Springfield, MO (April 11, 1997)--Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian Church hosted the 32nd Stated Meeting of Mid-America Presbytery. The host church's pastor, TE Derek Morrison, opened the presbytery with prayer at 1:00 PM. The presbytery then spent a season in the worship of the Triune God. RE/LIC David Schwenk preached on Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 a sermon entitled "What Does It Take To Bring Satisfaction?" TE Morrison presided at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. After worship, TE David H. Bryson, past previous Moderator of presbytery, called the court to order at 1:55 PM, in lieu of the Moderator, RE Jeff Chewning, who was unable to attend the meeting.
TE Bill Shows, Covenant Presbytery, was seated as a visiting brother and he was accorded the privilege of the floor. The Moderator-Nominee, TE Jim Tracy, was elected by acclamation. RE Tony Miller, Christ PCA-Tulsa, was elected moderator-nominee by acclamation.
Presbytery approved the reports of commissions to install TE Jim Tracy as Assistant Pastor of Christ PCA-Tulsa, and TE Derek Morrison as Pastor of Immanuel Reformed.
TE Craig Weaver, Chairman Pro-Tem of the Candidates, Credentials, and Examining Committee (CanCred), presented to the court TE William Shows, Honorably Retired, a member of Covenant Presbytery. The presbytery was advised that TE Shows was seeking transfer of his membership to Mid-America Presbytery. The court voted to receive TE William Shows as a member of Mid-America Presbytery, pending dismissal from Covenant Presbytery.
Presbytery noted in its minutes action taken at the previous stated meeting: "It was M/S/C to reconsider the motion to examine REs Mitchell and Schwenk under the extraordinary clause of BCO 21. It was then M/S/C by a vote of 12 for, 2 against, and 1 abstention, to direct REs Mitchell and Schwenk to prepare for examination for ordination at the 32nd Stated Meeting under the extraordinary clause of BCO 21, and to omit examination in the original languages." Presbytery decided to postpone until the next Stated Meeting (the 33rd) presbytery's recording of its reasons for the omission of examination in the original languages and general examination under the extraordinary clause. The Committee's recommendation, that RE/LIC Bill Mitchell stand for examination at the 33rd Stated Meeting (Fall 1997), carried.
Presbytery approved RE/LIC Schwenk's internship, conducted under the Session of Christ Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, at the CPC-Claremore Mission, begun at the Fall, 1988, Stated Meeting. His exegesis paper on John 4:22-24 was approved, with the following statement from the Committee attached: "Presbytery, at its Fall 1996 Stated Meeting, waived examination in the original languages. In light of that, it is understood that this paper does not reflect a thorough working knowledge of original languages, but it does reflect an ability to utilize commentaries, lexicons, and grammatical aides [sic] in the preparation of an exegetical paper."
After all parts of the ordination exam were approved, the minutes read: "That Mid-America Presbytery omit educational requirements from Master of Divinity and original languages in the case of David Schwenk and be ordained under the extraordinary clause of BCO 21-4 for the following reasons:
"1. David Schwenk has served as Ruling Elder Supply satisfactorily in the Claremore congregation for 8 1/2 years. During the course of those years, Mr. Schwenk has preached every Sunday, taught, discipled, and has taken an active role in the Session of Christ Presbyterian Church.
"2. During the past 5 years Mr. Schwenk has taken extension courses from Covenant Theological Seminary.
"3. Mr. Schwenk has completed the maximum number of courses which he could take as an extension seminary student of Covenant Theological Seminary.
"4. If Mr. Schwenk were to enroll as a full time student on campus it would work a great hardship on the Claremore congregation and Mr. Schwenk's family.
"5. It is believed that Mr. Schwenk's 10 years of ruling elder and pastoral work has equipped him to continue his work in the Claremore congregation.
"6. It is believed that his continued capacity as an unordained ruling elder supply will hinder his standing in the community and the growth of the church.
"7. Although Mr. Schwenk is seeking ordination under the extraordinary clause he, nevertheless, will continue his education toward his degree of Master of Divinity.
"8. Finally, it is significant that the Claremore congregation has indicated its satisfaction with the ministerial qualifications of Mr. Schwenk by extending to him a call to be its pastor."
Presbytery approved the request for particularization of Christ Presbyterian Church, Claremore, OK. On rejoicing to see a mission church become a particular church, the court paused in prayer, led by TE Paul Sagan. Presbytery approved the terms of call from this congregation and placed it in RE/LIC Schwenk's
hands, who assented to the terms of the call.
Presbytery extended the Stated Supply relationship between RE/LIC Bill Mitchell and the congregation of Christ Presbyterian Church, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, until the 33rd Stated Meeting (Fall 1997).
Presbytery apportioned one hundred per cent of the presbytery's scholarship monies at Covenant Theological Seminary for the support of RE Wayne Sparkman for the 1997-98 academic year, and extended presbytery's approval to RE Sparkman's request to CTS for assistance from the Lamb Fund. It was also moved and carried to disburse $300 from the General Fund to assist RE Sparkman with tuition costs for a summer course at CTS.
TE Bryson brought a report from General Assembly Mission to the World, and RE Jim Dixon brought a report from the trustees of Covenant College. Both reports were received as information.
TE Paul Sagan brought the Church Extension/MNA report. Presbytery approved sending a committee representative to the GA MNA Midwest Church Planting Conference in Naperville, IL, in July, 1997. Presbytery Evangelist TE Jim Tracy reported concerning his ministry activities in the Tulsa/Owasso, OK, area.TE Joe Staub, Chairman of the Christian Education/Shepherding Committee presented a report on Covenant Theological Seminary. He also reported on the Covenant Trailblazer's Christian Camp, organized by TEs Staub and Butler for children aged 9-11, to be held in July, 1997.
TE David H. Bryson, Chairman Pro-Tem of Administration Committee, opened the committee's report with prayer. It was moved and carried "to spread on the minutes the presbytery's appreciation for the Stated Clerk's labors, and especially for the usefulness of organizing and indexing the court's business in binders for the members and commissioners." The court authorized the Stated Clerk to distribute the minutes of Presbytery "by electronic means (with necessary protection), or by printed means." A change to the By-Laws of Mid-America Presbytery, to add a section providing for a Mission to the World Committee, was presented as a first reading before the court.
Under New Business, Presbytery voted to clothe TE Geoff Andress "with powers of Presbytery Evangelist with regards to his labors at Grace Presbyterian Church, Norman, Oklahoma, until the next Stated Meeting of Presbytery, or upon installation of a ruling elder, whichever comes first. (Explanatory Minute_TE Andress's church has one RE, who was scheduled to move away from the area the next week. The church anticipated electing new RE
candidates in the next few months, and clothing TE Andress with powers of Evangelist would allow him to examine, ordain, and install REs (cf. BCO 8-6))."
The court "commend[ed] the Moderator's handling of his duties in a manner which allowed the court to expedite its business in a good and decent manner."