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Standing Rules

Standing Rules - Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest

Presbyterian Church in America

Last amended Oct 2012

 

1.00    Name

          The name of the Presbytery shall be “Presbytery of the Pacif­ic North­west, PCA”.

 

2.00    Meetings

2.10    Stated Meetings:  Three stated meetings shall be held each year.  The dates shall nor­mally be

the 4th Thursday and Friday of January,

the 3rd Thursday and Fri­day of May, and

the 4th Thursday and Friday of September. 

          The meet­ings will begin no later than 5:30 p.m. on Thurs evening and resume no later than 9:00 a.m. on Friday.

2.20    Adjourned Meetings:  Adjourned meetings of stated meet­ings may be held as deemed necessary.  Matters permis­sible for consid­eration shall be those that would have been permissible at the meeting of which this is an ad­journed meeting.

2.30    Called Meetings:  Special meetings may be held as deemed neces­sary, as provided in BCO 13-12.

2.40    Quorum:  The quorum for all meetings shall be three minis­ters and three ruling elders (BCO 13-4).

2.50    Docket:  A proposed docket setting forth the order of busi­ness shall be prepared and posted on the web at least seven days before each meeting of Presbytery by the Stated Clerk. A docket shall be adopted by the Presbytery, by majority vote, and may be amended at any time during the meet­ing by a majority vote.

2.51    Presbytery will go into executive session at conclusion of every licensure/ordination/transfer examination.

2.60    Attendance:

a. Every minister shall attend every meet­ing, unless prov­i­den­tially hindered, and all church sessions shall be repre­sented at every meeting unless providential­ly hin­dered.  When provi­den­tially hindered from attendance, a min­ister or a session repre­sentative will be ex­pected to request Presbyt­ery to excuse him - stating his reason for non-attendance in writ­ing;

b. Members of Presbytery (both teaching and ruling elders) will be expected to arrive on time and to attend all ses­sions unless specifi­cally ex­cused by Presbytery;

c. Ministers not engaged in pastoral work in a PCA congre­ga­tion or laboring outside Presbytery will be expect­ed to report to each Spring Stated Meeting concerning their loca­tion and activi­ties.  Ministers serving non-PCA churches are consid­ered to be laboring “outside the bounds” of Presbyt­ery;

d. Ministers, who are honorably retired or per­manently dis­abled are exempt from the above requirements, provided they are not serving a church as interim or stated sup­ply.

2.70    Place of Meeting: The Presbytery shall meet at a place deter­mined at the previous meeting, upon invitation from the host church or institution. If no place has been determined at the previous meeting, the Modera­tor and Stated Clerk shall secure an invitation and shall inform members of Presbytery by mail of the place of next meeting.

2.80    Expenses of Meeting: Expenses of commission­ers to meet­ings of Presbytery shall be borne as speci­fied in the BCO 10-6. Presbytery shall be self-entertaining and the host church may charge each commissioner and guest a sum appropri­ate to cover expenses for meals and refreshments.

2.90    Minutes:  There shall be a Standing “Minutes Approval” Commission authorized to approve minutes.  The MAC shall include 9 members (or their designees): the Moderator, Stated Clerk, chairman of the SJC, and the chairmen of the six Committees (Admin, Credentials, M&C, MNA, MTW, RUF).  Quorum is 2 +2.  Moderator is chairman.  Approval of minutes requires a 2/3 vote of the Commission and can be done by email.  If not approved by the next Stated Meeting, the full Presbytery shall consider the minutes for approval.  A draft set of minutes shall be posted on Presbytery’s website (for review and comment) for at least 7 days prior to final MAC approval.   The MAC shall also decide which absences should be recorded as “excused.”

 

3.00    Officers

3.10    Moderator:  The Moderator shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting, and shall serve until his suc­ces­sor takes office. Besides fulfilling the duties in the BCO, he shall appoint members of all standing and special commit­tees unless in specific cases Presbytery reserves this matter to itself.  Unless Presbytery shall appoint Presbyters to commissions by its own action, the Moderator shall appoint commissions to execute the decisions of Presbytery except in judicial cases.  The Moderator is an advisory member of all standing commit­tees.  In the event he cannot fulfill his duties, the last person to serve as Moderator shall assume the position until the next stated Meeting.  The Moderator shall be responsible for the design and execution of a worship service that will begin each meeting of Presbytery.  He may recruit whomever he wishes to assist, forming his own ad hoc committee from volunteers who offer their time, gifts, experience, and passion.  He is authorized to raise funds privately for any expenses.

3.20    Stated Clerk:  The Stated Clerk shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting, to serve for three years, and shall perform the duties prescribed for this office in the BCO.  He shall be eligible to succeed himself.  He shall prepare a pro­posed docket for each stated meet­ing, and post a copy on the web and email a notice to each minister and the Clerk of Session in each church at least seven days prior to the meeting.  He shall prepare, publish and dis­tribute a Presbytery Directory; report to the Minutes Approval Commission all requests for excused absences and preserve all histori­cal papers; publish and post full and properly attested accurate record of the minutes of the meeting of Presbytery as soon as possible; post a copy of the draft minutes on the web and email a notice to all the ministers and Clerks of Sessions as soon as possible.  He shall post the approved minutes promptly after they are approved.  The Clerk shall keep the following permanent re­cords:

a. A roll book of the ministers, containing the obliga­tions to be signed upon admis­sion into Presbytery, and thereaf­ter reaffirmed on an annual basis;

b. List of elders, clerks of session;

c. A roll book of the churches showing the dates of orga­nization;

d. A roll of candidates for the ministry, showing when and how received and current status. Presbytery shall pro­vide neces­sary supplies and funds to perform these and other duties relating to his office as the court from time to time may direct out of the current expense funds of Presb­ytery.

3.30    Treasurer:  A Treasurer shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting for a term of three years.  He shall receive and dis­burse the funds of Presbyt­ery under its direc­tion.  He shall keep a detailed account of all re­ceipts and disbursements and report the same to Presbyt­ery at all stated meetings.  The books shall be audited at the Fall Stated meeting by the Ad­minis­tration Commit­tee of Presbyt­ery and a report given at that meeting.

3.40    Terms of Office: The above officers shall usually be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting.  The Moderator and Clerk shall take office on November 1.  The Treasurer’s term shall expire at the adjournment of the Winter Stated Meeting. Vacancies in any of the offices may be filled at any meeting of the Presby­tery.  In the event of a vacancy between meetings, the Moderator may appoint a temporary Clerk or Treasurer, and the previous Moderator may appoint a temporary Moderator.

 

4.00    Committees

4.10    The Presbytery shall have the following 6 permanent com­mit­tees: Administration, Credentials, Ministers and Churches, Mission to North America, Mission to the World, and Reformed University Ministries.

4.20    There is no requirement for an equal number of TEs and REs on any committee.  The ration for each committee will be recommended each year when Admin makes nominations.  The committee members shall be elected for a term of not more than three years at the Fall Stated Meeting, and shall begin their term immedi­ately. The number of committee members shall be deter­mined by Presbytery with the advice of each commit­tee.  Committees shall usually be organized in three classes.

4.30    The Admin Committee shall submit their nomi­nees to the Presbytery at the Fall Stated Meeting. Nominations from the floor shall be called for before the election of commit­tees and officers.

4.40    Vacancies on any permanent com­mittee shall be filled as they occur with nominees for such vacancies ordinarily submit­ted by the Admin Committee.

4.50    Each permanent committee shall elect its own chair­man prior to the adjournment of the Fall Stated Meet­ing.

4.51    Committee on Administration: Duties in­clude:

a.  examining annually the sessional re­cords of the church­es of Presbytery and noting and reporting to Presbytery their find­ings;

b.  serving as the trustees of Presbytery and holding in trust all properties and other items placed in its keep­ing and belong­ing to Presbytery and acting as trustees on behalf of Presbytery when so instruct­ed;

c.  preparing and presenting to Presbytery budgets and fi­nan­cial needs;

d.  promoting stewardship within congrega­tions of the Pre­sb­yt­ery;

e.  making recommendations concerning bills and overtures;

f.  auditing the books of the Treasurer annually;

g.  fulfilling all other aspects of administration as it per­tains to Presbytery.

h.  nominating persons at the Fall Stated Meet­ing to serve on the permanent committees of Presbytery and offi­cers of Presbyt­ery subject to nominations from the floor;

i.  nominating, at any stated meeting of Presbytery, persons to fill vacancies which occur in a committ­ee's membership during the year;

{C}{C}j.      {C}{C}nominating persons to serve on other committees and in other capacities as instructed by Presbytery.

 

4.52    Committee on Credentials: Duties include:

{C}{C}a.      {C}{C}serving strictly as an advisory committee of Presb­yte­ry;

{C}{C}b.     {C}{C}interviewing and exercising supervision of all persons seeking entrance and/or ordina­tion for work within Presby­tery; prescrib­ing courses of study in preparation for Presbytery examination as considered needed;

{C}{C}c.      {C}{C}requiring all ministers­ and candidates seeking admis­sion to Presbytery to submit a paper stating their theological beliefs on the following subjects: the inspira­tion of Scripture, the Trinity, the Person and Work of Christ, His Death and Resur­rec­tion, the Doc­trine of Man, the Final State of Man, the Second Coming of Christ, the Doctrine of the Church, the Sacraments, the Person and Work of Holy Spirit, the Doctrine of the Person and Work of Satan, the Five Points of Calvinism. This paper, and any other written exams required for licensure, ordination, or transfer from another denomination, are required thirty days prior to the committee meeting. Ordinari­ly a period of three months will elapse between the committee examina­tion, direct­ed study and second meet­ing with com­mittee before being presented to Pres­byt­ery for examination;

{C}{C}d.     {C}{C}reporting a favorable or unfavorable recommen­da­tion to Presbytery prior to the Presbytery's examina­tion of the minis­ter or candidate; 

{C}e.      {C}obtaining once each year a report in writing from the session of the church under whose over­sight a candidate for ministry he remains and of which he is a member. The Committee shall be responsi­ble to work with the candidate through his session concerning his course of study and practical train­ing in prepara­tion for the ministry;

{C}f.       {C}receiving and reporting to Presbytery requests for ap­prov­ing new calls or inbound transfer of Presbytery member­ship.

{C}g.     {C}Additionally, the Chairman of the Committee on Creden­tials, in consultation with and with the concur­rence of the Stated Clerk of Presbytery, is authorized to dismiss licenti­ates or candidates in good standing where no congrega­tions are con­cerned.

{C}h.     {C}Shall act as a BCO 15-1 Commission to hear, and approve or disapprove, the sermon part of any licensure or ordination exam.  The quorum is 2+2.  In the Commission, it shall take a 2/3 vote to sustain any sermon exam.  Prior to administering any sermon exam, if 1/3 of the Commission believes the full Presbytery should evaluate a sermon instead, it shall be done on the floor of Presbytery rather than in Commission.  The Commission is authorized to review the sermon by listening to an audio or video recording.

 

4.53    Deleted

4.54    Committee on Mission to North America: Duties in­clude:

{C}a.      {C}The primary concern of this committee is evange­lism carried out by:

{C}1)       {C}Advancing the Church of Jesus Christ in our area through the establishment of new churches,

{C}2)       {C}Advancing the Kingdom of God in our area by the means of special ministries,

{C}3)       {C}Raising and administering the monies necessary to ac­com­plish this mission.

{C}b.     {C}Coordinate all matters of MNA in our Presbyt­ery includ­ing administration of aid and loans from the General As­sembly commit­tee.

 

4.55    Committee on Mission to the World: Duties in­clude:

{C}a.      {C}promoting the cause of world missions in this Presbyte­ry;

{C}b.     {C}acting as a liaison between the GA Mis­sion to the World Committee and the churches of Presbyte­ry;

{C}c.      {C}scheduling and coordinating the Presbytery Mis­sions Con­ference.

 

4.56    Committee on Ministers and Churches: Duties include:

{C}a.      {C}counseling and advising ministers in personal and church relationships;

{C}b.     {C}counseling and advising churches in pastoral rela­tion­ship and in any other areas requested;

{C}c.      {C}counseling and advising pastors and ministers without call in areas of professional and career development;

{C}d.     {C}guiding churches seeking to call a pastor and appoint­ing a session moderator at the request of and with the consent of the session;

{C}e.      {C}acting as a commission of Presbytery in dissolv­ing the pastoral relationship in cases when the pastor and congre­gation formally concur or where no congrega­tions are con­cerned to dismiss other ministers. The commit­tee chairman shall inform Stated Clerk of this action and the Clerk may then dismiss the minister;

{C}f.       {C}implement­ing a volun­tary church visitation pro­gram in accor­dance with Presbytery guidelines;

{C}g.     {C}requiring all ministers and candidates with a call seeking admission to the presbytery to meet with the Committee before moving to the field 1) to be examined regarding their pastoral character, 2) to counsel them regarding matters the Committee believes will assist them in the decision to accept the call and 3) to advise them of the assistance the Committee is ready to provide pastors, sessions and congregations.

{C}h.     {C}All teaching elders who are serving in this Presbytery shall seek confidential counsel and permission from the Presbytery (the Ministers and Churches Committee serving as a commission of Presbytery for this purpose) before searching for or entertaining another call following the guidelines of Appendix 1.

{C}i.      {C}Sessions & BCO 13-9  - M&C is conferred standing power as a BCO 15-1 Commission (non-judicial) to act for Presbytery in accord with BCO 13-9 to temporarily “assume original jurisdiction” when a Session “cannot exercise its authority.”  (The most common case would be when a Session loses its quorum and therefore cannot act.)  As soon as practical, this Commission shall call a meeting for the congregation to vote on the Commission’s recommendation to approve the TE(s) and/or RE(s) appointed by the Commission to be temporary Session members.  Any existing Session member(s) would ordinarily also serve on this temporary Session.  (See also BCO 15-2).

{C}j.      {C}obtaining annual reports from the minis­ters without a call as to the nature of their work.  These ministers shall keep M&C informed of which local church they regularly attend.

{C}k.     {C}receiving and reporting to Presbytery requests for dissolving an existing call, honor­able retirement, outbound transfer of Presbytery member­ship, and demission of the ministry.

 

4.57    Deleted

 

{C}4.58     {C}Committee on Reformed University Ministries: Duties include:

{C}a.      {C}The primary concern of this committee is promoting the reaching and equipping of college students in the Pacific Northwest.

{C}b.     {C}Overseeing the RUF chapters.  (This includes the pastoral care and oversight of campus ministers.)

{C}c.      {C}Raising and administering the monies necessary to accomplish this mission.

{C}d.     {C}Acting as a liaison between the GA RUM Committee and the churches of Presbytery;

{C}e.      {C}Meeting as a committee at least 3 times a year.

 

4.59    Standing Judicial Commission

{C}a.      {C}The membership of the Commission will be eight TEs and eight REs organized in four classes.

{C}b.     {C}The quorum for action will be two TEs and two REs.

{C}c.      {C}In the conduct of all its business the Commission will comply with BCO 15.

{C}d.     {C}SJC is conferred standing power as a BCO 15-1 Commission to act for Presbytery to fulfill the investigative duties of BCO 31-2 (first paragraph).  While the SJC has authority to conduct the official investigation, it does not have authority to render a final determination on “strong presumption of guilt” or to institute process (second paragraph of 31-2).  It may only make recommendations in those areas.

{C}e.      {C}Confessions - SJC also has authority as a BCO 15-1 Commission to act for Presbytery to investigate confessions and determine if and when a “full statement” has been made, in accord with BCO 38-1.   But SJC does not have authority to proceed to a judgment and censure, but instead, after it has approved the full statement (acting as Presbytery in that regard), it will make a debatable recommendation to Presbytery regarding judgment and censure.

 

4.60    Presbytery's Representative(s) to the GA Committee on Review of Presbytery Records

{C}{C}a.      {C}{C}Represent the Presbytery on this GA Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in the RAO.

{C}{C}b.     {C}{C}Review and edit Presbytery's minutes prior to distribution.

 

4.61   Committee on Sacred Road Ministries: Duties include:

{C}a.      {C}The primary concern of this committee is bringing the gospel to the Yakama Indian people, to provide mercy ministries, including economic development, and to raise support for all such endeavors, consistent with the Scripture and Westminster Standards.

{C}b.     {C}Overseeing all approved missionaries serving on the Yakama Indian Reservation.  (This includes the pastoral care and oversight of campus ministers.)

{C}c.      {C}Raising and administering the monies necessary to accomplish this mission.

{C}d.     {C}Acting as a liaison between the churches of Presbytery and Chris and Mary Granberry.

{C}e.      {C}Meeting as a committee at least 3 times a year.

{C}f.       {C}Each board member shall serve a 2-year term and any board member may be reappointed to consecutive terms without limitation. At all times, a majority of board members shall be members of Presbytery.

{C}g.     {C}The initial board of directors shall consist of TE Eric Irwin, Chairman, RE Steve O'Ban, Vice-Chairman, TE Dave Scott Secretary, TE Dunnington, Treasurer and TE Koh.

 

5.00    Calling of Pastors and Supplies

          Churches are not to extend calls to ministers to be­come pas­tors, or sessions to invite ministers to become stated supply or interim supply, without first consult­ing with the Committee on Creden­tials.

5.10    If during the ordination or transfer examination of an intern or minister, Presbytery should decide that the intern or minister has an exception to the Standards which is not serious enough to constitute a bar to ordination but which is serious enough that Presbytery restricts the man from teaching or preaching this view, the following procedure shall be employed:  If Presbytery decides that the man is in all other respects worthy of ordination, it may sustain his exam, and approve the call, pending the congregation’s vote to reconfirm the original call of the man. Presbytery shall return the call to the calling congregation and notify it of the nature of the restriction. Then the congregation shall hold a meeting to confirm the election of this pastor. If the congregation votes to confirm the original call of the man, the call becomes effective and no further action of Presbytery will be needed to complete his trials for ordination or transfer.

 

6.00    Sessional Records

6.10    Sessions shall keep their records according to the rules in the BCO.

6.20    Sessional Records shall be presented for examination at the Spring Stated Meeting of Presbytery.  The Chairman of the Committee on Administration will supply standards for record keeping to session clerks.  The Committee on Administration shall examine and report their findings at said meeting. The Committee on Administration shall follow up with churches on any needed corrections or changes.

 

7.00    Special Observances

7.10    Memorials: Memorials for teaching and ruling elders who die during the year shall be at the next stated meet­ing fol­lowing their death.

 

8.00    The Covenant

8.10    Each minister received into Presbytery and each candi­date examined for ordination, shall upon the Presbyt­ery’s vote to receive the minister, or upon ordination, subscribe his name to the vows prescribed in the BCO 21-5.

8.20    The subscriptions shall be kept by the Stated Clerk as part of records of Presbytery in a book, readily available.

 

9.00    Rules of Order and Amendments

9.10    The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America, the Standing Rules of the Presb­ytery of the Pacific Northwest, PCA, and the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authori­ty governing the Presbytery in all cases to which they are applica­ble and in which they are not inconsis­tent with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America and any standing rules which Presbytery may adopt.

9.20    The Standing Rules may be suspend­ed upon mo­tion, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting.

9.30    The Standing Rules may be amended by an affir­ma­tive vote of two-thirds of members present and voting at any stated meeting of Presbytery provided the proposed amendment was dis­tributed with call of the stated meeting.

 

Appendix 1

 

Guidelines for Seeking or Considering a New Call

                                   

Introduction:  The establishment or dissolution of a pastoral relationship is usually a traumatic experience for all parties involved; the Teaching Elder and his family, the sessions and congregations of the receiving and dismissing churches, and their respective presbyteries.

 

Believing that long tenures of pastors are beneficial to pastors and congregations alike while premature dissolutions may weaken both, our Presbytery has adopted a policy that a Teaching Elder accepting a call to a congregation in its jurisdiction as senior or solo pastor should normally expect to remain in that calling for many years and that consideration of a change in call shall be done in consultation with the Ministers and Churches Committee.  It directed the Ministers and Churches Committee to establish a procedure to implement the policy.

 

The ultimate intention of the calling process is to discern the will of God with respect to the place of service for the Teaching Elder.  We believe that an honest and open process will most often reveal the best course of action and is in keeping with Biblical principles and polity.

 

Our Constitution prevents the church from binding the conscience of any member and provides safeguards for congregations, Teaching Elders and the church as a whole.  The following procedure seeks to implement those safeguards in a reasonably workable manner.

 

Process:  There are essentially three stages in the consideration of a change in calling; 1) validation of the sense of a change in call, 2) exploration of specific opportunities available and 3) execution of a specific new call.

 

Stage 1:  Occasion of the Question -  The trigger for a new calling can come from various sources including dissatisfaction with a Teaching Elder’s current performance or situation, a growing feeling that God has purposed another form or place of ministry, and inquiries from another church or ministry.  In this stage, the Teaching Elder and the Ministers and Churches Committee will work together in strict confidentiality to determine the validity of this sense of change.  This cooperative effort will include seeking the candid advice of godly, wise and spiritually mature Teaching and Ruling Elders. The outcome of this stage will be an agreement to either explore other potential opportunities for ministry or to cease and desist from further consideration, possibly including measures to resolve the situation that is creating a desire to move.  Stage 1 is essentially an advisory action.

 

When a Teaching Elder believes he may be the subject of a possible change in call, he shall contact the Ministers and Churches Committee.  The Committee and the Teaching Elder will arrange for several individuals to meet with the Teaching Elder and explore confidentially the basis for his feelings that a change might be appropriate as well as the ramifications of his making a change.

 

If the consultation concludes that a change in calling could be appropriate, Ministers and Churches may grant permission to move to Stage 2.  If the “urging” for a change is due to one or more situations in the present calling that could be resolved without the Teaching Elder leaving, the Ministers and Churches Committee will encourage the Teaching Elder and his session to work together to ameliorate the situation.

 

Stage 2:  Exploration of Specific Opportunities – When Stage 1 concludes that a change may be indicated; the Teaching Elder may seek and explore specific opportunities for ministry.  An important decision to be made in this Stage is the determination of when or under what circumstances his present session will be brought into the decision process.

 

In this stage, the Teaching Elder may submit a Ministerial Data Form with the PCA Stated Clerk indicating he is actively seeking a change. He may also inquire about specific opportunities of which he may become aware and enter into preliminary discussions regarding his readiness and suitability for a new call to ministry.

 

This stage is extremely delicate.  On one hand, a Teaching Elder needs to have the liberty to learn more about other opportunities for service without undermining his present pastoral situation while on the other, his congregation is entitled to his undivided loyalty and his session needs opportunity to make inputs as to the appropriateness of a change in call.

 

In most circumstances, the Teaching Elder’s current session will become involved in the process during this stage but the congregation would not be informed. However, a firm decision will be reached on the manner and timing of this congregational notification should a specific call be forthcoming.

 

The conclusion of Stage 2 would be permission for the Teaching Elder to pursue a specific position and the conditions under which further exploration should cease.

 

Stage 3:  Execution of a Specific Call – When the activities proceeding from Stage 2 result in a high probability that the Teaching Elder will receive a specific new call, the Teaching Elder, the Ministers and Churches Committee and his current session will work together to bring the process to a conclusion.  In this stage, the matter shall become public sufficiently early to allow each party to make a reasonable input and address its concerns and interests.

 

The Teaching Elder may engage in activities that are essential to defining a new calling such as visiting the new congregation to preach, exploring mutual objectives and philosophies etc., meeting the prospective congregation, negotiating the terms and conditions of the new call, and exploring personal implications of moving such as schools and housing.

 

It is important to note that the change in call consists of two parts; the dissolution of his current pastoral relationship and the acceptance of the new call.  The Presbytery is the approving party in both processes.  It may not insist a Teaching Elder remain in his present situation nor may it require a congregation to receive or retain a Teaching Elder without its consent.  The Presbytery’s agreement to dissolve an existing pastoral relationship does not necessarily require the Presbytery to approve that same Teaching Elder’s call to a specific new place of service.

 

Should these activities result in a call being extended, to a Teaching Elder in our Presbytery it shall be processed per the Presbyterian Church in America’s Book of Church Order as follows:
{C}
{C}

1) The calling entity must present its call to our Presbytery, which must then exercise its discretion as to whether or not the call is in order and will be beneficial to the church (BCO 20-9, 10)

 

2) The Teaching Elder’s current congregation shall be given the opportunity to present its case to the Presbytery regarding the dissolution of its relationship with its pastor.  (BCO 23-1)


3) If the entity extending the call has not already obtained the concurrence of the Teaching Elder’s current Presbytery, the Minister and Churches Committee will act to obtain it prior to delivering the call to the Teaching Elder. (BOCO 20-9, 21-1)


In extending a call to a Teaching Elder the congregation or ministry wishing to extend the call will go through the Ministers and Churches Committee or its equivalent of the Presbyteries involved. (BCO 20-10, 21-1)

 

Conclusion:  When this process has been sincerely and faithfully followed, the Ministers and Churches Committee may act as a Commission of Presbytery to dissolve a pastoral relationship and present a new calling to the Teaching Elder.  If the process has not been followed or has been disingenuous, controversial or appears not to be in the interest of the church, the Ministers and Churches Committee will refer the matter to the Presbytery with its recommendation without delivering the new call to the Teaching Elder.

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Standing Rules - Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest

Presbyterian Church in America

Last amended Oct 2012

 

1.00    Name

          The name of the Presbytery shall be “Presbytery of the Pacif­ic North­west, PCA”.

2.00    Meetings

2.10    Stated Meetings:  Three stated meetings shall be held each year.  The dates shall nor­mally be

  • the 4th Thursday and Friday of January,
  • the 3rd Thursday and Fri­day of May, and
  • the 4th Thursday and Friday of September. 

 The meet­ings will begin no later than 5:30 p.m. on Thurs evening and resume no later than 9:00 a.m. on Friday.

2.20    Adjourned Meetings:  Adjourned meetings of stated meet­ings may be held as deemed necessary.  Matters permis­sible for consid­eration shall be those that would have been permissible at the meeting of which this is an ad­journed meeting.

2.30    Called Meetings:  Special meetings may be held as deemed neces­sary, as provided in BCO 13-12.

2.40    Quorum:  The quorum for all meetings shall be three minis­ters and three ruling elders (BCO 13-4).

2.50    Docket:  A proposed docket setting forth the order of busi­ness shall be prepared and posted on the web at least seven days before each meeting of Presbytery by the Stated Clerk. A docket shall be adopted by the Presbytery, by majority vote, and may be amended at any time during the meet­ing by a majority vote.

2.51    Presbytery will go into Closed Session at conclusion of every licensure/ordination/transfer examination.

2.60    Attendance:

a.  Every minister shall attend every meet­ing, unless prov­i­den­tially hindered, and all church sessions shall be repre­sented at every meeting unless providential­ly hin­dered.  When provi­den­tially hindered from attendance, a min­ister or a session repre­sentative will be ex­pected to request Presbyt­ery to excuse him - stating his reason for non-attendance in writ­ing;

b.  Members of Presbytery (both teaching and ruling elders) will be expected to arrive on time and to attend all ses­sions unless specifi­cally ex­cused by Presbytery;

c.  Ministers not engaged in pastoral work in a PCA congre­ga­tion or laboring outside Presbytery will be expect­ed to report to each Spring Stated Meeting concerning their loca­tion and activi­ties.  Ministers serving non-PCA churches are consid­ered to be laboring “outside the bounds” of Presbyt­ery;

d.  Ministers, who are honorably retired or per­manently dis­abled are exempt from the above requirements, provided they are not serving a church as interim or stated sup­ply.

2.70    Place of Meeting: The Presbytery shall meet at a place deter­mined at the previous meeting, upon invitation from the host church or institution. If no place has been determined at the previous meeting, the Modera­tor and Stated Clerk shall secure an invitation and shall inform members of Presbytery by mail of the place of next meeting.

2.80    Expenses of Meeting: Expenses of commission­ers to meet­ings of Presbytery shall be borne as speci­fied in the BCO 10-6. Presbytery shall be self-entertaining and the host church may charge each commissioner and guest a sum appropri­ate to cover expenses for meals and refreshments.

2.90    Minutes:  There shall be a Standing “Minutes Approval” Commission authorized to approve minutes.  The MAC shall include 9 members (or their designees): the Moderator, Stated Clerk, chairman of the SJC, and the chairmen of the six Committees (Admin, Credentials, M&C, MNA, MTW, RUF).  Quorum is 2 +2.  Moderator is chairman.  Approval of minutes requires a 2/3 vote of the Commission and can be done by email.  If not approved by the next Stated Meeting, the full Presbytery shall consider the minutes for approval.  A draft set of minutes shall be posted on Presbytery’s website (for review and comment) for at least 7 days prior to final MAC approval.   The MAC shall also decide which absences should be recorded as “excused.”

3.00    Officers

3.10    Moderator:  The Moderator shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting, and shall serve until his suc­ces­sor takes office. Besides fulfilling the duties in the BCO, he shall appoint members of all standing and special commit­tees unless in specific cases Presbytery reserves this matter to itself.  Unless Presbytery shall appoint Presbyters to commissions by its own action, the Moderator shall appoint commissions to execute the decisions of Presbytery except in judicial cases.  The Moderator is an advisory member of all standing commit­tees.  In the event he cannot fulfill his duties, the last person to serve as Moderator shall assume the position until the next stated Meeting.  The Moderator shall be responsible for the design and execution of a worship service that will begin each meeting of Presbytery.  He may recruit whomever he wishes to assist, forming his own ad hoc committee from volunteers who offer their time, gifts, experience, and passion.  He is authorized to raise funds privately for any expenses.

3.20    Stated Clerk:  The Stated Clerk shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting, to serve for three years, and shall perform the duties prescribed for this office in the BCO.  He shall be eligible to succeed himself.  He shall prepare a pro­posed docket for each stated meet­ing, and post a copy on the web and email a notice to each minister and the Clerk of Session in each church at least seven days prior to the meeting.  He shall prepare, publish and dis­tribute a Presbytery Directory; report to the Minutes Approval Commission all requests for excused absences and preserve all histori­cal papers; publish and post full and properly attested accurate record of the minutes of the meeting of Presbytery as soon as possible; post a copy of the draft minutes on the web and email a notice to all the ministers and Clerks of Sessions as soon as possible.  He shall post the approved minutes promptly after they are approved.  The Clerk shall keep the following permanent re­cords:

a.  A roll book of the ministers, containing the obliga­tions to be signed upon admis­sion into Presbytery, and thereaf­ter reaffirmed on an annual basis;

b.  List of elders, clerks of session;

c.  A roll book of the churches showing the dates of orga­nization;

d.  A roll of candidates for the ministry, showing when and how received and current status. Presbytery shall pro­vide neces­sary supplies and funds to perform these and other duties relating to his office as the court from time to time may direct out of the current expense funds of Presb­ytery.

3.30    Treasurer:  A Treasurer shall be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting for a term of three years.  He shall receive and dis­burse the funds of Presbyt­ery under its direc­tion.  He shall keep a detailed account of all re­ceipts and disbursements and report the same to Presbyt­ery at all stated meetings.  The books shall be audited at the Fall Stated meeting by the Ad­minis­tration Commit­tee of Presbyt­ery and a report given at that meeting.

3.40    Terms of Office: The above officers shall usually be elected at the Fall Stated Meeting.  The Moderator and Clerk shall take office on November 1.  The Treasurer’s term shall expire at the adjournment of the Winter Stated Meeting. Vacancies in any of the offices may be filled at any meeting of the Presby­tery.  In the event of a vacancy between meetings, the Moderator may appoint a temporary Clerk or Treasurer, and the previous Moderator may appoint a temporary Moderator.

4.00    Committees

4.10    The Presbytery shall have the following 6 permanent com­mit­tees: Administration, Credentials, Ministers and Churches, Mission to North America, Mission to the World, and Reformed University Ministries.

4.20    There is no requirement for an equal number of TEs and REs on any committee.  The ration for each committee will be recommended each year when Admin makes nominations.  The committee members shall be elected for a term of not more than three years at the Fall Stated Meeting, and shall begin their term immedi­ately. The number of committee members shall be deter­mined by Presbytery with the advice of each commit­tee.  Committees shall usually be organized in three classes.

4.30    The Admin Committee shall submit their nomi­nees to the Presbytery at the Fall Stated Meeting. Nominations from the floor shall be called for before the election of commit­tees and officers.

4.40    Vacancies on any permanent com­mittee shall be filled as they occur with nominees for such vacancies ordinarily submit­ted by the Admin Committee.

4.50    Each permanent committee shall elect its own chair­man prior to the adjournment of the Fall Stated Meet­ing.

4.51    Committee on Administration: Duties in­clude:

a.  examining annually the sessional re­cords of the church­es of Presbytery and noting and reporting to Presbytery their findings;

b.  serving as the trustees of Presbytery and holding in trust all properties and other items placed in its keep­ing and belong­ing to Presbytery and acting as trustees on behalf of Presbytery when so instruct­ed;

c.   preparing and presenting to Presbytery budgets and fi­nan­cial needs;

d.  promoting stewardship within congrega­tions of the Pre­sb­yt­ery;

e.   making recommendations concerning bills and overtures;

f.    auditing the books of the Treasurer annually;

g.  fulfilling all other aspects of administration as it per­tains to Presbytery.

h.  nominating persons at the Fall Stated Meet­ing to serve on the permanent committees of Presbytery and offi­cers of Presbyt­ery subject to nominations from the floor;

i.   nominating, at any stated meeting of Presbytery, persons to fill vacancies which occur in a committ­ee's membership during the year; nominating persons to serve on other committees and in other capacities as instructed by Presbytery.

4.52    Committee on Credentials: Duties include:

a.  serving strictly as an advisory committee of Presb­yte­ry;

b.  interviewing and exercising supervision of all persons seeking entrance and/or ordina­tion for work within Presby­tery; prescrib­ing courses of study in preparation for Presbytery examination as considered needed;

c.  requiring all ministers­ and candidates seeking admis­sion to Presbytery to submit a paper stating their theological beliefs on the following subjects: the inspira­tion of Scripture, the Trinity, the Person and Work of Christ, His Death and Resur­rec­tion, the Doc­trine of Man, the Final State of Man, the Second Coming of Christ, the Doctrine of the Church, the Sacraments, the Person and Work of Holy Spirit, the Doctrine of the Person and Work of Satan, the Five Points of Calvinism. This paper, and any other written exams required for licensure, ordination, or transfer from another denomination, are required thirty days prior to the committee meeting. Ordinari­ly a period of three months will elapse between the committee examina­tion, directed study and second meet­ing with com­mittee before being presented to Pres­byt­ery for examination;

d.  reporting a favorable or unfavorable recommen­da­tion to Presbytery prior to the Presbytery's examina­tion of the minis­ter or candidate; 

e.  obtaining once each year a report in writing from the session of the church under whose over­sight a candidate for ministry he remains and of which he is a member. The Committee shall be responsi­ble to work with the candidate through his session concerning his course of study and practical train­ing in prepara­tion for the ministry;

f.   receiving and reporting to Presbytery requests for ap­prov­ing new calls or inbound transfer of Presbytery member­ship.

g.   Additionally, the Chairman of the Committee on Creden­tials, in consultation with and with the concur­rence of the Stated Clerk of Presbytery, is authorized to dismiss licenti­ates or candidates in good standing where no congrega­tions are concerned.

h.    Shall act as a BCO 15-1 Commission to hear, and approve or disapprove, the sermon part of any licensure or ordination exam.  The quorum is 2+2.  In the Commission, it shall take a 2/3 vote to sustain any sermon exam.  Prior to administering any sermon exam, if 1/3 of the Commission believes the full Presbytery should evaluate a sermon instead, it shall be done on the floor of Presbytery rather than in Commission.  The Commission is authorized to review the sermon by listening to an audio or video recording.

4.53    Deleted

4.54    Committee on Mission to North America: Duties in­clude:

a.  The primary concern of this committee is evange­lism carried out by:

1)   Advancing the Church of Jesus Christ in our area through the establishment of new churches,

2)   Advancing the Kingdom of God in our area by the means of special ministries,

3)   Raising and administering the monies necessary to ac­com­plish this mission.

b.  Coordinate all matters of MNA in our Presbyt­ery includ­ing administration of aid and loans from the General As­sembly commit­tee.

4.55    Committee on Mission to the World: Duties in­clude:

a.  promoting the cause of world missions in this Presbyte­ry;

b. acting as a liaison between the GA Mis­sion to the World Committee and the churches of Presbyte­ry;

c.  scheduling and coordinating the Presbytery Mis­sions Con­ference.

4.56    Committee on Ministers and Churches: Duties include:

a.  counseling and advising ministers in personal and church relationships;

b.  counseling and advising churches in pastoral rela­tion­ship and in any other areas requested;

c.   counseling and advising pastors and ministers without call in areas of professional and career development;

d.  guiding churches seeking to call a pastor and appoint­ing a session moderator at the request of and with the consent of the session;

e.   acting as a commission of Presbytery in dissolv­ing the pastoral relationship in cases when the pastor and congre­gation formally concur or where no congrega­tions are con­cerned to dismiss other ministers. The commit­tee chairman shall inform Stated Clerk of this action and the Clerk may then dismiss the minister;

f.    implement­ing a volun­tary church visitation pro­gram in accor­dance with Presbytery guidelines;

g.  requiring all ministers and candidates with a call seeking admission to the presbytery to meet with the Committee before moving to the field 1) to be examined regarding their pastoral character, 2) to counsel them regarding matters the Committee believes will assist them in the decision to accept the call and 3) to advise them of the assistance the Committee is ready to provide pastors, sessions and congregations.

h.  All teaching elders who are serving in this Presbytery shall seek confidential counsel and permission from the Presbytery (the Ministers and Churches Committee serving as a commission of Presbytery for this purpose) before searching for or entertaining another call following the guidelines of Appendix 1.

i.   Sessions & BCO 13-9  - M&C is conferred standing power as a BCO 15-1 Commission (non-judicial) to act for Presbytery in accord with BCO 13-9 to temporarily “assume original jurisdiction” when a Session “cannot exercise its authority.”  (The most common case would be when a Session loses its quorum and therefore cannot act.)  As soon as practical, this Commission shall call a meeting for the congregation to vote on the Commission’s recommendation to approve the TE(s) and/or RE(s) appointed by the Commission to be temporary Session members.  Any existing Session member(s) would ordinarily also serve on this temporary Session.  (See also BCO 15-2).

j.   obtaining annual reports from the minis­ters without a call as to the nature of their work.  These ministers shall keep M&C informed of which local church they regularly attend.

k.  receiving and reporting to Presbytery requests for dissolving an existing call, honor­able retirement, outbound transfer of Presbytery member­ship, and demission of the ministry.

4.57    Deleted

4.58    Committee on Reformed University Ministries: Duties include:

a.   The primary concern of this committee is promoting the reaching and equipping of college students in the Pacific Northwest.

b.  Overseeing the RUF chapters.  (This includes the pastoral care and oversight of campus ministers.)

c.   Raising and administering the monies necessary to accomplish this mission.

d.  Acting as a liaison between the GA RUM Committee and the churches of Presbytery;

e.   Meeting as a committee at least 3 times a year.

4.59    Standing Judicial Commission

a.   The membership of the Commission will be eight TEs and eight REs organized in four classes.

b.  The quorum for action will be two TEs and two REs.

c.   In the conduct of all its business the Commission will comply with BCO 15.

d.   SJC is conferred standing power as a BCO 15-1 Commission to act for Presbytery to fulfill the investigative duties of BCO 31-2 (first paragraph).  While the SJC has authority to conduct the official investigation, it does not have authority to render a final determination on “strong presumption of guilt” or to institute process (second paragraph of 31-2).  It may only make recommendations in those areas.

e.   Confessions - SJC also has authority as a BCO 15-1 Commission to act for Presbytery to investigate confessions and determine if and when a “full statement” has been made, in accord with BCO 38-1.   But SJC does not have authority to proceed to a judgment and censure, but instead, after it has approved the full statement (acting as Presbytery in that regard), it will make a debatable recommendation to Presbytery regarding judgment and censure.

4.60    Presbytery's Representative(s) to the GA Committee on Review of Presbytery Records

a.  Represent the Presbytery on this GA Committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in the RAO.

b.  Review and edit Presbytery's minutes prior to distribution.

4.61   Committee on Sacred Road Ministries: Duties include:

a.   The primary concern of this committee is bringing the gospel to the Yakama Indian people, to provide mercy ministries, including economic development, and to raise support for all such endeavors, consistent with the Scripture and Westminster Standards.

b.  Overseeing all approved missionaries serving on the Yakama Indian Reservation.  (This includes the pastoral care and oversight of campus ministers.)

c.   Raising and administering the monies necessary to accomplish this mission.

d.  Acting as a liaison between the churches of Presbytery and Chris and Mary Granberry.

e.   Meeting as a committee at least 3 times a year.

f.    Each board member shall serve a 2-year term and any board member may be reappointed to consecutive terms without limitation. At all times, a majority of board members shall be members of Presbytery.

g.  The initial board of directors shall consist of TE Eric Irwin, Chairman, RE Steve O'Ban, Vice-Chairman, TE Dave Scott Secretary, TE Dunnington, Treasurer and TE Koh.

5.00    Calling of Pastors and Supplies

          Churches are not to extend calls to ministers to be­come pas­tors, or sessions to invite ministers to become stated supply or interim supply, without first consult­ing with the Committee on Creden­tials.

5.10    If during the ordination or transfer examination of an intern or minister, Presbytery should decide that the intern or minister has an exception to the Standards which is not serious enough to constitute a bar to ordination but which is serious enough that Presbytery restricts the man from teaching or preaching this view, the following procedure shall be employed:  If Presbytery decides that the man is in all other respects worthy of ordination, it may sustain his exam, and approve the call, pending the congregation’s vote to reconfirm the original call of the man. Presbytery shall return the call to the calling congregation and notify it of the nature of the restriction. Then the congregation shall hold a meeting to confirm the election of this pastor. If the congregation votes to confirm the original call of the man, the call becomes effective and no further action of Presbytery will be needed to complete his trials for ordination or transfer.

6.00    Sessional Records

6.10    Sessions shall keep their records according to the rules in the BCO.

6.20    Sessional Records shall be presented for examination at the Spring Stated Meeting of Presbytery.  The Chairman of the Committee on Administration will supply standards for record keeping to session clerks.  The Committee on Administration shall examine and report their findings at said meeting. The Committee on Administration shall follow up with churches on any needed corrections or changes.

7.00    Special Observances

7.10    Memorials: Memorials for teaching and ruling elders who die during the year shall be at the next stated meet­ing fol­lowing their death.

8.00    The Covenant

8.10    Each minister received into Presbytery and each candi­date examined for ordination, shall upon the Presbyt­ery’s vote to receive the minister, or upon ordination, subscribe his name to the vows prescribed in the BCO 21-5.

8.20    The subscriptions shall be kept by the Stated Clerk as part of records of Presbytery in a book, readily available.

9.00    Rules of Order and Amendments

9.10    The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America, the Standing Rules of the Presb­ytery of the Pacific Northwest, PCA, and the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authori­ty governing the Presbytery in all cases to which they are applica­ble and in which they are not inconsis­tent with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America and any standing rules which Presbytery may adopt.

9.20    The Standing Rules may be suspend­ed upon mo­tion, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting.

9.30    The Standing Rules may be amended by an affir­ma­tive vote of two-thirds of members present and voting at any stated meeting of Presbytery provided the proposed amendment was dis­tributed with call of the stated meeting.

 

Appendix 1

Guidelines for Seeking or Considering a New Call  

Introduction:  The establishment or dissolution of a pastoral relationship is usually a traumatic experience for all parties involved; the Teaching Elder and his family, the sessions and congregations of the receiving and dismissing churches, and their respective presbyteries.

Believing that long tenures of pastors are beneficial to pastors and congregations alike while premature dissolutions may weaken both, our Presbytery has adopted a policy that a Teaching Elder accepting a call to a congregation in its jurisdiction as senior or solo pastor should normally expect to remain in that calling for many years and that consideration of a change in call shall be done in consultation with the Ministers and Churches Committee.  It directed the Ministers and Churches Committee to establish a procedure to implement the policy.

The ultimate intention of the calling process is to discern the will of God with respect to the place of service for the Teaching Elder.  We believe that an honest and open process will most often reveal the best course of action and is in keeping with Biblical principles and polity.

Our Constitution prevents the church from binding the conscience of any member and provides safeguards for congregations, Teaching Elders and the church as a whole.  The following procedure seeks to implement those safeguards in a reasonably workable manner.

Process:  There are essentially three stages in the consideration of a change in calling; 1) validation of the sense of a change in call, 2) exploration of specific opportunities available and 3) execution of a specific new call.

Stage 1:  Occasion of the Question -  The trigger for a new calling can come from various sources including dissatisfaction with a Teaching Elder’s current performance or situation, a growing feeling that God has purposed another form or place of ministry, and inquiries from another church or ministry.  In this stage, the Teaching Elder and the Ministers and Churches Committee will work together in strict confidentiality to determine the validity of this sense of change.  This cooperative effort will include seeking the candid advice of godly, wise and spiritually mature Teaching and Ruling Elders. The outcome of this stage will be an agreement to either explore other potential opportunities for ministry or to cease and desist from further consideration, possibly including measures to resolve the situation that is creating a desire to move.  Stage 1 is essentially an advisory action.

When a Teaching Elder believes he may be the subject of a possible change in call, he shall contact the Ministers and Churches Committee.  The Committee and the Teaching Elder will arrange for several individuals to meet with the Teaching Elder and explore confidentially the basis for his feelings that a change might be appropriate as well as the ramifications of his making a change.

If the consultation concludes that a change in calling could be appropriate, Ministers and Churches may grant permission to move to Stage 2.  If the “urging” for a change is due to one or more situations in the present calling that could be resolved without the Teaching Elder leaving, the Ministers and Churches Committee will encourage the Teaching Elder and his session to work together to ameliorate the situation.

Stage 2:  Exploration of Specific Opportunities – When Stage 1 concludes that a change may be indicated; the Teaching Elder may seek and explore specific opportunities for ministry.  An important decision to be made in this Stage is the determination of when or under what circumstances his present session will be brought into the decision process.

In this stage, the Teaching Elder may submit a Ministerial Data Form with the PCA Stated Clerk indicating he is actively seeking a change. He may also inquire about specific opportunities of which he may become aware and enter into preliminary discussions regarding his readiness and suitability for a new call to ministry.

This stage is extremely delicate.  On one hand, a Teaching Elder needs to have the liberty to learn more about other opportunities for service without undermining his present pastoral situation while on the other, his congregation is entitled to his undivided loyalty and his session needs opportunity to make inputs as to the appropriateness of a change in call.

In most circumstances, the Teaching Elder’s current session will become involved in the process during this stage but the congregation would not be informed. However, a firm decision will be reached on the manner and timing of this congregational notification should a specific call be forthcoming.

The conclusion of Stage 2 would be permission for the Teaching Elder to pursue a specific position and the conditions under which further exploration should cease.

Stage 3:  Execution of a Specific Call – When the activities proceeding from Stage 2 result in a high probability that the Teaching Elder will receive a specific new call, the Teaching Elder, the Ministers and Churches Committee and his current session will work together to bring the process to a conclusion.  In this stage, the matter shall become public sufficiently early to allow each party to make a reasonable input and address its concerns and interests.

The Teaching Elder may engage in activities that are essential to defining a new calling such as visiting the new congregation to preach, exploring mutual objectives and philosophies etc., meeting the prospective congregation, negotiating the terms and conditions of the new call, and exploring personal implications of moving such as schools and housing.

It is important to note that the change in call consists of two parts; the dissolution of his current pastoral relationship and the acceptance of the new call.  The Presbytery is the approving party in both processes.  It may not insist a Teaching Elder remain in his present situation nor may it require a congregation to receive or retain a Teaching Elder without its consent.  The Presbytery’s agreement to dissolve an existing pastoral relationship does not necessarily require the Presbytery to approve that same Teaching Elder’s call to a specific new place of service.

Should these activities result in a call being extended, to a Teaching Elder in our Presbytery it shall be processed per the Presbyterian Church in America’s Book of Church Order as follows:

1) The calling entity must present its call to our Presbytery, which must then exercise its discretion as to whether or not the call is in order and will be beneficial to the church (BCO 20-9, 10)

2) The Teaching Elder’s current congregation shall be given the opportunity to present its case to the Presbytery regarding the dissolution of its relationship with its pastor.  (BCO 23-1)

3) If the entity extending the call has not already obtained the concurrence of the Teaching Elder’s current Presbytery, the Minister and Churches Committee will act to obtain it prior to delivering the call to the Teaching Elder. (BOCO 20-9, 21-1)

In extending a call to a Teaching Elder the congregation or ministry wishing to extend the call will go through the Ministers and Churches Committee or its equivalent of the Presbyteries involved. (BCO 20-10, 21-1)

Conclusion:  When this process has been sincerely and faithfully followed, the Ministers and Churches Committee may act as a Commission of Presbytery to dissolve a pastoral relationship and present a new calling to the Teaching Elder.  If the process has not been followed or has been disingenuous, controversial or appears not to be in the interest of the church, the Ministers and Churches Committee will refer the matter to the Presbytery with its recommendation without delivering the new call to the Teaching Elder.