November 2014 Presbytery Meeting Highlights-Red Bank

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Stated meetings dates 2015:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 7:00 PM Englishtown
Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 7:00 PM Hope Church, Lakewood
Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 7:00 PM Lakehurst
Tuesday, September 22, 2015, 7:00 PM Cornerstone, Jackson
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, Jamesburg

Order of the Day:  Budget Consideration 

Vice-Moderator Bill Faust presented the proposed 2015 Budget with three immediate considerations to balance the budget and one long-term.  He explained that financial reserves of approximately $65,000 that were available in 2014 have now been spent, so decisions must be made about reducing expenses.  There is a shortfall of approximately $75,000.  There has been non-payment of per capita apportionments of approximately $120,000 that would more than cover the $75,000 gap in the budget if congregations were able to meet their obligation in that regard.

Money-saving strategies to be pursued include withdrawing market appreciations of investments that have accumulated over time; reducing staff hours; remitting a reduced percentage of the presbytery’s assessed General Assembly and Synod per capita; and establishing a Stewardship Working Group to promote an ongoing strategy for funding the Presbytery.

Mission Council 

On behalf of the Mission Council, the Moderator presented a position description for General Presbyter, the position filled by the Rev. Wendy Bailey.  The new job description is necessary because of New Brunswick Presbytery’s decision to no longer participate in the Regional Presbyter arrangement.  It was moved and carried to approve the General Presbyter job description.

Sandy Recovery 

Ruling Elder Walt Vincent reported on the work done by the Sandy Recovery Commission.  It was moved and carried to dismiss the Commission with great thanks, and that the remaining funding be translated to another commission to carry on the work in a new mode.  The Presbytery gave the Commission a standing ovation.

The Rev. Merideth Mueller presented the need for an Advocacy Commission for Long Term Recovery that will lead the Presbytery’s efforts to aid the continued recovery from Superstorm Sandy.  It will identify social justice issues related to recovery, advise congregations and communicate opportunities for their involvement and maintain fiduciary responsibility for storm-related funds.  It was moved and carried to appoint the following people to serve on the new Commission:

The Rev. Terry Chapman, Forked River

The Rev. Myrlene Hamilton Hess, Bayville

The Rev. William Morris, Belmar

Ruling Elder Sue Smith, Rumson

Ruling Elder Walt Vincent, Hightstown

Ruling Elder Howard Dunbar, Farmingdale

Ruling Elder Diane Legriede, Point Pleasant

The Rev. Merideth Mueller, Presbytery staff

The Rev. Joanne Van Sant, at-large

Report of the Bills and Overtures

On behalf of the Bills and Overtures Committee, the Rev. John Monroe presented amendments that have been sent down from the General Assembly for voting by the presbyteries.  Mr. Monroe explained that the Committee intends to present Amendment 14-F, Marriage, at the January 27, 2015 meeting.

Report of the Committee on Ministry

The Committee voted to recommend that Presbytery approve the transfer of membership of the Rev. Wendy Bailey to Monmouth Presbytery from New Brunswick Presbytery, and that Ms. Bailey be added to the pulpit supply list.

Mission Working Group

Rev. Phyllis Zoon reported on Sabbath House:  A Center For Sacred Activism, as an emerging ministry, located in the historic Manse of the Plumsted Church, New Egypt. A place where people can gather to literally experience re-ligion:  reconnecting with fellow human beings, with the earth, and with God.  Sabbath House, a learning and retreat center is now registered as a New Worshipping Community with the denomination and has been operating since April 2014.  With the renovation and transformation of the Manse, a series of fall and Advent events are underway.  Those involved are Margaret Neumann, Sherri Martin Hutchins, Sue Smith, John Monroe, and Terry Chapman.

Open House was November 1st.  Advent series to begin.

Education Ministry and Working Group

Ruling Elder Joyce Davies informed the Presbytery about a number of events and resources including the Genesis Center, the Pathways to Leadership adult education program, a Presbytery-wide youth gathering, the APCE annual meeting in Baltimore in February and the Equipping the Saints Leadership Training Day at Princeton Seminary on January 10.

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