The 109th stated meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday, October 16, beginning at 9:00 a.m. This memo outlines the plans that have been developed and the steps that church commissioners, ministers, Christian educators, presbytery moderators, and guests should take to become fully prepared for the meeting.
General Meeting Information
Presbytery of the James will convene the 109th meeting via Zoom at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The virtual meeting room will open at 8:30 and a brief orientation will occur at 8:50. During opening worship, we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion. Please have a bread item and beverage prepared prior to the meeting so we can partake together.
A break is scheduled for approximately 10:45. (We recommend stopping video and muting audio in Zoom during this break, but staying connected to the meeting to avoid issues when the agenda resumes.)
There will be sermons from three ordination candidates, all of whom have already met with the Commission on Ministry and passed the Commission’s ordination exam. Each candidate will preach their sermon in a virtual break-out room at an Order of the Day scheduled for 11:20.
We project the meeting will end at approximately 1:00 p.m.
Ruling Elder Roster
Clerks or ministers should provide the name(s) of commissioner(s) elected by the session to represent the congregation to Barbara Espigh. Send the name(s) of elected commissioners to Barbara by October 12.
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 or 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.
Each participants is required to join the meeting on an individual device – one person on one device (no sharing). We encourage participants to join the meeting on a desktop or laptop computer. A tablet, smartphone, or basic phone (landline) 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. 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, 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 to solve any such problems you might have.
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 a.m. Friday, October 15.
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.
- Ruling elders who are not commissioners to this meeting should register as GUESTS.
- Visitors should register as GUESTS.
- Observing members of other presbyteries (both teaching and ruling elders) should register as GUESTS.
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.
- 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.
- Set up and test your headphones. 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 8:30 a.m.
- There will be a brief orientation and review of the Zoom features at 8:50 a.m.
- We encourage all commissioners to review the entire packet--cover letter and necrology (4 pages, 185 KB) and agenda and reports (128 pages, 2 MB)--prior to the meeting.
- The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. We are projecting the meeting will adjourn at approximately 1:00 p.m.
- Our meeting will open with worship. Scripts for responsive readings, scriptures, and music will be provided on the screen.
- During worship, we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion. Please have a bread item and beverage so we can partake together.
- 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 Zoom).
- 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 via polling procedures. When the vote is to be taken, a dialog box will appear on your screen with the motion being voted on, and you would vote by clicking on the ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ buttons. Non-voting attendees should select ‘NOT VOTING.’ The moderator will explain the procedures at the appropriate time, including procedures for people attending the meeting by phone.
- Only those people attending as a voting commissioner (a teaching elder, a certified educator, or a ruling elder elected to serve as a commissioner) 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 October 15 at 9:00 a.m.
- Log in/call in to Zoom between 8:30 and 8:50 a.m. on October 16