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GA Registration and More


March 5, 2018

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

Online Trainings for Clerks of Session

Stated Clerk Dave Baker has created online training materials for clerks of session in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay. Writes Dave, “Creating this has made training new clerks of session very easy, and while anyone can use those to train a new clerk, it’s more as an example of what could be done in one’s own presbytery.”


Preparing Effective Participants

The Presbytery of West Virginia is providing an orientation video to help participants prepare for presbytery meetings.


Registration for the 223rd General Assembly (2018) June 16–23, 2018, St. Louis, Missouri

GA registration is now open and we hope you plan to attend. Use the Register Here link to register as mid council staff, order tickets for any of the dozens of optional activities, and request lodging in one of the assembly hotels at the discounted General Assembly (GA) rate.

If you will be there to represent a GA committee or task force, serve as a committee assistant, or attend in another capacity by which your expenses are covered by the Office of the General Assembly (OGA), Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), or another assembly agency, please wait until you receive an email from the GA Meeting Service with your unique link to use to register so that the fees are charged appropriately.

Emails were sent to commissioners and YAADs on Wednesday, February 28, with the special registration link to use for their registration. If they did not receive this, contact the GA Meeting Service. Please encourage them to complete their registration soon.

Face-to-Face @ GA223

General information about Face-to-Face, including office hours and proposed workshops, is now online at the GA223 website. In the next week or two, mid council leaders will be receiving a letter with more information about Face-to-Face. It will have opportunities for you to engage in Face-to-Face, as well as ways that you can help connect call seekers and calling organizations under your care to opportunities, as we seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in helping God’s people connect, engage, and discern.


Use of Social Media in Hiring—Advice from Mike Kirk, Associate General Counsel

Some councils have inquired if it is lawful to review the social media posts of job candidates (pastoral and non-pastoral) before hiring. The social media postings of candidates that are public and available to anyone can certainly be accessed and reviewed. However, councils should be cautious about when to access that information and how to use it. Federal, state, and local laws that make it illegal to discriminate against job applicants may make some employer conduct illegal. Here is some guidance and thoughts on use of social media in hiring:
  1. If you plan to view social media posts of candidates, do not target a limited pool of candidates. Look for social media posts of all candidates at a particular point in the hiring process (see #2) so that you are not singling out persons who might have protected characteristics (ex. age, race, national origin). Doing so may help your council avoid allegations of discrimination and unfair treatment. Keep in mind, some may have no social media presence; if not, document this.
  2. Review social media posts late in the hiring process. You may see photographs and information that inform you about protected characteristics (ex. gender, race, disability) that you will see in a face-to-face or in an online interview, but others you cannot see (ex. religion). Search late in the process after a candidate’s protected characteristics are already known to your hiring team.
  3. Have a person who is part of the search process conduct the social media search, such as a member of your personnel committee, and have that person document the search for each candidate. When, why, what if anything is found and with whom it is shared. And print off any pages your hiring team relies upon or considers in making decisions about a candidate.
  4. Do not ask a candidate to give you a password to access social media sites or posts that are not publicly available. This is illegal in some states and jurisdictions.
  5. Be cautious when using an outside company to make such social media searches for your council. You may be required to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Consult your local counsel for more information on the FCRA.
  6. Always consult your local legal advisor on local and state laws that may apply to this process.
Social media posts may provide useful information on job candidates. Councils should be cautious about when to access such information and how to use it.


An Opportunity for Power and Restoration in the Era of #MeToo

The Synod of Lincoln Trails is hosting two events for women in the synod who are employed in the church. Afterwards, Sara Dingman and Sue Krummel will host a sixty-minute Zoom session on what they learned, in the hope that their experience might be able to help the rest of us do whatever is appropriate in our own contexts.

Mid council leaders are invited to participate in the Zoom webinar, Tuesday, March 27th (Holy Week), at 11am Eastern/8am Pacific, and to include COM members who might be interested. In order to join, send an e-mail to Sara ( with the heading “#MeToo Zoom,” and she’ll send you a link that will grant access.

Newly Revised Editions of the Book of Common Worship

Over the last several years, consultants and writers from across the denomination gathered to edit existing resources and write new material for the 2018 edition of the Book of Common Worship. Coming this spring, it features brief, practical commentary before each section and service; more guidance for those who pray spontaneously or compose their own prayers; new sections on creation and ecology, justice and reconciliation, natural and human-caused disasters, and interreligious worship; a revised marriage liturgy; and more! Learn more about the new BCW as well as the upcoming 2018 editions of the Book of Common Worship, Daily Prayer, and the Book of Common Worship, Pastoral Edition. Save on all three if you pre-order by April 2.


Conference Dates

Mid Council Leaders Gathering—cosponsored by the Office of the General Assembly and the Board of Pensions (BOP): 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

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