#
Presbytery of the MidAtlantic

Session Clerk's Info Pak

 

Thank you for serving as a Session Clerk!  Please scroll down for more information and/or download the same information in a Word or PDF document (below).

Please note when your Session minutes are due and submit them electronically, along with the Session Minutes Review Form, to Dr. Rob Buchanan, Assistant Stated Clerk, robbuchananepc@gmail.com, thank you.

Schedule for Session Minutes Due

Session Minutes Review Form (three pages, be sure to fill out page 3 or have your Pastor fill it out, thank you).

May the Lord bless you as you serve His church!

Clerk's Info Pak (Word doc)

Clerk's Info Pak (PDF doc)

 

CLERK’S INFO PAK

 

CLERKS OF SESSION WORKSHOP

 

 

“A Little of What You Need to Know

About Being

a

Clerk of Session”

 

  

CLERK OF SESSION

MANDATE & MISSION

 

 

Our Mandate:

 G. 16 THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH

 G. 16-3 “Review and Control: For the orderly process of review and control, each organizational unit shall submit its minutes to the unit above.  The Board of Deacons shall submit its minutes at least semi-annually to the Church Session; the Church Session shall submit its minutes to the Presbytery annually; the Presbytery shall submit its minutes to the General Assembly annually.  Each court shall review the minutes submitted to it to insure that the lower body has faithfully and diligently fulfilled all duties and responsibilities assigned to each court.  It may refer matters back for reconsideration, call attention to omissions, require amendment of actions out of conformity with the Constitution, or otherwise exercise proper review and control of the lower body.”

 

Our Mission:

G. 16-13 “Minutes:  A careful record of the proceedings of the court shall be kept by the Clerk.  When the Church Session has approved its minutes, they shall be signed by the Clerk and the Moderator.  The Clerk shall submit the minutes to the Presbytery annually.  The Clerk shall be careful to record deaths, births, adoptions, baptisms, marriages, reception of members, transfers to the inactive roll, dismissals, and other records required regarding members.”

 

Our Methodology:

WHAT is the most effective way of fulfilling our mandate AND our mission?

 

The Clerk

 

1.  As Scribe (see G.16-13, 8-1F)

             To faithfully, carefully record the actions of Session

            and, along with other required documents, preserve

            them for posterity.

 

2.  As Parliamentarian

             To be familiar with Session’s established procedures,

            policies, practices and with Robert’s Rules of Order in

            order to provide guidance and counsel in questions

            of required order.

 

3.  As Correspondent

             To act as the official correspondent re: all local church

            matters with other judicatories and with non-EPC bodies.

 

4.  As “Town Crier”

             To publish all announcements authorized and directed

            by Session to the local church, the community, and

            Church at large

 

5.  As Source of information

             To respond to all inquiries and offer accurate, clear

            information as instructed and required by the Session,

            church bylaws and/or constitution of the EPC.

 

6.  As “Armor Bearer” (I Samuel 14:1-14)

             To serve in a support role to the Moderator, providing

            whatever Scriptural assistance as required and necessary.

 

 

DO’S & DON’Ts OF CLERK’S WORK

DO keep an accurate record of ALL meetings – Remember, in five weeks or five months or five years from now, “if it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen.”

 

DO keep minutes of EXECUTIVE SESSIONS/MEETINGS.  These minutes require special treatment:

-  Record in regular minutes any action taken; additional detail is at discretion & instruction of the Session

-  DO NOT record individual members’ comments UNLESS the executive session involves a FORMAL TRIAL according to the Book of Discipline

-  Approve minutes at end of executive session or at the next regular Session meeting

-  Keep minutes of executive sessions in separate sealed file from regular minutes

-  DO NOT reveal contents of minutes of executive session UNLESS instructed/ordered to do so by the Session or a higher church court.  EXCEPTION:  In the case of pending/threatened litigation, it is permissible to share relevant information from sealed files to your insurance carrier provided they give you a written assurance of confidentiality. 

DON’T meet in the absence of the Moderator UNLESS he has approved the meeting beforehand (G. 16-11).  An “emergency” had better be just that!  Otherwise, whatever is decided or done is subject to be declared out of order by Presbytery.

DO help the Moderator to begin meetings ON TIME – and to end at the agreed upon time.

DO file your church’s ANNUAL STATISTICAL REPORT by the DEADLINE given each year.

DO file your Pastor(s)’ ANNUAL CHANGES IN TERMS OF CALL & ANNUAL REVIEW by the DEADLINE – which is now JANUARY 1st.  If your church doesn’t approve changes until after January 1st BE SURE TO NOTIFY THE STATED CLERK of your situation AND WHEN you will send it.

DO keep Minutes in a secure, safe place.  The official Minutes SHOULD be kept in a hard-backed, bound book for permanency.  Back-up copies on computers, floppies, CDs are additional safeguards for preservation. 

DON’T FORGET:  Session minutes are LEGAL DOCUMENTS, and in many courts, considered to be THE OFFICIAL RECORD of the church/Session. 

DO become familiar with THE BOOK OF ORDER—especially the Book of Government!

  

ESSENTIALS OF SESSION MINUTES

“The Bare Minimum Requirements”

 

For purposes of creating and maintaining an accurate and consistent permanent record of Session meetings and actions taken, certain things need to be included in the minutes taken by the Clerk.  Those items are (at least ):

 - The date, time & place of each meeting

- The names of those in attendance: Moderator, REs, others

- That prayer was an integral part of all meetings, either beginning, during or at end

- Approval by Session of previous minutes & signed by Moderator, Clerk

-  A record of births, baptisms, marriages, adoptions, deaths of members & members’

   family members who are part of the church

- A record of members received (with names of minor children living with them)

- A record of those transferred to inactive status or dismissed to other churches

- Names & dates of those ordained and/or installed as Ruling Elders, Deacons

- Action taken by Session on all matters requiring its consideration by motion,

  recommendation, request, and The Book of Order

 

 Additionally, for future reference and for guidance to future leaders, minutes should include

- A copy of the annual budget approved by the Session and/or congregation

- A copy of the GA Annual Statistical Report

- Any communications by higher courts (presbytery, General Assembly) requesting

  action by the Session (received as information, referred, approved, rejected)

 

 

Taking Minutes

1.  PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING:

            A.  Have a written agenda with as much detail as possible; include copies of items

                 which Session members need to read ahead of time

            B.  Review the agenda with Moderator PRIOR to the meeting; try to avoid

                  surprises

            C.  Have a consistent methodology:  pen & paper, laptop, recording, transcribing

 

2. CONTENT

            A.  Refer to “Session Minutes Guidelines” to cover all the bases

            B.  Make CLEAR, COMPLETE sentences!

            C.  PERSPECTIVE:  Keep in mind that in 10 weeks, years, or decades your record

                 may be the ONLY record of a Session decision, action, consideration!  Don’t be

                 TOO DETAILED, but don’t leave out IMPORTANT DETAILS!

 

3.  CORRECTIONS TO MINUTES

            A.  THE IDEAL:  Mail, distribute copies of minutes at least one week BEFORE the

                  next meeting so Session members can have time read, review

            B.  Very few (if any) Sessions read minutes in meetings (as in the old days); yet a

                  good Clerk NEEDS the clear eyes, minds of other Elders to catch typo’s,

                  mistakes.  Encourage Session members to read, look for needed corrections

                  OR you may have someone else proof-read (volunteer or paid—AS LONG AS

                   they can keep what they read in CONFIDENTIALITY!)

            C.  Enter corrections, additions in NEXT set of minutes in section entitled,

                 “ERRATA”

 

4.  SECURITY

            A.  Once minutes are approved, set a permanent copy with signatures of

                  MODERATOR & YOURSELF aside in a HARD-BOUND MINUTES BOOK.  

            B.  Keep a BACKUP set of minutes on CD/diskette/zip in case something happens

                  to your/church files

            C.  Keep permanent minutes book in a SECURE PLACE!  Safe from fire, flood, sun

                 damage, heat, theft as much as practical (The car trunk is NOT a good idea!)

            D.  Once a year, send a copy of the previous year’s minutes to GA ARCHIVES for

                  their record.  Who knows?  Someday one of your great-grandchildren may

                  write a history of your church using YOUR minutes!

 

5.  “WHOSE MINUTES?”

            A.  Session minutes are SESSION minutes—and remain the property of the

                  Session unless required by Presbytery, GA (usually whenever the church is

                  dissolved)

            B.  Access to minutes:  Determined by the Session!  A VARIETY of ways to

                  address this:  post/publish full text copies (on website or bulletin board or

                  newsletter), OR a publish a condensed version of meetings, OR a brief

                  synopsis/description of actions taken OR any combination or ALL of the

                  above!  It’s up to Session to decide what’s best for your church.

            C.  Minutes of EXECUTIVE SESSION are not available to anyone UNLESS the

                 Session gives permission; Presbytery, GA may require them in certain cases.

 

  

SUGGESTED AGENDA

 

MEETING OF THE SESSION

1ST EPC

ANYWHERE, USA

JANUARY 1, 2005

7:00 p.m.

 

 

1.  Call to order & prayer

 

2.  Declaration of quorum

            PRESENT:                               (OR)               LIST NAMES OF TEs & REs

            ABSENT:                                                         (Check Present or Absent)

 

3.  MINUTES READ & APPROVED  (Minutes may be distributed prior to meeting)

 

4.  COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED (OR)    CLERK’S REPORT

 

            - “Communications” = Any correspondence from GA, Presbytery, members, committees, other churches, organizations--ANYTHING which Session needs to know about from outside, inside the church

            - May be received as information or may be docketed for Session’s consideration at this or a future meeting (Clerk & Moderator decide which is best & Session ok’s)

 

5.  REPORTS:  May be from Treasurer, standing committees, teams, huddles, action teams, task force(s), Diaconate, Pastor(s)

 

6.  OLD/UNFINISHED BUSINESS:  Carry-over items from previous meeting(s)

 

7.  NEW BUSINESS:  Clerk AND Moderator notified BEFORE the meeting in order to docket for consideration

 

8.  ANNOUNCE NEXT MEETING

 

9.  PRAYER & ADJOURNMENT –Be sure to note TIME of adjournment (Didn’t you note the time the meeting started?)

 

 (Revised 1/25/05)

 

SAMPLE IDEAS FROM OTHER CLERKS

 

1.  OMNIBUS MOTIONS – Used to group together routine items which are not

            considered controversial.  Should any member desire to talk about a

            particular item, you may isolate that item and discuss/vote on it separately.

 

2.  CLERK’S REPORT (At each stated meeting, usually) – Here’s how one Clerk

            does this:

 

CLERK’S REPORT

Session Meeting of January 1, 2008

 

                       BIRTHS – Jacob David Jones, son of John and Sue Jones,

                                                      December 10, 2007, Hometown General Hospital

 

                                        - Julia Rachel Smith, daughter of Sam and Barbara

                                                     Smith, November 30, 2007, St. Joseph’s Hospital

 

                                        - George Washington Bush, son of Ralph and Jean Bush,

                                                      December 2, 2007, Hometown General Hospital

 

                 INFANT BAPTISM -  Samuel Eugene Brown, Jr.,  son of Sam and

                                                       Sara Brown

 

                ADULT BAPTISM

 

                 WEDDINGS – Alice Sue Mitchell, daughter of Robert and Myrtle

                                           Myrtle Mitchell, wed to Capt. James Longstreet, US

                                            Army

 

                  DEATHS – Harriet T. Bates, November 28, 2007

 

 3.  WRITTEN POLICY STATEMENTS ON WEDDINGS, FUNERAL SERVICES, OTHER

            USAGE OF CHURCH BUILDING  -- Samples can be secured by contacting

            Administrative Director’s Office

 

4.  YOUR IDEAS, SUGGESTIONS ? ? ?

 

 

 

 

REPORT FOR SESSION MINUTES

(1/1/07)

 

REPORT ON SESSION MINUTES of the ____________________________________ Church

 

 

CLERK OF SESSION:  Please use the blanks to indicate the requested information is/is not provided.  Include this sheet with your Minutes when it is submitted for examination.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  If your church does NOT have a Board of Deacons, check here __________

                                                                                                                         BLANKS after each

                                                                                                                        question are to be

                                                                                                                        answered YES or NO

 

1. Is the time & place of each meeting given?                                                     ___________

 

2. Did Session meet at least once each quarter?                                                  ___________

 

3. Are names of Elders present noted?                                                               ___________

 

4. Was prayer a part of all meetings?                                                                  ___________

 

5. Did Session always approve its own minutes & are they                                  ___________

   signed by the Moderator and Clerk?              

 

6, Were Commissioners elected to each meeting of Presbytery?                          ___________

 

7. Did these Commissioners report to Session on their attendance                       ___________

   at Presbytery?

 

8. Were minutes of the Board of Deacons examined at least                                 ___________

    annually by the Session?

 

9. Do minutes record ordination & installation of new Ruling Elders &                  ___________

    Deacons, with dates?

 

10. Did Session approve annual budget of church?                                            ___________

 

11. Was GA’s Annual Statistical Report approved & included in minutes               ___________

      & forwarded to GA?

 

12. Do minutes record reception of new members, giving full names, and             ___________

      noting how received?

 

13. Were all dismissals & other deletions from the church roll acted on                 ___________

      by Session, with reasons given in the minutes?

 

 

 

SESSION MINUTES REPORT

page 2

  

14. Did Session make an annual review of the church roll for accuracy:              ___________

                              (a) active members

                              (b) non-communing members (baptized, under 18)

                              (c) inactive members

                              (d) affiliate members?

 

15. Were communications from higher courts read & acted upon by                   ___________

      the Session as requested by the sending  court?

      (received as information, referred, approved, rejected)

 

16. Were there any known irregularities or inconsistencies with                          ___________

      The Book of Order in actions taken by Session?

 

                               If YES, explain: ________________________________________________

 

                                                        ________________________________________________

 

                                                        ________________________________________________

 

 

 

Attest:  ______________________________________ Clerk of Session ______________Date

 

            _______________________________________ Church

 

PLEASE PRINT:

 

Name of Clerk of Session: _____________________________________________________

 

Street Address:                  _____________________________________________________

 

City/Town:                         ______________________________________________________

 

State :                               ________________________ Zip ___________________________

 

Email address:                 _______________________________________________________

 

Preferred Phone #:          _______________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Reviewed by: _________________________________________ Date ___________________

 

 

 

SESSION MINUTES REPORT

page 3

 

 

CHURCH LIFE & MINISTRY

  

1.  Describe 3 to 5 significant events in the life of your church over the past year

     (Please use & attach additional pages if needed):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  How would you describe the life of your congregation this past year—is it in Incline,

     Recline or Decline?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. How may Presbytery be of help to your congregation in terms of guidance, training,

    resourcing, or in other ways?

 

 

 

 

April 2013-January 2014 SCHEDULE

ANNUAL SESSION MINUTES REVIEW

PRESBYTERY OF MID-ATLANTIC

 

DATE DUE:                                         CHURCH / MISSION CHURCH OR GROUP

 T = Transitional Church (Transitional churches do not have to submit minutes at this time)

M = Mission Church

 

Session Minutes due at April 2013 Presbytery:

Church at Dutch Fork (Irmo, SC)

Forest Hills (Wilson, NC)

Grace (M) (Hampstead, NC)

Greenwood (Covington, VA)

Hurley (Hurley, VA)

iSight (Black Mountain, NC)

Kempsville (Virginia Beach, VA)

Lake Forest (Huntersville, NC)

Lebanon (Greenwood, VA)

Linwood (Gastonia, NC)

McBee (T) (McBee, SC)

Myrtle Grove (Wilmington, NC)

New Covenant (Burgaw, NC)

New Hanover (T) (Mechanicsville, VA)

Northampton (Hampton, VA)

Overbrook (Gaffney, SC)

Rocky River (T) (Abbeville, SC)

Siler (Wesley Chapel, NC)

Troy (T) (Troy, NC)

Village Church (Matthews, NC)

Warrenton (Abbeville, SC)

Waterbrook (Longs, SC)

 

Session Minutes due at September 2013 Presbytery:

Norton (T)

Peace Church

Perrow

Princeton

Roseann (T)

Reynolda

Rivermont

River Oaks

Spotsylvania

St. Giles

Stuart

Threshold

Trinity/Florence

Trinity/HHI

Walkers Creek

Warehouse 242

Westminster

Woodside

Victoria

 

 

Session Minutes due at January 2014 Presbytery:

Asbury (T)

Benton Heights

Bethlehem

Castanea

Centre

Christ Church

Christ Community Church

Christ Covenant

Christ Fellowship

Cleveland

Clover

Darlington

Elkton

Faith Liberation Community

Fellowship of Christ

Hope/Richmond

Hope/Raleigh

Lake Norman

McLean

Meban

New Horizon

Rourk

Westminster/Florence

 

 

Presbylink Login
Login problems email 
robbuchananepc@gmail.com
Email Address
Your Password
Forgot your password?
click here

Rev. Tom Clymer, Moderator
thclymer@gmail.com
843 359-3223



PMA Treasurer - Tim Burns
2514 Plantation Center Drive
Matthews, NC 28105
(704)841-7828
tburns@stewardshippartners.com


EPC Leadership
Training Guide
Answer Guide


2018 Expense Voucher


Joining the EPC

    Dr. Howard Shockley, Administrative Director & Stated Clerk 
    261 Lauren Hope Lane Moore, SC 29369 
    Phone 864-587-6440  Email: hshockley@msn.com

    Website questions please contact:
    Dr. Rob Buchanan robbuchananepc@gmail.com

    ©2011 - Presbytery of the MidAtlantic