Seattle, WA (January 9, 1998)-Green Lake Presbyterian Church hosted the Stated Meeting of Pacific Northwest Presbytery. Moderator TE Bob Bruhn presided over the proceedings. TE Michael Kelly of the host church presided over the opening worship, at which the Rev. Ron Schroeder of the Presbyterian Church in Canada preached from Acts 27-28.
Presbytery voted in favor of both proposed Book of Church Order amendments (40-1-0 and 38-0-1).
At the last Presbytery meeting, the Rev. Jeffrey Doerr was received and was directed to "sit the [Credentials] Committee's set of written exams and work with the Committee on expositional preaching. Mr. Doerr is working with the Committee members on his preaching, preparing to write the exams . . ., and laboring in his call as a church planter." Upon examination, TE Scott Rich was transferred from Grace Presbytery to a church planting ministry in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. A salary package of $65,000 was approved. During discussion of his examination, it was moved and seconded to go into executive session. The minutes read: "There had been discussion at the October meeting as to whether it were right to conduct discussions concerning examinations in executive sessions as a rule. Time then forbade any action." The motion failed.
It was reported that the Credentials Committee had examined Mr. Schroeder of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for transfer. He registered no exceptions to the PCA standards. With credentials currently in the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC), he is now pastoring a group of former members of the PCC congregation which he had until November 1997 been pastoring. The minutes read: "The Committee was delighted to learn of God's providential dealings which have led him to seek fellowship with the PCA. The Committee will work with him in order to facilitate the transition to the Presbytery, and have asked him to prepare by writing the Committee's exams in Systematic Theology, and the Book of Church Order of the PCA."
Candidate Ed Dunnington, having sustained the written exams in English Bible and church government, was examined on the floor in those two areas in partial completion of the requirements for ordination. He passed the oral examination.
Presbytery approved the call to TE Tom Ramsay by First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Renton, WA, to be Assistant Pastor of Adult Education. Assurance has been given that he "will have full freedom to maintain and teach the doctrines of our Church" (BCO 8-7).
Reports were heard on the various interns, licentiates, and candidates of the Presbytery.
Miss Jan Buchanan, MTW missionary to Dakar, Senegal, gave an illustrated report on the work of the church planting team there. The MTW Committee encouraged each pastor to purchase and use in his own devotions a copy of Operation World.
TE John Smed, Coordinator of Church Planting for the denominational Mission to North America Committee, reported "on church planting in the Pacific Northwest over the next ten years and challenged Presbytery to set new and more expansive goals. These goals are to be communicated to the churches of Presbytery in hopes of securing the necessary support." TE Tommy Allen reported on the church planting effort in Capital Hill, Seattle.
Presbytery accepted the resignation of Rev. Robert Cassis from South Sound PCA Mission in Olympia, WA; asked the corporation of the mission work to give him as much of the back-pay due him as they are able to give; and dissolved the mission work as of January 12, 1998, with the Stated Clerk holding the memberships of the mission. The Mission to the Northwest Committee has directed that $1,200 per month be given to Mr. Cassis for the first three months of 1998.
After dinner, Presbytery reconvened for the first installment of a discussion on "Rethinking the Lord's Supper," led by Pastors Michael Kelly and Robert Rayburn and Ruling Elder Pfefferle.
The 1998 budget, totaling $10,750 (US funds), was adopted. The Administration Committee reported that the December payment of $10,000 from the assets of the (dissolved) Highline Presbyterian Church is available for distribution. The Committee, per instructions at the last meeting of Presbytery, gathered information on MNA's Five Million Fund, its policies and present circumstances, for distribution to interested presbyters.
Presbytery authorized Living Word PCA Mission in Hayden Lake, ID, to receive $50,000 from the Five Million Dollar Fund. The recommendation was amended by adding, "pending the Living Word Church undertaking an appropriate instrument in favor of the Presbytery" as a means of securing Presbytery's interest as co-signer of this loan.
The court granted to the Rev. William Senyard the powers of evangelist to receive members at Christ the King PCA, White Rock, BC.
A financial summary for 1997 was given regarding the Washington Field Fund. Income was $17,105.48, and expenses $20,900.80.
Mr. Cassis presented the report of the Committee on Ministers and Churches. Reports were heard regarding the two new pastoral relationships; and the honorably retired ministers and spouses. Regarding ministerial compensation, Mr. Cassis noted that there was a decrease in compensation from 1994 to 1996 for several categories in both the US and Canada. Providing this data to the sessions has produced mixed results, although in some cases "the process has spurred sessions to review compensation." With regard to goals and objectives for 1998, two new topics were addressed: "a. Encouragement and refreshment to pastors and their families. There is a significant amount of personal pain in the ministry which impacts pastors and their families. The Committee believes there is need to find Biblical methods of helping those men and women and that church sessions are best suited to meet this need. b. Establishment of a prayer and information chain. The need for an information network to quickly inform Presbytery of urgent or important prayer needs of congregations and pastors is apparent. TE Cassis will be drafting a proposed system which will use telephone, fax, and e-mail."
A report was heard regarding the annual elementary and junior high camp. The next camp is scheduled for July 27-31, 1998, also at Warm Beach Christian Camp, Stanwood, WA.
Dr. Robert S. Rayburn, Stated Clerk
620 South Shirley Street
Tacoma, WA 98465