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February 20, 2018

From Tricia Dykers Koenig,
Associate for Mid Council Relations, 502-569-8360

Principles of Vibrancy

Thanks to General Presbyter Daris Bultena for detailing how the Presbytery of Tropical Florida went about developing “Principles of Vibrancy” that will guide the work of the presbytery. Read about it here, and then let Daris and me know what ideas their process and prioritized principles spark for you. Are you excited about a discernment process in your own mid council?

Remember that I am eager to use this newsletter to spread the word about the interesting and innovative things you are doing; you don’t have to wait for me to ask you to contribute!


CLC Update: New Narrative Questions for Non-Teaching Elder Call Seekers

In early March 2018, a couple of updates that affect call seekers who are not ministers of Word and Sacrament or candidates will go into effect:
  • Those who are not teaching elders (TEs) or candidates will be asked to respond to slightly modified narrative questions that are parallel to the current questions.
  • Only those positions that do not require ordination as teaching elder will be displayed for “Position Type.”
These changes will only affect new Personal Information Forms (PIFs) being entered after the March 2018 update. Those who already have PIFs in the system will not be required to enter new PIFs.

These changes are based on feedback that some of the current narrative questions do not pertain to those whose experiences may not be in congregational settings or to those who feel called to ministry settings other than the congregation. Additionally, there was feedback that those who are not TEs were being shown positions that required TE ordination and so were mistakenly self-referring to those positions.

We believe that only showing the position types that match the ordination status of each call seeker will simplify the position-type selection process and reduce confusion for call seekers and calling organizations. Since commissioned ruling elders are commissioned to serve particular congregations through their presbyteries, we believe that this change will not adversely affect CREs at this time.

The questions have been modified so that call seekers may draw from work experiences outside the church setting in their answers. The parallel structure of the new narrative questions should allow for search committees to consider TE and non-TE candidates side-by-side.

Those who are ministers of the Word and Sacrament and those who are candidates for ordination as ministers will continue to see the same narrative questions and position types.

Questions? Contact Jihyun Oh, Manager of Call Process Support,


Coffee with the Clerk

Have you tuned in with J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, for “Coffee with the Clerk”? Last week’s conversation featured Co-Moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston. “Coffee with the Clerk” is happening Mondays at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern) on the Spirit of GA Facebook page, except when the Stated Clerk’s travel schedule requires adjustments. You can hear about any schedule changes through Spirit of GA. If you miss the live feed, check back later for the recording.

Confirmation Curriculum

Free samples of the new confirmation curriculum, Big God Big Questions, are available in either print or download format. The encourages presbyteries to place a bulk order for print samples for their congregations in order to save on the shipping costs.

Inquire about hosting a training in your presbytery or at another regional gathering.

Big God Big Questions

Ministry with Older Adults

Your congregations might like to know that the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network has a downloadable Planning Guide. It includes resources for Older Adult Sunday, May 6, 2018.


Recruiting Mission Co-Workers

Presbyterian World Mission is actively recruiting for the following mission co-worker positions. Do you know of any good candidates?  


The Climate and Energy Stewardship Team in the Presbytery of East Tennessee has a Carbon Footprint Fund. Grants are available for energy-efficiency projects at presbytery churches and facilities.


Conference Dates

Mid Council Leaders Gathering—cosponsored by the Office of the General Assembly and the Board of Pensions: a combination of the former Fall Polity Conference (OGA) and the Regional Benefits Consultations (BOP). October 5–7, 2018, Chicago, Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
Association of Stated Clerks and Association of Mid Council Leaders
October 7–9, 2018, Chicago, Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
Moderators Conference
November 15–17, 2018, Louisville, Brown Hotel.

Start Making Plans:

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