On pastor and local church matters, contact:
Committee on Ministry Co-Chairs: Rev. Ellen Donnan and Rev. A. J. Tierson
Committee on Ministry 5.01
The Committee on Ministry shall consist of sixteen elected members, not more than eight being either Teaching Elders or Ruling Elders and shall have responsibility for Presbytery’s oversight of congregations and pastors
Visitation and Counseling 5.011
Direct access to the Committee shall be had at all times by all Teaching Elders in the Presbytery, by all sessions and by any Ruling Elders in active service.
The Committee shall be available at all times to all churches in the Presbytery. This Committee has authority to visit and counsel with churches and Teaching Elders of the Presbytery as to their spiritual and temporal welfare. This Committee shall visit and counsel with churches in which differences have risen.
Care and Oversight of Teaching Elders and Families 5.012
The Committee on Ministry shall be responsible for the care and oversight of all Presbytery’s Teaching Elders with or without pastoral charge including those who are in teaching, chaplaincy, executive or other judicatory-related ministries, those laboring outside the bounds of Presbytery, as well as those who are retired, together with spouses and children of deceased Teaching Elders within the bounds of Presbytery in the following ways:
- By providing for the pastoral support of all Teaching Elders within the Presbytery so that the various aspects of their life and work may be meaningful and significant both to them and the Church.
- Acting between meetings of Presbytery to fulfill the privileges and responsibilities granted in the Book of Order in the dissolution of pastoral relations which the church and pastor agree, finding calls in order, approving the examination of Teaching Elders transferring from other presbyteries, and other related items in the dissolution of a pastoral relation.
- By providing pastoral care for Teaching Elders, spouses and children. This shall include such concerns as the annual review of their terms of call, counseling and consideration of the various aspects of retirement. The Committee is empowered to renegotiate changes in call/compensation with the sessions of particular churches.
- By encouraging participation in study leave.
- By assuming Presbytery’s responsibility in all pension matters and serving as a liaison between the Board of Pensions and Presbytery.
- By reviewing the annual reports of all Teaching Elders who are serving in non-parish ministries, laboring outside the bounds of Presbytery or are engaged in secular employment. The Committee shall recommend approval, counsel qualification of said employment as an appropriate extension of ministry for said Teaching Elders.
Care of Congregations Without Pastors 5.013
The Committee on Ministry shall have the care and oversight of churches without pastors. Such oversight shall be exercised in the following ways:
A. By consulting with the session and nominating to the Presbytery a moderator of the session.
- In those churches actively pursuing the calling of a new pastor, the moderator may be a member of the Committee on Ministry, and would then be liaison person between the church and the Committee. Moderators of churches without pastors will normally be named from the same geographical region as the church being moderated.
- In churches where for any reason there is not current pursuit of calling a pastor, the Committee shall recommend a moderator to Presbytery. Such appointments will be for one year, and may be renewed upon review by the Committee each year. The Committee will report to Presbytery at each Stated Meeting on its recommendations.
- A Presbytery-appointed moderator shall receive travel remuneration from the Presbytery at the current rate recommended by the Committee on Ministry and approved by the Presbytery.
- The Presbytery ordinarily shall not approve a Teaching Elder’s being called as pastor or appointed as stated supply of a church which that Teaching Elder has served as Temporary supply unless a period of six months has elapsed between the ending of the temporary supply relationship and the issuing of a call to the pastor or the appointment as stated supply. For reasons which seem good and sufficient to the Committee on Ministry and recommended to the presbytery, the presbytery by three-fourths vote of the members present may approve the issuing of a call or the appointment as stated supply without the lapse of the six month’s period. Reasons for this action shall be spread upon the minutes of the presbytery. The prohibition shall not apply to a candidate who has been serving as temporary supply.B. By consulting with the session in defining the session’s responsibility and authority in filling the pulpit during the vacancy with a temporary supply, stated supply or interim pastor. Said pulpit supplies shall be reimbursed for service and travel costs at the rate recommended by the Committee on Ministry and approved by Presbytery.C. By counseling the session as to correct procedures for the selection of a PASTOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE for the congregation.
D. By counseling the pastor nominating committee concerning correct procedures for seeking and calling a pastor.
E.By counseling with the pastor nominating committee regarding the suitability of a candidate before the candidate’s name is presented to the congregation.
F. By presenting the congregational call of the candidate to Presbytery for action.
G.No person who is a candidate/nominee for a pastoral vacancy in Geneva Presbytery shall be permitted to come on the field to begin work until the candidate/nominee has met with and been examined by the Committee on Ministry or its representatives and that Committee is prepared to recommend the person’s reception into the presbytery. In case of a candidate not previously ordained, the prior examination by the Committee on Preparation for Ministry shall precede the examination and recommendation of the Committee on Ministry.
Other Professional Staff 5.014
The Committee shall confer and advise the pastor and session of a church concerning the call of an Associate Pastor or other professional staff or the dissolution of such a call or contract relationship.
Other Responsibilities and Authority 5.015
The Committee on Ministry has delegated responsibility and authority to represent the Presbytery in:
A. Processing requests for dissolution of pastoral calls and temporary supply, stated supply, or interim pastors contracts.
B. Acting between meetings of presbytery to fulfill privileges and responsibilities granted in the Book of Order in the dissolution of pastoral relations when the church and pastor agree, finding calls in order, approving the examination of Teaching Elders transferring from other presbyteries, and other related items.
C. Assisting sessions in developing and approving position descriptions and person descriptions for pastoral and other professional staff.
D. Examining each Presbyterian Teaching Elder who seeks membership in his or her Christian faith and views in the theology, the sacraments, and the government of this church. The Committee on Ministry shall appoint a panel to examine each Teaching Elder who seeks membership according to the requirements of the Book of Order. This panel will consist of representatives of the Committee on Ministry and the Presbytery leader. At least two members of the panel shall be ordained Teaching Elders. The Committee on Ministry is given the authority to approve this examination, according to the Book of Order and the Standing Rules of the Presbytery. There will be no examination of the Teaching Elders on the floor of Presbytery when they are transferring their membership to the Presbytery. However, new members shall be presented to Presbytery and given an opportunity to address it briefly.
E. Relating to all actions concerning emergency financial assistance to Teaching Elders, surviving spouses, or congregations.
F. Counseling and guiding the Teaching Elders of Presbytery and monitoring the relocation process. This will include speaking for the Presbytery in all counsel and correspondence with the General Assembly’s Vocation Agency and its Office of Personnel Services concerning personal information forms of Presbytery’s Teaching Elders.
G. Administering the Maintenance of the Ministry Fund and the Emergency Fund for Teaching Elders and their families.
H. Assuming Presbytery’s support and coordination of training, commissioning, oversight, and renewal of commissions for all Commissioned Ruling Elders within its bounds.
I. Liaison between Board of Pensions and Sessions.
J. Develop various tasks groups to study and recommend policies to Presbytery having to do with the quality of the relationships within churches (pastor and people/session, people to people, people and session) and with Presbytery.
K. To help manage conflict when it arises in congregations
Policies and Resources
This resource, developed by the Office of Vocation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), outlines the process of calling a new pastor.
This policy, developed by the Presbytery of Geneva, outlines our process for congregations discerning possible dismissal to another Christian denomination or dissolution (closing the church).
This policy, developed by the Presbytery of Geneva, outlines the process for reporting, investigating, and otherwise addressing issues related to sexual misconduct within the Presbytery of Geneva.
This policy, developed by the Presbytery of Geneva, describes the ways in which the use of inclusive language is encouraged within the Presbytery of Geneva.