Commission On Ministry Organization and Authority
COM Organization and Authority
The Commission on Ministry shall have thirty-two (32) members, of whom sixteen (16) shall be teaching elders and sixteen (16) shall be ruling elders. The quorum of the Commission on Ministry shall be a majority of its membership.
Powers and Accountability
The Commission on Ministry shall be directly accountable to, and shall report directly to,
The Commission on Ministry shall hold stated meetings and may, with due notice, hold special meetings as called by the Chair or by two (2) members of the Commission.
Authority to Act
The Commission on Ministry is hereby granted authority to find in order calls issued by
churches, to approve and present calls for services of teaching elders, to approve the
examination of teaching elders transferring from other presbyteries, to dissolve the pastoral relationship in cases where the congregation and the pastor concur, to grant permission to labor within or outside the bounds of Presbytery, and to dismiss teaching elders to other presbyteries during those times when Presbytery is not in session and there are more than forty-five (45) days intervening between stated meetings of Presbytery, provided that the Commission on Ministry shall make a full report of its actions to Presbytery at its next stated meeting.
The commission shall serve the Presbytery in the following ways. It shall:
- Visit regularly and consult with each teaching elder of the Presbytery. It shall report to the Presbytery annually the type of work in which each teaching elder of the Presbytery is engaged.
- Make recommendations to Presbytery regarding calls for the services of its teaching elders.
- Visit with each session of the Presbytery, discussing with them the mission and ministry of the particular church and encouraging the full participation of each session and congregation in the life and work of Presbytery and of the larger church.
- Counsel with churches regarding calls for permanent pastoral relations.
- Counsel with sessions regarding temporary pastoral services when a church is without a pastor, and it shall provide lists of teaching elders and ruling elders who have been trained by the Presbytery to supply vacant pulpits.
- Provide for the implementation of equal opportunity employment for teaching elders and candidates without regard to race, ethnic origin, sex, age, marital status, or disability.
- Serve as an instrument of Presbytery for promoting the peace and harmony of the churches, especially in regard to matters arising out of the relations between pastors and churches. Its purpose shall be to mediate differences and reconcile persons, to the end that the difficulties may be corrected by the session of the church if possible, that the welfare of the particular church may be strengthened, that the unity of the body of Christ may be made manifest.
Organization of the Commission on Ministry
Much of the work of the Commission on Ministry will be done by its four sub-committees as defined below. Each member of the Commission, with the exception of the Chair, will serve on at least one and no more than two sub-committees. The Chair of the Commission will be an ex-officio member of all subcommittees.
- Provides orientation, pastoral care, and support for teaching elders
- Nurtures the relationships between pastors, congregations, and the presbytery
- Organizes and oversees the congregational visit program of the presbytery
- Reviews compensation annually, recommending changes in terms of call
- Monitors teaching elders’ use of continuing education time and funds
- Serves as liaison to the Board of Pensions
- Conducts ethical training for teaching elders
- Oversees the work of PEAL
Temporary Pastoral Relationships (Covenant Pastor, Interim, CRE, Parish Associate)
- Supports those serving in temporary pastoral relationships by developing and implementing
policies and procedures related to the service of interim, covenant pastor, parish associate, and
commissioned ruling elder
- Organizes support groups for individuals serving in temporary pastoral situations, as needed or
- Conducts an annual review of temporary pastoral relationships
- Maintains an up-to-date pulpit supply list
Specialized/Honorably Retired Teaching Elders
- Provides pastoral care and support for teaching elders who are retired, their spouses and widows, and for those active in specialized ministries
- Reviews the annual reports of specialized teaching elders, making recommendation to presbytery for the validation of their ministries
Seeks to promote the peace and harmony of congregations by mediating differences and intervening in conflicted situations when appropriate, in an effort to reconcile persons and bring unity to the body of