14-01 Minutes

January 15, 2014                                                                                               2014-1

                                        Lambton Presbytery Executive

                                              United Church of Canada


The Lambton Presbytery Executive met at St. Paul’s United Church, Petrolia on January 15, 2014.  The meeting was constituted at 1:35 p.m. with a quorum present.  Chair Carolyn Wilson Wynne opened the meeting with prayer and declared, “In the name of Jesus, the one true Head of the Church, and by the authority vested in me as Lambton Presbytery Chair, I now declare this meeting constituted for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it.”


Moved by Marilyn Townsend-Smith, seconded by Carey Wagner and carried that the agenda be amended to include: 1) the request from the Comprehensive Review Task Group; the handling of the Declaration of Vacancy forms and other forms; request for feedback regarding our bimonthly Presbytery meeting schedule; Retired Ministers and marriage licenses and funerals.


Susan Woodhouse, Carey Wagner, Louise Hall, Carolyn Wilson Wynne, Pat Whitton, Marilyn Townsend-Smith, John Yates, Connie Ellis, Nancy Andrews, Michelle Owens, London conference personnel minister.

Regrets: Jim Louks, Nora Gibson.

CORRESPONDENCE: (See Appendix: 2014- )


Motion moved by Carey Wagner, seconded by Susan Woodhouse and carried that the consent docket be accepted as printed. (See Appendix 2014- )


Maintaining the Pulpit Supply List: Advised that this was discussed at the November meeting of Presbytery and Education and Students’ chair maintains the list.

Changes to the Presbytery Secretary’s Internet Server:  The secretary advised the Executive that Cogeco would install the server on January 30, 2014.  For the first six months, it would cost $32.95 and then it goes to $42.88 including tax.  This rate is based on bundling.  A hook-up fee will cost $34.99.  The Bell rate for December, 2013 was $49.10.  A question was raised as to whether this should have gone to the finance committee for approval.  The minutes from the meeting of the executive of October 16, 2013 were read, indicating that the Internet server could be change after the Bell contract was finished. (See p. 2013-71).



No one attended representing Stewardship Oversight.  The executive discussed the importance of having a representative from each division.  Carolyn Wilson Wynne agreed to discuss this with the chair of the division. A question was raised as to whether a contact had been made with St. Clair United about their financial needs for the year.

Treasurer’s Report:  John Yates

John Yates presented the final year-end figures for 2013 and statistics and charts.  He mentioned a discussion about merging the treasurer’s position and the secretary’s position.  He was advised that the division would need to present a proposal.


Pat Whitton asked about Brigden United’s request for a technology support grant.  She was advised that it was forwarded to Pat Morrison of the Communications Committee as she suggested.

Pat Whitton said that she has copied and passed on the information she had about the former Kettle Point United Church.  She said her information relates to the years 1997 to 1999. Interest has been express in Kettle Point in re-establishing a connection to the United Church.  It was suggested that the property might be insured at the national level.

Pat Whitton reported that there would be a dedication of the Habitat for Humanity Euphemia site on January 16, 2014.  Louise Hall had agreed to bring greetings from the Presbytery who helped finance the build.

Pat Whitton expressed concerns about her name and credit card information being used on the website account. Pat Whitton was encouraged to contact the Communications Committee of Adam Kilner, Dan Leaver and Pat Morrison to ask it to come up with a proposal to eliminate the need for an individual’s name and credit card information being used.

Pat Whitton was asked about the New Initiatives Fund.  An executive member said that it felt like it was taking a long time to access the fund.  Each division has been asked to submit a name of a member to sit on the committee.  John Yates has volunteer to be the fourth member.  The presbytery secretary was asked to email the chairs of each division to submit a name before the February meeting.  Applications for the grant can be submitted to Pat Whitton, chair of Mission Oversight.


Education and Students Committee:   Susan Woodhouse said the London Conference Education and Students’ Committee met on January 11, 2014 inLondon.  “It wasmoved, 

seconded and carried that: London Conference Education and Students’ committee having made final inquiry as to determine his readiness for ministry, recommend Terry Fletcher for ordination at the 2014 annual meeting of London Conference, subject to continuing to meet all necessary requirements.”

Mary Fletcher is starting a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education on January 16, 2014.  The London Conference Education Students’ Committee will reinterview her in March, 2014.

Lambton Education and Students’ Committee has received a request to transfer Dan Leaver’s candidacy process from Red Deer Presbytery to Lambton Presbytery.  He will be interviewed on February 20, 2014 and a motion is expected to be brought to the full court at that time.

Discernment Reports:  The Education & Students’ Committee received discernment reports for Ward Armitage and Brittany Waters-Pevec that recommended that they continue in active lay ministry with the congregation.  No further action was required.

In response to the recent information about Food Safety Training:  Shiloh- United is hosting a Ministry of Health approved Food Safety Training Course on Feb. 22, 2014 at 9a.m.-3 p.m. at Dunlop United Church.  

Pastoral Relations:  Carey Wagner reported that Michelle Owens was providing training for the interview team at St. Clair United on February 4, 2014. 

Motion moved by Carey Wagner, seconded by Marilyn Townsend-Smith and carried that David Dyke be appointed the pastoral charge supervisor for Ravenswood United.  Michelle Owens was asked several questions related to the need for a minister at congregational meetings.  She said a minister is required at board meetings, but not essential at congregational meetings.  

Executive members were advised that Joe Wynne is continuing as accompanier for Central United, which passed a motion on January 12, 2014 at a congregational meeting to begin the process to call an interim minister.  A motion to hire a person for pastoral care was defeated.

The vacancy for St. Luke’s United has been posted on the website.  

Michelle Owens reported that she would be doing some training for the Ministry and Personnel Committee at Faith Trinity Shetland United.  


Louise Hall said that Matthew Stevens is the sole nomination for chair of presbytery, at this time, despite his challenge to presbytery at the November meeting to bring forth another nomination so that an election could take place.

Pete Brennan of Cairo agreed to be a co-chair for pastoral oversight, but he wants another co-chair.  Names were suggested as possible co-chairs.



Michelle Owens reported that the Effective Leadership Test Project, which began six months ago, seems to be going well, although some areas need smoothing out.  She said communication is a key factor in making it work.   Two presbyters said that there was a lot more work involved that they expected.  The personnel minister said that paper work was one of the areas that needed some improvement.  Michelle Owens said that she did not need the hard copy of the paper work, but only the online copy that can be posted to the website.  She said she does not need the signatures.  It was suggested that the digital copy could be carbon copied to the church where it originated.  

Michelle Owens explained part of the process, saying that she conducts training for interview teams once a month for an hour – often by Skype and members are given handbooks with the written material.  The goal is to reduce bad employment practices.  

Michelle Owens stressed that there were no applications for part-time positions in a six-month period..  She encouraged churches to collaborate with other churches to get a full time minister.  She said this is not an agenda being pushed by the conference, but the reality. 


The Comprehensive Review Task Group has requested two hour at a presbytery meeting between February and June, 2014 to engage members in a process to seek information in four areas: how oversight of pastoral charges should be done; how oversight and discipline of ministry personnel should be done; who should have responsibility and authority for property; and what role and authority regional bodies should have.  The Executive decided to invite interested presbyters to the executive meeting March 19, 2014 to complete this process.

Declaration of Vacancy Forms:  Michelle Owens said that she does not need the signatures, but all the forms should be emailed to her for posting on the website.  The presbytery secretary was advised to keep a record of the forms.

Bi-Monthly Meetings: A request was received from Rev. Tyler Powell of Kent Presbytery asking how the bimonthly presbytery meetings work for Lambton Presbytery.  Executive members gave feedback and the presbytery secretary agreed to forward it to him.

Marrying and Burying: Information was sought around retired ministers marrying couples when the ministers are no longer in a pastoral charge.  Michelle Owens, the personnel minister, said the marriage license is held on behalf of the congregation and requires that the marriages be reported in the church’s registry.  “It is not a personal status symbol”, she said.  The government is getting stricter about checking names and licenses. She said that a retired minister or a minister no longer in a pastoral charge could apply to the board of the church to be a voluntary associate minister, which allows them to perform weddings.  It requires a motion of the board. She said it also requires a motion of the board for ministers to perform weddings or funerals at a past pastoral charge.  She said that often requests are referred to the incumbent minister, but that puts him/her in an awkward position. 

The Executive was advised that Fred Darke was entering his last days.  Carey Wagner said that he and members of his congregation at Watford United were providing support for his family.  


Moved by Carey Wagner, seconded by John Yates and carried that the meeting be adjourned.  Chair Carolyn Wilson Wynne closed the meeting with prayer at 4 p.m.


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