18 October 2018
Clerks of Session
Congregations of the Presbytery of New Brunswick
There will be four opportunities for your Session Minutes and the Membership Rolls and Registers of your congregation to be reviewed in 2018. They are Thursday, 29 November 2018, at 7:30 pm at Pennington Presbyterian Church (13 South Main Street, Pennington NJ 08534), or Saturday, 1 December 2018, at 10:00 am at Flemington Presbyterian Church (10 East Main Street, Flemington NJ 08822), or Thursday, 6 December 2018, at 7:30 pm at Pennington Presbyterian Church (13 South Main Street, Pennington NJ 08534), or Saturday, 8 December 2018, at Slackwood Presbyterian Church (2020 Brunswick Ave, Lawrenceville NJ 08648). Because the annual review of your session records is a required part of our covenant to be accountable to one another within the Presbyterian family, it is important that you or someone that you designate attend one of these sessions.
If you are a new clerk of session and have never been to a minutes reading, write me and I can arrange for a one on one reading that will serve as a tutorial in the work of a clerk of session. Or, you may come to one of the peer review sessions named above.
We will review the minutes using the same form as last year. There is a copy with this letter. There is also an electronic copy which can be edited, so that you can enter information into it directly, posted here. It will be sent to you by email if we have your email address. Remember, there are some items on the first page that do not require that anything be recorded, but the items on pages two and three of the form will require you to find dates or page numbers and report them.
We will again follow the process of peer review, with clerks reviewing each other’s minutes and records. This time together has proven to be an important opportunity for clerks to discuss with each other issues confronting our congregations. It does, however, require your active involvement, both in preparation and during the meeting. Please plan to stay for about two and a half hours so that we will have an opportunity both to review the minutes and records and also to discuss matters common to all our work.
You need to do a number of things to prepare for the meeting:
a) Call Ilene at the presbytery office (609-882-9521) or email her at Iblackpnb@gmail.com and let us know which of the sessions you will attend.
b) Make sure that the minutes of all session and congregational meetings through approximately June of 2017 have been approved, signed and entered into your minute book. Similarly, make sure that your membership rolls and register are up-to-date.
c) Review your own records for compliance with the constitutional requirements shown on the enclosed two-sided review form. Fill out the form and, where required, citing the page(s) that provide evidence of action. This may help you to catch any inadvertent omissions or errors. It will greatly assist the other clerk who reviews your records and will also help you to be familiar with what you are looking for in the records of another church.
d) Bring the completed review form, along with both your minutes and membership rolls and registers to the review meeting that you choose to attend.
e) If your by-laws have changed this past year, then bring a copy of your current by-laws. You do NOT need to bring a copy of your 2017 annual report for the records of the presbytery.
You do not need to bring them to the review meeting, but please check to make sure that you have evidence of your congregation’s incorporation under the laws of the State of New Jersey and that you have all deeds and titles in a safe place.
If you have any questions please call me at (215) 589-2467 or write to me via email at DyPxLaMo@earthlink.net.
Thank you for your help and cooperation in this annual task. I look forward to seeing you.
Yours in Christ’s service,
D. Paul La Montagne