The New Year begins with a Presbytery Meeting

The New Year begins with many things including the Presbytery Meeting.

Yes it is that time again for the January Presbytery meeting.

The meeting will be this Saturday, January 13 starting at 10 am, at Community Presbyterian Church, 220 Main Street, Chester. Here is some information that might be helpful for you at this week’s meeting.

What Breaks God’s Heart?

The Presbyterian Coordinating Committee (PCT) has planned for 2018 Presbytery meetings with an overall theme of “What Breaks God’s Heart?”

The January presentation is “What Breaks God’s Heart?: The Opioid Crisis”  Gregory Krausz, Director of Mid-Atlantic Rehabilitation Services Addiction Treatment Program in Bethlehem will be sharing information about how congregations can be part of the solution to this crisis that affects all our communities and congregations.

Worship

The Worship will focus on God’s healing love – “All who thirst, come to the water. Come, all who are weary; come, all who yearn for forgiveness. Drink deeply of these living waters. ‘I am the Lord, who heals you.’

Rev. Jeremy Campbell, Presbytery Stated Clerk, will be preaching.

Overtures

We will also be acting on the report from the Presbytery Overtures team ( 2018 Presbytery of Newton Commissioners and YAAD)  concerning Overtures to the 2018 General Assembly.

The presbytery is asked to approve a request for a new overture from the session of  First Presbyterian Church of Washington.

The session of the First Presbyterian Church of Washington respectfully request that the Presbytery of Newton approve the following overture to be sent to the 223rd (2018) General Assembly of the PCUSA.

Recommendation that the PCUSA do the following:

  1. Renew our denomination’s call to promote environmental justice and oppose environmental injustice in all its forms.
  2. Listen to the perspectives and voices of people most impacted by environmental injustice, including environmental racism.
  3. In accordance with the Gospel, position the church’s approach to environmental problems primarily as responses to the voices most directly impacted by environmental injustice and the cry of God’s creation for environmental justice.

First Presbyterian Church of Washington’s Overture

The Presbytery is asked to concur with the following Overtures.

OVT-006 On directing the Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation to Divest from Fossil Fuel and Actively Invest in Securities that focus on Renewable Energy.

The Presbytery of Hudson River overture commends the Board of Pensions (BOP) and the Presbyterian Foundation for creating fossil-free options for participants and for Mission Responsibility Through Investments Committee (MRTI) for increase engagement with Fossil Fuel Industry. They recognize that by continuing to hold investments in Fossil-Fuel Companies we are complicit in harming God’s creation. The overture directs the BOP and the Foundation divest of these companies and to actively seek out and invest in companies and securities that focus on renewable energy.

OVT-17 – Amending G-1.0304 to allow Congregations to Elect Individuals as Ruling Elders without requiring them to assume a seat on the session.

This Overture would change the Book of Order to allow for the calling of individuals to the office of Ruling Elder without first serving on session. This would allow for leaders from 1001 Worshipping Communities and Immigrant Fellowships, for  young adults and pastor spouses, and others to be able to serve as commissioners, officers and leaders at the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly.

A similar overture to the 2016 got bounced around the committee and General Assembly only to end up without a vote to approval or a vote to disapprove. ( Yes that can happen – not often though).

OVT-19 On Amending g-2.0509 Regarding Renunciation of Jurisdiction.

This overture corrects awkward language of a significant concern for our churches and sets for the correct process of providing justice and restoration.

Other Things

We will also be hearing from Presbyterian Women and Johnsonburg Camp.  A representative from Broad Street Ministry will also be available during the meeting to talk with people about “work camp” opportunities at Broad Street.