What Happened at the June 2nd Assembly

What Happened at Assembly on June 2, in Evansville?

Host Church hospitality is always a great part of what any Assembly is about. First Church in Evansville is in the heart of a beautiful historic district. The Church and the homes around it reflect the period of the late 1800’s. Our hosts greeted us, made us welcome in every way, fed us and shared a great sanctuary for our meeting. We made new friends and embraced old ones.

Examination of Candidates for Ministry:
Deborah Fortel, Committee on Ministry Moderator, reminded us that the face of ministry is now often that of being “bi-vocational”. That is the minister is employed in more than one vocation and the church is a part time call for very many. We heard two candidates for ministry preach, examined them and approved them both for ordination and for part time calls in our churches.

Alex Becker will serve the churches in Henryville (Community and Mount Lebanon) while he also labors in two additional callings. Alex is tri-vocational.
Julie Olt will serve the Church of Covenant in Elizabeth while she also works a second calling.

Church Transformation Work Group and “the Great Swaparoo”
Church Transformation is convinced that every one of our congregations has a great story to tell to another of our churches. Two people from every church should take the word to another church on the same Sunday. These are our stories about transformation. As a model the presbytery heard two stories from two places. One story was of an activity that had zero dollar cost, happened in a small church, and helped the church encounter its own community in a rich way. No excuses from anyone else—it can happen. A second story reached outside our culture—a Presbyterian Revival.

On Reformation Sunday (Oct. 28) we will conduct the “Great SwapaRoo” and hear each other’s stories of “reforming and transforming” our very beings and ministries.

New Hymnal presentation was offered by Tim Jessen. Tim led us in an exploration of a new Presbyterian hymnal that will be out in the next year.

Center for Congregations ministry was interpreted for us by Wendy McCormick.

March 2 Recovery—Jean Beaver interpreted the progress of the Tornado Recovery efforts after three months .

Statistical Reporting:
The Stated Clerk offered a perspective on statistics for the presbytery. Not being happy with “ain’t it awful”, he reported good realities that are present in our stats. An example of his statistics might be: the church looses more people from loss of interest than any other cause. This is the “back door of the church loss”. Two of our churches get the “closing the back door” award. One Church with less than 80 members restored 12 members. One church with less than 150 members restored 11.

There is good to be celebrated. Look for the good and imitate it.

Lawrence Jackman, Stated Clerk