Mount Laurel, NJ (February 15, 1997)-The 79th stated meeting of the Presbytery of New Jersey convened at the Evangelical Presybterian Church. Pastor Gary Engelstad preached a sermon "Reflections on God's Holiness" at the worship service preceding the Presbytery meeting, and along with his flock hosted the brethren with great comfort and charity.
Presbytery rejoiced in the request of Redentor Mission Church (a Portuguese language work under the oversight of TE Valdeci Silva, Organizing Pastor) to become a particular congregation. Presbytery approved this request, and created a Commission for the organization process.
While reporting as Missions Committee Chairman, TE Ken Smith of the Princeton Church made Presbytery aware of a planned theological conference, "A Passion for Truth: Evangelicalism in the Modern World". The conference, scheduled to be held in Annapolis, MD, in July 1997, is being presented by The Jonathan Edwards Institute. Presbytery's TE Pedro Govantes, also of the Princeton Church, is President of this organization. A brochure on the conference was distributed to the commissioners which indicated that a woman would be "leading in worship" at the conference.
The brochure also indicated that another woman, Karen Jobes (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California), would teach two seminars at the conference. The seminars were titled "Principles for Sound Biblical Interpretation" and "The Canon of Scripture".
As a result of this information, TE Ken Klett moved that the Missions Committee be instructed to decline invitations to cosponsor seminars that have women teaching men in an ecclesiastical context and those which promote women leadership in worship. This carried.
TE David Longacre made a "follow-up" motion that the Presbytery instruct its clerk to communicate to the General Assembly our deep concern about the use of women as teachers and worship leaders in seminars sponsored by General Assembly Mission to North America, and to request that the General Assembly instruct its MNA to cease from this practice. This also carried.
Voting on B.C.O. amendments was postponed to the May, 1997, stated meeting of the Presybtery.
The proposed division of Presbytery for the purpose of creating a "Metropolitan New York City" Presbytery carried, 19 to 11 with 2 abstentions.
Presbytery heard a complaint from the Session of the Mount Carmel Church against the action of Presbytery at its 78th stated meeting in adopting a resolution formulated by an ad hoc Committee on Creation. The remedy sought by the Mt. Carmel Session as complainants to the resolution on Creation was to have Presbytery reverse its action in adopting the resolution. The sessions of the Locktown and New Life Churches filed letters in support of Mount Carmel's complaint with the clerk of Presbytery. The complaint was accompanied by an exhaustive and scholarly paper by Dr. R. J. Cameron, Pastor of Mount Carmel Church, on the length of the days of Divine Creation. This reporter highly recommends Dr. Cameron's paper to the readership of this publication. Although it was moved and carried to find the complaint in order, it was also moved and carried, by a vote of 17 in favor, 11 against, to deny it.
TE Keith Graham, Correspondent
Locktown Presbyterian Chuch