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Florence, South Carolina 29501

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Digest of November 15, 2022
107th Stated Meeting of the
Presbytery of New Harmony
The Presbytery of New Harmony held its 107th Stated Meeting, November 15, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church, Bennettsville.  The Moderator, Ruling Elder Dorothy McBride, called the meeting to order with prayer. A quorum was declared, the Docket and Omnibus Motion were adopted. First-time Ruling elders were welcomed. Corresponding members were welcomed and seated. Rev. Dr. Scott Andrews welcomed the Commissioners with a brief history of the church. [The church displayed wonderful hospitality to the Presbytery. A delicious lunch was provided, and commissioners enjoyed being together, as displayed by the lively chatter around the tables.]
Worship was led by Rev. Gavin Meek, whose sermon was taken from Luke 1:26-38 and entitled, “Let God Work Through Us.” Assisting with worship were Elder Loretta Baker-Yates, Clerk, New Covenant, Sumter; Rev. Dr. Ella Busby, Associate for Pastoral Concerns and Fellowship & Supply Pastor, Second, Sumter; and Barbara C. Dickson, Organist, First Presbyterian, Cheraw.
Presbytery took the following actions:
  • Acted on Proposed Amendments to the Constitution by approving all by omnibus with the exceptions of those pulled out for discussion. Those were 22-A (Expands inclusive language with reference to gender identity – Approved), 22-E(Removes “honorably” before “retired” as the category for retired ministers – Defeated); 22-U (Adds “when appropriate” to the recommended act of providing an invitation to baptismal preparation for those who come to the table who are unbaptized – Defeated), and 22-CC (Allows a disciplinary process to continue after an accused has renounced jurisdiction – Approved). The Presbytery also approved replacing the “Rules of Discipline” section with a new “Church Discipline” Section and referred the “Family Leave” proposal to the Committee on Ministry for more details of how that would work in New Harmony Presbytery.
  • Received a report from the Committee on Representation and Nominations, approving their recommendations to fill vacancies on councils, committees, boards, and commissions of the presbytery.
  • Received the report of the Committee on Ministry and approved, after examination, Elder Robert Henry to become Commissioned Pastor at Fork Presbyterian Church. The committee also reported actions including commissions to install Rev. Jarred Hammet as Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Manning and Rev. Gavin Meek as Executive Presbyter of New Harmony Presbytery; the dissolution of pastoral relationships; supply pastor and interim pastor relationships; appointed Commissioned Pastor Delcia Harper-Baxter to the Board of the Presbyterian Lay School; and approved First Presbyterian Church, Sumter forming of a Pastor Nomination Committee.
  • Received a report of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry which included updates on Candidates and Inquirers and encouraged Ruling Elders and Teaching Elders to reach out people in congregations who might have gifts for ministry.
  • Received a report of the Guiding Council and approved conducting the first reading of the Proposed 2023 Budget.
  • Received reports from the Camp Pee Dee Administrative CommissionNew Harvest Administrative Commission, and Presbytery Disaster Assistance Commission.
  • Received the Stated Clerk Report including information that the review of the investigation Case 2021-2 was conducted and the petition of the accuser was not sustained; the reports from installation commissions for Rev. Jarred Hammet and Rev. Gavin D. Meek; filing information for 2022 Statistical Reports; 2023 Clergy ID Cards; Annual Review of Session Minutes for 2022; 2023 Commissioner Balance for Presbytery Meetings and the approval of the recommendation that First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach be allotted two Ruling Elder Commissioners and all other be allotted one.
Following announcements and thanks, the meeting was adjourned with prayer by Moderator McBride.
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