Charlottesville, VA (October 12, 1996)-The Eighty-Fourth Session of James River Presbytery convened at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Opening worship included a sermon by retiring moderator, TE Sam Derr, from John 2:1-11, and the administration of Communion.
TE Howard Griffith, Pastor of All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church in Richmond, was unanimously elected Moderator.
The following churches had not submitted copies of their statistical reports to the stated clerk's office and were asked to do so as soon as possible: Eden Korean, Grace Covenant, New Life, Stony Point, and The Coventry.
It was moved, seconded, and carried "not to allow any of the Standing Committees of Presbytery to present their report unless a copy of the report is received by the Stated Clerk in time to be included in the mailing for the call of a presbytery meeting."
The Treasurer reported that income for the first three quarters totalled $39,344.31, disbursements were $20,799.90, and the ending balance was $31,298.22.
Presbytery appointed a commission to meet with and examine the ruling elders of Covenant Christian Fellowship during lunch in accord with BCO 13-8. This is an independent church which recently voted to affiliate with the Presbytery. After lunch, the court approved the commission's work, which approved the examination of Messrs. Mike O'Brian and Joe Bricker. Presbytery voted to receive the congregation as a particular church of the PCA, and set December 1, 1996, for the service of reception.
The temporary session of New City Fellowship was given authority "to act as a Commission to particularize New City Fellowship as a church of the James River Presbytery on November 10, 1996."
Monies given by Peace Presbyterian Church of Waynesboro, VA, which congregation had been dissolved by Presbytery, were "set aside for the Northern Albemarle County Church Plant to be used as needed." A later motion was adopted "to put $10,012.69 from Peace Presbyterian Church into a Certificate of Deposit as requested by the Mission of Presbytery Committee."
Candidates Joe Slater and Mark Duiper were examined and approved for ordination. Mr. Slater is called as Associate Pastor of New Life in Christ Church in Fredericksburg, and Mr. Kuiper as Assistant Pastor of Trinity Church, Charlottesville. Presbytery approved the preaching of TE Bernie Kuiper, member of Rocky Mountain Presbytery, at his son's ordination.
Presbytery approved the arrangements that had been adopted by All Saints Church to extend Mr. Griffith's study leave by 15 weeks. The terms of call to TE Bill Harrell, Pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, were changed to the following: $17,000 for housing, $2,400 for auto allowance, and $16,600 for salary. Also approved were the following terms of call to TE Robert Becker: $37,000 for salary, four weeks vacation, one week study leave, and benefits.
Presbytery transferred TE Mark Linker to the Tennessee/Alabama Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, where he has already received a call.
Presbytery licensed Messrs. Essen Daley and Richard Hutton. With regard to Mr. Hutton, the minutes state, "It is his understanding that creation may or may not have taken place in six twenty-four periods. Mr. Hutton understands Genesis 1 as a poetic account ofcreation, whereas he understands Genesis 2 and following as a narrative account of creation. He believes that God may have taken longer than six days to create the universe-he views the order of creation as important, but the length of time God took to create the universe should not be limited to a six day/twenty-four hour period interpretation." Presbytery voted "to note the exception which Richard Hutton takes to our confessional standards in WCF IV:1 and LC #15, and receive for information his written support for the exception and that TE Howard Griffith and Richard Hutton study this matter together." Also presented for licensure was Mr. Lance Lewis, who "sated that he believes the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue in the Church today, including those of speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, as well as attesting miracles. However, he does not believe that these gifts are revelatory and God may use them to spread the Gospel, particularly to new cultures. He stated that he has not undertaken a thorough study of this question and is willing to do so." Presbytery approved all parts of his licensure exam except theology, this portion to "be reconsidered at a future meeting of Presbytery."
The internship plan for Mr. Kenneth Brown was approved. The quarterly internship reports for Richard Hutton and Essen Daley were received, as were the annual candidate reports regarding Ken Brown and Joseph Varaksa. The internship of Mr. William Leach was approved.
Presbytery responded to a communication from TE Dennis Rupert "by recommending that a proposed candidate from a non-PCA church become an Associate Member of a PCA church and meet with that session two times before his candidacy is presented to the James River Presbytery (re: six month membership requirement of BCO 18-2). It was noted that Mr. David Satterfield, who has accepted a call to Ebenezer ARP, Charlotte, NC, is hereby removed from the rolls of candidates and interns.
TE Jeff Borden reported on his work in Zimbabwe.
RE Eugene Friedline, Stated Clerk
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