SYNOD MID COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
by Rev. Dean Strong - Synod Stated Clerk
Synod Meeting Summary, October 23-25. (Please note—this is an unofficial summary that may contain inaccuracies or omissions--- refer to the minutes which will be release as soon as is practically possible).
The plan for reduced function was faithfully implemented within pastoral and practical considerations.
Governance & Structure
• Presbyteries will elect or reelect one Ruling and one Teaching Elder commissioner to begin serving Jan 1st for two year alternating terms and a maximum of six continuous years. They must be fully representative of the presbytery’s “Council” or equivalent; attend those meetings and fully abreast of the current business and issues before the presbytery, and able to speak on its behalf. It can be a current member of the “Council,” be added as an ex-officio member with or without vote, or simply be required to attend meetings and be included on all be the most sensitive “Council” and presbytery matters. This 14 member (and the Clerk) body will meet at least once a year face to face and as needed by electronic means.
• A team has been appointed to revise all Synod Governing Documents
• All committees of the Synod are ended as of December 31st, 2012.
• The Synod Office will be closed by December 31st, the new location will be the North Puget Sound Presbytery office in Everett, WA, but in reality the office will be “virtual.”
Assets and Finance
• The real property held by the Synod (office building, Koinonia House, etc.) are being offered as gifts to the presbyteries where they are located without impacting the division of other liquid assets. An Administrative Commission has been appointed to deal with the disposition of real property.
• 2013 Mission Partnership Funds of $150,000 received from GA will be divided among the presbyteries
• Unrestricted funds held by the Synod will be distributed to the presbyteries as they mature. This may take months, and in some cases, years.
• MDC will continue as usual. Some Synod funds to be distributed to the presbyteries are held in MDC and will be distributed as new certificates. It is hoped but not required that when those certificates expire the presbyteries will continue to invest them in MDC.
• Funds that are donor restricted that cannot be given to the presbyteries will continue to be held and administered by the Synod.
• Previous Grants and financial commitments will be honored through 2013.
• Per capita has been reduced to $4.00 for 2013, which includes significant severance costs. It is anticipated that it will be reduced by at third to half in 2014 as costs continue to decline
• Some decisions regarding the disposition of liquid assets have been postponed until 2013 and will be made as the decisions made at this meeting are finalized and implemented and the financial position of the Synod is clarified (i.e. “when we know better exactly where we stand”).
• Ongoing Synod programs that one or more presbyteries want to support will be continued by them. Those without presbytery support will end on December 31st.
• The Synod funding for PresbyTech will end on December 31st. It may continue if funding is secured from interested presbyteries. Synod of Living Waters is also interested in a partnership. Presbyteries are obligated to help churches transition to another provider if PresbyTech does not continue. The Synod is planning for its own technical needs.
• The essential functions---Administrative Review, PJC, and appropriate financial functions---have been fully funded and will continue.
• An Administrative Commission has been appointed to work with partners who have been affected by these changes.
• Newly elected Stated Clerk Dean Strong will continue in that position until reelection or replacement at the first meeting early in 2013; Eunjoo Lee will continue to provide administrative support. Martha Hubbard will continue as Treasurer and Kris Greene will continue to provide contracted bookkeeping.
• All other current staff positions were ended as of December 31, 2012; severance packages have been provided for all staff.