Meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant - DOC

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					            Meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant
            Saturday, February 9, 2008 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
            Central Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas

Registration Form
Please complete this form and bring it with you to the meeting. Thank you


Mailing address: _______________________________________________________

E-mail address:_________________________________________________________


Are you a first-time commissioner? _____Yes          _____No

                                CHECK ONLY ONE BOX BELOW
VOTING (check only one)
 Minister Member                                        NON-VOTING (check only one)
                                                          Corresponding Minister-Member from
 Elder Commissioner
   (Elected from session of church listed above)
 Commissioned Lay Pastor
                                                          Visitor from ________________
 Certified Church Educator
                                                          Presbytery Staff
 Associate Certified Church Educator
                                                          Inquirer/Candidate under care
 Elder with Privilege by Virtue of Office
   (Currently in a Presbytery leadership position,        Commissioned Lay Pastor (without voting
   designated for this privilege)                           privileges)

 Former Moderator of Presbytery                          Other Church Professional
 Elected Presbytery Staff                                  (Non-certified Educator, Youth Director, Business
                                                            Administrator, Music Director, other)
 Fellow – NACBA (National Associate of
   Church Business Administrators)

                                     CALL TO THE STATED MEETING
                                    Saturday, February 9, 2008 9:00 a.m.
                                   Central Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

                                     The Presbytery of New Covenant, Synod of the Sun
                                               Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

                      This meeting of the presbytery will be called to order at 9:00 a.m.

 A Meeting Tool Kit is available on the website ( There is an Orientation Session for
                                         first-time commissioners at 8:15 a.m.

Bring this Presbytery Packet with you to the meeting! No response is required for lunch, but childcare reservations
must be made directly to Central Presbyterian Church.

Complete the registration form in the Presbytery Packet prior to the meeting, and turn it in at the registration table.

Be sure to check the website three days prior to the meeting for additional meeting materials that may be posted
(to include any New Business). Our goal is no-handouts at the registration table except for those who do not have
computer access to meeting materials.

Requests for Excused Absences (from ministers and churches) must be submitted to the Stated Clerk’s Office by fax 713-
526-8814, by USPS, or e-mail ( or,).

Directions to Central Presbyterian were sent as part of the letter of invitation from the church. You can also obtain
directions from

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!                                           January 25, 2008
Our first meeting of 2008 promises to be full and so we ask that you arrive in time to be ready for the
Call to Order promptly at 9:00 a.m. Following Morning Prayer we will welcome as our keynoter The Rev.
Jill Hudson, who serves as Middle Governing Body Relations Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.). Jill is a veteran presbytery executive and a consultant in matters related to the church and its
ministry. She will challenge us to think about today’s church in transformational terms.

The business of the day will include consideration of overtures proposed by the sessions of two of our
churches, as well as hearing status reports from the Form of Government (FOG) Task Force of New
Covenant and the Administrative Commission for Heritage Presbyterian Church.

If there are questions about the presbytery meeting or the materials provided for your preparation,
please do not hesitate to be in touch with me.

Serving Christ and New Covenant Presbytery, I am
Diane K. Prevary, Stated Clerk

                                           SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2008
                                                       Central Presbyterian, Houston, Texas

                                                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS

Registration Form....................................................................................................................................................... 1
Call Sheet ................................................................................................................................................................... 2
Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................................................... 3
Docket ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4-5
Stated Clerk’s Report (B) ........................................................................................................................................... 6
        Letter from Advent Presbyterian Church (B.1) ............................................................................................. 7
        Omnibus Motion (B.2) .................................................................................................................................. 8
Administrative Division (C)
        Ecclesiastical Affairs Committee (C.1)......................................................................................................... 9
                     Guidelines for Floor Discussion....................................................................................................... 9
                     Session Minutes Review (C.1a) ................................................................................................ 10-11
                     Overture from Windwood Presbyterian Church (C.1b) ............................................................ 11-14
                     Overture from ChristChurch Presbyterian, Bellaire (C.1c) ....................................................... 15-17
        Finance Committee (C.2) ............................................................................................................................ 18
Committee on Ministry (D) ................................................................................................................................. 19-26
General Council (F).................................................................................................................................................. 27
Nominating Committee (H) ..................................................................................................................................... 28
Postlude Information ................................................................................................................................................ 29
Next Presbytery Meeting.......................................................................................................................................... 29
Presbytery Calendar of Events ................................................................................................................................. 30

For Information
Letters assigned for report organization:
           General Presbyter           (A)
           Stated Clerk                (B)
           Administrative Division     (C)
                Committees             (C.1, C.2, etc.)
           Committee on Ministry       (D)
           Committee on Preparation (E)
           General Council             (F)
           Ministries Division         (G)
                       Committees      (G.1, G.2, etc.)
           Nominating Committee        (H)
           Communications              (I)
           Other Entities              (J)

                       The Presbytery of New Covenant
“Growing congregations that passionately engage their community to make disciples.”

     Theme for 2008 Presbytery Meetings: Vital Churches = Vital Presbytery

                                  Stated Meeting
                            Saturday, February 9, 2008
                     Central Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX
                 Theme: “Transformation Across The Denomination”
                        Offering: POP (Presbyterian Outreach to Patients)

                     The meeting will be called to order at 9:00 am.
                               Please turn off all cell-phones and electronics.

8:15 am       New Commissioner Orientation (directions @ registration table)
8:30 am       Registration
                                            THE DOCKET
 9:00 am  Hymn: #417                             “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”
          Call to Order & Opening Prayer:            Moderator, Elder Jody Harrington
          Opening Business
               Declaration of Quorum and Adoption of the Docket (Stated Clerk, Diane
                    Welcome by Host – The Rev. John Howard Reed
                    Welcome of Others – Stated Clerk
                            First-time Commissioners, Corresponding Members, Special Visitors,
                            New Minister-Members.
              Report of the Stated Clerk (B)
              Omnibus Motion
              Presentation to the Moderator on behalf of CEDEPCA           Elder Greg Davis

  9:30 am     Morning Prayer
              Offering: POP (Presbyterian Outreach to Patients)

  9:45 am     KEYNOTE SPEAKER The Rev. Jill Hudson, Middle Governing Body Relations
              Coordinator for the PC(U.S.A.)

      [The letter following each report relates to where the written report is found in
     the Presbytery Packet. The reports are found in the Packet in alpha order.]

10:30 Moderator’s Remarks and Appointments                                        Elder Jody Harrington

              Update from Board of Pensions                                        The Rev. Rick Young

              Administrative Division (C)                              Elder Rupert Turner
                    Ecclesiastical Affairs (C.1)           Elder Dr. Susan McPhail Wittjen
                        Session Records (C.1a and Addendum)
                        FOG Task Force (C.1d, separate, on website) Elder Julie MacLemore
10:40 - 11:00           Overture from Windwood Session (C.1b)       The Rev. Kevin Rudolph
11:00 – 11:10           Overture from ChristChurch Session (C.1c)         Elder Pam Stoops

11:10              Personnel (C.3)                                       Elder Dave Johnson
                       Terms of Call for General Presbyter
                       Special Recognition of APA Certification (Carrie Walker & Karla Collins)
                   Finance (C.2)

             Nominating Committee (H & H.1)                               Elder Mary Lawrence

             Heritage Administrative Commission (Status Report)           The Rev. Casey Jones

12:00 FELLOWSHIP AT TABLE        (Donations to Cents-Ability @ Tables)

1:00    pm   Reconvene with Hymn # 418                  “God Bless Your Church With Strength”

             Sermon for Ordination                                       James “Barrett” Ingram

1:30 pm      Committee on Ministry (D)                          The Rev. James Harper
                Floor examination of candidate              The Rev. Doug Harper (H.R.)
                Action Items                                     The Rev. James Harper
                Service of Retirement: The Rev. Robert Poteet

             Committee on Preparation (E)                                 The Rev. Marie Mickey

2:00 pm      Ministries Division                                               Elder Pam Engler
                     New Church Development Ministries
                            Request to Charter Biyaya and Peace NCD’s

             Report of General Council (F)

2:20 pm      New Business (unless otherwise scheduled)

     Gratitude to our Hosts
     Closing Prayer and Adjournment          [No later than 4:00 pm, except by vote of Presbytery]

The next stated meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant
will be hosted by First Presbyterian Church, Houston, on
Saturday, May 10, 2008. Materials for this meeting will be
posted on the presbytery’s website on Friday, April 25, 2008.

                                    STATED CLERK
                               REPORT TO PRESBYTERY
                                   February 9, 2008

I.        Recommendations for presbytery action:
       A. That the presbytery answer the request of Advent Presbyterian Church to approve the
          purchase of a property located at 903 Spring Cypress Road, ½ mile west of Old Town
          Spring, to be financed at $650,000 out of current monies of the church and a loan from
          Prosperity Bank. Existing funds will be used for necessary clean-up and repair. [See
          letter from Advent attached to this report, at B.1]

       B. That the Omnibus Motion be approved.

II.       Actions taken on behalf of presbytery:
       A. Received the certificates of membership for the active members of Faith Covenant
          Church, upon the dissolution of that congregation, to hold until requests are received for
          transfer: Jan and Cathy Emrick, Ron and Judy Fleming, Jane Taeuber.

III.      Items for Information:
       A. New minister-members of the presbytery will introduce themselves at this meeting, will
          sign THE BOOK, and the assembly is invited to extend to them the right-hand-of-
          fellowship during the lunch break.

       B. To the Church Triumphant: Jack Stotts, former president of Austin Presbyterian
          Theological Seminary, on January 24 in Austin. We received these words from the
          current President, Ted Wardlaw: We will all deeply miss Jack, and are grateful
          to God for his extraordinary witness as a seminary president, an ethicist, a
          fabulous human being, and a child of God. We at Austin Seminary will
          particularly miss his presence around campus and the wonderful gift he was
          to us both in his active years and in his retirement years.
                 May we all reflect upon his witness and legacy and endeavor to be
          good stewards of all that he stood for. Our thoughts turn to the classic
          prayer by J. H. Newman from our 1946 Book of Common Worship:

January 21, 2008

Dear Presbytery of New Covenant,

       Advent Presbyterian Church served the Aldine area for 35 years at 115 West Road. During that
time we experienced a steady decline in members due to members moving from the area. The
immediate community surrounding the area changed dramatically and created an environment that is
not only uncomfortable for the remaining members but greatly limited outreach possibilities. We
reached the point where we did not feel that we were using the facilities as God intended. Maintaining
unused buildings became very expense and non-productive.

        Advent is an exempt congregation but has kept Presbytery informed of our actions throughout
this process. After carefully and prayerfully considering the options, the Session and the congregation
voted to sell the West Road property and seek a new location for a new beginning.

         The West Road property was sold to Jones AME Church from the Heights. They are using the
facilities as God intended and are growing already in members. They have gained about 50 new
members in 3 months. Advent moved into some temporary facilities belonging to one of our members
as we searched for God’s leading.

        We began looking for some rental space in the area north of 1960 in the Aldine-Westfield or
Spring area where most of our current members live. After looking for several months we found that
rental space was scarce and very expensive. Just recently a property came on the market for sale that is
ideally located and reasonably priced. We have issued a contract on 2.0309 acres with a 4500 square
foot building located at 903 Spring Cypress Road in Spring. This is about ½ mile west of Old Town
Spring. We have arranged financing for the $650,000 out of current monies and a loan from Prosperity
Bank. We will use existing funds to do the necessary clean up and repairs.

        The Session and the congregation have approved this purchase and are extremely excited about
the chance to minister to a new neighborhood and to fulfill our calling to share the Gospel of Jesus
Christ to the churched and unchurched community in and around Spring. We have contacted all the
Presbyterian churches in Northern part of Harris County and have heard no objections to our moving
into the area.

      We request that the Presbytery of New Covenant approve the new location for Advent
Presbyterian Church.

In Christ’s service,
JoAnn Raymond, Clerk of Session
Jon E. Kotchavar CLP, Pastor

                                 OMNIBUS MOTION
                   February 9, 2008 Meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant

At the time the Omnibus is presented, a commissioner/minister may request that an item be
lifted for discussion at a later time in the meeting. This requires no vote of Presbytery. The
Stated Clerk will announce when the item will be considered.

From the Stated Clerk (B)
   1. Moves that the following Administrative Commissions be dismissed with appreciation:
          a. to ordain Martha Langford to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament;
          b. to install Mauricio Chacon as Associate Pastor, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church,
          c. to install Scott Harbison as Pastor, St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Houston;
          d. to install Ok-Kee Kim as Pastor, Korean Young Nak Presbyterian Church;
          e. to install John Sears as Associate Pastor, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Beaumont;
          f. to install Ted Foote as Pastor, First Presbyterian, Bryan;
          g. to install Patricia Ryan as Associate Pastor, Windwood Presbyterian Church, Houston;
          h. to install Jon Burnham as Pastor, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Houston;
          i. to ordain and install Linda Sharon, @ First Church, Freeport for Chaplaincy @
             Methodist Hospital;
          j. to install Skip Ehrlich as Pastor, First Church, Texas City.

   1. The committee recommends and moves that the Rev. Robert Covington be granted
      Honorably Retired status effective March 31, 2008.

   1. Move and recommend approval     of the request from United Korean Presbyterian Church,
      Houston, TX, currently a member of the non-geographical presbytery of Midwest Hanmi, to
      transfer United Korean to the Presbytery of New Covenant. (This request must also be
      approved by Midwest Hanmi, and the Synods of the Sun and Lincoln Trails, and then sent to
      the 218th General Assembly for their approval.)
   2. Move and recommend establishing the majority vote required to dismiss any church from the
      Presbytery of New Covenant to be a simple majority of those present and voting (i.e., one-over-


                                REPORT TO PRESBYTERY
                                   FEBRUARY 9, 2008

I.      Recommendations for presbytery action:
        The committee has no recommendations for action at this time.

II.     Actions taken on behalf of presbytery:
        The Ecclesiastical Affairs Committee (EAC) made arrangements for the
        called presbytery meeting at St. Philip PC, Houston on Dec. 11, 2007.

III.   Items for Information:
         1. The 2008 presbytery meetings will have an overall theme of “Vital
            Churches = Vital Presbytery”. We will resume the focus on our
            vision. The 2008 presbytery meetings will be as follows:
                 Sat. Feb. 9  Central, Houston       ―Transformation Across the
                 Sat. May 10 First, Houston          ―Call to Stewardship as Spiritual
                 Sun. June 29 Pines, Houston           Special Mtg.: GA Report
                 Sat. Aug. 23 Grand Lakes, Katy       ―Signs of Vitality in Our Midst‖
                 Sat. Nov. 15 First, Pasadena         ―The Vitality of the Presbytery‖

        2. Announcements regarding events planned by a church or committee of the
        presbytery may be submitted to the EAC to include in the electronic announcements
        that run at various times during the presbytery meetings.

        3. The Form of Government Task Force (FOG TF) presents to the presbytery a draft of
        their report for reading and comment. It is posted on the presbytery website separately
        among the ―Meeting Materials.‖ (C.1d) Please direct your comments by e-mail to the
        Moderator of the TF, Elder Julie MacLemore (

        4. Elected members of this committee include Elder Susan McPhail Wittjen, Chair
        (LaMarque PC, LaMarque) and Elder Jim Taylor (MDPC, Houston). Ex-officio
        members include Elder Jeanie Flowers, Elder Jody Harrington, the Rev. Wayne Eberly,
        the Rev. Mike Cole, the Rev. Diane Prevary, Elder Janice Schessler.

                        Guidelines for Floor Discussion/Debate
                  (For any meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant.)

1. Presbyters should speak only once during debate of each amendment. Presbytery will listen
   to alternate advocates who are asked to line up at appropriate (advocate/opponent)
   microphones. Refrain from applause or vocal expressions of either approval or disapproval.
2. There will be a two (2)-minute time limit on all speeches during debate.*
3. Written ballots will be used for amendments if requested by the presbytery.
*A yellow card will be held up by the moderator elect after 1 ½ minutes; a red card will be held up
when the time limit is reached.

                                  December, 2007
           NOT REVIEWED IN 2007               REVIEW COMPLETED                      UNTIL
                                                   FOR 2007                      JANUARY 2008
                                                                                 (2007 waived)
   1.    Atascocita, Atascocita        Alvin, First
   2.    Baytown, First Westminster    Angleton, Bethel                      Houston, Clear Lake
   3.    Beaumont, Pioneer             Angleton, First                       Houston, Heritage
   4.    Beaumont, St. Andrew’s        Bay City, First                       Houston, Windwood
   5.    Beaumont, Westminster         Bellaire, ChristChurch
   6.    Calvert, First                Brazoria, First
   7.    Cleveland, St. Luke’s         Brenham, Brenham
   8.    Crockett, First               Bryan, First
   9.    Dickinson, First              Caldwell, First
   10.   Freeport, First               College Station, College Station
   11.   Galveston, Emmanuel           Conroe, First
   12.   Galveston, West Isle          Eagle Lake, First
   13.   Houston, Central              Galveston, First
   14.   Houston, Christ               Galveston, Tiki Island
   15.   Houston, Emmanuel of South    Galveston, Westminster
   16.   Houston, First Lao            Houston, Advent
   17.   Houston, Korean Central       Houston, Comm. of Servant Savior
   18.   Houston, Young Nak            Houston, Faith Covenant
   19.   Houston, St. John’s           Houston, First
   20.   Houston, St. Luke’s           Houston, Formosan
   21.   Houston, St. Paul             Houston, Grace
   22.   Houston, San Pablo+Trinity    Houston, Grace Taiwan
   23.   Houston, University           Houston, Heights
   24.   LaMarque, LaMarque            Houston, John Knox
   25.   Liberty, First                Houston, Juan Marcos
   26.   Needville, St. Paul’s         Houston, Memorial Drive
   27.   New Waverly, Waverly          Houston, Northwoods
   28.   Pasadena, Faith               Houston, Oaks
   29.   Rosenberg, First              Houston, Pinecrest
   30.   San Augustine, Memorial       Houston, Pines
   31.   Shiro, Shiro                  Houston, St. Andrew’s
   32.   Somerville, First             Houston, St. Giles
   33.   SugarLand, First              Houston, St. Philip
   34.   Woodlands, The Woodlands      Houston, St. Stephen
   35.                                 Houston, St. Thomas
   36.                                 Houston, Pine Crest
   37.                                 Houston, Spring Branch
   38.                                 Houston, Westminster
   39.                                 Houston, Woodforest
   40.                                 Huntsville, First
   41.                                 Jasper, First
   42.                                 Jones Creek, Gulf Prairie

   43.                                 Katy, Grand Lakes
   44.                                 Katy, New Hope
   45.                                 Lake Jackson, First
   46.                                 La Porte, St. James
   47.                                 Livingston, First
                                       Livingston, Indian
   48.                                 Lufkin, First
   49.                                 Missouri City, Southminster
   50.                                 Kingwood, First
   51.                                 Nacogdoches, Westminster
   52.                                 Navasota, First
   53.                                 Orange, Drake Memorial
   54.                                 Orange, First
   55.                                 Pasadena, First
   56.                                 Pearland, First
   57.                                 Port Arthur, Church of the Cov.
   58.                                 Port Neches, Trinity
   59.                                 Sealy, First
   60.                                 Silsbee, First
   61.                                 Texas City, First
   62.                                 Tomball, First
   63.                                 Trawick, Trawick
   64.                                 Trinity, First
   65.                                 Vidor, First
   66.                                 Webster, Webster
   67.                                 West Columbia, Bethel
   68.                                 Wharton, First
   69.                                 The Woodlands, Timber Ridge

TO THE 218TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY. (This overture was endorsed by the Windwood Session at
their Stated Meeting on January 6, 2008.)

                            Overture to the 218th General Assembly
Whereas our denomination is currently embroiled in controversy over divisive issues;

And whereas congregations and Presbyteries are increasingly going to civil court over issues of
property and the rights to choose their own denominational affiliations, which brings disunity,
disharmony, and is a poor witness to the world;

And whereas the PC(USA) is the only Presbyterian denomination with a property ―trust clause‖ - a
legal ―wall‖ to keep people in;
And whereas lack of such a ―trust clause‖ has not proven to create a lack of unity or stability for other
Presbyterian denominations, but rather a ground for genuine commitment and cooperation;

And whereas forced unity is no unity;

For the sake of the peace, unity, and purity of the PC(USA), the Session of Windwood Presbyterian
Church recommends that the Presbytery of New Covenant overture the 218th General Assembly to
make the following changes in the Book of Order, to allow for a genuine peace, unity, and purity of the
denomination based on a solemn covenant of mutual respect and confidence, not on coercion.

                                             Chapter 8
    1. Decisions Pertaining to Property
    The provisions of G-1.0400a and other provisions of this Constitution prescribing the manner
    in which decisions are made, reviewed, and corrected within this church are applicable to all
    matters pertaining to property.

Replace with:
1. Decisions Pertaining to Property
 It is expressly recognized that each local congregation or local church is a particular expression of
the Church apostolic and universal and is therefore competent to function and to take actions covering
all matters pertaining to property.

    2. All Property Held in Trust
    All property held by or for a particular church, a presbytery, a synod, the General Assembly,
    or the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), whether legal title is lodged in a corporation, a trustee or
    trustees, or an unincorporated association, and whether the property is used in programs of a
    particular church or of a more inclusive governing body or retained for the production of
    income, is held in trust nevertheless for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church
    (U.S.A.). Whenever permitted by civil law, presbytery, synod, and the General Assembly
    shall cause a corporation to be formed and maintained. The council of the governing body
    shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the corporation unless the governing body shall
    determine an alternative method to constitute the Board of Trustees.

Replace with:
2. All Property Held in Trust
 All property held by or for a particular church, a presbytery, a synod, the General Assembly, or the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), whether legal title is lodged in a corporation, a trustee or trustees, or
an unincorporated association, and whether the property is used in programs of a particular church or
of a more inclusive governing body or retained for the production of income, is held in trust by said
entity for said entity. Whenever permitted by civil law, each particular church, presbytery, synod, and
the General Assembly shall cause a corporation to be formed and maintained. The council of the
governing body shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the corporation unless the governing body
shall determine an alternative method to constitute the Board of Trustees.

    3. Property Used Contrary to Constitution
    Whenever property of, or held for, a particular church of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    ceases to be used by that church as a particular church of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in

    accordance with this Constitution, such property shall be held, used, applied, transferred, or
    sold as provided by the presbytery.

Replace with:
3. The Particular Church and Property
All particular churches shall be entitled to hold, own and enjoy their own local properties, without any
right of reversion whatsoever to any Presbytery, Synod, General Assembly or any other courts
hereafter created, trustees or other officers of such courts.

The provisions of this constitution are to be construed as a solemn covenant whereby the PC(USA) as
a whole promises never to attempt to secure possession of the property of any particular church
against its will, whether or not such congregation remains within or chooses to withdraw from this
body. All officers and courts of the PC(USA) are hereby prohibited from making any such attempt.

4. The Relationship is Voluntary and Based on Mutual Love and Confidence
While a particular church consists of all the active communing members, in matters ecclesiastical the
actions of such a particular church shall be in conformity with the provisions of this constitution.
Nevertheless, in matters pertaining to the subject matters referred to in this chapter 8, including
specifically the right to affiliate with or become a member of this body or a Presbytery hereof and the
right to withdraw from or to sever any affiliation of connection with this body or any Presbytery hereof
remains the exclusive right of the particular church as long as it is in accordance with the civil laws
applicable. It is expressly recognized that each particular church shall be competent to function and
to take actions covering the matters set forth herein as long as such action is in compliance with the
civil laws with which it must comply, and this right shall never be taken from the particular church
without the express consent of and affirmative action of said particular church. Particular churches
need remain in association with any court of this body only so long as they themselves so desire. The
relationship is voluntary, based upon mutual love and confidence, and is in no sense to be maintained
by the exercise of any force or coercion whatsoever. A particular church may withdraw from any or all
courts of this body at any time for reasons which seem to it sufficient.

    4. Property of Church Dissolved or Extinct
    Whenever a particular church is formally dissolved by the presbytery, or has become extinct
    by reason of the dispersal of its members, the abandonment of its work, or other cause, such
    property as it may have shall be held, used, and applied for such uses, purposes, and trusts as
    the presbytery may direct, limit, and appoint, or such property may be sold or disposed of as
    the presbytery may direct, in conformity with the constitution of the Presbyterian Church

Replace with:
5. Property of Church Dissolved or Extinct
 If a church is dissolved by the Presbytery at the request of the congregation and no disposition has
been made of its property by those who hold the title to the property within six months after such
dissolution, then those who held the title to the property at the time of such dissolution shall deliver,
convey and transfer to the Presbytery of which the church was a member, or to the authorized agents
of the Presbytery, all property of the church; and the receipt and acquittance of the Presbytery, or its
proper representatives, shall be a full and complete discharge of all liabilities of such persons holding
the property of the church. The Presbytery receiving such property shall apply the same or the
proceeds thereof at its discretion.
    5. Selling, Encumbering, or Leasing Church Property
    A particular church shall not sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber any of its real property
    and it shall not acquire real property subject to an encumbrance or condition without the
    written permission of the presbytery transmitted through the session of the particular church.
    A particular church shall not lease its real property used for purposes of worship, or lease for
    more than five years any of its other real property, without the written permission of the
    presbytery transmitted through the session of the particular church.
Delete #5:

    6. Property of Church in Schism
    The relationship to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) of a particular church can be severed
    only by constitutional action on the part of the presbytery. (G-11.0103i) If there is a schism
    within the membership of a particular church and the presbytery is unable to effect a
    reconciliation or a division into separate churches within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
    the presbytery shall determine if one of the factions is entitled to the property because it is
    identified by the presbytery as the true church within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This
    determination does not depend upon which faction received the majority vote within the
    particular church at the time of the schism.
Delete #6:

    6. Exceptions
    The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all particular churches of the Presbyterian Church
    (U.S.A.) except that any church which was not subject to a similar provision of the
    Constitution of the church of which it was a part, prior to the reunion of the Presbyterian
    Church in the United States and The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of
    America to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), shall be excused from that provision of
    this chapter if the congregation shall, within a period of eight years following the
    establishment of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), vote to be exempt from such provision in
    a regularly called meeting and shall thereafter notify the presbytery of which it is a constituent
    church of such vote. The particular church voting to be so exempt shall hold title to its
    property and exercise its privileges of incorporation and property ownership under the
    provisions of the Constitution to which it was subject immediately prior to the establishment
    of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This paragraph may not be amended.

No change on this paragraph

And remove G.11.103i to be consistent with the reasoning in the proposed chapter 8.

Adopted upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously approved by the Session of
Windwood Presbyterian Church this 6th day of January, 2008.

Rev. Kevin C. Rudolph                                Mr. Larry Zajicek
Moderator                                            Clerk of Session

(signatures on file)
TO THE 218TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY. (This overture originated in the Presbytery of Central
Nebraska and was endorsed by the ChristChurch Session at their Stated Meeting on December 3, 2007.

Urge the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to expand the current definition of
Medical Necessity as found in Article XIII, Section 13.1 (k) of the benefits plan to include habilitative
services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy which seek to promote
healthy growth and improve function for children with congenital developmental disabilities such as
Down syndrome and Autism and report back to the 219th General Assembly.
Direct the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) office of Social Welfare Organizations, which encompasses
the disability portfolio, Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, and the PC(USA) Disability Consultants
to be in consultation with the Board of Pensions throughout this review.
Health entails well-being in all facets of life, and all children, including children with intellectual or
congenital developmental disabilities, have a right to achieve and maintain their full level of health. All
children are entitled to nondiscriminatory, appropriate, cost-effective, informed, and sufficient health
services and supports to achieve full levels of well-being. The services of health professionals, in every
discipline and specialty (including mental health, physical and occupational therapists; speech-
language pathologists; behavior analysts; assistive technologists) should be available to all children. i

The current Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) currently excludes children with
congenital developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome from accessing the medically prescribed
occupational, physical and speech therapies crucial to support healthy growth and development and to
ameliorate the effects of a disabling condition. These therapies are available to children who have
suffered illness, accident, or injury and lost skills, but children who have not yet developed skills can
benefit from these same therapies as well. There is no moral, ethical, or medical justification for
denying one group of children treatment. In fact, providing children with congenital developmental
disabilities with therapeutic services provides cost savings to society.ii

This overture began in response to the case of a 7-year-old child, Martha, who has Down syndrome.
The Board of Pensions denied Martha coverage for her prescribed occupational and physical therapy
because the treatments are not ―restorative‖ (rehabilitative). The Board of Pensions acknowledged the
benefits of the therapies in relation to her development. However, because the treatment was not
intended to restore lost functioning due to accident, illness or injury but was intended to address needs
related to Martha’s general physical condition and support developmental milestones the Board of
Pensions defined the therapies as not medically necessary and labeled them educational rather than
medical. The Board of Pensions covered these therapies for Martha for over two years repeatedly
stating that they did meet the guidelines for medical necessity but abruptly ceased coverage because
the intent of the treatment was habilitative as opposed to rehabilitative.

Over the course of trying to understand the Board of Pension’s reasoning, it was discovered that many
parents of children with developmental disabilities faced the same frustration and sense of
discrimination in insurance coverage. It also became clear that corporations and states were changing
their policies and laws to remove the discriminations against children with developmental disabilities.

In 2005 the American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy statement titled Model Contractual
Language for Medical Necessity for Children. iii The policy states that health insurers should define
medical necessity to include interventions that ―assist in achieving, maintaining, or restoring health and
functional capabilities without discrimination to the nature of a congenital/development anomaly.‖
The states of Indiana and Maryland and the District of Columbia have recently passed legislation
requiring health insurance companies to provide such habilitative services to children with disabilities.
The state of Maryland estimates that the cost of these therapies is small, less than 0.1% of the average
annual premium.iv Legislation to mandate that private insurance companies must cover habilitative
services for children with developmental disabilities has been introduced in Illinois and Virginia. A
study paper on the Virginia legislation notes that in a survey of parents whose children are not
receiving these medically prescribed therapies the two most common reasons are high cost and lack of
insurance coverage. The paper goes on to say in Virginia as many as 28,000 children could be benefit
from the proposed mandate.v

Home Depot and Microsoft are two corporate citizens that have recently rewritten their health
insurance policies to cover habilitative therapies for children with neurological or genetic
disabilities including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral

Jesus said, ―Let the children come unto me and forbid them not.‖ The current definition of medical
necessity in the benefits plan of the Board of Pensions is a barrier to children with congenital
developmental disabilities accessing the same medical care that is available to others within the
Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The current definition of medical necessity and the
limit it poses on access to habilitative services for children is not consistent with the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A)’s vision of empowering all children to participate fully in the life and ministry of the
church. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is currently celebrating the Decade of the Child that calls
the church to focus on the health and well-being of God’s gift – children.

The 217th General Assembly approved the policy paper titled ―Living into the Body of Christ: Toward
Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities.‖vii This policy states that ―We envision a church in which
every child of God may realize his/her full potential…‖ The policy calls the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A) ―to work for justice with persons who have disabilities, both within the church itself and the
wider social order.‖ It also envisions ―the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) as a leader in promoting and
manifesting this vision of a just world, serving with and empowering people with disabilities to engage
in this ongoing work.‖

The policy urges the Board of Pensions to ―be in partnership with employing organizations and
national and local church leadership in coordinating the scope of the Medical Plan and the assistance
Program in order to offer appropriate care for all plan members.‖ The Rationale for the policy notes
that there have been great advances in the field of medicine and therapeutic treatment that are
improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, enabling them to live longer, fuller lives.
Providing insurance coverage that supports children in achieving or restoring health and functional
capabilities without discrimination to the nature of a congenital/developmental anomaly is a concrete
step toward realizing the commitment made by the 217th General Assembly to be the Body of Christ in
which every child of God may realize her full potential.

Adapted from the Declaration on Health Parity for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities. 2006. American Association on Mental Retardation.

 In its decision to cover services for children with autism Microsoft relied on a study conducted in
1998 that suggests that the savings in unneeded social services could be substantial if all children with
autism had access to behavior intervention. Spake, Amanda. Families Changed Microsoft’s View of
Autism. 8 May 2007.

Evaluation of legislation introduced in Virginia to mandate coverage of habilitative therapies for
children with developmental delays notes that such therapies offer ―direct health benefits to children
with developmental delays, which is some cases could include a reduced need for services over their
lifetime‖ and points to ―studies that suggest providing support to persons with developmental delays
that enable them to remain in their communities, instead of institutions, is cost effective.‖ Evaluation
of House Bill 657: Mandated Coverage of Habilitative Service of Children with Developmental
Delays. 2006. Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission of the Common Wealth of Virginia:
19, 21.

American Academy of Pediatrics. ―Model Contractual Language for Medical Necessity for
Children.‖ Pediatrics 116.1 (July 2005): 261-262.

Fiscal and Policy Note Senate Bill 944. Department of Legislative Services of the Maryland
General Assembly. 2007: 2

Evaluation of House Bill 657: Mandated Coverage of Habilitative Service of Children with
Developmental Delays. 4.

Spake , Amanda.

Living into the Body of Christ: Towards Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities. 2006.
      The Office of the General Assembly PC(U.S.A.): 1-5.

                                     Finance Committee Report
                                         February 9, 2008

For the six months ended 12/31/07 the Presbytery Operating Fund had an excess of expenses over
revenues of $16,489. This is deficit of 1.7% and a substantial improvement over the six months ended
12/31/06 where the excess of expenses over revenues was $53,649.

The Presbytery is paying monthly to the General Assembly all of the current year Denominational
Offerings that were received in the previous month from the churches in the Presbytery.

The Debt Repayment Schedule presented at the last Presbytery Meeting has not changed, and
payments in accordance with that Schedule are current. If you want to see a copy of that Schedule
please go to ―Online Resources‖ on our website. We expect to pay when due in accordance with the
Schedule the next major payment to General Assembly on the Past Due Denominational Offerings
(due in March 2008 in the amount of $234,000). At that point we will have repaid in excess of 50% of
the total amount due the General Assembly on Past Due Denominational Offerings. The remaining
balance will be paid over the next three years.

At January 1, 2007, the Presbytery had 6 leases covering 11 copy machines, of which 5 were in
storage, 1 was being used by a member church and the other 5 were in the Presbytery office. A lease
covering 1 machine was cancelled by the equipment vendor at no additional cost to the Presbytery; a
second lease covering 4 machines was terminated in January 2008. As of January 31, 2008, of the 6
machines remaining under 4 leases, 3 are being used by member churches in the Presbytery for a usage
fee and 3 are located in the Presbytery office. One of the machines in the Presbytery office is available
for use by a member church for a fee. The Presbytery's annual lease obligation is now approximately
$151,000 per year with the leases set to expire, upon proper notification to the leaseholder, in 2011 and
the early part of 2012. All lease payments are current and are being paid on a monthly basis.

             ..                                                                                D
                                 COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY
                                 REPORT TO PRESBYTERY
                                     February 9, 2008

I. Recommendations for presbytery action:
   1. See Omnibus Motion.
   2. The committee recommends and moves that the Rev. Robert Poteet be granted Honorably
      Retired status effective March 31, 2008.
   3. The committee recommends and moves that the examination of James “Barrett” Ingram be

II. Actions taken on behalf of presbytery: January 8, 2008
1.     The Rev. Becky Ardell Down, member at large, approved by COM 11/06/07; sustained the
       examination of the Committee on Examination on 12/1/07; ordained 1/19/01; transferring from:
       East Tennessee Presbytery; Formal Education: BA 1989 Haverford College, Haverford, PA
       Psychology Major; MDiv 1993 Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA
       (Statement of Faith follows COM Report in packet)
    2. Approved pastoral call
        1. James ―Barrett‖ Ingram, candidate for ordination under care South Louisiana Presbytery
        nominated to serve as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Galveston; approved by
        COM 11/27/07; and sustained examination by Committee on Examinations on 12/1/07. Formal
        Education: BA 1999-2003 Millsaps College, Cum Laude (Religious Studies); Fall 2002
        Chicago Theological Seminary, Visiting Student, Chicago Collegiate Seminarians Program;
        MDiv 2003- 2006 Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Magma Cum Laude; Fall 2006
        Columbia Theological Seminary, Visiting Student. (Statement of Faith follows COM
        Report in packet)
         Salary                                                                         $26,000
         Housing & Utility Allowance                                                     10,000
         Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                                        3,600
         Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                                     11,340
         Study Leave Allowance accumulative for 3 years                                   1,670
         Study Leave accumulative for 3 years                      2 wks + 3 days Clergy Retreat
         Vacation                                                                       4 weeks
         Social Security Supplement                                                       2,966
         Annual Review
         Moving Expenses
        2. The Rev. Stephen Oglesbee, nominated to serve as pastor of Clear Lake Presbyterian
        Church, Houston; approved by COM 12/17/07; sustained examination by Committee on
        Examinations 1/5/08; ordained 8/15/92; transferring from Whitewater Valley Presbytery
        Formal Education: BA 1986 Indiana University, School of Music, Bloomington, IN, Music
        (Voice) and Outside field in Spanish; MDiv 6/1992 Princeton Theological Seminary,
        Princeton, NJ;

   (Statement of Faith will be in the May 10, 2008 Presbytery Packet)
     Salary                                                                          $65,500
     Housing & Utility Allowance                                                       25,000
     Annual Allowance for Professional Expenses                                         5,000
     (including Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate)
     Annual Allowance (for ’08 & ’09) for tuition,                                      3,500
     books & fees to complete DMin degree
     Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                                     @31.5%
     Study Leave Allowance accumulative for 3 years                                     1,670
     Study Leave accumulative for 3 years (3 weeks            2 weeks + 3 days Clergy Retreat
     for ’08 & ’09)
     Vacation                                                                        5 weeks
     Other – out of pocket medical                                                      3,800
     Annual Review
     Moving Expenses                                                 Reasonable & customary
3. Approved transfer of membership
   Sally Anderson to Mission Presbytery effective 1/8/08
   Young Chang Jin to South Louisiana effective 1/8/08
4. Approved commission to ordain and/or install
   1. Commission to ordain and install Linda Sharon as a Chaplain of Methodist Houston
    (approved 12/1/07) at First Presbyterian Church, Freeport, TX on 12/9/07 at 4 pm
    To preside and propound the constitutional questions:
    The Rev. Deborah Cooper, Moderator NCP
    To preach the sermon: The Rev. James Currie, Dean APTS, Houston Extension
    To charge the pastor: The Rev. Steve Spidell, Executive Director, POPS
    To complete the commission: The Rev. Thomas Sharon, Pastor, Freeport, First; Elder Carrie
    Walker, Houston, University; Elder Mary Swan, Pasadena, First; and Elder Dorothy Kennedy,
    Webster, Webster
   2. Commission to install Skip Ehrlich as pastor of Texas City, First (approved1/11/07) on
    11/11/08 at First Presbyterian Church, Texas City, TX at 4 pm
    To preside and propound the constitutional questions:
    The Rev. Deborah Cooper, Moderator NCP
    To preach the sermon: The Rev. Mike Cole, General Presbyter NCP
    To charge the pastor: The Rev. Alan Brehm, Pastor, Dickinson, First
    To charge the congregation: Elder Peggy Dietel, Texas City, First
    To complete the commission: The Rev. Pat Clark, Houston, St. Stephens; Elder Jon Ward,
    Dickinson, First; and Elder Paula Smith, La Marque.
   3. Commission to install Jim Davis as co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Kingwood on
    1/27/08 at 7 pm.
    To preside and propound the constitutional questions:
    Elder Jody Harrington, Moderator NCP, Houston, Memorial Drive
   To preach the sermon: The Rev. M. Doug Harper, Houston, Grace, HR
   To charge the pastor: The Rev. Victoria Jones, Associate Pastor, Houston, Memorial Drive
   To charge the congregation: The Rev. Robert Covington, Co-Pastor, Kingwood, First
   To complete the commission: The Rev. Fred Thrower, Associate Pastor, Kingwood, First;
    Elder Jerry Holy, Houston, Northwoods; and Elder Sam Sterrett, Kingwood, First
5. Approved Changes in Terms of Call
   1. Between Steve Spidell and POP (approved by 12/26/07) effective 1/1/08
  Salary                                                        $ 32,712             $34,347
  Housing & Utility Allowance                                     15,774              16,563
  Travel for CE & Other                                            1,000               1,000
  Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                     15,403              16,047
  Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                     1,500               1,500
  Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                             2 weeks             2 weeks
  Vacation                                                       4 weeks             4 weeks
  FICA                                                             3,709               3,895
  Annual Review
 2. Between Philip Chiang and Houston, Grace Taiwan, effective 1/1/08
  Salary                                                         $29,450             $30,334
  Housing & Utility Allowance                                     17,550              18,077
  Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                        3,880               3,996
  Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                     13,704              13,704
  Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                     1,325               1,365
  Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                             2 weeks             2 weeks
  Vacation                                                       4 weeks             4 weeks
  Annual Review
 3. Between Ben Stewart and Seafarer’s Board (approved 12/1/07) effective 1/1/08
  Salary                                                        $ 20,000             $25,973
  Housing & Utility Allowance                                     16,000              16,000
  Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                        6,600               7,275
  Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                     10,080              13,221
  Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                     1,200               1,670
  Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                             2 weeks             2 weeks
  Vacation                                                       4 weeks             4 weeks
  Annual Review
4. Between David Elton and College Station, Covenant (approved 12/1/07) effective 9/1/07
  Salary                                                         $35,000             $38,500
  Housing & Utility Allowance                                     25,000              25,000
  Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                        2,200               2,400
  Books, Professional Dues                                         1,000               1,000
  Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                     18,900              20,003
  Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                     1,615               1,670
  Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                             2 weeks             2 weeks
  Vacation                                                       4 weeks             4 weeks
  Other paid insurance                                             1,000               1,000
  Annual Review
 5. Between John Potter and Houston, Formosan (approved 12/1/07) effective 1/10/08
  Salary                                                         $24,000             $25,200
  Housing & Utility Allowance                                     12,660              12,660
  Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                        2,160               3,000
  Books, Professional Dues                                           500                 500
  Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                 11,547.90            11,705.40
  Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                     1,615               1,670
  Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                       2 wks+3 days       2 wks + 3 days
  Vacation                                                       4 weeks             4 weeks
  Annual Review

6. Between Debbie Cenko and Wharton, First effective 1/1/08
       Salary                                                            $22,000             $23,200
       Housing & Utility Allowance                                         5,000               5,000
       Value of Manse                                                     10,800              10,800
       Auto Allowance @ IRS Rate                                           3,600               4,200
       Books, Professional Dues                                            2,850               3,150
       Pension/Medical Dues @ 31.5                                        11,907              12,285
       Study Leave Allowance cumulative for 3 years                        2,534               3,688
       Study Leave cumulative for 3 years                                2 weeks             2 weeks
       Vacation                                                          4 weeks             4 weeks
       Annual Review

    6. Granted David Northcutt permission to labor out bounds in Mission Presbytery while he serves
        as part-time Interim Pastor at First PC, El Campo, TX
    7. Appointed Tom Purves liaison to Port Neches, Trinity
    8. Granted Port Neches permission to elect a Designated Pastor PNC.
    9. Granted permission to Close Positions
       1. Houston, Grace to close Executive Pastor PNC – position filled by non-ordained person
           (approved 12/24/07)
       2. Atascocita to close Associate Pastor PNC (approved 11/15/07)
       3. Baytown, First Westminster to close Associate Designated Pastor position (approved 12/11/07)
       4. The Woodlands Community to close Associate Pastor PNC (approved 12/3/07)
   10. Approved renewal of Interim Contracts
       1. Between Margaret Desmond and Orange, First (approved 1/3/08) for 6 months, 1/1/08 – 6/30/08
         Salary                                                                            $25,504
         Housing Allowance                                                                  17,420
         Social Security Supplement                                                           3,117
         Pension/Medical Dues                                                               46,041
         Auto Reimbursement @IRS Standard Rate                                                4,935
         Educational Allowance                                                                1,615
         Education Leave                                                     3 days Clergy Retreat
         Vacation                                                                          30 days
        2. Between Jackie Hannan and Lufkin, First (approved 12/13/07) for 12 months 10/7/07 – 9/30/08
         Salary                                                                        $34,594.05
         Housing Allowance                                                                  24,000
         Social Security Supplement                                                       4,405.95
         Pension/Medical Dues                                                               19,530
         Auto Reimbursement @IRS Standard Rate                                                4,200
         Educational Allowance                                                                1,500
         Education Leave                                           10 days + 3 days Clergy Retreat
         Vacation                                                                          28 days
   11. Approved renewal of Contracts
        1. Between Alcimar Dantas and NCP for 12 months 7/1/07 – 6/30/08
         Salary                                                                            $18,000
         Housing Allowance                                                                  21,600
         Travel and Auto @ IRS Standard Rate                                                  1,500
         Pension/Medical Dues @31.5%                                                        12,474
         Study Leave Allowance accumulative for 3 years                                       1,380
         Study Leave accumulative for 3 years                       2 wks + 3 days Clergy Retreat
         Vacation                                                                           4 weeks
         Dental                                                                                 $850
        2. Between Viet Ho and NCP for 7 months 12/1/07 – 6/30/08
         Salary                                                                             $10,281
         Housing Allowance                                                                    10,281
         Travel and Auto @ IRS Standard Rate                                                    .50.5
         Pension/Medical Dues @31.5%                                                           6,477
         Study Leave Allowance accumulative for 3 years              2 weeks + 3 days Clergy Retreat
         Study Leave accumulative for 3 years                                                  1,615
         Vacation                                                                           4 weeks
    12. Approved Contract
        1. Granted Galveston, Westminster permission to hire candidate for ordination (approved
           12/18/07) on a contract effective January 1, 2008 until candidate is ordained.
        2. Between Tomball, First and Jim Chaffin (approved 11/29/07) ½ time contract effective
            12/1/07 for 6 months.
         Salary                                                                              $ 2,600
         Housing Allowance                                                                     5,200
         Utilities Allowance                                                                   2,400
         Auto Reimbursement                                                     @ IRS Standard Rate
         Study Leave                                                                           1 wks
         Vacation                                                                           3 weeks
   13. Approved renewal of Commission for Lay Pastor between Phoy Vorabouth and Houston, First
        Lao effective 1/1/08 – 12/31/09 and that he be granted permission to do the following
        functions: Baptism, Lord’s Supper, Moderate session, Voice at presbytery meetings, Vote at
        presbytery meetings and Perform Marriages.

Robert M. “Bob” Poteet
I was born and raised in San Antonio, in a good Methodist household. We lived three blocks from
Highland Terrace Methodist Church where my parents were the last two surviving charter members.
Both were always very actively involved in the life of the church and consequently my two brothers
and I were there it seemed, ―every time the church doors were open.‖ I was baptized and confirmed
there, sang in the junior choir, climbed the steeple, and did all kinds of things around the life of that
congregation –even folding bulletins and putting sharpened pencils in the pew holders!

When in the 7th grade, I ―hired out‖ as organist at Crestholme Presbyterian Church a nearby church that
was desperately in need of an organist. I continued on staff for 9 years, until I graduated from Trinity
University and entered Austin Seminary, summer 1964. During these years I felt called to the ministry
of word and sacrament and became Presbyterian, joining Crestholme on February 14, 1960, the last
Sunday of the pastorate of my mentor, pastor and friend, Dr. Jack Ramsay Jr. He had accepted a call
from the Covenant Church, Carrollton. During these years at Crestholme I talked the session into
calling me as ―Assistant to the Pastor‖ when the church had no pastor! I taught Wednesday night
classes, did youth work, was part-time church secretary and organist! While in Austin seminary I was
part-time organist at First Cumberland Church, Austin and assistant organist at the seminary.

I was ordained on June 4, 1967 and installed as Associate Pastor of the Covenant Church Carrollton. I
served there until fall of 1968 when I accepted a call as Associate to the Westminster Church, Dallas
where I stayed until late 1971. For two years I served as Pastor of two congregations—First
Presbyterian Hooks/New Boston and Moores Chapel, Texarkana, moving back to the Dallas area as
Associate Pastor of the Canyon Creek Church, Richardson. I served there from 1973-77 at which time
I accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio as their Minister of Education and
Program. I served there from 1977-1984 and it was during these years that I earned a D.Min. degree
from Union Seminary, Richmond, VA.

From 1984-1988, I served as Associate Presbyter for Leader Development, Orange Presbytery in North
Carolina. This was a time when both the ―northern‖ and ―southern‖ churches in the Mid-Atlantic
States were ―getting to know each other‖ per the plan of reunion of 1983. As my position was ending
in 1988, I accepted a call to Grace Church Houston as Associate Pastor for Education, a position I held
from 1988-1998 at which time, my responsibilities shifted and I became Executive Pastor, the position
I have held until the present.

While at Westminster in Dallas I met the person who ―swept me off my feet‖, Carol Blackstone, who
became my wife on June 6, 1970. I have been blessed to share in ministry with her. We have three
grown children. Our son Michael and his wife Karen both ordained ministers of the PCUSA live in the
Philadelphia area. They have two children, Carl who is 6 and Hannah Grace, 5 months. Our youngest,
Margaret also lives in the Philadelphia area and works at Arcadia University, the university from
which she was graduated and is an admissions counselor. Our middle child, Mary and her husband Jan
live in north Dallas and have two children, Isabel who will be four on Valentine’s Day and Evan who
is one.

My ministry has been incredibly blessed. I see how God has been providentially at work throughout
my life. The Lord was opening doors and I have been blessed to work with God’s people in various
congregations, doing a wide variety of ministry. With the exception of two years, I have always served
in multiple staff ministries and loved it. In each experience God working in and through me and was
grooming me for the next season of my journey. I have been blessed to work as a part of wonderful
teams with extraordinary senior pastors and wonderfully faithful members. It’s been a joy filled 41
years! I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me in the future. Great is God’s faithfulness!

Statements of Faith
James “Barrett” Ingram
       I believe in one God, Holy and Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is eternal,
omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; and God’s power creates, redeems and sustains all that is,
was, and ever shall be. The one holy and living God speaks to us in time and space through a variety
of means: Scripture, circumstance, people (prophets, apostles, pastors, etc.), but most uniquely through
Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. By word and action God invites persons into a
covenant relationship.

        I believe humankind was created in God’s image; but in sin (fallen state) we rebel against God
and act according to self-interest, which leads to death rather than life. But God, whose nature is
relationship, seeks to restore relationship with creation – particularly that portion which we affirm is
made in God’s image.

        I believe that Jesus Christ, in whom God’s Self is revealed, is the way in which God’s mighty
act of reconciling love was accomplished: Christ become flesh in Jesus to be the means by which sin is
forgiven. By his death on the Cross, Jesus Christ became the full, final sacrifice of atonement for the
sins of the world. As a gift of God’s sovereign love, we become new creations in Christ by grace

through faith. And because we are reconciled to God, we are set free from the bondage to sin and
death and are made alive to live a life of holiness and joy for the glory of God.

        I believe in the Holy Spirit, who is the sustainer of life. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of
Christ, who always and everywhere manifests the love and power of Christ with us and in us. The
Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence transforms us and the church into the image of Christ. And through
the Holy Spirit, we are connected to Christ’s life and saving power.

        I believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the unique and authoritative
witness to Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is the
authority for life and faith. We should interpret all scripture in light of the birth, life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ.

       I believe that salvation is entirely of God’s gracious work through Jesus Christ – and is based
wholly upon God’s initiative. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace received by faith and is the only means
by which individuals may be accounted righteous. Because we are chosen of God, we live lives of
thanksgiving and praise for the glory of God’s grace.

        I believe in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church that is bound together by Christ through
the Word of God, the Water of Baptism, and the Eucharist. The church is a foretaste of the Kingdom
of God where we work so that increasingly God’s will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Thus, the
church exists for mission that flows from God. Every Christian believer is called to faithful and active
participation in a local church. It is to be a community of love and wholeness where the grace that was
reflected in the life of Jesus and his disciples shines forth as a light to the world.

        I believe that God’s purpose for all creation is good and wise. In the fullness of time, when
God is all in all, I believe that God’s love will Reign supremely, and nothing in life or death will be
able to separate us from that love.

Becky Ardell Downs
       God is the Holy One who created us, the Faithful One who never stops loving his children, and
the Transforming One who can bring light out of the darkest night. I believe that God created the
world and created people to be caretakers of the world and to be in a special relationship with God. As
God’s chosen people Israel, we have fallen short of what God wants of us by constantly disobeying his
words and fighting with each other. God wants nothing more of us than to be in right relationship with
each other and with God. We have freely chosen to abuse these relationships.

        In the greatest act of love and sacrifice, God sent his beloved son Jesus to restore us to right
relationships. Jesus was born as a lowly human being and ministered in the world through healing and
teaching and loving those whom others despised. Although a few people responded to him, most
feared him. In the end, we convicted him of crimes against the state and brutally executed him, nailing
him to a cross and bringing his earthly life to an end. It was not the end of the story, however, because
Jesus rose from the grave three days after he was buried, and appeared to his followers and to others on
earth. In this amazing act, the Kingdom of God began on earth. The Creator and Redeemer God sent
the Holy Spirit as a sustainer, transformer, and comforter until the time when the Kingdom will be

        As the church, we are blessed with the Spirit’s gifts for teaching and ministering to each other
as Jesus ministered on earth. We are challenged to use these gifts to build up the Kingdom by
proclaiming through words and actions the good news of God’s reconciliation with us through Jesus
Christ. The sacrament of Baptism is our sign of oneness with the holy Catholic Church, of cleanness in
God’s eyes, and of commitment to continue in our journey with Christ. The Lord’s Supper is our
family table; through this sacrament we renew our commitment to each other and to God through the
memory of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We live our lives in the sure hope that God will bring
his kingdom to completion and that our reconciliation with God and with each other will be made
evident. At that time we will feast at God’s table, and our communion with each other will be full.
Through God, all things are possible!

Rev. Dr. Jim Davis
I believe in one eternal God who exists in three Persons. He is named as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I believe God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
God’s sovereign power sustains the world and will ultimately determine its end.

I believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God made incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit through
the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully human. Fulfilling the purpose of the Father, he lived and
died for us, willingly substituting his sinless life for us. This gracious act forms the only basis for
redemption from the guilt, penalty and power of sin.

After his burial, Jesus was raised from the dead. He appeared alive to his followers then ascended into
heaven and remains now and for all time our great High Priest. On a day the Father has fixed, Jesus
will return in power and glory to judge the world.

I believe all of us are sinners, people whose lives fall short of what God requires. Only by grace,
therefore, apart from our works can we be saved. We are saved when we trust in what God has done
for us through Christ and accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

I believe the Holy Spirit regenerates then indwells believers seeking to shape and transform them from
ordinary people into passionate, purposeful followers of Jesus whose lives look more and more like
that of Christ. I believe in the unity of all who have accepted Christ and in the priesthood of all
believers. Together all of us form one church, the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head.

The church exists for the purposes or ―great ends‖ of worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism,
mission and ministry. It celebrates the reality of God’s presence with us and God’s love for us in the
sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as given to us by God through human authors
are divinely inspired, true in all they intend to affirm, and wholly trustworthy as an authority in all
matters of faith and conduct.

III. Items for Information:
   1. The committee met January 8, 2008
    2. Committee on Ministry Retreat – January 25, 2008
    3. Clergy Retreat, March 31 – April 2, 2008 at Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference, Livingston, TX

                                    GENERAL COUNCIL
                                  REPORT TO PRESBYTERY
                                     FEBRUARY 9, 2008

I.   Recommendations for Presbytery Action
       [See Omnibus Motion.)

II. Actions taken on behalf of Presbytery
      A. Approved Presbytery Loan Guaranty Guidelines (see F.1, a separate document on
          presbytery website under “Meeting Materials.”).

       B. Authorized the Finance Committee to list for sale the property of the former First
          Presbyterian Church, Liberty, TX.

III. Items of Information
     A. The Restated Articles of Incorporation approved at the November, 2007 meeting of the
        presbytery have been filed with the Secretary of State for the State of Texas.

     B. Renewed the e-mail policy of the presbytery. It states that E-mail communications on behalf
        of others sent out by presbytery staff will be restricted to presbytery and member-church
        related events. Individuals who wish to use the presbytery’s database must go through a
        church’s session or presbytery committee for purposes of submission for broad distribution
        throughout the presbytery.

     C. Welcomed The Rev. Wayne Eberly Moderator-Elect of the Presbytery, who will serve as
        Moderator of General Council for 2008.

     D. Elected The Rev. Patricia Clark as Vice-Moderator of General Council.

     E. Approved the third Tuesday of each month for General Council meetings, from 11:00 a.m. to
        1:00 p.m. at the Presbytery Center.

                                  NOMINATING COMMITTEE
                                   Saturday, February 9, 2008
                                          For Election

AD/Ecclesiastical Affairs Committee
     Class of 2008
     Mr. John Y. Jo (Houston, Korean Central)

      Vice-chair for 2008: Elder Kiah Townsend (Bellaire, ChristChurch)

       Class of 2008
       Mr. Bill Hall (Houston, First)

COM/Lay Pastor Committee
    Class of 2008
    Elder Dorothy Blackwell (Houston, First) – moving from COM/Admin

       Class of 2009
       Rev. Harry Yates (PNC)

MD/Evangelism and Renewal
     Class of 2010
     Rev. Scott Cummings (Conroe, First)

MD/New Church Development
     Class of 2010
     Ms. Gale Beckett – move from Class of 2008

MD/Outreach Ministries
     2008 Chair: Elder Lisa Simpkins (Houston, Memorial Drive)

GA/Youth Advisory Delegate
     Ms. Maricarmen Cabral (Houston, St. Giles)

GA/Youth Advisory Delegate Alternate
     Mr. Eric Crowell (Kingwood, First)

Synod of the Sun
      Class of 2009
      Elder Sara Jean Jackson (Houston, St. Philip) – moving from the Class of 2008
      Rev. Harry Yates (PNC) – moving from Class of 2008

the publication that highlights the events and business conducted at the presbytery
meeting, will be published on the presbytery’s website.

An e-mail will be sent notifying you when the Postlude is available. Commissioners are
encouraged to share it with their sessions.

Those churches not having internet access will be mailed a copy of The Postlude.

Comments and suggestions should be directed to Helen Wolf at

          Next Meeting of the Presbytery of New Covenant
                                         will be

                            Saturday, May 10, 2008
                                      Hosted by:
                              First Presbyterian Church
                                    Houston, Texas

                          PRESBYTERY OF NEW COVENANT
                              CALENDAR OF EVENTS

February 2                                 February 29 – March 2
      Committee on Preparation @                 Middle School Conclaves
      Presbytery Center, 9am
                                           March 4
February 9                                       Committee on Ministry
      Stated Meeting of Presbytery @
      Central PC, Houston, 9am             March 5
                                                 Deadline for Connections
February 16
      West Side Presbyterian Men           March 18
      Houston, Memorial Drive                    General Council

February 20                                April 4 – 6
      Official deadline to submit your            Presbyterian Marriage Encounter
      church’s Annual Statistical Report
                                           April 5
February 19                                       Presbyterian Women Spring
      General Council @ Presbytery                Gathering
       Center, 11 am –1 pm                        Houston, St. Philip

February 22 – 24                           April 26
      TIPS Course                                 Session Records Review
      Presbytery Center                           Livingston, First

February 22 – 24                           May 10
      Senior High Conclaves                      Stated Presbytery Meeting
                                                 Houston, First
February 23
      GA Commissioner Orientation


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