Structure & Standing Orders

Northern Presbytery Structure and Standing Orders -October 2015

Printable version Presbytery Structure and Standing Orders -October 2015

The Northern Presbytery

The Presbytery is constituted by the General Assembly and operates according to the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. If there is any conflict between these Standing Orders and the Book of Order, then the Book of Order shall take precedent.

1.0 Presbytery

Moderator:

1.1 The Moderator chairs the meeting and is elected for a two year term.

Elections for the Moderator:

  • The Election for the Moderator will be held in November by electronic methods. Elections will be held biennially.
  • The Moderator serves for a term of 2 years. The Moderator will be elected in the November before his/her year as Moderator Designate, and after the completion of her/his term as Moderator Designate will take up the office of Moderator in the following February. After the completion of his/her Moderatorial term, she/he will serve a further year as the Immediate Past Moderator.
  • If the Moderator resigns during their term of Office, the next full Presbytery meeting shall elect a Moderator. They will serve out the term of office of the Moderator they replace.

Membership:

1.2 Membership is determined by the relevant sections in the Book of Order.

Meetings:

1.3 The full Presbytery shall meet at least three times a year with the meetings to include a balance of mission and inspiration and such business as needs to be transacted including receiving a report from the Council. Presbytery will normally meet in the summer (February) winter (July) spring (November).

1.4 The Presbytery shall adopt a strategic plan for the operations of the Presbytery.

1.5 The Winter meeting of the presbytery will be the presbytery’s “Annual Meeting”. The annual meeting will:

  • Approve the presbytery’s budget.
  • Set the Presbytery levy.
  • Confirm the Conveners of Workgroups and other committees and commissions.
  • Confirm the membership of all Workgroups and other committees and commissions.

1.6 The Spring Presbytery meeting will receive reports from Work Groups on the progress of the Presbytery’s strategic plan.

2. Council:

The Presbytery has established a Council with the full powers of the Presbytery to formulate strategies, receive and decide on matters reported to it from Work Groups, sub-committees and commissions, and on any other business referred to it.

Convener:

2.1 The Council elects its Convenor, at the first meeting of the new Council. The Convenor’s term of office is two years. The Convener shall be one of the 6 elected members.

2.2 The Moderator of the Presbytery cannot also be the convener of the Council.

Membership:

2.3 The Council consists of:

Members: (voting)

  • Moderator of Presbytery
  • Six elected members
  • Conveners of Presbytery Work Groups nominated by council
  • A representative of Asian congregations in the Presbytery
  • A representative of Pacific Island congregations within the Presbytery
  • Presbytery Treasurer
  • Co-opted members (a maximum of three)

All elected members, co-opted members, and representative members will be members of Northern Presbytery.

Associated members: (non-voting)

  • The Immediate Past Moderator in the year after the end of their term of office
  • The Moderator-Designate in the year prior to their assuming office
  • The Clerk
  • Other Presbytery or national Church staff as appropriate.
  • Other Associated members required for particular purposes. This will include a representative from Te Aka Puaho.

Elected Council members:

2.4 Elections for the council members, will be held in November by electronic methods. Elections will be held biennially.

2.5 3 of the 6 council members will be elected every second year, serving for a four year term after which they are eligible to be elected for a further term. New council members join the Council in February of the year following their election. Casual vacancies are replaced by appointment and such councillors serve out the term of the person they replaced.

Non-elected members:

Conveners of Work Groups:

2.6 Those Work Groups which have been chosen by the Council to have their Conveners sit on the Council, sit as of right during their tenure as convener of that Work Group.

Two Work Groups have been selected to have their conveners sit on the council:

  • Ministry
  • Property and Finance.

Asian and Pacific Island congregation’s representatives:

2.7 Such representatives shall be nominated by Council and reported to the next Presbytery meeting. They shall serve for 2 years, from the date of their appointment.

The Treasurer:

2.8 The Presbytery Treasurer serves according to the conditions of his/her appointment to the role.

Co-opted members:

2.9 Such co-opted representatives shall be nominated by Council and reported to the next Presbytery meeting. They shall serve for 2 years from the date of their nomination.

Associated members:

2.10 All officers and employees serve according to the conditions of their employment agreements.

Meetings and reporting:

2.11 The Council should meet each month (Except January).

2.12 All meetings of the Council shall be open to any member of the Presbytery unless meeting in private, or behind closed doors.

2.13 Presbytery members attending meetings of the Council shall have the right to speak to any matter on the agenda, but not to move or second motions or vote.

2.14 The Council shall publish their meeting times and venue in advance of the meeting and make available, on request, the meeting’s agenda and any reports.

2.15 Publish the full decisions of the meetings to members of Presbytery through email distribution.

3. Council Executive:

The Council Executive acts for the Council at an operational level, as required, including regular meetings with Presbytery staff.

Composition:

3.1 The composition of the Council Executive, at any particular time is at the discretion of the Council.

Decisions:

3.2 All decisions of the Council Executive, which it is acknowledged must sometimes meet real time considerations, are subject to ratification by the Council.

4. Work Groups, Committees and Commissions:

4.1 The Presbytery shall establish Work Groups and Committees to oversee the operations of the Presbytery in accordance with the Presbytery’s Strategic plan.

4.2 The Presbytery may establish single issue commissions from time to time who will report their decisions to the Presbytery when they conclude their tasks.

Conveners and membership of Work Groups and Committees:

All conveners and members shall either be members of the Presbytery, or elders.

Conveners:

4.3 Conveners shall be nominated by Council to the Presbytery’s Annual meeting for confirmation. They shall serve for 2 years, from the date of their confirmation.

Membership:

4.4 Members of Work Groups and Committees shall be nominated by Council to the Presbytery’s Annual meeting for confirmation. They shall serve for 2 years from the date of their confirmation.

4.5 Casual vacancies of either the conveners, or in the membership shall be filled by the Council, and these will be confirmed at the next full meeting of the Presbytery.

4.6 The Moderator and Convener of the Council are ex officio members of all Work Groups and Committees.

Meetings and reporting:

4.7 The Work Groups will normally meet monthly. Other Committees and Commissions will normally meet as needed.

4.8 All meetings of Work Groups shall be open to any member of the Presbytery unless meeting in private, or behind closed doors.

4.9 Presbytery members attending meetings of Work Groups shall have the right to speak to any matter on the agenda, but not to move or second motions or vote.

4.10 All Work Groups are to report monthly to the Council, and to each meeting of Presbytery.

4.11 The Work Groups shall publish their meeting times and venue in advance of the meeting and make available, on request, the meeting’s agenda and any reports.

4.12 Publish the full decisions of the meeting through Council minutes.

Delegated Powers:

Work Groups, Committees and Commissions are the Presbytery’s operational bodies and have powers appropriate to their area of operation. Certain Work groups have limited powers of commission, while other Work Groups and committees can bring recommendations to the Council by way of recommendations.

Commissions established for a single purpose have full powers of Presbytery.

Only the Presbytery or the Council have the power to establish commissions.

The Presbytery has established three Work Groups which have the following powers of Commission:

4.13 Ministry -under commission power:

  • appoints Interim Moderators and MSB members,
  • approves reports on the future of the Parish from the MSB,
  • approves the form of Ministry the MSB recommends for the Parish,
  • processes any calls,
  • organises Parish reviews,
  • provides general oversight in respect of ministry matters;

4.14 Property and Finance -under commission powers:

  • recommends to the Presbytery an annual budget and levy,
  • gives approval to all parish expenditure that requires Presbytery approval before submission to the Church Property Trustees for their approval,
  • process all property applications,
  • manages the finances of the presbytery,
  • provides financial and property guidance.

4.15 Students:

  • Receive applications from people who wish to apply to the National Assessment Work Group to train for the ministry of the PCANZ.
  • Meet with such people and asses their suitability to attend a National Assessment Work Group assessment weekend.
  • Decide on those candidates that they think are suitable, and support their application to attend a National Assessment Weekend.
  • Once the National Assessment Work Group has completed its process and made its decisions, report to the Council those candidates who have been successful for confirmation.

4.16 Churches Together in Northland (CTN)

Churches Together in Northland operates as an autonomous region in the Presbytery and has responsibility for the Co-operating ventures within Northland. This includes but is not limited to: all property transactions and all matters of mission and ministry within the region. The CTN maintains relationships with Northern Presbytery, the Methodist Synod and the Anglican Diocese.

Northern Presbytery delegates such matters to CTN as seems appropriate and CTN has the right to refer matters to the Presbytery, while the Presbytery has the right to suspend delegation as deemed necessary.

Currently Churches Together in Northland contains the following Parishes which have a Presbytery component:

Bay of Islands Uniting Parish

Hikurangi Christian Fellowship Union Parish

Kaeo/Kerikeri Union Church

Kaikohe Union Church

Kaitaia Union Church

Kaurihohere Co-operating Church

Otamatea Co-operating Church

Ruawai Co-operating Church

Tutukaka Coast Community Church

Wellsford Co-operating Church

St John’s Co-operating, Whangarei

St Peter’s by the Sea, Whangarei Heads

5. Common Procedures to Presbytery, Council and Work Groups:

5.1 Each meeting shall open with prayer and close with the benediction.

5.2 The Moderator of the Presbytery, the Convenor of the Council, and Conveners of Work Groups, when chairing meetings, do not exercise a deliberative vote, but may exercise a casting vote in the event of a tied vote.

5.3 Each meeting shall record any conflicts of interest.

5.4 If a matter is brought before any meeting in which the Moderator or Convener of that meeting has an interest in, then for the discussion of that matter the Moderator or Convener should vacate the chair and another member of the meeting, who is also a full member of the Presbytery shall take the chair. The Moderator or Convener resumes the chair at the conclusion of the business in which he or she has an interest in.

5.5 The quorum for the Presbytery shall be one third of the members including the Moderator. The quorum of the Council shall be one third of the voting members of council, including the convener. The quorum for Work Groups shall be the Convener and three other members.

6. Northern Presbytery Standing Orders:

6.1 The full Presbytery will meet at least three times a year.

6.2 The business to be dealt with at an ordinary meeting is to be stated in the proposed agenda, which, together with minutes of the previous meeting and any special or emergency meetings, will be circulated electronically to members one week prior to the meeting.

6.3 A record of attendance of each member at each meeting shall be kept. The number of those attending and number of apologies will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

6.4 It is the function of the Council to arrange the business of the regular Presbytery meetings including any Orders of the Day or other special business.

6.5 New business not arising from the debate, or not included on the agenda, can only be introduced after leave has been sought from the meeting.

6.6 All motions and amendments must be submitted to the Clerk in writing to ensure that they are accurately recorded.

6.7 Any amendment may not contradict the motion.

6.8 Presbytery will recognise the following procedural motions:

  • That the motion be put. This motion may not be debated, and may not be moved by anyone who has already spoken on the debate. If carried, this ends the debate and the original motion is then voted on. The Moderator may decline to accept the procedural motion if he or she considers the rights of debate would be infringed.

 

  • That Presbytery pass to the next business. This motion may not be moved by anyone who has already spoken in the debate. The mover and the seconder may speak and it may be debated. If carried, Presbytery moves to the next business without further discussion.
  • That Presbytery meet in private. Decisions made when Presbytery meets in private, but not the preceding discussion, shall be reported.
  • That Presbytery meet behind closed doors. Only full and associate members may remain in the meeting. Presbytery decides what, if any, reporting is permitted.
  • That Presbytery resume in public. This motion follows the completion of business “in private” or “behind closed doors”

6.9 The Moderator has the discretion, when debate has reached a point where further progress towards resolving an issue appears unlikely, to declare standing orders to be suspended for a period, in order that other means for a solution may be explored, or to allow a period for reflection.

6.10 When a vote is put to the Presbytery, the Moderator declares, normally on a voice vote, that a motion or amendment has been agreed (no dissenting voices) carried (majority in favour) or lost.

6.11 Any member may ask for a vote to be counted by show of hands or secret ballot.

6.12 The Clerk alone shall convey the decisions of Presbytery to any affected or interested parties, except in those instances when it is deemed more appropriate for the Moderator to act.

7. Council, Work Groups, Commissions Standing Orders:

Note: These standing orders are written from the point of view of the Council

7.1 The Council will normally meet monthly.

7.2 The business to be dealt with at the meeting is to be stated in an agenda, which, together with minutes of the previous meeting and other necessary papers and reports, will be circulated to members prior to the meeting.

7.3 The names of those attending and those apologising shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

7.4 It is the function of the Presbytery Clerk and the Convenor of the Council to arrange the business of the meetings including any Orders of the Day or other special business.

7.5 The business of the Council shall be conducted by way of motion. Each motion, to be debated, requires a mover and a seconder. Amendments to the motion may not contradict the motion.

7.6 New business not arising from the debate, or not included on the agenda, can only be introduced after leave has been sought from the meeting.

7.7 The Convenor of Council has the discretion, when debate has reached a point where further progress towards resolving an issue appears unlikely, to declare standing orders to be suspended for a period, in order that other means for a solution may be explored, or to allow a period for reflection.

7.8 When a vote is put to the Council, the Convenor declares, normally on a voice vote, that a motion or amendment has been agreed (no dissenting voices) carried (majority in favour) or lost.

7.9 Any member may ask for a vote to be counted by show of hands or secret ballot.

7.10 Meetings of the Council are open to any member of the Presbytery/any church member unless “meeting in private” or “behind closed doors”.

Printable version Presbytery Structure and Standing Orders -October 2015