Leadership Team Notes - from March 11

After a wonderful opening devotional by Karen McDonough, and a pizza and salad supper
from Mario and Salvo's (the best pizza in town!), Mark Betley, our consultant, led
us through a group examination of the four guiding principles of our new Presbytery

Selecting key phrases from each of the principles, we met in small groups around
each of phrases, and were assigned the following task: What does this phrase mean?
What doesn't it mean? Biblical/Theological support for the phrase. A word picture
that a 3rd grader will understand. Here are the Guiding Principles, with the examined
phrases in bold:

While for decades we have added and expanded layers of rules and order, this new
creation shifts the focus from rules and regulations to a permission giving grace.

While we have spent a great deal of time and energy legislating how, where and when
we should be in connection with each other, this new creation returns to the historic
roots of how we were Presbyterians together in the early days of our denomination
and nation.

While many passions have become attached to many different aspects of our institutions
that have grown up in our denomination and our presbytery over the decades, this
new creation trusts in "the dominion of providence over passions." (John Witherspoon,
May 1776)

This new creation changes the highest common denominator from being rules and the
lowest common denominator being relationships to just the opposite.

This was a very fruitful exercise, and in small groups, then as a whole, we used
these principles to look at a specific challenging issue we are now facing as a
Leadership Team. I was very impressed with the engagement and participation of
the whole team in this process, and grateful to Mark for his gracious work with

The Finance and Property Work Group brought a number of items to share, discuss,
and/or decide. The issue that took the most time and energy had to do with the
presbytery budget: does the Leadership Team adopt a budget after presenting it
to the Presbytery for open dialogue and advice, or should the Presbytery have the
final power and authority to decide the Presbytery's budget? Our bylaws would seem
to leave open the possibility of either interpretation. After lengthy consideration,
the decision was made to take up this issue again at our next meeting.

Other Work Groups reported as well, and those will be included in the minutes of
the meeting which will be sent out to the Presbytery after approval. Work Groups
still welcome others to join them, particularly in the programmatic areas such as
Leadership Development (contact Patricia Simmons at revsimmonsp@gmail.com) and Camping Ministry (contact Pearl FischerĀ at diamond13205@yahoo.com).

Grace and Peace,

Pete Shidemantle, Chair