Report of the TTF

Enjoyed being with you all last night at our gathered Presbytery meeting. Here is the report that we gave last night. We welcome your thoughts and questions!

ttf report to presbytery

Please continue to pray for us as we work on these goals. Our next meeting is this Saturday, January 16, noon-4pm.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Gift says:

    Feedback regarding Presbytery Meetings:
    I wanted to provide a little feedback on my experience at Presbytery meetings as a ruling Elder and Elder Commissioner from Nassau Church. During the Task Force’s presentation on 1/10 it was mentioned that ruling elders tend not to be very excited about coming to Presbytery meetings. I would certainly agree with that statement. I want to pass along some of my direct experience and hope that others chime in as well.

    I have been to at least 15 Presbytery meetings over the last six years, and I would venture to say that almost no one at Presbytery outside of Nassau Church folks (or people who have previously been involved with Nassau) would know who I am, This is in sharp contrast to my previous Presbytery (Boston) where I had connections with members of virtually every other church in that Presbytery. The end result is that I go to NB’s Presbytery meetings because I think the business of the Presbytery is important to my church, not because I feel connected directly to others in the Presbytery. I believe this Presbytery can (and should) make a better effort at welcoming ruling elders and finding ways for them to connect. Since every church individually works hard to make visitors welcome I am sure the Presbytery as a whole can find a way to do it for attendees at these meetings.

    For my specific case one of the reasons that I have not been able to get to know many people is that I can rarely make it to the dinner/social time due to work constraints. I do often stay after the meeting concludes, however I have found that people I want or hope to talk with are heavily engaged with other conversations or are (understandably) in a hurry to leave. A good example is our most recent meeting where I was hoping to talk with one of the TTF presenters but she was tied up with other people for quite some time after the meeting. I am part of the 25% of the population that is introverted which doesn’t help at these meetings either.

    Two specific suggestions would be:
    1) Make someone or some group own and be responsible for welcoming people they don’t know. The vice Moderator might be a good candidate for this since they do not have the formal responsibility of running the meeting.
    2) Provide some other “structured” interaction time during the evening or directly after the meeting. This doesn’t have to take much time but it should be done in a way to entice attendees to interact with people from other churches.

    I look forward to hearing about the Task Force’s work during 2016. I am also hoping that some other ruling elders jump in here and provide their perspectives. Thanks for providing this opportunity to communicate!


  2. bethscib says:

    Kevin, I was just made aware that this comment went without response. I feel horrible about it. Typically when someone comments, I receive an email so this very thing doesn’t happen. And to be honest, so few people respond that I’ve been very quick to respond and engage folks who take the time to “talk to us.”

    Your comments are right on about our Presbytery not engaging ruling elders. The task force has said in our reports and in offline conversations to everyone we can that our primary goal is to engage ruling elders by offering a meeting that encourages and equips first and then second by creating avenues for ruling elders to develop relationship with one another outside of their own church affiliation.

    When you first attended a Presbytery meeting, did the vice moderator meet with you as a new elder commisioner? I thought this was our current practice. I’m sure you’re frustrated and maybe you don’t want to engage with us/me since it took so long to respond but I would be interested in specifics of the Boston presbytery. How did they engage ruling elders? What practices could you share with us that would help us do a better job (or a job at all?)


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