Friday, October 13, 2006

Pittsburgh Presbytery at Hamilton: D. Vocational matters

At every presbytery meeting we participate in the process of God's call to individuals to serve in particular ways, and the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery on October 12 at the Hamilton Presbyterian Church was no exception.

The presbytery received inquirer Kevin Long of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church as a candidate for the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Kevin explained his motivations for seeking the ministry through a poem he had written. This was the first time I have ever heard extended verse used in this kind of statement before a presbytery.

The Presbytery also received inquirer B.J. Woodworth of the Bellefield Presbyterian Church as a candidate for the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Woodworth is a local blogger whose blog "What's Your Wood Worth?" I have been following for about a year. He also is a Certified Lay Pastor, serving as the pastor of The Open Door, an emergent faith community in Pittsburgh's East End.

Candidate Elizabeth Broschart of the Dormont Presbyterian Church was examined and approved for ordination so that she could accept the approved call of the Gladden Presbyterian Church as designated pastor.

The Presbytery approved calls for the Rev. Jeri-Lynn Bouterse as the pastor of the Valley Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Carmen Cox Harwell as designated pastor of the Mt. Hope Community Presbyterian Church.

The Presbytery granted the Rev. James K. Smith, Sr. Honorable retirement. His son Robert Smith, who is the Stated Clerk of Redstone Presbytery and had recently been the associate Stated Clerk of Pittsburgh Presbytery, was present to participate in the service of recognition.

In addition to the vocational matters involving people's careers, God was at work in this meeting calling people into various forms of volunteer service on presbytery committees and boards. The Presbytery placed Elder David Henderson on the board of the Presbyterian Foundation in the class of 2007, and the Rev. Eugene Blackwell on the Committee on Ministry in the class of 2007.

This was the meeting at which the Nominating Committee presented its nominees for the Presbytery Moderator and Senior Vice-Moderator. The elections will happen at the December presbytery meeting.

Elder David Green of the Bower Hill Community Church was the committee's nominee as Moderator. In the short time that I have been in this presbytery I have observed Elder Green reminding the presbytery of the ways we have agreed to handle certain issues under the policies in the Presbytery Manual. I've become quite appreciative of his willingness to help to keep us on track. Yesterday's meeting was the first time that we introduced ourselves to each other. I asked him whether he knew the manual so well because he had helped write it. His humble response was that he had not been a part of the writing but that he had had to become very familiar with it when he chaired the presbytery's nominating committee for a number of years.

There was a nomination from the floor for the position of Moderator: The Rev. Paul Roberts, pastor of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Rev. Roberts has been leading the Eastminster church in an exciting, cross-cultural ministry.

The committee's nominee for Senior Vice-Moderator was Elder Kears Pollock (no relation) of the Parkwood Presbyterian Church. I have had the opportunity to get to know Kears through service on a Presbytery commission, and have appreciated the wisdom he brings to various matters. Yesterday I mentioned to Kears that I saw he was to be nominated. He told me that the Nominating Committee had approached him, and that he had not sought out the nomination, but had responded affirmatively to the process when he was asked to serve the Presbytery in this way.

There was a nomination from the floor for the Senior Vice-Moderator position: The Rev. Dr. Lowell Meek of the Round Hill Church. I have not met Dr. Meek, but the impression I have gleaned over the internet is that the Round Hill Church is perceived as a friendly church.

I am not sure what to make of these challenge nominations from the floor, but I think it is a good thing that people are ready to offer their gifts in service to Christ's Church through Pittsburgh Presbytery.

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My other articles about this meeting: A. Welcome B. Worship with Ben Freudenburg C: Ordination overture D. Vocational matters E. Reflective listening about property F. Awards and honors

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