Committee on Ministry

Composition: 22 persons elected by Foothills Presbytery. Ex-officio: the Stated Clerk and the Associate Stated Clerk.
The Committee on Ministry is Foothills Presbytery’s committee to “develop and maintain mechanisms and processes to serve as pastor and counselor to teaching elders, ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service, and certified Christian educators of the presbytery; to facilitate relations between presbytery and its congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service, and certified Christian educators; and to settle difficulties on behalf of the presbytery where possible and expedient.” (G-3.0307)

Responsibilities:
1. Counsel with congregations, sessions and teaching elders in a manner consistent with the
Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding congregational relationships as outlined in G-3.0301 and G-3.0303.

a) Visit with each session of the Presbytery at least once every three years.
b) Promote the peace and harmony of the churches of the presbytery, especially in regard to matters arising out of the relations between teaching elders and churches, seeking to mediate and reconcile those involved.
c) Follow procedures outlined in G-3.0303d(1-3) as it counsels with churches within which there may be difficulties.
d) Make recommendations to presbytery concerning the location of new congregations and congregations desiring to move. (G-3.0303b)
e) Make recommendations to presbytery concerning congregations which are to be divided, dismissed or dissolved in consultation with their members. (G-30303b)

2. Counsel with congregations, sessions and teaching elders in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) regarding pastoral relationships as outlined in G-2.0504.

a) On behalf of presbytery, approve all changes in terms of calls for pastors, co-pastors and associate pastors serving in installed pastoral relationships. These changes shall be reported to the presbytery (G-2.0504a)
b) On behalf of presbytery, approve the terms of all temporary pastoral relationships. Such temporary pastoral relationships may be full time or part time, and are established by the session or commission of the presbytery with the approval of the presbytery through its Committee on Ministry. A temporary pastor is not installed and is not a member of the Session and therefore has no vote. (G-3.0102)
c) Make recommendations to presbytery concerning exceptions allowed in G-2.0504c.
d) Select Committee on Ministry members to serve on presbytery’s Examinations with special attention to parity between Teaching and Ruling Elders.
e) Make recommendations to presbytery concerning designated pastor relationships. (See guidelines in appendix).

3. Counsel with congregations, sessions and teaching elders in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) regarding relationships between sessions and certified Christian Educators. (GH-2.1103)

a) Include interviews with certified Christian Educators in all formal visits and work with congregations, especially in those situations in which the head of staff position has become vacant.
b) Encourage educators to seek certification, provide guidance through the Educator Certification advisor, and encourage sessions to make continuing education funds and time available to educators seeking certification.
c) Provide support to certified Christian Educators through a service of recognition and establishing compensation and benefit standards.
d) Serve as pastor and counselor to certified Christian Educators, including support and mediation in conflict situations.

4. Work with Commissioned Ruling Elders in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

a) Supervise and approve training of ruling elders preparing to be commissioned to
pastoral service.
b) Approve commissions of Commissioned Ruling Elders and authorize functions that they are to perform in accordance with G-2.10.
c) Assign a Teaching Elder as a mentor and supervisor (G-2.1004) and when necessary consult with the Examinations Commission concerning continuing education of Commissioned Ruling Elders.

5. Work with other presbytery committees and subcommittees as needed.
6. Continually look for ways to think creatively about the areas of responsibility assigned to the committee and when appropriate recommend and implement such changes within the structure of the Presbytery.
7. Work as a Commission on Ministry for the following:

a) When the Committee on Ministry needs a subcommittee to be a Commission for Special Inquiry to investigate matters of potential ethics violations or personal concerns of Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders that impact their role and function
b) The actions of a Commission of Special Inquiry may require referral to the Rules of Discipline but efforts will be made to follow the guidelines of D-1.0103 to avoid formal proceedings under the Rules of Discipline. Usually this commission would be formed when expedient action is required for the health of the minister or congregation in order that that ministry of Jesus Christ will not be harmed.

c) Administrative Responsibilities of the Committee on Ministry:

1) To approve and remove teaching elders from Temporary Positions
2) To approve teaching elders serving in Validated Ministries permission to celebrate the sacraments
3) To approve the sermons of Ruling Elders Commissioned to Pastoral Service

d)Make recommendations to presbytery concerning the appointment of administrative commissions in those situations where it has determined that such action is necessary, as outlined in G-3.0303e.

The Examination Commission, The Sexual Ethics, Child, Youth and Vulnerable Adult Committee, and The Small Church Working Group report to The Committee on Ministry.