Roseville, CA (October 11, 1996)--Valley Springs Presbyterian Church hosted the stated meeting of Northern California Presbytery. The Moderator, TE David Brown, called the meeting to order and opened with prayer. TE Marcus Serven was appointed acting Recorder as neither the Stated Clerk, RE Arthur Schick, nor the Recorder, TE Jim Tonkowich, was present at the start of the meeting. Mr. Tonkowich, who later joined the meeting and reported that Mr. Schick was ill and would not be present, was appointed Clerk Pro Tem.
TE Bob Illman "gave a report on 'Church Law & Tax Report' and cautioned the delegates [sic] to be careful with 'voters' guides' which could be construed as political action by non-profit corporations resulting in prosecution and the possible loss of non-profit status."
It was reported that Ridge Presbyterian Church, Paradise, CA, had received the critique noted in the March 1996 minutes of Presbytery "and will work to resolve the problem." [Those minutes noted two exceptions to Ridge's minutes: "organization and running of Session and Session/Deacon meetings do not comply with BCO 9-4"; and "Record of members received and dismissed need to show compliance with BCO's 38-3, 46 & 57."--Ed.]
TE Martin Ban of the OPC Presbytery of Northern California greeted the Presbytery as a fraternal delegate. TE Lewis Ruff and TE Thomas Venema, delegates to the OPC presbytery meetings, had no report.
Presbytery received Mr. Daniel Katches, a member of Covenant Community Presbyterian Church, as a ministerial candidate. He will be doing studies through Chesapeake Seminary.
Presbytery approved the internship of Lic. Todd Capen at Trinity Church-Windward, and approved his examination for ordination.
TE David Crenshaw, who has been without call since 1995, was received as a member upon transfer from Pacific Presbytery. "Presbytery deemed it necessary to receive TE Crenshaw into our Presbytery (as required by BCO 13-2 & 5) since he is now living within the bounds of our Presbytery and he will be seeking a Call."
TE Jonathan VanHoogen of Central Florida Presbytery, who had been planting a church in Boise, ID, was transferred in order to assist TE Phil Stogner in church planting in Park City, UT, and to assist in organizing a new congregation in Utah. The commission to install him will work in conjunction with the commission already established in June 1996 to organize Park City Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Brian Kay was made an intern; and his internship, which included work under the oversight of Coastal Presbyterian Church and the oversight of TE Bill Hawk in church planting in San Luis Obispo, CA, was approved. He took exception to WCF 21-7 ("observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations"), since he believes that "it is highly likely that the command to abstain from all work is specific to Sinai, given that Sinai described the unique instance of a pure theocracy where worship and labor could be completely ordered and integrated. Israel was a geo-political expression of the kingdom of God, a type of the heavenly kingdom to come. As New Covenant believers, we still await the consummation of God's kingdom, yet there is no political or civil component to it at this time. Unlike the Israelites then, we live in a common grace culture where we work for nonbelievers as well as employ them. It seems improper that the church (with its solely spiritual domain) would require common-grace culture to accommodate to Sabbath labor laws which originally were in place to make a special-grace typological point--that the people of God will ultimately under God's Sabbath rest (Heb. 4)." He also took exception to BCO 7-2, regarding the office of deacon being open only to men: "While I understand the strength of the argument for male-only deacons, the argument that the office is also open to women seems slightly stronger to me. I Tim. 3:11 more likely refers to the requirements for women deacons than requirements for wives of male deacons, since the immediately preceding verses have no corresponding requirements for elders' wives, and the word gunaikas may mean either women or wives. Rom. 16:1 where Paul calls Phoebe a diaconon adds weight. I am quite willing to submit to the BCO as it is written." Mr. Kay was called as an evangelist to assist in planting Trinity Presbyterian Church in San Luis Obispo.
Dr. Paul Kooistra, Coordinator of Mission to the World, addressed the court. "He reported that the 3.2 million dollar MTW deficit was cleared up in 14 months."
TE Bob Bowman was dismissed in good standing to Reformed Episcopal Diocese of Mid-America, in accord with his request.
TE Lewis Ruff reported "on the work of the Inter Presbytery Committee on church development in the West. The Committee plans to incorporate so that they may receive donations."
Mr. Joe Claymore, a member of East River Presbytery Mission in Boise (formerly pastored by Mr. VanHoogen), presented a petition from the mission's families asking to come under the presbytery. [NOTE: This mission work, even though members had been received into the PCA, had apparently never been under the care of a church court. The denominational Yearbook indicates that Central Florida had not erected a mission work in Idaho. And, although the General Assembly MNA Committee may act as a commission to have direct oversight of mission works outside the geographical bounds of any presbytery, this option presumably was never utilized, since commission reports must be approved by the appropriate court, and the General Assembly was never apprised of such a commission--Ed.] The minutes state that the "Inter Presbytery Committee of the West will be seeking a new Church Plannter to continue this work." Presbytery received this budding church as a mission work.
MTW missionary Charles McCoy reported on the work of Watchman Fellowship, a counter-cult and discernment ministry. Watchman Fellowship addresses the New Age movement, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Islam [see Winter 1996 edition of this publication, then known as PCA News, for a report on TE Clete Hux's work with this group--Ed.].
The court voted to purchase General Liability Insurance only from Church Mutual Insurance Co.
The proposed 1997 budget was adopted. "TE [Don] Treick requested that his negative vote be recorded as Estimated Income was far below Expenses at the time he made his negative vote."
TE Bob Hopper was elected Treasurer. Presbytery also voted to "express by written communication its deep appreciation to Don Treick & Myrene Treick for their faithful service in Don's capacity as Presbytery treasurer during a time of personal physical crisis."
The Presbytery's By Laws were amended to allow a Standing Committee Chairman to appoint someone to fill a vacancy on his committee that occurs between stated meetings, "with the concurrence of the Moderator and the Stated Clerk [and] subject to ratification by Presbytery at the next Stated Meeting."
Mr. Schick was elected as Stated Clerk. Mr. Tonkowich was appointed to be the Recorder, with the instruction "that he give significant help to the Stated Clerk during the recovery of his illness."