Stated Meeting of the Presbytery

July 17 Stated Meeting Minutes in Brief

Minutes in Brief: July 17, 2021 Stated Meeting of the Presbytery

After nearly 18-months of virtual gatherings, the Presbytery of Philadelphia convened once again for an in-person Stated Meeting at the beautiful Kirkwood Camp and Retreat Center in the Poconos. God’s Spirit moved in and through the over 150 people who safely gathered for worship and work on this hot Saturday in July. As we leaned into the meeting, we began with a video montage to remember how these sacred grounds served countless children, youth, and adults in their spiritual formation for over 60 years. We then paused to honor the indigenous Lenni Lenape peoples, to whom this land belonged long before Presbyterians set foot in the region. While this marked the end of an era for our Presbytery’s ministry at Kirkwood, as the camp is presently up for sale, the Stated Meeting was also an opportunity to reaffirm our identity and celebrate in the midst of the grief and loss.

There were many reasons to rejoice at this Stated Meeting.

We heard a Leadership Collegium report on the ways our presbytery has continued to come alongside the 119 congregations and worshipping communities as they navigate ministry in virtual spaces, hybrid worship gatherings, prayer vigils, podcasts and webinars, and numerous grants that are supporting creative ministries in our midst. We approved a new Policy on Ethics of Sexual Boundaries, affirming our call to mutual care, accountability, and responsibility especially to the most vulnerable among us[RS1] . The first wave of this year’s Covenant Fund awardees were announced, as we recognized five innovative ministries in our region [link to page]. Our Executive Presbyter also shared highlights of the faithfulness and courage of the saints throughout Greater Philadelphia since we last met virtually, while also calling us to breathe and[RS2]  acknowledge the weight we all continue to carry as we have moved through this prolonged season of isolation, trauma, and pain. We do so with humble assurance and embrace of our shared meaning as a resurrection people who can profess, “unbounded we rise.”

Worship was especially energizing and full of unbounded life. Two Lay Pastors were commissioned to serve in ministry at the United Ghanaian Community Church, with a virtual word of charge and blessing coming all the way from Ghana from their founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Kobina Ofusu-Donkoh. Voices were lifted in song and prayer to make a hallowed sound we had not heard in person since January of 2020, providing a liturgical framing for the proclamation of the word by Rev. Dr. David Davis, A Hope That Groans. We also wrote personal prayers of groans and gratitude, placing them in waters to remind us of our baptism and continual call to bear witness to what it means to be called the gathered and scattered Church of Jesus Christ.

What follows below are the various resources, links, and digital media captured from the recent Stated Meeting. We invite you to utilize and share with your congregations. We look forward to what God’s Spirit will do in and through our congregations and worshipping communities until we gather again. As always, know our prayers are with you as you live in to the work of Christ through your enduring, creative and faithful witness.

Click on the various links below to view, listen and read about our first in-person meeting in 16 months:
Our next Stated Meeting of the Presbytery will be Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at Doylestown Presbyterian Church. Details TBD.

April 2021 Stated Meeting Minutes in Brief