Commissioners and visitors arrived at the First Presbyterian Church, Mexico on a beautiful cool fall morning and were welcomed by volunteers who assisted with parking. Once inside this beautiful church, they were again greeted by friendly volunteers who led them to the morning coffee and sweet rolls and other goodies as soon as they officially registered.
An outstanding lunch was followed by a Pittsburgh Steeler roast of Elder Don Bay the outgoing Stated Clerk, who had served the Presbytery in that position for the past 13 years.
Presbytery Moderator, Rev. Terry Kukuk, opened the meeting with the singing of two hymns. Terry received joys and concerns that were expressed by a number of commissioners. Terry incorporated these joys and concerns into the opening prayer. Elder Bob Fenlon welcomed everyone to First Presbyterian Church, Mexico.
Stated Clerk, Don Bay, introduced the speaker for the morning’s Educational event, Rev. Steve McCutchan, who is Don’s 1st Cousin. Rev. McCutchan has actively researched the emotional wellbeing of clergy and other church workers since he retired from being a church pastor. Steve has found that a healthy clergy make for a healthy congregation. He has written several books and recorded two CD’s based on his research. Cooperating with the “Presbytery Pastoral Care Network”, he has helped design a Toolbox with suggestions on how a church cares for the health of their pastor. Further details on the Toolbox are available at www.pastorcarenetwork.org. Steve played selections from a CD “A Deep Well for the pastor” where Steve recorded the meditation with songs recorded by David M. Bailey.
Worship Service was presented by Elder Bob Duncan, Rev. Kathie Jackson, and Rev. Terry Kukuk. Rev. Jackson preached the sermon “Famous Last Words” and challenged us to let God have the last word! Rev. Terry Kukuk Installed the new Officers for 2014, Presbytery Moderator, Elder Bob Duncan; Presbytery vice-Moderator, Rev. Kathie Jackson; and Stated Clerk, Rev. Philip Olson. Elder Jim Cruickshank joined Elder Duncan, Rev. Kukuk and Rev. Jackson in administering the Lord’s Supper.
Following lunch, Commissioners and guests were provided time to visit displays to learn more about the activities of Presbytery Committees and Mission Teams as well as learning about the new Presbyterian Hymnal and to have followup discussions with the morning Educational presenter Rev. Steve McCutchan.
Camp Director Rob Hoell reported that participation in this year’s new camp programs was strong and the feedback good. Two new camps for Sr Highs are planned for 2014. Rob passed out Cookie Boxes for each church containing 2014 Summer Camp Brochures, Posters plus home made bags of cookies for those that delivered the box to the church and for the person who makes sure the posters and brochures are made available to their church members.
Certainly, a highlight of the meeting was Elder Jan Hartje, Moderator of the Presparation for Ministry Committee inviting Inquirer Julie King and Inquirer Susan Presley to come before Presbytery to be approved as Candidates. They were both recommended by their Church and the Committee for Preparation for Ministry to be Candidates. Their Statements of Faiths were distributed to all commissioners and after hearing strong recommendations from their mentors were unanimouisly approved to become Candidates for the Ministry. Rev. Kukuk conducted the service to install Julie King and Susan Presley as Candidates.
Rev. Helen Logan, Moderator of the Nominations Committee placed in nomination a full slate of nominees for Presbytery Committees for the new Class of 2016 plus Moderator’s for 2014 andthey were elected unanimouisly. The Presbytery also elected Elder Bob Duncan and Rev. Kathie Jackson as Commissioners to the next General Assembly(2014) meeting in Detroit Michigan.
Rev. Kukuk administered the oath of office to re-commission Victor Smith for three years as Commissioned Ruling Elder to Sweet Springs Presbyterian Church.
Rev. RIM Massey, being approved for Honorable Retirement effective December 31, 2013 was blessed by the entire assembly.
Rev. Kukuk presented Moderator Awards to Mona Ajans for her outstanding service for Presbyterian Women and Rev. Kathie Jackson for her outstanding service for Synod and the Presbytery as well as First Presbyterian Church, Columbia. Elder Jim Cruickshank recognized Rev. Terry Kukuk for her wonderful service as the 2013 Moderator of Presbytery. Rev. Steve Merrin thanked First Presbyterian Church for their excellent hospitality and sent everyone home singing and clapping their hands to a good old camp song.