Minutes in Seconds

Digest of Actions Taken at the Stated Meeting

of The Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley

First Presbyterian Union Church, Owego NY Saturday May 20, 2017


Following a half-hour worship led by Deacon Susie Hall(Owego), Julie Jensen(Nineveh), Bobby Outterson-Murphy(Delhi, United Ministry), Peg Williams(Endicott, Union), Sharan Rosso(Valley United), Marsha Muller(Walton), Lisa Heckman(Owego) and Scott Kindig(Endicott, Union), with music by organist BJ Heinle and an ad-hoc bell choir,  the meeting was called to order by Moderator George Budine(Nichols) at 9:38 a.m.  An offering of $470 was divided between the Pentecost Offering and the Tioga County Rural Ministry.  


A quorum was present – 18 churches were represented by Ruling Elder Commissioners,  23 Teaching Elders,  1 Commissioned Lay Pastor, 4 Ruling Elders with vote due to office, 2 corresponding members and 9 visitors and office staff.


First time commissioner Michael Armstrong(Deposit) and Jim Pierson(Observer, Nichols) were introduced.  Jim Hicks(Presbytery of Geneva, Interim at Dryden) and Hemant Tandi(Church of North India) were welcomed and seated as corresponding members.   The total enrolled attendance was 58.


The Agenda was approved rearranging Lay Preaching before COM and with the addition of the Committee on Preparation, corrections and the Treasurers report to be handled under the Finance sub-committee report. 


Committee on Preparation --  Mark Piedmonte(Gilbertsville/Garrattsville) gave the report and after opportunity for nominations from the floor, Presbytery elected, and later in the meeting, amended the election of Readers for Standard Ordination Exams:

Scott Kindig (RE, Endicott) 

Patty Wolff (TE, East Guilford, Delaware Trinity)

Becky Kindig (TE, Binghamton United)  Alternate Reader


Committee on Lay Preaching --  the committee currently lacks a chair.  Member Sharon Knoell Rosso(Valley United)attested to Ruling Elder Marsha Mullers preparation and readiness for service as a Commissioned Lay Pastor.  A motion to receive this report was approved.


Committee on Ministry -- co-chair Janet Adair Hansen presented the committee recommendation to approve Marsha Muller as Commissioned Lay Pastor for the Deposit church for an initial one year contract.   After discussion a motion passed to approve the call requested by the Deposit Session and recommended by the Committee on Ministry, and then hear her Statement of Faith and examine Marsha for commissioning as Lay Pastor.  Having approved the call, Presbytery heard her Statement of Faith, questioned Marsha, arrested the examination and after discussion, approved her commissioning.  Moderator George Budine led Presbytery in the service of commissioning the Lay Pastor.


The committee also recommended a re-commissioning for three years of ruling elders to officiate at the Lord's Supper at the approved list of churches.  The elders approved for this service were:   JoAnn Aymar, Michele Brackin, Linda Breffle, George Budine, George Carruth, Shirley Davis, Fred Downs, Deb Fleming, Judi Gage, Marsha Muller, Lynn Reeves, Karen Siekmann-Marshfield, John Truscott. Additionally, for the Bainbridge Church only: Cheryl Nages, Paula Tillapaugh.


The list of churches currently includes:  Afton, Bainbridge, Conklin Broad Avenue North Chapel, Deposit, East Guilford, Hancock, Immanuel, John Hus, Lordville, Nineveh, Smithville Flats, Stamford, Walton and Windsor.


Vice-Moderator Robert Peak(Johnson City)conducted the commissioning service.


After a stretch break, the Ethiopian Partnership yielded their report time and several people shared verbally what their congregation does with the local portion of the Pentecost offering. 


Under the Cabinet report, Dave Johnson(Cortland UP and Cabinet Chair) reported that Presbytery is on-track with receipts for Per Capita and Mission giving.   By motion, the Treasurer's Report for year-end 2016 and January-February 2017 was referred back to the Finance Committee, since questions about the way the report is presented had been raised.  


Chris Burger(Binghamton United), chair of the Team to revise the By-Laws, presented the Manual of Administrative Operations and also proposed an amendment.  The text of the amendment was shown on the screen and after further amendment and closing debate, the amended Manual of Administrative Operations was approved with language about committees revised to read "membership on committees shall conform to the Book of Order".   Presbytery also approved a motion to revise all references in the By-Laws  concerning "standing rules"  to read "Manual of Administrative Operations"

The moderator dismissed the Task Force with thanks.


Stated Clerk Jim Martin reported that minutes of the presbytery for 2014, 2015, and 2016 have been read and reviewed by the Synod gathering of Stated Clerks and will be recommended for approval by Synod at the Synod Assembly.

At the suggestion of the Moderator, the Order of the Day for Lunch was postponed to 12:30 p.m.

By motion, the recommendations of our commissioners to the General Assembly were approved as the votes of the Presbytery on the Amendments to the Constitution, approving all items except 16-2.


Chris Burger speaking for the Justice in Mission Ministry Team, introduced Hemant Tandi (Church of North India) who gave an update on the Orissa Mission with a PowerPoint display of pictures.   Chris announced that the JIMM Team is looking for new members and Synod is looking for people to serve in immigration, prison ministry and other justice issues.


After sharing 10 events and announcements about Good News from around the Presbytery and Synod, Presbytery adjourned with prayer and singing "Jesus Lifted Me" before lunch at 12:30.


 The September 16 Presbytery Assembly will be hosted at Nineveh