The 85th stated meeting of New Jersey Presbytery met at Calvary Presbyterian Church, Brick, NJ, on September 19, 1998. Host pastor TE Craig DiBenedictis conducted the opening worship, which included the administration of communion. The sermon was brought from Haggai 1 by Mr. Eric Frederick, a ministerial candidate of the Presbytery.
TE Elwin Jewell assumed the podium to begin his term as Moderator. The Presbytery extended its sincere thanks to God for the faithful service offered by RE Jack Lane as moderator for the past year.
The clerk called the roll revealing that there was a quorum present consisting of 16 Teaching Elders and 10 Ruling Elder Delegates from 6 Churches for a total voting membership of 26.
The Executive Committee proposed that the Standing
Rules be revised to establish three permanent committees instead
of the seven currently in place. These are an Administrative Committee,
a Ministerial Committee and a Missions Committee. The Administrative
Committee would be composed of members from the Executive Committee.
It will subsume the duties of the current Minutes Committee and
Membership and Assistance Committee. The Ministerial Committee
will assume all duties relative to pastoral issues, including
the duties of the Examinations Committee and the Ministerial Training
Committee. The Missions Committee will assume duties relative
to outreach and deaconal issues, including the duties of the current
Missions Committee, Christian Education Committee and Prayer Committee.
These committees will be composed of at least 4 men, 2 Teaching
and 2 Ruling Elders. In addition, the bar against consecutive
terms shall be removed. This main motion was adopted, as amended,
by proper motion.
At 12:00 the Moderator called for the Orders of the Day and Presbytery began a time of prayer and sharing. Various men reported the work of the Lord in their lives and ministries and others led in prayer for them.
After lunch, the moderator called on Keith Graham to report for the Ad-hoc committee established by the Executive Committee to assist Covenant Church in Cape May. The committee consists of TE Graham, TE Fuller and RE Kelly. Mr. Graham gave a report on the activities of the committee to date. It was moved to pass into executive session for this matter. The motion was defeated. Following a series of motions and considerable debate, it was moved and carried to hear the matter as a committee of the whole. Presbytery spent time in a season of prayer as they considered the matters presented by the representatives of the Cape May church. The moderator declared a brief recess. Mike Schuelke prayed as we reconvened.
The committee distributed a brief outlining the positions of both sides of this matter. The committee members gave their impressions of the difficulties. Dick Sterling and Charlie Baldini were each given the opportunity to present their positions and describe their concerns. It was moved and carried to rise from a committee of the whole. It was moved that the Administrative Committee assume a pastoral relationship with Covenant Bible Church and its leadership, particularly guiding it through a specially called congregational meeting and continuing to help them work out the wishes of the congregation.
Ella May Sarentino reported on PresWIC. Christian Education Chairman TE Gene Potoka presented George Stransky who reported on the summer camp program.
Roy Wescher was given the privilege of the floor to report on his status. He noted that he does not currently have a call. He reported on how the Lord is working in his life and his interest in working with churches in the former Soviet Union. The chair directed that the Ministers and Assistance committee bring a recommendation regarding Roy's continued ministerial status. The Committee moved that Roy Wescher be encouraged to demit the ministry or that he be removed from the rolls of Presbytery, with the understanding that there are no charges or censure, by the next stated meeting of Presbytery. It was moved to amend the motion to add "or retire from". This amendment lost following a division of the house. The main motion carried.
It was moved and carried to approve the sermon preached at the worship service today by Eric Frederick as meeting the partial requirement for licensure in BCO 19-2d. Some concerns were expressed and Mr. Englestad agreed to relay them to Mr. Frederick.
It was moved and carried to have the stated clerk's office communicate with the clerks of the churches who are in arrears with minutes in order to encourage them to submit to the request of the committee.
It was noted that TE Will Hallman is serving in Kenya at this time, as opposed to Europe, and is working under MTW. It was moved and carried to approve his call and to permit him to labor out of the bounds of Presbytery. Mr. Andrew Kingsbury made a presentation about the work of Trans World Radio.
TE Gary Englestad gave a short report on plans to schedule another prayer retreat.
The resolution from the session of Evangelical Church of Mt. Laurel was docketed by the moderator to be considered at the next stated meeting.
[The minutes of New Jersey Presbytery are available on the internet at: http://www.cybercomm.net/~ric/webdoc3.htm.]