And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
Our Stated Meeting of the Presbytery was held on Tuesday, November 15th at The First Presbyterian Church in Springfield (Flourtown). We began the day with, “Engaging the voices of our smaller Congregation: a conversation with the Presbytery Leadership.” Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and share their own insights on ways that the presbytery can deepen it’s support for smaller congregation.
Our time formally began with our Moderator, the Rev. Ted Mingle, who called the meeting to order, opened with prayer, followed by the Rev. Diane Jamison Fitch who welcomed us to The First Presbyterian Church in Springfield (Flourtown). The Rev Kevin Porter, our Stated Clerk offered his report while our moderator recognized new minister members and first-time elders.
The Rev. Cynthia Betz-Bogoly, from the Administrative Commission for Glading Memorial Presbyterian Church, reported on the congregation’s decision to close. In affirming the ministry of Glading Memorial, we heard remembrances from Elder Jim Wood and the Rev. Debbie Heffernan followed by a communal Litany of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for the Faithful Witness of the Glading Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Elder Jim Ballengee from the Commission on Ministry and the Rev. Joyce Shin from the Commission on Preparation for Ministry and Membership presented certified-ready candidate Courtenay Wilcox to be examination for Ordination (Transitional Pastor, Tree of Life). The vote was unanimous in approval and the Rev. Dr. Agnes Norfleet (Bryn Mar Presbyterian Church) prayed over Courtenay’s ministry.
Elder Bob Kenworthy from the Committee on Nominations presented the slate of nominated candidates for the various commissions & committees of the presbytery, which were approved by unanimous consent. He then put forth the nominations of Elder Zandra Maffett for Moderator and Elder Jim Ballengee for Vice-Moderator of the Presbytery for 2023 to which were elected unanimously.
The Rev. Ted Mingle on behalf of the Collegium report invited the Rev. Dr. John Willingham & the Rev. Carla Jones Brown, Co-moderators of the Committee on Personnel who brought the committee’s recommendation for the election of the Rev, Kevin Porter to another five-year term as the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Philadelphia to which the vote was unanimous in his election.
The Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, the Executive Presbyter presented the leadership report supported with input from the Rev. Kevin Porter, the Stated Clerk and the Rev. Sarah Colwill, Program Director speaking to the gratitude for the work of the presbytery this year and excitement for the upcoming year. As part of the report the Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazi and the Rev. Brenton Thompson lead a presentation on the culmination of the Vital Congregations Initiative program. Elder Elaine McCray (Holy Trinity of Bethlehem) and the Rev. Cynthia Betz-Bogoly (Elkins Park) were invited to share their experiences of participation in the program. Gifts of recognition and appreciation were shared with the leaders and participants.
The Rev. Ted Mingle called for the adjournment of the meeting following the benediction in worship. In worship, Dr. Lisa Bowens, Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary reflected on Romans 8:31-39 in her sermon, “The Power and Persistence of Divine Presence.” The offering went to the Welcome Church and the service and presbytery meeting were concluded with the benediction from Moderator Rev. Ted Mingle.
A Video re-cap of the gathering:
A Note from Our Stated Clerk
Dear Presbytery Companions on the Journey,
Thank you for your celebration of me and affirmation of the ministry we share in my service as your Stated Clerk. I am humbled more than you could imagine by your approval of a third term. So often the narrative is that one needs to leave home in order to find a place where their gifts are welcome and they can grow into who God calls them to be. I am truly blessed to have grown up in the Presbytery of Philadelphia where my gifts were identified, nurtured, and embraced even when I doubted them within myself! That says volumes about who you are, and what God can do with the many other gifts-to-be discovered in our midst! To God be the Glory!
Gratitude and Blessings, Kevin