STATED CLERK REPORT (added 4/17/17)
For Consent Agenda:
We conduct almost all of our business by voice or counted (raising hands or standing) vote. Should a commissioner wish to vote by paper ballot, he/she may do the following:
• prior to the call for the vote, obtain the recognition of the moderator
• move that the vote on the item under discussion be held by paper ballot
• if seconded, the moderator will call for the vote – the motion is not debatable and passes with a simple majority
seattle first administrative commission report
Seattle First Presbyterian is worshipping weekly at our historic location, with a diverse gathering of 25-30 people, with a recent spike to nearly 40 – the largest attendance since the AC assumed jurisdiction. The congregation consists of a few handfuls of regular members, Iranian immigrants, Presbytery supporters, homeless and marginalized folks, locals from the neighborhood, occasional visitors seeking medical treatment on “Pill Hill”, and Seattle tourists.
While we feel the challenges of our unique circumstances, history and location, the congregation continues to experience the presence of the Spirit in worship - especially as we engage in a communal, participative, reading of Scripture together. There is energy, connection, joy, and life in Christ together.
We are also in the beginning steps of engaging in a discernment process, led by our pastor and approved by the session/AC, to discover how God might be leading us into the future. This will start with conversation with community and ministry partners to explore ways to better serve and connect with our neighbors. We are excited about this opportunity to discern a renewed mission and worshipping footprint on First Hill. We have also been meeting with other downtown Presbyterian pastors as part of this process, including Union, Capitol Hill PC, and UPC.
Additionally, we have been partnering with Compass Housing Alliance who has received a grant from the city for an 24 hour a day Enhanced Services Transitional Housing Shelter (100 beds) which will be located in part of our building. We are very grateful for this unique mission opportunity.
On the litigation front, in March we again won summary judgment, this time in the “Presbytery II” action. The court declared that the former pastors’ purported severance agreements were “invalid, inapplicable, and unenforceable,” dismissed the former pastors’ counterclaims, and awarded the presbytery its costs and statutory attorneys’ fees. We are continuing to reach out to the former leaders to try to resolve all or as many as possible of the remaining issues. Those issues are currently scheduled for trial in December.
Council REPORT (updated 4/17/17)
1. Motion to approve the investment of $60,000 in the Union property (415 Westlake Ave, Seattle, WA) for fiscal year 2017 (July 2016-June 2017) from the Mission Asset Reserve Fund.
In November of 2014, at the recommendation of the Property and Finance committee, Presbytery approved the investment of $5,000 per month ($60,000) annually) in the Union property at 415 Westlake Ave, Seattle from the Mission Asset Reserve Fund. At that time, the P&F committee requested that UPC/Union reapply annually for renewal of the investment. UPC/Union is requesting renewal for FY17 (July 2016 – June 2017) of $60,000 total for the current fiscal year. This is the last equity investment the presbytery will make in the Union property.
The $60,000 investment would buy equity in the 415 Westlake Ave property with a current estimated value between $8-$10 million. We propose that Presbytery purchase equity with the value of the 415 Westlake Ave property set at $8 million. That would be a purchase of .75% of equity. Added to the Presbytery’s previous purchases of equity equaling 6.2% ($250,000 down payment, and $60,000 in 2014-15 at original purchase price valuation of the property of $5 million) it would produce a total equity share of 6.95% equity in the 415 Westlake Property.
It is the recommendation of the Personnel Committee to hire Rev. Dean Strong, at 10hrs/week as stated clerk to finish out this one-year term which will end in January 2018.
[Background: Dean Strong is currently serving as the clerk of the Northwest Coast Presbytery and has worked many times with the Seattle Presbytery staff. This will not only provide us with a clerk immediately, it will also provide the time we were looking for, to continue to evaluate this position.]
EXECUTIVE PRESBYTER'S Report (added 4/13)
I am pleased to report that at our April presbytery meeting, Union will announce its intention to charter as a congregation. This has been a long journey of growth, discernment, experimentation, and partnership in mission for the folks at Union and UPC, and all agree that the time is right for Union to join Seattle Presbytery as a congregation.
There are challenges to chartering for Union, chief among them being the cost of the 415 Westlake property. In 2014, UPC and Seattle Presbytery partnered to help acquire the property, but as a chartered congregation the responsibility for the mortgage shifts to Union.
This is where the partner congregations of Seattle Presbytery can help bridge the gap. If Seattle Presbytery were to loan Union $250,000 (the mortgage payment) per year for up to seven years, this would allow Union time to redevelop the property and pay the presbytery back.
In the past, the presbytery started new congregations by buying land, hiring a pastor, and building a new church building. The whole enterprise was costly and fraught with challenges. The last two congregations we began this way dissolved in ten years.
The Union proposal is quite different: the presbytery will loan Union up to $1.75M, at which point (redevelopment) the presbytery will receive its investment back. The presbytery will also reimburse UPC $500,000 for their share of the down payment they made at purchase, adding to the amount Union will payback. The total loan to Union will be up to $2.25M.
Seattle Presbytery currently has $2M in cash and expects another $1M+ in cash from the sale of the Greenwood property (the rest of the sale to be financed). In other words, the presbytery has the money to loan Union without it affecting our current operations or grant support to its congregations.
(The Property & Finance committee also recommends an equity investment of $60,000 for the current fiscal year. This is a part of a commitment made years ago to assist Union with operational losses. With this investment, the presbytery owns a $370,000 equity stake in the property. This is the last equity investment the presbytery will make as the loan takes over as the vehicle to assist Union in their development as a congregation.)
Over the past 8 years, Seattle Presbytery has been laboring to see new expressions of the mission of God break through among us. To that end, we have renewed our commitment to healthy financial stewardship, the ministry of our congregations, congregational leadership, and the starting of new fellowships.
I am excited that the presbytery has an opportunity to partner in establishing a new downtown congregation. Join me as we continue to pray for new ways to support the growth, health, and vitality of all our congregations.
-Scott Lumsden, Executive Presbyter
BILLS & OVERTURES REPORT
1. Having received evidence that Certified Candidate Shannon Smythe has fulfilled the educational
requirements of the Constitution of the Church, the Committee on Ministry presents her for examination. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.4003). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. Christian faith, views on theology, the Bible, the Sacraments and the government of this church. (W-4.4003). Pending successful examination, approve the call to Shannon Smythe for ministerial services as Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Seattle Pacific University, and should the way be clear, approve this position as a validated ministry.
[Background: Shannon is a certified candidate from Northwest Coast Presbytery, requesting to be ordained to validated ministry at as Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Seattle Pacific University. An exam team met with Shannon on March 6, 2017 and found that she is suitable for membership in Seattle Presbytery and to recommend validating her ministry should the way be clear.]
2. Having received evidence that Certified Candidate Tyler Kirkpatrick has fulfilled the educational requirements of the Constitution of the Church, the Committee on Ministry presents him for examination. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.4003). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. Christian faith, views on theology, the Bible, the Sacraments and the government of this church. (W-4.4003). Pending successful examination, approve the call to Tyler Kirkpatrick for ministerial services as Temporary Associate Pastor at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church.
[Background: The session of Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church supports Tyler Kirkpatrick to serve in this role upon approval of his ordination by the presbytery. Tyler is currently a certified candidate under care of Presbytery of the Pacific. An exam team met with Tyler on March 6, 2017 and found that he is suitable for membership in Seattle Presbytery and for the call of Central Kitsap PC should the way be clear.]
Shannon Smythe bio:
Dr. Shannon Smythe (BA, Seattle Pacific University, 2002; MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2006; PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2013).
Shannon grew up as a pastor’s kid in Huntington Beach, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Lake Charles, LA, and Lynden, WA. She attended college at Seattle Pacific University, and it was there that she simultaneously fell in love with theology and received a call to ministry. Her call to ministry was met with resistance from her parents because of her gender, and she eventually told herself that whatever she did with her theological studies, she would not pursue pastoral ministry. During her time in graduate school in Princeton, NJ, she did field education at PC(USA) churches, became a member of a local PC(USA) congregation, and worked at two (PC)USA churches in both administrative and interim children’s ministry roles.
After the birth of their son, Micah, Shannon and her husband, Kevin, a social worker, moved to Bellingham, WA to be near family while Shannon finished her dissertation. After joining First Presbyterian Church of Bellingham, Shannon began teaching bible study, leading in liturgy, preaching, and became a ruling elder. It was at this time that she realized her call to ministry was incomplete, and she began the process of ordination. It was also at this time that she began to teach as an adjunct instructor at SPU. In 2016, after the successful completion of CPE and ordination exams, she joined the SPU faculty full time as assistant professor of theological studies. She teaches courses in Christian doctrine, women in Christianity, gender and Christianity, and University Foundations courses in Christian faith and theology. She is the author of two books (Forensic Apocalyptic Theology: Karl Barth and the Doctrine of Justification and Women in Ministry: Questions and Answers in the Exploration of a Calling) and has several chapters on Karl Barth’s theology in edited volumes.
Shannon and her family moved to Burien in July, 2016. As a family, they enjoy exploring their new surroundings in Burien and Seattle. They like trying new restaurants, going to the aquarium and Pikes Place Market, and spending time in the parks. Shannon and Kevin are very involved in their new home church, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, teaching Sunday school, leading Bible study, and joining with others in the congregation in the work of becoming an anti-racist church.
Examination of Tyler Kirkpatrick (Statement of Faith)
Tyler Kirkpatrick bio:
Tyler received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He is also a graduate of Whitworth University in Spokane, WA where he majored in theology.
Prior to coming to Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church in 2015, Tyler worked with college students and young adults at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and has been involved with youth ministries at several churches, including serving as the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries at Country Homes Christian Church in Spokane. He is passionate for proclaiming and discovering God's grace and truth in preaching and pastoral care.
A born and bred Western Washingtonian hailing from Sumner, Tyler and his wife Brittany are happiest reading in a hammock or hiking out on the trail, miles from the car, lugging heavy backpacks and eating freeze-dried dinners. Tyler also enjoys skiing and scaling the occasional mountain. His love for the Mariners, Seahawks and Sonics (RIP) runs deep, but he bleeds the purple and gold of the Washington Huskies (his devotion might be called “unhealthy”—he watched every game of the football team's 0-12 season!).