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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.


july 18, 2017

Proposed Agenda


Welcome, Prayer & Agenda
Stated Clerk Report
Nominating Report
Seattle First PC Administrative Commission Report
Coordinating Council Report
Mission Highlights
COM Report (exams)
CPM Report (exam)
New Business
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. 



2017-10 Stated Clerk Report (With supplemental documents attached; Added 10/16/17)

Click here to view Proposed Governing Documents Revisions
Click here to view Proposed Seattle Presbytery Organization Chart
Your suggestions and comments are valued and welcome; please submit them before Oct. 17 to  

GA Minister Commissioner Selection (Added 10/16/17)
GA Ruling Elder Commissioner Selection (Added 10/12/17)

For Consent Agenda:
Minutes of the presbytery meeting dated July 18, 2017. (Added 10/12/17)
Approve the name change of First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue to Bellevue Presbyterian Church. (Added 10/15/17)

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



October 2017 Nominating Report (Added 10/16/17)


Ministry Update:
Ministry Redevelopment.  Discerning God’s future for FPCS continues through the ongoing work of our Listening Team, which is engaging in conversations with various people and ministry partners in our urban context, especially our First Hill neighborhood.  In addition, worshippers participated in a neighborhood walk on World Communion Sunday (October 1).  We continue to prayerfully ask: What is God up to here? Where are the needs? How might FPCS partner with others in serving the city?  What is the new thing God is doing?

Compass at First Presbyterian.  The 24/7 Shelter housed in the renovated FPCS basement began welcoming guests on September 1, and is now full (80 men and 20 women).  We are grateful for the exceptionally skilled staff, and we are beginning to determine FPCS’s capacity to respond to the shelter’s ongoing program needs.  

Legal Update: 
In August 2017 FPCS settled the remaining, mostly monetary claims in Presbytery I in return for payment to the church of $133,000. The trial court entered a final order and judgment. On September 1, 2017, the former leaders filed a notice of appeal to the Washington Supreme Court. They seek review primarily with respect to the order that Judge Roberts entered on May 27, 2016, granting partial summary judgment to FPCS and Seattle Presbytery--that is, the order affirming the authority of the AC as rightful governors of the church. On September 15, the former leaders filed a statement of grounds for direct review, which we answered on September 28. We do not know when the Washington Supreme Court will decide whether to retain this appeal or instead send it to Division I of the Court of Appeals for argument and decision. The former leaders are asking the Supreme Court to accelerate this decision.

At the request of all parties, the appeals in Presbytery I (the governance and property dispute) and Presbytery II (the severance dispute) have been consolidated on appeal. The cases should, therefore, proceed on a common briefing schedule and will almost certainly be argued at the same time before the same court.


For Presbytery Action Regarding Kent First Presbyterian Church:

1.  The Presbytery of Seattle authorizes the Coordinating Council to enter into an agreement with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission to lease, with the option to purchase, a portion of the Kent First Presbyterian Church property at a rate agreeable to both parties.  


This fulfills a plan that was in place between the Kent First session and KentHOPE/UGM, before Kent First closed. KentHOPE is a subsidiary ministry of Union Gospel Mission focused on providing shelter for at risk women and children. This portion of 5 acre property is not essential to the short term or long term plan of the property and provides needed community services. The small amount of lease proceeds the presbytery will receive from this agreement will be used to offset costs related to the upkeep and use of the Kent First building. This is recommended by Property & Finance and Coordinating Council.

Reported For Information:

1.  Proposed 2018 Presbytery Stated Meeting Dates:
Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 5:00 PM - Mercer Island PC, Special Guest: Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, PC(USA) Stated Clerk
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 5:00 PM - Southminster PC
Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 5:00 PM - Vashon PC
Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 5:00 PM - TBD
2.  Approved the Colombia Mission Covenant Partnership for two additional years.
3.  Awarded a grant to Lake Burien PC to help support its after school program for local youth.


For Presbytery Action:

1.  Overlake Park/H.T. Lee: Having received evidence that Certified Candidate H.T. Lee has fulfilled the educational requirements of the Constitution of the Church, Be it Resolved, That H.T. Lee proceed to ordination and service as temporary Associate Pastor of Overlake Presbyterian Church, upon successful examination by the presbytery.

a.  “The presbytery shall examine each . . . candidate who seeks membership in it on his or her Christian faith, views in theology, the Bible, the Sacraments and the government of this church.” (G-3.0306).  The examination shall also 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).

b.  When a motion to end the exam is approved by a 2/3rd vote, the candidate will exit; the presbytery will “discuss and discern,” and vote.

2.  BelPres/Mark Burns: Having received evidence that Certified Candidate Mark Burns has fulfilled the educational requirements of the Constitution of the Church, Be it Resolved, That Mark Burns proceed to ordination and service as Temporary Associate Pastor at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, upon successful examination by the presbytery.

The process for examination is according to “a.” and “b.” above.

Authorized Delegated Actions Reported to the Presbytery:

1.  Concurred with the session of Overlake Park Presbyterian Church to call H.T. Lee as Temporary Associate Pastor, beginning October 17, 2017, upon successful examination and recommendation that he be received as a member of the presbytery, according to the following terms: Cash and Housing Allowance: $65,000, Reimbursable Professional Allowance: $2,000, Continuing Education: $1,500, SECA: $4,973, Full Board of Pensions Benefits, Annual Study Leave: 2 weeks, Vacation: 4 weeks.
[Background: H.T. Lee is a certified candidate under care of Northwest Coast Presbytery. An exam team met with H.T. on September 25 and recommends him for membership in Seattle Presbytery and the call at Overlake Park PC.  Background check completed, boundary training completion confirmed.]
2.  Concurred with the session of Bellevue Presbyterian Church to call Mark Burns as Temporary Associate Pastor, beginning October 29, 2017, upon successful examination and recommendation that he be received as a member of the presbytery, according to the following terms: Cash and Housing Allowance: $43,050, Full medical, dental, vision, life insurance, Sick Leave: 2 weeks/year, Vacation: 3 weeks/year. 
[Background: Mark Burns is a certified candidate under care of Presbytery of the Pacific. An exam team met with Mark on October 5 and recommends him for membership in Seattle Presbytery and the call at BelPres. This is a temporary associate pastor position that is part the BelPres pastoral residency program.  This program is specifically designed to get pastors experience so that they can be launched (and in some cases ordained and then launched) to other churches/ministries. Background check completed, boundary training registration confirmed.]
3.  Minimum Terms of Call - Set the minimum terms of call for 2018 at $58,000, the Board of Pensions median effective salary. 
[Background: The median effective salary for teaching elders for 2018 has a calculated value of $58,000, an increase of 1.2% over the 2016 median of $57,300.]
4.  Sammamish/Rev. Jeff Bridgeman: The Rev. Jeff Bridgeman, a member in good standing of Cascades Presbytery, was examined September 25, 2017 according to G-3.0306 and received as a minister member of Seattle Presbytery.  
5.  Approved the call of Rev. Jeff Bridgeman as Temporary Associate Pastor at Sammamish Presbyterian Church, beginning on August 8, 2017, according to the following terms: Cash and Housing Allowance: $88,500, Full Board of Pensions benefits, Allowance for 50% SECA, Educational allowance: $1,500, Mileage allowance: $1,000, Pastor Contact Work: $1,000, Professional Allowance: $1,200, Vacation: 4 weeks, Study Leave: 2 weeks.
[Background check completed, boundary training completion confirmed.  Jeff is serving as a Temporary Associate Pastor at Sammamish Presbyterian Church.]
6.  St. Andrew/Rev. Maggie Breen: The presbytery dissolves the call between Rev. Maggie Breen as installed associate pastor at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
[Background: The congregation of St. Andrew PC voted on Aug. 20, 2017 to dissolve the installed position, which included her work as Executive Director at REACH.  Maggie accepted a full-time position at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry as the Community Engagement Manager.  St. Andrew’s session offered Maggie a temporary associate pastor position, reducing her responsibilities and hours from 14 to 8 hours per week.]
7.  St. Andrew/Rev. Maggie Breen: Concurred with the session of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church to call Rev. Maggie as Temporary Associate Pastor, according to the following terms: Cash and Housing Allowance: $9,360, Reimbursable Business & Professional Expenses: $600, SECA: $716, Annual Study Leave: 2 weeks, Vacation: 4 weeks.
8.  Providence Health & Services/Rev. Adrienne Schlosser-Hall: Rev. Adrienne Schlosser-Hall’s position as Chaplain at Providence Health & Services has been determined as a validated ministry beyond the jurisdiction of the church requiring ordination as a teaching elder; the ministry meets all of the criteria of G-2.0503.
9.  Stated Clerk Delegated Authority -- The Stated Clerk has been authorized to dismiss members in good standing to other presbyteries upon their respective requests after obtaining relevant background information from staff and/or COM co-moderators.
Rev. Steve Aeschbacher -- Dismissed Rev. Steve Aeschbacher to Utah Presbytery.
[Background: Steve started at First Presbyterian Church in Ogden, UT on July 20, 2017 as Interim Pastor and he’s been accepted into Presbytery of Utah on July 13th.] 
11.  Sammamish/Rev. Austin Ashenbrenner: Concurred with the congregation, which voted on July 9, 2017, to dissolve the call between Rev. Austin Ashenbrenner and the congregation of Sammamish Presbyterian Church.
12.  Capitol Hill/Rev. James Kearny: Concurred with the congregation, which voted on August 6, 2017, to dissolve the call between Rev. James Kearny and the congregation of Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church.
Rev. George Furniss: The Rev. George Furniss, a member in good standing of Cascades Presbytery, was examined July 31, 2017 according to G-3.0306 and received as an honorably retired member.  
[Background check completed, boundary training completion confirmed.  He is married to Rev. Sandra Larson.]
14.  Rev. Sandra Larson: The Rev. Sandra Larson, a member in good standing of Cascades Presbytery was examined July 31, 2017 according to G-3.0306 and received as member at-large.  
[Background check completed, boundary training completion confirmed.]
15.  Sammamish/Hostetler --  Moved, that COM concurs with the request of the session to form a PNC to call temporary Associate Pastor Rev. Kelly Hostetler to “an installed pastoral relationship for an indefinite time."
Steel Lake/Transitional Position: Moved to approve the request of Steel Lake Presbyterian Church session to establish a part-time (temporary) Transitional Associate Pastor for Mission position.
17.  Bellevue/Alexis Ruhumuriza:  Accommodation to Particular Circumstances G-2.0610.  Situation needs review, accommodations for current situation provided for, plan for ordination developed.
18.  John Knox/Robert Ruiz: Accommodation to Particular Circumstances G-2.0610.  Situation needs review, accommodations for current situation provided for, plan for ordination developed.

Reported For Information:

1.  Awarded a grant to Renewal Ministries Northwest and University Presbyterian Church for a Winter Teaching/Prayer Retreat on Sat., Feb. 3, 2018, 9:00am-4:00pm at University PC.  
2.  Awarded a grant to Lake City Presbyterian Church to complete a discernment process with Renewal Ministries Northwest.
3.  Awarded a grant to Woodland Park Presbyterian church to fund a preaching sabbath for Rev. Staci Imes.
4.  Awarded a grant to Seattle Pacific University School of Theology to assist Rev. Shannon Smythe and students to attend the Women in Ministry Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary, Oct. 23-25, 2017.


1.  An Annual Consultation and committee Candidacy Exam was conducted with Laura Nile  It was voted to continue her under care and to present her to the Presbytery for examination and enrollment as a candidate.  “The presbytery shall . . . . . examine the inquirer in person with respect to his or her Christian faith, forms of Christian service undertaken, and motives for seeking the ministry.”

Clerk’s note:  It is the presbytery moderator’s duty (not CPM) to rule a question out of order if he or she believes it is outside the bounds of the exam.  Any member may rise and immediate appeal a ruling by the moderator.  A second is required.  Debate ensues. No member may speak to the appeal more than once, except for the moderator, who may respond with additional reasons for the ruling.  A majority or a tie sustains the moderator’s decision.

Authorized Delegated Actions Reported to the Presbytery:

1.  Annual Consultation was held with Rob Mathis, Sammamish PC, and he was approved to continue as a Candidate.
2.  Removed from the rolls: Nick Davenport, per his request.*

*CPM policy is that those who are not actively seeking or discerning a call to the ministry of a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, who request to be removed from the process, to return later (with the endorsement of their Session) at or near the same place in the process as when they left.


Ordination Examination of H.T. Lee (Statement of Faith)

H.T. Lee bio: 

H.T. was born in South Korea and raised in Western Washington.  He is a University of Washington and Fuller Theological Seminary alum.  His ministry emphases include: children’s, youth, college, young adult ministries, creative and technical ministries, and chaplaincy at UW Medical Center.  H.T. also coordinates the UNITE youth retreat and ministry partnership, connecting a diverse group of youth around Western Washington.  He is married to EJ, and they have two daughters, Maddie and Ava.  

Ordination Examination of Mark Burns (Statement of Faith)

Mark Burns bio: 

Mark Burns is originally from Pullman, Washington where he graduated from high school and attended Washington State University before transferring to the University of Washington to complete degrees in biology and English. Mark completed his seminary education at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA with an emphasis in New Testament interpretation.

Mark is a single father, and he and his son Elijah love skiing, fishing, camping, and playing all sorts of games with family and friends. In addition to his continuing academic interest in how the church of the 21st can grow in its embodiment of the Lord’s Supper and table fellowship, Mark is passionate about outreach ministries both locally and globally. In his current ministry context, Mark is working in a leadership role to facilitate growth in multi-ethnic community and deepen commitments to racial justice and reconciliation.

Candidacy Examination of Laura Nile (Candidacy Essay)

Laura Nile bio:

My name is Laura Nile and I am a second-year student at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. I was raised in Salem, Oregon and moved to Seattle to attend Seattle Pacific University, where I ended up majoring in Christian Scriptures and Psychology. I was raised in the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination, but in college I found my way to Bethany Presbyterian Church, not knowing anything about what it meant to be a Presbyterian. I still wasn’t sure when I got hired a few years later as the Middle School Coordinator, but came to love not only the church, but the denomination itself. After serving in youth ministry for 3 years, I began to sense a call to ordained ministry and since my former denomination does not ordain women, I was excited to officially become a Presbyterian.

My family is still based in Oregon (although my parents just spent the last year living in Ethiopia). My family enjoys backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail and traveling the world together. I spend as much of my free time outdoors as possible, and I’ve begun to explore the Appalachian Trail over in Georgia. I recently started a food blog with a friend and I love to cook for my friends.

I have come to desperately love the Church, in all of her messy beauty. I am so passionate about the People of God and the transformational power of Jesus Christ, whose love the world is in desperate need of. I am very involved with social, racial, and environment issues, which are core to my expression of faith. I currently serve as a Pastoral Intern at Pulse Church in Atlanta and as the Communications Coordinator for Presbyterians for a Better Georgia, a political advocacy partner of the Atlanta Presbytery.


Welcome - Rev. James B Notkin

Call To Worship                 
     It is good to praise the Lord
     and make music to your name, O Most High;
     to proclaim your love in the morning
     and your faithfulness at night.

Opening Prayer
     Jesus Christ, you come to transform us
     and renew us in the image of God:
     shine in our darkness.
     Jesus Christ, light of our hearts, you know our thirst:
     lead us to the wellspring of your gospel.
     Jesus Christ, light of the world, you shine in every human being:
     enable us to discern your presence in each person.
     Jesus Christ, friend of the poor:
     open in us the gates of simplicity so that we can welcome you.
     Jesus Christ, gentle and humble of heart:
     renew in us the spirit of childlikeness.
     Jesus Christ, you send your church to prepare your path in the world:
     open for all people the gates of your kingdom. Amen.

HYMN   Everlasting God
                 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Prayer of Confession - Nathan Keyes
     We know that nothing is able to separate us
     from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
     Let us in freedom, confess the ways we fall short from what God intends for us:

     Loving and Gracious God,
     We ache with news that has grieved our hearts
     – heavy-ladden we come;
     We’re confused by situations that have gone awry
     – perplexed and bewildered we stumble,
     We are hungry for meaning and purpose
     – empty we fall,
     We are clinging to dreams and hopes
     – humbly we kneel.
     You know, Lord, the ways that our hearts are hardened towards you,
     You know the heartaches we bear,
     You know our desire to seek first your Kingdom
     and to be people who bring hope to the disenfranchised in our world
     You know our lack of faith in ourselves, that we often call lack of faith in you.

     Hear now our personal confessions...

     God of mercy, heal and restore us
     That we may freely serve you in our world.

     In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Assurance of Pardon
     Who is in a position to condemn?  
     Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us,
     Christ reigns in power for us and Christ prays for us.  
     Believe the good news, in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Scripture Reading

Homily - Moderator Loretta Pain

Small Group Discussions

Song: Swords Into Plowshares

     Celebration of the Lord’s Supper (at tables) - Revs. James B & Renee Notkin
     All communion elements are gluten-free.
     Prayer of Thanksgiving - Seattle Presbytery Necrology

Closing Song: We Will Feast in the House of Zion

Announcements & Benediction - Rev. James B Notkin



Compass at First Presbyterian is a partnership between Compass Housing Alliance and Seattle First Presbyterian Church with funds provided by a grant from the City of Seattle.

Compass at First Presbyterian is currently seeking donations for specific items.  Read more.


Dr. Ron Rice, a retired Presbyterian pastor, and his Nigerian partner Ayuba Gufwan, who walks on his hands from polio, have built and donated over 13,500 wheelchairs to Nigeria's polio survivors. They have their own shop in Jos, Nigeria, with 49 employees, where they build these 3-wheeled, self-pedaled "tricycles" out of bicycle parts for $150. Five of the employees are handicapped themselves. This is by far the largest wheelchair ministry in all of Nigeria, a country that is half the population of the U.S.  Learn more.