2 December 2020
To Clerks of Session, Moderators of Session, and Pastors
It is time to make arrangements for the annual reading of minutes of sessions. However, this year things are different. First of all, the pandemic has impacted all our schedules and working patterns. Moreover, in the current surge, it is extraordinarily unwise for us to meet together in person for peer to peer reviews. Second, sometime in 2021 the Presbytery of New Brunswick will cease to exist and our member congregations will be moving to either the new central presbytery or the new northwest presbytery.
So I am proposing that we do our annual reading of minutes differently this year. First, let us all complete our minutes up through 31 December 2020. This will be the last complete year that your congregations are members of the Presbytery of New Brunswick. Second, let us exchange minutes in pairs. We will form partnerships of two in which each clerk will read the other clerk’s minutes. The minutes will be exchanged as electronic files so that the clerks do not have to meet with one another physically in order to read one another’s minutes. And in this way, clerks will be able to ask questions back and forth in order to resolve difficulties. Time will not be strictly at issue. You will be able to spread the work over a couple of days if necessary. At the end, I will send each clerk a letter attesting that their minutes have been read. Moreover, time will not be at issue in a second way. If your minutes are ready at the end of January, you need only find someone else whose minutes are ready. It will not be necessary to wait until everyone’s minutes are ready. If you cannot complete your minutes until the end of February you will not be the only one, and there will be someone available to read your minutes as well.
I need everyone to respond to me whether this arrangement will work. I need everyone to report to me if the clerk of session has changed and who the new clerk is.
In the course of the next two weeks I will prepare more detailed instructions for how to carry this out. I will manage the arranging of partnerships for reading minutes as each of you report to me that you are ready to have your minutes read. I will listen to any suggestions anyone may have as to how to arrange this better. And then in January and February (and March if necessary) we will get this done.
So please send me an acknowledgement that you received this letter and that you will be able to work in this way. Do so within a week. Starting next week I will be chasing down the clerks from whom I will not yet have heard. Do send me at this time any objections or suggestions that you may have about doing the minutes reading in this manner. Please copy Ilene Black at the presbytery office on these communications with me. Please contact me by email if possible. That is the best way for me to keep track of your responses. You may call me if it seems necessary.
My email address is: DyPxLaMo@earthlink.net
My phone number is: (215) 589-2467
Ilene’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ilene’s phone number for presbytery business is: (609) 532-4625
Paul La Montagne, Stated Clerk