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Session

Click the link above to go to the folder contains both WORD and PDF formats of the below listed documents, intended to be adapted to the particular circumstances of your personnel and congregation.

The links below are to the WORD format of the files.

Pay ATTENTION TO CHANGES IN THE BOOK OR ORDER

On June 13, 2023, mid council leaders joined national staff for an OGA-sponsored webinar on the newly ratified amendments to the Book of Order, which go into effect on July 9.  Most of the time was focused on policies that are required for all councils, the purpose of which is to keep our faith communities and all individuals safe from harm.  Laurie Griffith, Mike Kirk, and Samantha Davis shared insights.

The webinar was recorded and will eventually be available in the Equip.pcusa.org course “Welcome to Mid Council Ministry” in the “Mid Council Leader Consultations” section, along with many of the resources mentioned. The “Resource Archives” section of that course contains policies shared at various times by mid council leaders on a variety of topics, including antiracism.

Five Characteristics of Vibrant and Thriving Congregations

Download the document.  There's way more info in it about these characteristics:

#1 - A compelling Sense of Mission that is Driven by the Gospel

#2 - A Membership Church or a Discipleship Church

#3 - Contextual Relevance

#4 - Passion and Energy

#5 - Have the Resources and are able to Mobilize those Resources for a Common Mission

Parliamentary Procedure Pamphlet

     This 22-page document is produced specifically for the PCUSA.  Clerks/Parlimentarians at all Councils should have it and be familiar with the contents.

Sample Church Bylaws

     This four-page document provides the reasons for congregations having Bylaws, and provides examples of Articles from which to start.

Sample Church Operating Manual

     This example of an Administrative Manual contains charters, principles, rules, procedures and policies to be endorsed by Session to direct and guide the Mission and Programs of your church.  Your church's operating manual is subservient to the bylaws of your church and the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
    This manual will meet the requirements of G-3.0106 of the Book of Order that every council of the church have a manual of administrative operations that will specify the form and guide the work of mission of that council.

Recommended Child Protection Policy for Congregations

     Individual congregations of the Presbytery of Northern New England are required to have their own Child Protection Policy as per guidelines from the PC(USA) Book of Order, G-3.0106: All councils shall adopt and implement a sexual misconduct policy and a child and youth protection policy.

     This is an eight-page example document intended to be adapted by each congregation.

Role of Ruling Elders

     This 29-slide presentation is intended to be used in Ruling Elder training, and is based on G-3.0201, Composition and Responsibilities of the Session.

Session Training Bible Study

     This one-page outline for a Session-training study can be adapted for any event and any group.

Annual Checklist for Congregations and Councils

PC(USA) General Counsel has provided a helpful checklist of matters that sessions and mid councils should attend to every year — such as insurance coverage, training in policies designed to protect the vulnerable, and details related to the corporation.

CHURCH PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

Personnel Committee Guidelines

The guidelines in this 40-page booklet, from the PCUSA/GA, are offered as help to sessions as they work in fulfilling the Book of Order responsibilities of G-10.0102.  Guidelines are just that: for guiding.  They are not meant to be rules or mandates and will need to be adapted to fit each individual situation.  To assist them in implementing their Book of Order responsibilities, many sessions provide for the development of a Personnel Committee.  Other sessions use a short-term personnel task force to work on specific matters. In either case, this booklet will help sessions to formulate a clear statement of the functions and accountability to the session of a committee or task force.

Sample Personal Leave Policies

This is a three-page document containing samples of personal leave policies from near-by Presbyteries.

CLERKS OF SESSION

Clerk of Session Handbook

REVISED MARCH 25, 2014

Every clerk should have this 34-page document of how to be a Clerk of Session in the PCUSA.

Session Records Checklist

Every Session and Clerk should be familiar with what is required in a Session's records.  This five-page document is a checklist to be used in preparation for each Session's annual review of their records.  Revised 2023.

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