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Manual for Presbytery/CHMCE Partnership

This manual for Presbytery/CHMCE partnership is offered by the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension (CHMCE) with the hope that it will be of assistance to the home missions committees of the presbyteries of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in their church-planting endeavors. It is intended as a general description of how chapter XXIX of the OPC Form of Government may be implemented, and it assumes a working knowledge of the content and principles set forth in that chapter. It is written with the underlying assumption that the governing principle of presbyterian polity is that the Form of Government does not contradict the Scriptures, but rather helps us to interpret and apply them. [Second edition, revised and adopted by the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, December 10, 1997.]

Contents

Introduction

Procedural Guidelines for Presbyteries

Sample Documents

Appendices

FG XXIX Terms and Constructs

The Ecclesiastical Development of an Orthodox Presbyterian Church

  • Individuals
    Believers, not yet associated together, who are exploring affiliation with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (implied by FG XXIX.A.5.a)
  • Organized Congregation
    A definite membership organized as a distinct congregation with its officers (FG XIII.1)
  • Group 
    Interested persons associated together in a desire to be a new and separate congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (FG XXIX.A.5.a)
  • Mission Work
    A group of believers meeting regularly for worship on the Lord's Day under the jurisdiction of a session or presbytery, not yet organized as a separate congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (FG XXIX.A.1)

Procedural Guidelines for Presbyteries to Follow in Developing New Orthodox Presbyterian Churches

Recognizing a Mission Work

  1. A letter of application to become a mission work shall be presented to the presbytery through its home missions committee:
    1. By a local session, or
    2. By a group of interested persons, or
    3. By the home missions committee itself.
  2. The presbytery, in response, shall determine whether or not to recognize the group as a mission work of the OPC and denote it as such in its records.
  3. If the presbytery recognizes the group as a mission work, it shall proceed to:
    1. Denote in its records the name of the mission work and the assigned responsibilities for its care.
    2. Assign the spiritual oversight of the mission work to the session of one of its local congregations or to a committee it appoints for that purpose.
    3. Assign the supervision of the mission work's progress toward becoming a new and separate congregation to that same session or to a committee it appoints for that purpose.

Calling an Evangelist to Labor in a Mission Work

When It Is a Mission Work of an Existing Congregation...

  1. The local session which is responsible to supervise the mission work's progress toward becoming organized as a new and separate congregation shall identify, in conjunction with the members of the mission work and in cooperation with the presbytery's home missions committee and CHMCE, when financial assistance is in view, a qualified candidate to serve as an assistant pastor to labor in the mission work until such time as it is organized as a new and separate congregation and is able to call its own pastor.
  2. That session shall determine whether or not to draw up a call to the candidate, and, if it determines to do so, it shall recommend the call to the congregation which it serves, and hold an appropriate meeting of the congregation (of which the members of the mission work are a part) to present and act upon the call.
  3. If the congregation determines to call the candidate as an assistant pastor, the session shall, in conjunction with the presbytery's home missions committee, present the call to the presbytery for its approval, along with supporting budget recommendations to substantiate the call.

When It Is a Mission Work of a Presbytery...

  1. The committee of presbytery assigned to supervise the mission work's progress toward becoming organized as a new and separate congregation shall identify, in conjunction with the presbytery's home missions committee and the members of the mission work, a qualified candidate to serve as an evangelist of the presbytery to labor in the mission work until such time as it is organized as a new and separate congregation and is able to call its own pastor.
  2. The presbytery's home missions committee shall determine whether or not to draw up a call to the candidate, and, if it determines to do so, it shall present the call to the presbytery for its action, along with supporting budget recommendations to substantiate the call.

Providing Spiritual Oversight for a Mission Work

When It Is a Mission Work of an Existing Congregation

  1. The local session which has responsibility for the spiritual oversight of the members of a mission work must recognize that the mission work is a church itself and not simply another part of its own ministry. It is developing a separate identity as a body of Christ. As such, the session's responsibilities in regard to the spiritual care of the members of a mission work differ from their responsibilities to the members of their local congregation as follows:
    1. In receiving members. The session prepares, examines, and receives new members in the same way it does for its own congregation, but it must keep accurate record of those members who are now members of the mission work, for the purposes of spiritual nurture and congregational decision making.
    2. In providing spiritual care and nurture. Designated session members should attend the meetings of the mission work often enough to know the members and be accepted as elders by them. Those elders should occasionally visit in the homes of the members and friends of the mission work, and should seek to build a good working relationship of mutual respect and appreciation between the mother and daughter congregations.
    3. In filling the pulpit. The session must exercise care in providing sound pulpit supply, especially in the absence of the evangelist. It is the session which gives or denies permission to preach in the pulpit, and that responsibility should not be delegated to those in the mission work.
    4. In administering the sacraments. The session determines, in conjunction with the evangelist, the frequency of observing the Lord's Supper and the proper fencing of the table, and must provide the evangelist with at least one of its members for the proper administration of the Lord's Supper. The session determines the occasion of baptisms of covenant children and professing adult believers not yet baptized, and should provide one of its members at the time of baptism as a proper witness and testimony to the session. It should be noted that the sacraments are especially valuable as instruction to the members of the mission work and should be offered regularly at the location of the mission work.
    5. In exercising church discipline. The session should anticipate that problems of a disciplinary nature will arise as the mission work develops, and should be prepared to take the time required to effectively instruct and correct. It must make clear to people upon their reception as members that the same session which guarantees their full rights as members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church also has full responsibility and authority to exercise discipline and correction.
    6. In making congregational decisions. The session should recognize that in the supervision of a mission work, three types of congregational decisions arise:
      • decisions which affect the life of the mother church,
      • decisions which affect the life of the mission work, and
      • decisions which affect both.

      The OPC Form of Government does not clearly indicate how a local congregation's quorum may be affected by the addition of many members worshiping in a remote location, or whether it is appropriate for members of the mission work to vote upon actions which affect their financial support by the mother church. The session would do well to make provision for these matters before problems arise. It is important, however, that the members of the mission work convene as a congregation to allow them to begin to mature in their own decision making.

  2. The local session which has responsibility for the spiritual oversight of the members of a mission work must also recognize its limitations. The session may or may not have sufficient time and/or resources to accomplish everything that must be done to supervise the mission work in its progress toward development as a new and separate congregation. The session may ask to have some or all of the following matters assigned to a committee of the presbytery (but it shall otherwise be responsible for them):
    1. The call of an evangelist to serve as an organizing pastor
    2. The development of worship
    3. The development of means and programs to promote the spiritual development of the members
    4. The development of outreach and evangelism ministries
    5. The development of ministries of mercy and concern
    6. The training of potential church officers
    7. The proper handling of administrative matters
    8. The preparation of the church for organization
    9. The regular evaluation of the work

When It Is a Mission Work of a Presbytery

The committee of a presbytery which has been assigned the responsibility for the spiritual oversight of a mission work should follow the pattern of responsibilities outlined above, with the following special provisions:

  1. It must, upon its creation, be authorized to carry out the functions of a session, as outlined in FG XIII, on behalf of the presbytery in its care of the mission work.
  2. It may examine and receive members at its discretion, but it must keep their names on a separate roll of the organizing mission work in the general roll of the regional church, and certify membership changes to the stated clerk at regular intervals.

Supervising the Progress of a Mission Work Toward Its Development as a New and Separate Congregation

  1. The local session or the committee of presbytery which has the responsibility to supervise the progress of a mission work toward its development as a new and separate congregation must recognize that the nature of its work is different from that of supervising the ministry of a mature congregation. It is charged with developing the emerging ministry of a maturing, separate, and distinct body of believers with whom it may have minimal contact, but for whom it must pray and work earnestly.
  2. That local session or committee of presbytery is accountable to the presbytery for its work of supervising the progress of a mission work toward its development as a new and separate congregation, and, if the mission work receives denominational aid, is also responsible to report on its work to the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension.
  3. That local session or committee of presbytery will have responsibilities in at least the following areas of the mission work's development:
    1. The call of an evangelist to serve as an organizing pastor. Following the guidelines given above for calling an evangelist to labor in a mission work, the session or committee shall, when financial assistance is in view, work with the presbytery's home missions committee and CHMCE in the calling of a qualified man to serve as the organizing pastor for the mission work. It shall weigh heavily the interests and concerns of the members of the mission work in its selection of a candidate, but it must be careful not to inappropriately poll or divide the members by asking them to choose a candidate themselves. At least one implication of their being a mission work is that they do not yet have sufficient maturity to make wise decisions or defer to one another. It must be the presbytery or the mother church which calls the evangelist.
    2. The development of worship. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must develop suitable and acceptable guidelines for worship, and regularly review and refine them. Matters such as the type of music, the order of service, decorum, special music, the Scripture version, the length and time of services, etc., should be dealt with early in the church's life, giving the evangelist as much latitude as possible.
    3. The development of means and programs to promote the spiritual growth of the people in the mission work. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must develop and focus upon sound ways of discipling men, women, and children and infusing the Reformed faith into the life and work of the church's ministry. Sunday school, family visitation, congregational prayer, Bible studies, youth programs, and discipling ministries are all involved.
    4. The development of outreach and evangelism ministries. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must develop ministries and programs of outreach which will enable the young church to reach out into its community with the gospel and to make its ministry known. CHMCE's evangelism files contain scores of practical suggestions for how this might be done and are available upon request.
    5. The development of ministries of mercy and concern. Often overlooked in a church's early development, ministries of mercy flow naturally from a properly grounded congregation. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must provide opportunities for the Holy Spirit's work in the lives of members to take the forms of caring for the needy and performing deeds of kindness.
    6. The proper handling of administrative matters. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must constantly review, evaluate, and monitor the handling of finances (being sure that offerings are appropriately recorded with witnesses present, and that bills and obligations are paid on time), secretarial work and service, the production of bulletins and newsletters, etc.
    7. The preparation of the church for organization. Working in conjunction with the evangelist, the session or committee must train mature men as potential elders and deacons, produce formal documents such as bylaws and articles of incorporation, prepare a budget, and handle similar matters.
    8. The regular evaluation of the mission work. At least quarterly, the session or committee should review the progress of the mission work and of the labors of the evangelist, and make necessary suggestions and recommendations for correction and redirection.

Organizing a Mission Work into a New and Separate Congregation

When It Is a Mission Work of an Existing Congregation...

  1. The local session which has the responsibility for supervising the progress of the mission work toward its development as a new and separate congregation shall designate a list of members who constitute the membership of the mission work, and shall call a meeting of those members to petition the presbytery through its home missions committee to be organized as a new and separate congregation.
  2. The presbytery's home missions committee, acting on behalf of the presbytery, shall be authorized to:
    1. Examine and determine the qualifications of men from within the mission work who may stand for election as ruling elders and deacons.
    2. Authorize the session to call and conduct the congregational meetings required to elect elders and deacons and to call a pastor.
    3. Insure that the mission work conforms in other necessary aspects to the standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and report to the presbytery that the mission work is ready to become a new and separate congregation of the regional church.
  3. The presbytery, after approving the actions and recommendations of its home missions committee with respect to organizing the mission work as a new and separate congregation, shall call and conduct a service of recognition, at which time the congregation shall be recognized as a new and separate congregation of the regional church and its officers shall be ordained (if necessary) and installed according to the Form of Government.

When It Is a Mission Work of a Presbytery...

  1. The committee of presbytery which has been assigned the responsibility for supervising the progress of the mission work toward its development as a new and separate congregation shall assist the members of the regional church who constitute the membership of the mission work to petition the presbytery through its home missions committee to be organized as a new and separate congregation.
  2. The presbytery's home missions committee, acting on behalf of the presbytery, shall be authorized to:
    1. Draw up a list of members-at-large from the regional church who are part of the mission work and designate them as the charter roll of the new congregation.
    2. Examine and determine the qualifications of men from within the mission work who may stand for election as ruling elders and deacons.
    3. Call and conduct the congregational meetings required to elect elders and deacons and to call a pastor.
    4. Insure that the mission work conforms in other necessary aspects to the standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and report to the presbytery that the mission work is ready to become a new and separate congregation of the regional church.
  3. The presbytery, after approving the actions and recommendations of its home missions committee with respect to organizing the mission work as a new and separate congregation, shall call and conduct a service of recognition, at which time the congregation shall be recognized as a new and separate congregation of the regional church and its officers shall be ordained (if necessary) and installed according to the Form of Government.

Presbytery's Work with CHMCE

  1. CHMCE's purpose. The Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension desires to be in partnership with each of the presbyteries of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the planting of new OP congregations throughout the United States. CHMCE's goal, given to it by the General Assembly, is to foster the development of mission works throughout the denomination by assisting each of the presbyteries to be as effective as possible in doing its work in the area of new church development. CHMCE sets policies and makes decisions in the light of this overarching purpose.
  2. The selection of an evangelist. CHMCE has a policy that it "will always be consulted in the selection of the evangelist" when denominational financial aid is in view. CHMCE works hard to find capable and available men to serve as organizing pastors and regional home missionaries. The work of church planting is a specialized ministry requiring special abilities and experience. As plans unfold for the development of a mission work, it is wise to keep the Committee informed, so that, with presbytery and CHMCE working together, a qualified organizing pastor may be found as quickly as possible.
  3. Denominational financial support
    1. CHMCE's policy is to provide financial field support for up to four years on a declining scale, contingent upon the annually renewed recommendation of the presbytery, with the understanding that a full-time evangelist is working in the ministry of the mission work. Denominational financial aid can add the effective giving power of four to six families over the first several years of the life of the mission work. It is anticipated that as the church grows, the families added to the work will make up for the decreasing assistance provided.
    2. Presbytery financial assistance to a mission work is always assumed when CHMCE provides field support. In this regard it would be helpful to calculate how many giving family units would need to be added to the mission work in order to replace presbytery financial support. CHMCE hopes that presbytery and denominational financial support for mission works will complement each other, that they will be reduced proportionally, and that the presbytery anticipates a four-year cycle of support, just as CHMCE does.
    3. Requests for denominational field support for new mission works are to be made by the presbytery itself with the assistance of its home missions committee. Requests may be submitted at any time during the year, but CHMCE usually likes to consider them during its meetings in March, September, and December. Requests for support require an accompanying letter from the presbytery's home missions committee explaining the status and ministry of the new mission work, telling about the proposed man and his qualifications, and providing a four-year projected budget for the mission work showing the proportion of the work being funded from outside sources and its decrease over that four-year period. Requests for renewed yearly support are to be in CHMCE's administrative office by November 15 of each year, along with a status report on the work and the presbytery's recommendation regarding further support.
    4. A mission work receiving financial assistance from CHMCE through its presbytery is responsible, initially and upon request for renewal, to work toward the goal of financial self-sufficiency as soon as possible. A presbytery requesting financial assistance for a mission work is responsible to assure itself that the requested support is needed by the mission work, and report its findings on the matter to CHMCE along with its request.
  4. Monthly reports. CHMCE provides a simplified reporting system for organizing pastors receiving denominational financial aid. The reports are in two parts. The first is factual and statistical; the second is financial. Organizing pastors are expected to provide copies to their presbytery home missions committee, to their supervising session, to their regional home missionary, and to CHMCE. These reports are valuable to the organizing pastor and to the supervising session or committee, as well as to the presbytery home missions committee and CHMCE. A careful review of these reports can yield helpful evaluative information for counsel and encouragement. Quarterly reports are also part of the reporting system.
  5. The importance of prayer support. The work of church planting in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church goes forward as God's people pray. Monthly reports request prayer information, which is used in the New Horizons prayer calendar and CHMCE's twice-monthly prayer service called Home Missions Today. Periodically, home missionaries are asked to provide articles for the Home Missions pages of New Horizons, as a further vehicle to promote prayer for their ministries. Prayer support comes automatically with field support, but it may also be granted at presbytery request to selected mission works which do not receive denominational financial assistance.
  6. Developing a mission work. A mission work is a young church of Jesus Christ which is developing in maturity and ministry. It needs much attention from many different kinds of advisors in order to develop effectively into an organized congregation. The work of a presbytery's home missions committee must involve the regular review and evaluation of its mission works. CHMCE can provide assistance through the members of its staff, who will visit and provide an evaluation, but, in the partnership approach to home missions, the job starts and ends with the presbytery.
  7. Training for home missions personnel. CHMCE provides training for organizing pastors and regional home missionaries through its annual Home Missions Training Conference, held each year in May. This conference provides good fellowship with peers, sound biblical and theological course modules, and practicums in areas of ministry relevant to a developing mission work. A yearly Regional Church Extension Conference is also held for regional home missionaries and presbytery home missions committee chairmen in the fall of each year to provide them with special expertise in the work of presbytery home missions and to coordinate the efforts and plans of the presbyteries of the OPC in their mutual work of planting new churches.
  8. Planning. CHMCE values the planning efforts of the presbyteries as they consider establishing new mission works. The presbyteries which have given careful thought to the development of new churches, and which have laid plans and structured budgets accordingly, are those which have most effectively increased God's kingdom in their area of the United States. CHMCE's general secretary will serve in any way he can to assist presbytery home missions committees in their planning processes. As plans are shared and financial assistance is discussed each year at the Regional Church Extension Conference, an increasing degree of cooperation has developed between presbyteries, and a sense of ownership of the church-planting process has increased. Presbytery home missions committees should spend regular time making and evaluating realistic plans to establish new churches throughout their region. CHMCE will do everything it can to help in that process.

Sample Documents

Petition for Reception as a Mission Work

30451 Red River Cir.
Temecula, CA 92591-3833

October 1, 1997

The Presbytery of Southern California
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Mr. Robert M. Coie, Stated Clerk
P.O. Box 4258
Cerritos, CA 90703-4258

Dear Mr. Coie:

We, the undersigned, hereby express our desire to form a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the Temecula Valley area of Riverside County, California, under your jurisdiction and supervision. Therefore, we request that the Presbytery of Southern California establish and recognize us as a mission work of the Presbytery under the name Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church and appoint an overseeing session to supervise our development into a new and separate congregation of the Regional Church of Southern California.

Respectfully yours in Christ's sovereign love,

Sample Bylaws

Bylaws of Anywhere Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Adopted January 1, 1999

[Note: Underlining indicates the necessary information or those items about which decisions must be made by an organized congregation, according to the Form of Government.]

I. Preface

In order to propagate and maintain the Christian faith and worship as it is set forth in the Holy Scriptures and defined in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Anywhere Orthodox Presbyterian Church determines to be governed by The Book of Church Order of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, by the Bylaws of the Presbytery of Someplace of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and by the following Bylaws:

II. Election of Officers

  1. Nominations for candidates for the offices of ruling elder and deacon must be submitted to the session by the third week of September. The session will announce on the last Lord's Day of September those men whom it has approved to enter a period of training for church office. These men shall then be trained and certified by the session, normally in time to be presented to the congregation for election at its annual meeting in January. They shall be elected by majority vote.
  2. Ruling elders and deacons will be elected to terms of three years. [Note: Ruling elders and deacons may also be elected for lifetime service.]
  3. The number of elders or deacons to serve on the session or diaconate at any one time will be determined by the session, provided that no incumbent member of either board will be prevented from being nominated to a new term by reduction in the size of the board.
  4. The Board of Trustees shall consist of up to six members, elected in three classes by majority vote to terms of three years each, with no limit on the number of terms they may serve, but less than half of the total members of the Board may be other than ruling elders or deacons. One class of the Board shall be elected each year at the annual corporation meeting.

III. Meetings of the Congregation

  1. The annual congregational meeting will normally be held in the fourth week of January.
  2. One-third of the voting members of the congregation will constitute a quorum at a congregational meeting.
  3. Public notice of all meetings of the congregation must be given on two consecutive Lord's Days prior to the meeting, or with written notice being mailed to all members at least ten days in advance of the meeting.

IV. Meetings of the Corporation

  1. The annual meeting of the corporation will be held at the same time as the congregational meeting.
  2. One-third of the voting members of the congregation, eighteen years of age and older, will constitute a quorum at a corporation meeting.

V. The Budget

The budget will be assembled by a committee appointed by the session. The budget will be presented to the session for review at least two weeks before the annual congregational meeting where it shall be presented and approved.

VI. Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended in whole or in part by a vote of two-thirds of the voting members present at a congregational meeting, provided that notice of the proposed amendment(s) be given in writing to the clerk of the session and announced at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Enabling Motions

In order to facilitate the establishment of new mission works, presbytery home missions committees are often called upon to provide the governmental mechanics for doing Presbyterian church planting. This appendix provides recommended wording for the motions that will be required to enable a presbytery or its committees or appointees to do their work.

To recognize a petitioning group as a mission work (for presbytery action):

That the presbytery recognize the group of petitioning believers in ___________, in response to their request, as a mission work of the presbytery in accordance with FG XXIX.A.1; that those who have been examined and approved be enrolled as members at large of the regional church; that Messrs. ___________ be assigned the responsibility for the spiritual oversight of the mission work; and that the mission work be granted permission to use the word "Church" in its name for publicity purposes.

To receive members into a mission work (for session action):

At ___________ on ___________, Mr. and Mrs. ___________ met with the Committee at ___________ in ___________ to apply for membership in the newly forming Orthodox Presbyterian church in ___________.

During the interview, the Committee inquired about their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and their walk with him, their family and work backgrounds, their present church affiliation, their reasons for requesting membership in the OPC, and their agreement with the constitutional questions asked of all prospective members of the OPC.

On motion it was determined to receive ___________ and ___________ into communicant membership in the newly forming Orthodox Presbyterian church in ___________ by reaffirmation of their faith, along with their covenant children ___________ (born ___________) and ___________ (born ___________); to place their names on the rolls of the Regional Church of ___________ until such time as the mission work is organized as a new and separate congregation.

To record the names of members of a mission work (for session or presbytery action):

That the following names be recorded on the rolls of the Regional Church of ___________ as members of the forming congregation of ___________ Church in ___________:

Communicant Members:
1. ______________      5. ______________
2. ______________      6. ______________
3. ______________      7. ______________
4. ______________      8. ______________

Noncommunicant Members:
1. ______________      5. ______________
2. ______________      6. ______________
3. ______________      7. ______________
4. ______________      8. ______________

To set up an administrative committee for a mission work (for committee or session action):

That the home missions committee appoint an Administrative Committee composed of ___________, ___________, and ___________ to carry out the following functions on behalf of the home missions committee for the progress and development of ___________ Church and report in writing at least monthly to the home missions committee:

Routine matters not requiring further authorization by the home missions committee:

  1. The arranging of regular pulpit supply by any minister in good standing in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and/or by ___________, ___________, and ___________.
  2. The determining of regular times for worship services and Sunday school.
  3. The supervision and receiving of reports from those to whom tasks have been delegated by the home missions committee.
  4. The scheduling and conducting of congregational meetings for the purpose of disseminating information and obtaining opinions and preferences.
  5. The contacting of potential pastoral candidates.
  6. The arranging of routine counseling assistance.
  7. The preparation of prospective members for examination by presbytery representatives (giving special attention to teenage covenant children).
  8. The arranging of fellowship activities.
  9. The arranging of discipleship and Bible study opportunities.
  10. The procurement and rental of facilities.
  11. The disbursement of funds to meet regular obligations.
  12. The taking under advisement of the committee's suggestions regarding the appointment of greeters/ushers, a literature/bulletin board coordinator, a Sunday school coordinator (for recruiting and scheduling teachers and assembly leaders, ordering curriculum materials, etc.), Sunday school teachers (for preschool, primary, junior, junior high, and senior high), an adult teacher, and a follow-up coordinator.

Matters requiring further authorization by the home missions committee through contact with ___________:

  1. The approval of additional names for pulpit supply.
  2. The examination and reception of new members.
  3. The scheduling and administration of the sacraments.
  4. The handling of difficult counseling situations or potential disciplinary problems.
  5. The calling of congregational meetings for the purpose of making decisions.
  6. The handling of matters related to the call of a pastor.
  7. That the home missions committee appoint the following to positions of work responsibility in the church:
    • Worship planners: ___________ and ___________
    • Bulletin preparer: ___________
    • Church treasurer: ___________
    • Money counters: ___________ and ___________
    • Meeting arrangements coordinator: ___________ (accompanists, set up, refreshments, nursery)
    • Publicity coordinator: ___________ (signs, brochure, newspaper, radio)
    • Missions coordinator: ___________ (OPC home and foreign missions news)
    • Administrative coordinator: ___________ (church directory, historian, statistician)
    • Supplies coordinator: ___________
    • Pastoral search committee: ___________ (chairman), ___________, ___________, and ___________

To process a call to an organizing pastor (for presbytery action):

That the presbytery extend the following call to ___________:

The Presbytery of ___________, being, on sufficient grounds, well satisfied with the ministerial qualifications of you, ___________, and having good hopes that your ministrations in the gospel will be profitable to the spiritual interests of the people of our mission work in ___________, do earnestly call and desire you to undertake the office of evangelist, laboring as the organizing pastor of ___________ Church; promising you in the discharge of your duty all proper support, prayer, and encouragement in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly care and employment, we join with the people of the mission work to promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of $___________ in regular monthly payments during the time of your being and continuing as an evangelist there, together with a housing allowance of $___________ per month, federal self-employment tax payments of $___________ per quarter, pension payments of $___________ per quarter, denominational health insurance payments of $___________ per quarter, disability and workman's compensation insurance payments of $___________ per quarter, and four weeks of vacation each year.

That Mr. ___________ be installed as an evangelist of the presbytery in a service of installation held at ___________ on ___________, and that the members of the home missions committee be appointed as a committee on arrangements for the service.

To request financial assistance from the Committee on Home Missions (for presbytery action):

That the presbytery request the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension to provide aid in the amount of $___________ per month, commencing ___________, for the support of ___________ in his work as an evangelist, laboring as the organizing pastor of the mission work in ___________, with the understanding that such aid is part of a four-year program of field support for total aid of up to $___________, pending the annually renewed recommendation of the presbytery.

To organize a mission work as a new and separate congregation (for presbytery action):

That, in accordance with FG XXIX.A.4, the presbytery authorize its home missions committee to:

  1. Draw up a list of members at large from the regional church who are part of the mission work and designate them as the charter members of the new congregation.
  2. Examine and determine the qualifications of men who are part of the mission work who may stand for election as ruling elders and deacons.
  3. Call and conduct the congregational meetings required to elect elders and deacons and to call a pastor.
  4. Insure that the mission work conforms in all other respects to the standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and report to the presbytery that the mission work is ready to become a new and separate congregation of the regional church.

Then, after the home missions committee has completed its work and reported to the presbytery in accordance with FG XXIX.A.4.e:

That the presbytery proceed to organize ___________ Church in ___________ as a new and separate congregation of the Regional Church of ___________, in accordance with FG XXIX.A.4, and authorize that a service of recognition and installation be held on ___________, and that the home missions committee be appointed as a committee on arrangements for that service.

Appendix 2: A Procedure for Receiving an Organized Congregation

When a presbytery receives an application for membership in the OPC from an organized congregation, stating the reasons which moved it to apply, in accordance with FG XXIX.B.2.a, the following suggested procedure may be employed:

That, in accordance with FG XXIX.B.2.b, the presbytery appoint its home missions committee to respond to the request of ___________ Church to be received into the Presbytery of ___________ under the following procedural guidelines:

  1. That an initial meeting between representatives of the home missions committee and the members of ___________ Church will be held on ___________ for the purpose of becoming acquainted with each other, explaining the work and ministry of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and reviewing the procedure by which the congregation will be received into the presbytery.
  2. That the home missions committee will examine and certify to the presbytery and to the congregation the qualifications of those men who may be approved to serve as elders of the congregation of ___________ Church.
  3. That the home missions committee will examine and/or certify to the presbytery the credible professions of faith of the members of the congregation of ___________ Church.
  4. That the home missions committee will work with the session of ___________ Church to revise their official documents so as to be in conformity with the standards of doctrine, government, discipline, and worship of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
  5. That the home missions committee will assist the session of ___________ Church in drawing up a suitable call to ___________ to be their pastor.
  6. That representatives of the home missions committee will be in attendance at a congregational meeting of ___________ Church at which their official documents are amended to conform to the standards of doctrine, government, discipline, and worship of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church; their church officers are confirmed by vote; and the call to their pastor is acted upon.
  7. That the home missions committee will report its work and recommendations to the presbytery.

When the home missions committee makes its report to the presbytery, the following recommendations are appropriate:

  1. That the Presbytery of ___________ accede to the request of ___________ Church to be received into the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and that they be enrolled as a new and separate congregation of the Regional Church of ___________ in accordance with FG XXIX.B.2.
  2. That the terms of the call of ___________ Church to ___________ be approved and that the call be placed in his hands.
  3. That a service of recognition and installation be conducted for ___________ Church by the Presbytery of ___________ on ___________, at which time ___________ will be installed as their pastor; and that the home missions committee be appointed as a committee on arrangements for the service.
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