First Presbyterian Church of Crossville, TN, hosted the fall stated meeting of Tennessee Valley Presbytery on Tuesday, October 13, 1998. The Stated Clerk, J. Render Caines, called the meeting to order and presided until the arrival of TE Mark Cushman, who had been Providentially delayed.
The Presbytery adopted guidelines for caring for ministers without call (see below).
TE Don Waltermyer reported on the mission work in Morristown, TN. Mr. Fletcher Armstrong, who is with Right-to-Life in Knoxville, spoke of his work. TE John Stone and TE Jed Johnston reported on the work of Reformed University Ministries at University of Tennessee-Knoxville and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, respectively. TE Mark Cushman reported on an opportunity to establish in Dalton, GA, an Hispanic church. TE Daniel Waterman reported on chaplaincy work and his own call into the chaplaincy.
The Committee Reporting on the Response of the Presbytery to Westminster Presbytery "suggested that the TVP await the decision of the GA in reference to the position taken by Westminster Presbytery concerning the length of days in Genesis chapter one."
TE Randy Nabors presented the report of the Mercy Committee. The Committee has decided to designate funds for adoptions, Bethany Christian Services, and Habitat.
TE Russ Sukhia reported on the men's rally in October, the Breakaway retreat for young people, efforts being made to organize an Equip Conference in 1999, and efforts to organize Pres-WIC (presbytery-wide Women in the Church organization). TE Joe Novenson reported on a Sonship Conference to be held at New City Church in Chattanooga.
TE Gary Johnson of Mississippi Valley Presbytery spoke of his mission with MTW to Sweden. RE Mark Wilson reported on the work of MTW in Southeast Asia, and encouraged the Presbytery to encourage its young people to become involved in the work of MTW's short-term missions effort (IMPACT).
Mr. Robert Johnson, a member of Hixson Presbyterian
Church, was taken under care as a ministerial candidate. Dr.
Ken Stewart, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Covenant
College, was examined and transferred from Pacific Northwest Presbytery.
TE Marshall St. John asked for his negative vote to be recorded
"because he believes that Mr. Stewart's view contradicts
the portions of the BCO which says that only men may be ordained
to the office of deacon." TE James Calderazzo was examined
and transferred from Western Carolina Presbytery to serve as Pastor
of Christ Presbyterian Church, Sweetwater, TN.
TVP, in seeking to comply with the constitution
of the PCA, has asked the Minister and His Work Committee to make
a proposal for the care of ministers on the roll without call.
It is the Committee's desire to provide both pastoral care for
ministers without call and to encourage these men to exercise
the gifts of a teaching elder within the body. In addition the
Committee seeks to magnify the privilege and protect the office
of the teaching elder. To accomplish these goals the Committee
desires to implement the following policy.
When a minister resigns a call and does not accept
a new call within six months, the TVP M&HW Committee will
follow this procedure:
Step 1: During the
first year following his resignation, the Committee shall assign
one of its members to keep in monthly contact with the TE for
pastoral encouragement and prayer. The committee member shall
inquire as to his personal, emotional, financial and ecclesiastical
needs and make a quarterly report to the M&HW Committee.
When appropriate, the M&HW Committee will try to meet those
Step 2: After the first
anniversary of his resignation and annually thereafter, the M&HW
Committee shall renew contact for the expressed purpose of inquiry
into the status of his call or lack thereof. The Committee will
follow the four guidelines listed below, and a report shall be
made to the Committee either by the TE himself or by the Committee
member encouraging him.
Step 3: On the third
anniversary of his resignation and annually thereafter, the Committee
shall prayerfully evaluate the TE's call to ministry by the following
four guidelines. If the Committee then has reservations about
a clear call to ministry as a TE, the procedures of BCO 34-10
for removal from the roll shall be brought to the floor of presbytery
Guidelines for determining whether a TE is
fulfilling his call to ministry:
1. Has the TE been in regular (50% or more of
stated meetings) attendance at TVP meetings?
2. Does the TE state his willingness to pursue
a new call and demonstrate credible action on his part to this
3. Has the TE since his resignation demonstrated
a continued exercise of the gifts of a TE through some acceptable
combination of the following? a) preaching, b) teaching, c) counseling,
d) Session, Presbytery or GA Committee work, e) Pastoral prayer
life, f) administration of the sacraments, g) evangelism, h) other.
4. Does the TE demonstrate a vital and measurable
connection with the PCA through his involvement with a local PCA
congregation or through some other means if geographical barriers
are large or providential reasons permit?
A tempering clause to this policy and practice:
The M&HW Committee, realizing that this is
a sensitive issue for any TE without call, intends to allow up
to 12 months (from October 13, 1998) to pastorally guide any current
TEs without call through this process.