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1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104
United States


The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.


APRIL 18, 2017

Proposed Agenda

5:00        Welcome, Prayer & Agenda
5:05        Greetings from Board of Pensions - Rev. Mark Frey
5:10        Stated Clerk Report
5:15        Nominating Report
5:20        Coordinating Council Report
5:25        Seattle First PC Administrative Commission Report
5:35        Worship
6:30        Dinner
7:15        Mission Highlights - Union, Lake Burien PC, Colombia Mission Partnership
7:40        Bills & Overtures Report
8:10        COM Report (exams)
8:30        CMC Report
8:40        New Business
8:45        Consent Agenda
8:50        Adjourn & Prayer

*Reminder: all meeting reports and documents will be available online.  Only a limited number of printed copies will be available at each presbytery meeting. Click here to download a PDF version of meeting papers when available. [Updated: 4/17/17]



Stated Clerk Report

For Consent Agenda:

Minutes of the presbytery meetings dated January 1, 2017 and February 22, 2017.

We conduct almost all of our business by voice or counted (raising hands or standing) vote. Should a commissioner wish to vote by paper ballot, he/she may do the following:
•    prior to the call for the vote, obtain the recognition of the moderator
•    move that the vote on the item under discussion be held by paper ballot
•    if seconded, the moderator will call for the vote – the motion is not debatable and passes with a simple majority


April 2017 Nominating Report


Seattle First Presbyterian is worshipping weekly at our historic location, with a diverse gathering of 25-30 people, with a recent spike to nearly 40 – the largest attendance since the AC assumed jurisdiction. The congregation consists of a few handfuls of regular members, Iranian immigrants, Presbytery supporters, homeless and marginalized folks, locals from the neighborhood, occasional visitors seeking medical treatment on “Pill Hill”, and Seattle tourists.

While we feel the challenges of our unique circumstances, history and location, the congregation continues to experience the presence of the Spirit in worship - especially as we engage in a communal, participative, reading of Scripture together. There is energy, connection, joy, and life in Christ together.

We are also in the beginning steps of engaging in a discernment process, led by our pastor and approved by the session/AC, to discover how God might be leading us into the future.  This will start with conversation with community and ministry partners to explore ways to better serve and connect with our neighbors.  We are excited about this opportunity to discern a renewed mission and worshipping footprint on First Hill.  We have also been meeting with other downtown Presbyterian pastors as part of this process, including Union, Capitol Hill PC, and UPC.   

Additionally, we have been partnering with Compass Housing Alliance who has received a grant from the city for an 24 hour a day Enhanced Services Transitional Housing Shelter (100 beds) which will be located in part of our building.  We are very grateful for this unique mission opportunity.

On the litigation front, in March we again won summary judgment, this time in the “Presbytery II” action.  The court declared that the former pastors’ purported severance agreements were “invalid, inapplicable, and unenforceable,” dismissed the former pastors’ counterclaims, and awarded the presbytery its costs and statutory attorneys’ fees.  We are continuing to reach out to the former leaders to try to resolve all or as many as possible of the remaining issues.  Those issues are currently scheduled for trial in December. 


1.      Motion to approve the investment of $60,000 in the Union property (415 Westlake Ave, Seattle, WA) for fiscal year 2017 (July 2016-June 2017) from the Mission Asset Reserve Fund.  

In November of 2014, at the recommendation of the Property and Finance committee, Presbytery approved the investment of $5,000 per month ($60,000) annually) in the Union property at 415 Westlake Ave, Seattle from the Mission Asset Reserve Fund.  At that time, the P&F committee requested that UPC/Union reapply annually for renewal of the investment.  UPC/Union is requesting renewal for FY17 (July 2016 – June 2017) of $60,000 total for the current fiscal year. This is the last equity investment the presbytery will make in the Union property. 

The $60,000 investment would buy equity in the 415 Westlake Ave property with a current estimated value between $8-$10 million. We propose that Presbytery purchase equity with the value of the 415 Westlake Ave property set at $8 million.  That would be a purchase of .75% of equity.  Added to the Presbytery’s previous purchases of equity equaling 6.2% ($250,000 down payment, and $60,000 in 2014-15 at original purchase price valuation of the property of $5 million) it would produce a total equity share of 6.95% equity in the 415 Westlake Property.

Personnel Report:
It is the recommendation of the Personnel Committee to hire Rev. Dean Strong, at 10hrs/week as stated clerk to finish out this one-year term which will end in January 2018. 

[Background: Dean Strong is currently serving as the clerk of the Northwest Coast Presbytery and has worked many times with the Seattle Presbytery staff. This will not only provide us with a clerk immediately, it will also provide the time we were looking for, to continue to evaluate this position.] 


I am pleased to report that at our April presbytery meeting, Union will announce its intention to charter as a congregation. This has been a long journey of growth, discernment, experimentation, and partnership in mission for the folks at Union and UPC, and all agree that the time is right for Union to join Seattle Presbytery as a congregation. 

There are challenges to chartering for Union, chief among them being the cost of the 415 Westlake property. In 2014, UPC and Seattle Presbytery partnered to help acquire the property, but as a chartered congregation the responsibility for the mortgage shifts to Union. 

This is where the partner congregations of Seattle Presbytery can help bridge the gap. If Seattle Presbytery were to loan Union $250,000 (the mortgage payment) per year for up to seven years, this would allow Union time to redevelop the property and pay the presbytery back. 

In the past, the presbytery started new congregations by buying land, hiring a pastor, and building a new church building. The whole enterprise was costly and fraught with challenges. The last two congregations we began this way dissolved in ten years. 

The Union proposal is quite different: the presbytery will loan Union up to $1.75M, at which point (redevelopment) the presbytery will receive its investment back. The presbytery will also reimburse UPC $500,000 for their share of the down payment they made at purchase, adding to the amount Union will payback. The total loan to Union will be up to $2.25M. 

Seattle Presbytery currently has $2M in cash and expects another $1M+ in cash from the sale of the Greenwood property (the rest of the sale to be financed). In other words, the presbytery has the money to loan Union without it affecting our current operations or grant support to its congregations.  

(The Property & Finance committee also recommends an equity investment of $60,000 for the current fiscal year. This is a part of a commitment made years ago to assist Union with operational losses. With this investment, the presbytery owns a $370,000 equity stake in the property. This is the last equity investment the presbytery will make as the loan takes over as the vehicle to assist Union in their development as a congregation.)

Over the past 8 years, Seattle Presbytery has been laboring to see new expressions of the mission of God break through among us. To that end, we have renewed our commitment to healthy financial stewardship, the ministry of our congregations, congregational leadership, and the starting of new fellowships. 

I am excited that the presbytery has an opportunity to partner in establishing a new downtown congregation. Join me as we continue to pray for new ways to support the growth, health, and vitality of all our congregations. 

-Scott Lumsden, Executive Presbyter


Proposed amendments to the Constitution approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016)
and recommended to presbyteries for their vote.


1.      Having received evidence that Certified Candidate Shannon Smythe has fulfilled the educational
requirements of the Constitution of the Church, the Committee on Ministry presents her for examination. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.4003). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. Christian faith, views on theology, the Bible, the Sacraments and the government of this church. (W-4.4003).  Pending successful examination, approve the call to Shannon Smythe for ministerial services as Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Seattle Pacific University, and should the way be clear, approve this position as a validated ministry.          

[Background: Shannon is a certified candidate from Northwest Coast Presbytery, requesting to be ordained to validated ministry at as Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Seattle Pacific University.  An exam team met with Shannon on March 6, 2017 and found that she is suitable for membership in Seattle Presbytery and to recommend validating her ministry should the way be clear.]


2.      Having received evidence that Certified Candidate Tyler Kirkpatrick has fulfilled the educational requirements of the Constitution of the Church, the Committee on Ministry presents him for examination. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W- 4.4003). Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. Christian faith, views on theology, the Bible, the Sacraments and the government of this church. (W-4.4003).  Pending successful examination, approve the call to Tyler Kirkpatrick for ministerial services as Temporary Associate Pastor at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church. 

[Background: The session of Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church supports Tyler Kirkpatrick to serve in this role upon approval of his ordination by the presbytery.  Tyler is currently a certified candidate under care of Presbytery of the Pacific. An exam team met with Tyler on March 6, 2017 and found that he is suitable for membership in Seattle Presbytery and for the call of Central Kitsap PC should the way be clear.]


Examination of Shannon Smythe (Statement of FaithSPU job description)

Shannon Smythe bio: 

Dr. Shannon Smythe (BA, Seattle Pacific University, 2002; MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2006; PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2013).

Shannon grew up as a pastor’s kid in Huntington Beach, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Lake Charles, LA, and Lynden, WA. She attended college at Seattle Pacific University, and it was there that she simultaneously fell in love with theology and received a call to ministry. Her call to ministry was met with resistance from her parents because of her gender, and she eventually told herself that whatever she did with her theological studies, she would not pursue pastoral ministry. During her time in graduate school in Princeton, NJ, she did field education at PC(USA) churches, became a member of a local PC(USA) congregation, and worked at two (PC)USA churches in both administrative and interim children’s ministry roles.

After the birth of their son, Micah, Shannon and her husband, Kevin, a social worker, moved to Bellingham, WA to be near family while Shannon finished her dissertation. After joining First Presbyterian Church of Bellingham, Shannon began teaching bible study, leading in liturgy, preaching, and became a ruling elder. It was at this time that she realized her call to ministry was incomplete, and she began the process of ordination. It was also at this time that she began to teach as an adjunct instructor at SPU. In 2016, after the successful completion of CPE and ordination exams, she joined the SPU faculty full time as assistant professor of theological studies. She teaches courses in Christian doctrine, women in Christianity, gender and Christianity, and University Foundations courses in Christian faith and theology. She is the author of two books (Forensic Apocalyptic Theology: Karl Barth and the Doctrine of Justification and Women in Ministry: Questions and Answers in the Exploration of a Calling) and has several chapters on Karl Barth’s theology in edited volumes.

Shannon and her family moved to Burien in July, 2016. As a family, they enjoy exploring their new surroundings in Burien and Seattle. They like trying new restaurants, going to the aquarium and Pikes Place Market, and spending time in the parks. Shannon and Kevin are very involved in their new home church, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, teaching Sunday school, leading Bible study, and joining with others in the congregation in the work of becoming an anti-racist church.

Examination of Tyler Kirkpatrick (Statement of Faith)

Tyler Kirkpatrick bio:

Tyler received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He is also a graduate of Whitworth University in Spokane, WA where he majored in theology.

Prior to coming to Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church in 2015, Tyler worked with college students and young adults at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and has been involved with youth ministries at several churches, including serving as the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries at Country Homes Christian Church in Spokane. He is passionate for proclaiming and discovering God's grace and truth in preaching and pastoral care.

A born and bred Western Washingtonian hailing from Sumner, Tyler and his wife Brittany are happiest reading in a hammock or hiking out on the trail, miles from the car, lugging heavy backpacks and eating freeze-dried dinners. Tyler also enjoys skiing and scaling the occasional mountain. His love for the Mariners, Seahawks and Sonics (RIP) runs deep, but he bleeds the purple and gold of the Washington Huskies (his devotion might be called “unhealthy”—he watched every game of the football team's 0-12 season!).


Welcome and Invitation to Silence - Rev. Karen Breckenridge

Call To Worship                 

Blessed be the God of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
God has given us a new birth in the living hope of the resurrection.
God has given us an inheritance that is imperishable and unfading.
In this we rejoice, even when we suffer and lament.
For although we have not seen Jesus, we love him;
although we have not seen him, we believe in him.
Blessed be the God of our Savior, Jesus Christ

Opening Prayer

God of signs and wonders,
you have revealed to us that
Jesus Christ is your son and our Savior.
Strengthen our faith,
that we may have life in Christ’s name. Amen.

HYMN #482   “Praise Ye The Lord, Almighty”   vs. 1 & 3

Prayer of Confession                            

Let us join our voices as we confess to our God.
We are a broken people O Lord, and yet you have called us
to serve your people and lead your Church.
We have focused more on our egos
than on your will;
on our fears, instead of your faithfulness;
and on our opinions, instead of your desire that we be one.
Forgive us, O God, and guide us back into your presence,
that we may know the fullness that is life in You. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness  

Sisters and brothers, God is our refuge and will not abandon us.
In Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God.
That is a promise of peace and joy;
let us share that peace with one another.
Sharing of Peace

HYMN #429   “Lord, You Give the Great Commission” vs. 2 & 4

Scripture Reading - Matthew 24:3-14 

Signs of the End of the Age
3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Persecutions Foretold
9 “Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.

Homily - Rev. Steve Aeschbacher

The Lord’s Supper - Rev. Karen Breckenridge, Rev. Kolinus Buntaran

All communion elements are gluten-free.

Benediction - Rev. Steve Aeschbacher

The presbytery will be voting on the proposed amendments to the constitution at the meeting on April 18. Please review the document linked here before the meeting. There will be a few hard copies of the amendments at the meeting, but it would be great if commissioners would download them to their laptop or tablet.

The Consent Agenda consists of those actions that the Presbytery has empowered its committees to resolve on its behalf.
Those actions are then reported to the presbytery at its next meeting.
A commissioner may lift a consent item for debate by informing the Stated Clerk or Moderator of Presbytery to that effect.


1.     Approved the request of Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church to establish a Temporary Associate Pastor position (full time) with the following terms: salary: $42,726.90, health benefits: $5,000, reimbursable: $3,000, 4 weeks vacation, 2 weeks study leave; and to present Tyler Kirkpatrick for examination at the April 18, 2017 presbytery meeting.
2.     Approved the request of Rev. Mark Smutny to transfer his membership from Presbytery of San Gabriel to Seattle Presbytery. 
3.     Approved the request of Rev. Barbara Anderson to transfer her membership from Presbytery of San Gabriel to Seattle Presbytery. 
[Background: An exam team met with Rev. Smutny and Rev. Anderson on Feb. 10 and found that they are suitable for membership in Seattle Presbytery.]  
4.     Gave permission to Rev. Rene Minshew (Cascades Presbytery, HR) to moderate the session of Wedgwood Presbyterian Church during Rev. Karen Breckenridge’s sabbattical (May 8-August 7, 2017). 
5.    Approved the request from Sammamish Presbyterian Church session to appoint Rev. Tyler Easley as the Parish Associate for Sammamish Presbyterian Church for 2017.
6.    Approved the amendment to contract between Rev. Eyde Mabanglo and First Presbyterian Church of Kent: First Presbyterian Church will pay 5% of effective salary to retirement account of Rev. Eyde Mabanglo.  Rev. Eyde Mabanglo will pay 6% of effective salary to her retirement account. 
7.    Concurred with the vote of University Presbyterian Church to close Rev. Laurie Brenner’s call as Associate Pastor, effective December 31, 2016, and move into the role of Parish Associate at UPC.
[Background: Laurie is currently teaching in an adjunct capacity at Seattle Pacific and Fuller Seminary Northwest.]
8.    Approved moving Rev. Laurie Brenner to the Member-at-Large roll effective December 31, 2016.
9.    Approved the request from West Side Presbyterian Church session for Rev. Ron Rice to continue as Parish Associate in 2017, without remuneration as agreed.
10.    Concurred with the session of Magnolia Presbyterian Church to renew Rev. Justin Beatty’s contract to serve as Temporary Associate Pastor for Youth through May 2018.  Salary: $450/month, 5 hours per week, additional $150 preaching honorarium at least four times a year. 
11.    Approved transferring Rev. Kevin Nollette to Northwest Coast Presbytery.
12.    Dismissed Rev. Nick Krantz to a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO), effective January 1, 2017.  
13.    Dismissed Rev. Seonglim Kang to a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO), effective July 1, 2016.
14.    Approved the call of Rev. Leigh Weber, pending congregational vote, as pastor of Vashon Presbyterian Church according to the follow terms of call  (⅔ part-time): effective salary $42,000, reimbursable ferry expense $2,400 & mileage reimbursement, BOP benefits, 4 weeks vacation, 2 weeks study leave.
[Background: On Sunday, April 9, 2017, the congregation of Vashon Presbyterian Church unanimously voted to call Rev. Leigh Weber as their pastor.] 

For Information:

Approved grant to Wedgwood Presbyterian Church to help provide Rev. Karen Breckenridge a sabbatical from May 8-August 7, 2017. 

Click here for new member bios.


1.      Annual Consultation was held with Haley Ballast, John Knox PC, and she was approved to continue as an Inquirer. 
2.      Annual Consultation was held with Scott Gronholz, Bethany PC, and he was approved to continue as an Inquirer.
3.      Activated Christopher James’s Certified Candidacy beginning March 7, 2017.  
[Background: Chris has been “inactive” while pursuing his doctorate.  He is now Associate Professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.  He and his wife are beginning a “Dinner Church”, a new worshipping faith community of Westminster PC in Dubuque, Iowa, where Chris’ wife is pastor.  He is actively seeking to be ordained to serve the new worshipping community and to carry out his professor responsibilities of teaching and preaching.]   
4.      Annual Consultation was held with Jennifer Carlson, Mt. Baker Park PC, and she was certified as ready to receive a call. She was given permission to circulate a PIF.
5.      Received Jared Chase, Madrona Grace PC, as an Inquirer.