different) to Barbara by November 19.
  • All meeting participants must register no later than Friday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m. We require this to ensure the electronic security of the POJ meeting.
  • View the training video to learn about registering for this meeting and participating via Zoom.

Meeting Via Zoom

The called meeting will be held via the meeting format of the Zoom electronic meeting 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 or the ‘gallery’ view. There are ways for other participants to ask questions, make comments, and to vote, and all ways will be available at all times.

Each participants is required to join the meeting on an individual device – one person on one device (no sharing). We are encouraging 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 has recently upgraded their product to enhance security and functionality issues. If you have not already done so, 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 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, Barbara will watch for your phone number to arrive at the meeting as you dial in and to update Zoom to show your name instead of phone number. Phone users 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 8 p.m. Friday evening, November 20.

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.
  • If you are not an/the elected Ruling Elder for your church, please register as a GUEST.
  • Persons who are family and friends of the ordination candidate, visitors, observing members of other presbyteries (both Teaching and Ruling Elders), and Ruling Elders who are not commissioners to this meeting, should register as a GUEST.

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 this meeting and participating via Zoom.
  • Each person should be using their own device.
  • 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. This review will include information on how to set up and mange a split screen on your computer, allowing you to participate in the Zoom meeting and follow the meeting’s agenda and reports from the PDF packet, without printing the packet.
  • We encourage all commissioners to review the entire packet--agenda (5 pages, 224 KB), reports (15 pages, 368 KB), and supplemental report (6 pages, 277 KB)--prior to the meeting.
  • The meeting will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. We are projecting the meeting will adjourn at approximately 12:30 p.m.
  • If you have any questions during the course of the meeting concerning the procedures or technical problems, send a ‘chat’ message to Brint Pratt Keyes with full details.
  • Our meeting will open with a brief worship and prayer period. Scripts for all material 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.
  • Only those people attending as a voting commissioner (an elected Ruling Elder, Teaching Elder, or Certified Educator) may vote on any item of business.


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 name(s) 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 November 20 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Log in/call in to Zoom between 9:00 and 9:20 a.m. on November 21