An Introduction to Presbytery Review of Session Minutes
The Purpose and Authority for the Session Review process is described in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Book of Government §16-3 “Review and Control: For orderly process of review and control, each organizational unit shall submit its minutes to the unit above…the Church Session shall submit its minutes to the Presbytery annually.” According to The Presbytery of the West By-Laws, Section 8-5 Committee to Review Session Records: This Committee will consist of three classes of one member per class. Ratio will be 1:2 (one Teaching: two Ruling Elders). The Chairman shall designate when various Sessions are to submit for review their minutes and other pertinent records as required by Paragraph 16-16 C of the Book of Government of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Session Review Committee has designated that in fulfillment of this requirement and in order to encourage each Session and facilitate timely and proper review minutes should be submitted to the assigned Reviewer monthly.
How We Review Session Minutes
- The intent of Presbytery in this regard is connectional, constitutional, collegial and pastoral.
- Each church in our Presbytery is assigned a Reviewer, and that person is to receive a copy of the minutes of all regular Session meetings and any Congregational meetings held during the year.
- Reviewers will carefully read the Session minutes to see if they include items, information and procedures required by The Book of Government. We work to help churches keep a clear and accurate record of decisions and actions of the Session, including decisions made and actions taken, and reflecting a clear and accurate record of business conducted.
- Minutes are usually scanned and sent via email attachment, although some churches prefer to send copies via USPS. Once the minutes have been reviewed, the Reviewer will send feedback with any notes or comments pertinent to the minutes reviewed.
- If corrections or changes need to be made, the Clerk of Session will be able to address those at a subsequent meeting of session in a timely manner.
- A Quarterly Report will be provided for each church, using a Log of Minutes Received and Reviewed.
- An annual report is presented to the February meeting of Presbytery.
- Session Minutes Checklist. A standard used by the Review Committee.
- Session Minutes Review Worksheet. A tool for use by Reviewers and Clerks.
- Book of Government Citations of references used with the Minutes Checklist and Worksheet.