September 2022 Presbytery Meeting
Digest of the Meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery – September 22, 2022
Pittsburgh Presbytery met for its regular Stated Meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2022, at Crestfield Camp and Conference Center. The meeting was attended by 83 Ministers of Word and Sacrament and 44 Ruling Elders. There were 24 churches represented by at least one ruling elder and 12 registered visitors. The Moderator, Rev. Rebecca DePoe, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and constituted it with prayer.
The following individuals were enrolled as corresponding members:
Rev. Dr. Karen Claassen and Rev. Forrest Claassen, members in good standing of the Presbytery of Los Ranchos
Rev. Samantha Coggins, a member in good standing of the Presbytery of West Virginia Presbytery
Rev. Ralph Lowe, a member in good standing of the Presbytery of Beaver-Butler
Rev. Ben Schneider, co-chair of the Commission on Ministry, offered a prayer for those beginning new ministries in the presbytery:
Rev. Dr. Karen Claassen, Pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church (Greentree)
Rev. Samantha Coggins, Covenant Associate Pastor of John McMillan Presbyterian Church
Rev. Erwin Kerr and Rev. Keith Kaufold, members of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church who will be enrolling as temporary members of our presbytery while serving as Covenant Pastors of Homestead Presbyterian Church
Rev. Ginger Thomas, who will be received from the North Carolina United Methodist Conference, and will serve as Co-Senior Pastor of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church along with her husband Rev. Dr. Roger Owens
Rev. Schneider then announced those who are taking new positions:
Mr. Jason Dauer, who will be ordained as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Edgewood
Rev. Dr. Colleen Molinaro, becoming Covenant Pastor of Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in addition to her continued service at Carnegie
Ms. Christin Moreland, who will be ordained as Covenant Pastor of Glenshaw Valley Presbyterian Church, if the way be clear
Ms. Amy Newell, who will be ordained as Covenant Pastor of Hoboken Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Roger Owens who will be received from the North Carolina United Methodist Conference and move from temporary pastor to Co-Senior Pastor of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church along with his wife Rev. Ginger Thomas
Rev. Kellie Weekly-Mills, Temporary Pastor of Covenant Community Presbyterian Church
Rev. Lindsay White, moving from Designated Pastor to Pastor of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church, Monroeville
Rev. Schneider then offered a prayer for these individuals beginning their new ministries.
Rev. Brian Wallace led a prayer for the family of Rev. Dr. Richard A. Morledge who joined the Church Triumphant on September 18, 2022.
Rev. Susan Rothenberg moved that:
Beginning in 2023, Pittsburgh Presbytery directs the Commission on Ministry (COM) to set the minimum terms of call for pastors and Christian educators based, at minimum, upon the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients ordinarily announced by the Federal Government in October of each calendar year.
The motion was seconded. The Moderator announced that because this item of business would impact congregational budgets, it should be addressed before the December presbytery meeting, therefore time was of the essence. The Moderator further announced that this would be appropriately considered during the Commission on Ministry Report.
Mr. David Staniunas, Records Archivist at the Presbyterian Historical Society and an Assistant Stated Clerk, PC(USA) provided information about the services offered by the Presbyterian Historical Society.
Rev. Dr. Henk Bossers made announcement on behalf of the Peacemaking Ministry Team and introduced a video from Rev. Dr. Ron Peters on voting rights.
The Presbytery then gathered for worship with the Rev. Brian Wallace preaching. During worship, Rev. Ralph Lowe was installed as Associate Minister for Justice Ministries and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was celebrated. Presbytery also conducted a Service of Remembrance for those Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ruling Elders who joined the Church Triumphant since September 2021.
During the worship service, a monetary offering was received for equal distribution to the Lazarus Fund and the Hunger Fund, to be matched by the Pittsburgh Presbyterian Foundation.
Matters from the Executive Committee [Full Report]
Elder Williams moved on behalf of the Executive Committee that presbytery approve the proposed 2023 budget. The proposed budget was approved by the Executive Committee at its July 12, 2022, meeting and was circulated to all churches, teaching elders, and enrolled ruling elders of Presbytery on August 19, 2022. Following discussion, the budget was approved.
The Moderator recognized Rev. Dr. Vince Kolb and Ruling Elder Peter Gilmore to present the overture from Sixth Presbyterian Church seeking support for the efforts of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church to obtain reparations for the seizure of its building by eminent domain for less than market value during the redevelopment of the lower Hill District in the 1950s. This overture was presented to the presbytery as an invitation to open discussion to shape future possible presbytery action. [Full Overture]
Rev. Dr. Cathie Smith and Rev. Scott Hill, co-chairs of the Personnel Committee presented information on planning for the retirement of Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge as General Minister.
Matters from the Stated Clerk [Full Report]
The Stated Clerk updated the presbytery on the 33 proposed amendments to Book of Order sent from the General Assembly that the presbytery will need to vote on before asking the Moderator to recognize the General Minister, Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge, to lead the presbytery in prayer to mark the end of the ministry and witness of the Whitehall and Verona United Presbyterian Churches that were dissolved by presbytery action today.
Report of the General Minister
The Moderator called on Rev. Sorge to present his General Minister’s report. Rev. Sorge invited presbyters to come to the microphone for brief comments on summer mission activities. The report was paused for the presbytery to enjoy a time of fellowship and lunch.
Report of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry [Full Report]
The Moderator called on Ruling Elder Peggy Bonfiglio, who moved that presbytery approve:
The ordination and installation of Jason Dauer as Pastor on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood. The first named minister after the moderator to be clerk of the commission. Moderator Rev. Rebecca DePoe or her designee to moderate. Ministers Patrice Fowler-Searcy and John Creasy. Elders Flo Raisig of 1st Presbyterian Church of Edgewood and Kate Davoli of Sixth Presbyterian Church.
The motion properly was seconded and was approved.
Elder Bonfiglio then asked the Moderator to call upon Rev. Michael Stanton to introduce Hunter Steinitz, a member of Riverview United Presbyterian Church, who was received as a Candidate at the CPM meeting. Following the introduction, Elder Bonfiglio offered a prayer for Ms. Steinitz.
Elder Bonfiglio next moved that Christin Moreland, a certified-ready Candidate under the care of Santa Fe Presbytery who will serve as Covenant Pastor of Glenshaw Valley Presbyterian Church be approved for ordination. The motion was seconded.
Rev. Rebecca DePoe introduced Ms. Moreland who then read her Statement of Faith and was examined by the presbytery. The Candidate was sustained in her examination. Elder Bonfiglio then offered a prayer for Ms. Moreland.
Elder Bonfiglio moved that presbytery approve:
The ordination of Christin Moreland as Pastor on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. at the Glenshaw Valley Presbyterian Church. The first named minister after the moderator to be clerk of the commission. Moderator Rev. Rebecca DePoe or her designee to moderate. Ministers Deborah Warren and John Burgess. Elders Cliff Huff of Glenshaw Valley Presbyterian Church and Suzanne Good of Southminster Presbyterian Church.
The motion properly was seconded and was approved.
Report of the Commission on Ministry [Full Report]
Rev. McClure Archer moved that presbytery approve the call of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church for the services of Rev. Dr. Roger Owens and Rev. Ginger Thomas as Co-Senior Pastors. Because Rev. Roger Owens served as a temporary pastor at Fox Chapel, this requires a ¾ majority vote. The motion was approved.
Rev. McClure Archer then moved that presbytery receive Rev. Owens and Rev. Thomas as members of a corresponding denomination, the United Methodist Church. The motion was approved.
As the first addition, Rev. McClure Archer moved that presbytery approve the request of Rev. John Sweitzer to labor out of bounds of Pittsburgh Presbytery within the bounds of Beaver-Butler Presbytery. The motion properly was seconded and was approved.
As the second addition to the COM report, Rev. McClure Archer moved that presbytery approve the call of Rev. Jason Freyer as Pastor of Beulah United Presbyterian Church effective November 1, 2022.
The body then considered Rev. Susan Rothenberg’s motion (see above), The motion was not approved.
The Administrative Commission on Transformation
The Rev. Laura Bentley gave the commission report, promoting ACT enhancement grants. The Rev. Dr. Judi Slater reported on the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Duquesne undertaken with the help of enhancement grants from ACT.
Report of the General Minister (continued)
The Moderator called on Rev. Sorge to resume the General Minister’s report. Rev. Sorge invited presbyters to come to the microphone for brief comments on summer mission activities before discussing the recent 225th General Assembly.
The Committee on Nominations Report [Full Report]
The Moderator recognized Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens, co-chair of the Nominations Committee, to present its report. Per the Presbytery Manual, the Moderator asked for nominations from the floor for the position of Senior Vice Moderator for 2023. There were none.
The meeting was ended at 3:10 p.m. with prayer given by Rev. Dr. Karen Claassen.