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At the stated meetings on February 6, 2018, March 6, 2018 and the called meeting on December 18, 2018, the Council provided information and took the following actions: (**indicates items for Assembly approval)
Jean Demmler, acting as Moderator pro tem (at the request of Presbytery Moderator, John Anderson) moderated the February and March Council meetings.
Nancy Dixon, Chair, Leadership workgroup and Louise Westfall, Chair of the Interim Presbytery Pastor Nominating Committee were welcomed to the March 6, 2018 meeting.
Reports of Work Groups and Task Forces – Part I
Personnel Work Group – Interim Presbytery Pastor Candidate - Bruce Spear
Bruce Spear brought the report. Bruce introduced the candidate for the Interim Presbytery Pastor. Following introduction, Bruce moved that the Council approve the IPPNC recommendation of Gavin Meek as Interim Presbytery Pastor to the Presbytery of Denver for recommendation to the Presbytery and approve of the recommendation of the Interim Presbytery Pastor Agreement compensation package to the Presbytery. Approved.
Report from IPP Search Committee - Louise Westfall
Louise brought the report of the Interim Presbytery Pastor Search Committee. The candidate offered the Interim position turned down the offer. The IPPNC requested guidance from Council on how to proceed going forward. It was moved and properly seconded that current search committee continue its work. Approved. It was moved and properly seconded that IPPNC continue to seek an IPP who will both guide the Presbytery in its daily life and in the visioning process, pausing the process of visioning until the IPP is in place, allowing that person inclusion in the design and implementation of the visioning process. Approved.
It was moved and properly seconded that Council approve $5000 to be added to the search budget. Approved
Treasurer’s Report - John Boettiger
John Boettiger brought the report. Included in the materials for the meeting are the Financial Statements for the period ending December 31, 2017. The year ended in a net deficit of $178,996.
Finance and Property Work Group - Keith Moore
Keith brought the report. Keith moved that an action approved at the last meeting be rescinded. [It was moved and properly seconded that Council recommend to Presbytery that the shared equity agreement be modified to 5% of the equity owed to the Presbytery upon the sale of the property by the Sheffields.] Approved
**Keith moved approval of a recommendation to Presbytery of a no interest bridge loan for St. Paul Church for $40,000, to be repaid as funds from their capital campaign are received but within one (1) year. Originally, St. Paul requested an $100,000 loan amount as it tries to reduce the church’s PILP loan; however, since the request was made to the workgroup, the church has received a substantial amount through its capital campaign, thus the request was amended. Approved
John Boettiger began the report addressing 2018 Colorado Trust funds that are $250,000, below what was estimated. The approved budget for 2018 was based on receipt of $750,000 from the Colorado Trust and was a breakeven budget. The result of the shortfall is a deficit budget. The January financial statement reflected a breakeven month. Keith informed Council that options for addressing the shortfall would be discussed at the next workgroup meeting. The workgroup will come back to Council with recommendations.
The workgroup moved that Council approve a facility use agreement between Green Mountain and Trinity Fellowship. The agreed term is that Trinity Fellowship will pay $100 per use. Approved
**The workgroup moved that the Synod gift to the Presbytery of $12,500, a portion of the Shannel B. Lorance bequest to the Synod be allocated to the Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM). Shannel was an Inquirer under care of the Presbytery at the time of her death in 2014. Shannel was a member of Wellshire Presbyterian Church. Bill Davis offered an amendment to the main motion to allocate $8,000 to CPM and $4,500 to the Immigration Task Force. The amended motion was Approved.
Transition Phase II: Vision Team - Chris Wineman
Acting as Moderator pro tem of Council, Jean Demmler along with Chris Wineman, Bruce Spear, and Keith Moore developed a process entitled “Council’s Process of Assessment and Affirmation of Our Context, Identity, and Leadership Model of the Presbytery of Denver and Creation of a New Vision and Mission Statement. Chris moved the plan on behalf of the group. The group proposed goals for the process, which they see would be carried out by two groups. A main group called the Vision Team, which would carry out the bulk of the work, and subsidiary group called the Resource Group. Chris moved that Council adopt the group’s process proposal. Issues were raised concerning representation and inclusion in both the Vision Team and the Resource Group. The document as presented was amended to remove the number that would make-up the resource group and to give the staff voice and vote in the resource group. Approved as amended.
Chris brought a second motion on behalf of the group to include the following individuals as part of the visioning team: RE Jean Demmler, RE Julia Henderson, RE Wanda Beauman, TE John Yu, Consultant RE Corey Schlosser-Hall, the Interim Presbytery Pastor, and a yet to be named person. Approved.
Chris moved and it was properly seconded that Council rescind the motion made at the February 6, 2018, Council meeting appointing a Visioning Team, with thanks to those individuals for their willingness to serve and notifying them that Council is willing to give their names when the visioning process resumes if appropriate to the task. Approved
Staff and Officer Reports
Acting Head of Staff/ Pastor for Church Development and Multi-Racial Ministries - Amy Mendez
Amy provided a written report. She offered highlights on her participation in the Stewardship Kaleidoscope Planning Team, held in St. Louis, MO, September 24-26, 2018. Scholarships for first call pastors of small churches are available. Amy noted that the Vietnamese Fellowship will transition from worshipping at the Presbytery Center to Bethel Presbyterian following the Lunar New Year on February 16, 2018. Their last worship at the Presbytery Center will be on February 11, 2018. With regard to the Smallify financial team, the accountants believe that the 1001 New Worshiping Communities do not require sophisticated software to handle finances, and have recommended that there are other ways to manage their finances. Amy expressed that the staff is working as a team to carry out the work of the Presbytery.
Stated Clerk’s Report - Olivia Hudson Smith
Olivia provided a written report that highlighted the work done on overture reviews that will go the Presbytery Assembly in March, having lunch with the Judicatory Executives of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ to discuss the purpose of the three denominations common mission in EMI (Ecumenical Ministries, Inc.). Olivia represents the Presbytery on the board of the Colorado Council of Churches, and attended the board meeting in January. Along with a Committee on Ministry team of Diane Ritzdorf, Heather Cameron, and Dan Dolquist, they reviewed 37 validated ministry renewal requests of which 11 requests presented questions for continued validation. Letters were sent to those ministers seeking clarification. Olivia updated Council on several activities: including, attending the Ecumenical Ministries Council, Inc., annual meeting at Columbine United; congregational statistical reports for 2017 are completed showing an overall loss in membership in our congregations of 678 people; three records review sessions in March for clerks of session; GA 223 registration is open; Minister cards will be available at the March Assembly; plans for obtaining attestations for the Minor/Vulnerable Adult Protection and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Policy and Procedures; and, the Synod record review of the Presbytery’s Assembly minutes is scheduled for April.
Communications and Administrative Manager Report - Beth Carlisle
Beth provided a written report. She highlighted that the staff is planning a new minister’s orientation in April. She also pointed out some of the activities in which the staff is engaged during this transitional period involving the physical relocation and the transition to an Interim Presbytery pastor. Former members of South Presbyterian will be visiting the Presbytery Center in March. The Board of Pensions meeting is in Longmont on April 10. On May 5, Plains and Peaks is sponsoring an event on 1001 worshiping communities to which the Presbytery is invited.
Presbytery Moderator Report - John Anderson
John Anderson brought the report. John explained his initiative to incorporate more theological reflection in Assembly. Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ruling Elders are invited to a lunchtime discussion “Traveling Together in Exile” on February 21, 2018, noon – 1:15 p.m. at the Presbytery Center. John discussed planning for the March Assembly at Iglesias Presbiteriana de Valverde, which will take place during Holy Week on March 27, 2018. John highlighted the first brown bag theological reflections on Exile which 15 people attended. The next brown bag will be in mid-April.
Reports of Workgroups and Taskgroup – Part II
Nominations Task Group - Wanda Beauman & Bill Davis
The team contacted two possible nominees having heard from one but not the other. Bill brought the report moving that Council recommend to Presbytery RE Cindy Moorman and RE Verniece Vafaedes to serve on the Presbytery Nominating Committee. Approved
Mission and Ministry Workgroup - Sandy Smith
The workgroup recommended funding Highlands Day Camp at $8,000 in equal monthly installments. Approved
Recommendation to fund Presbyterians for Second Wind at $8,000 in equal monthly installments. Approved
Recommendation to fund Zim Kids at $8,000 in equal monthly installments. Approved
The workgroup approved the Zim Kids renewal application prior to considering the funding request.
Recommendation for grants of $8000 to each of six (6) Mission Partnership, Guatemala Mission Partnership, Malawi Mission Partnership, Central Visitation, Zimbabwe Mission Partnership, Carpenter’s Helpers Mission Partnership, and New Genesis Mission Partnership, grants to be paid in monthly installments except a lump sum to New Genesis to address immediate needs. Approved
Sandy reported that a New Covenant Community is in the formation stage.
Council approve renewal of the Guatemala Mission Partnership, Malawi Mission Partnership, and the Central Visitation Mission Partnership. Approved
Racial and Ethnic Diversity Workgroup - John Yu
John Yu brought the report. The workgroup provide a written report and John highlighted that based on theme of Opening Doors and Traveling together, RED will continually focus on developing racial ethnic leadership throughout 2018 as a resource to the Presbytery. In addition, they will host a Fellowship event to affirm our faith and diversity, on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Peoples Presbyterian Church called 4 Fs & a D – Faith, Fellowship, Food, Fun and Diversity. Flyers and additional information are forthcoming and registration is on the website.
Leadership Workgroup - Nancy Dixon
i Park brought the report on behalf of the workgroup. The leadership winter event will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018. On behalf of the workgroup, Ki moved that Council approve payment of $525.00 for the bus to transport participants during the event out of the Jackson-Miller Fund. Approved . Informal evaluation of the February event were very positive. Nancy reported that registration for the November Leadership event is open on the Highlands Camp and Retreat Center website. This year’s topic is Worship and the keynote presenter is Jana Childers, Dean of Seminary, San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Immigration Task Force Report - Jean Demmler
Jean brought the report on behalf of the Task Force. The Task Force provided a written report. Embedded in the report is a request for funds for future activity. Because the bylaws state that task forces are mission unites, the Council referred the request to the Mission and Ministry workgroup for consideration. The immediate concern being the request for funding for two people to travel to Washington, D.C. for Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) April 20-23, 2018. It was moved and properly seconded that Mission and Ministry be empowered to act on behalf of Council to fund up to $1750 for travel to EAD. Approved
Relations and Communications Workgroup - Jean Demmler
Jean has been part of the process of writing Putting Healing Before Punishment which is being written by the PC(USA) Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. The workgroup has approached three GA Commissioners to determine if any are interested in reading it before they begin reading for GA.