Session Update

Session Highlights: December 2023

Notes from the PCM Special Congregational Meeting on December 10, 2023

PLACE:  The Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey, held a SPECIAL MEETING of the Congregation on the above date in the sanctuary in the Church on the Green, 57 East Place, Morristown, New Jersey, 07960.

OPENING:  It was announced that a quorum was present [75 members plus a moderator], and Rev. Vigilante, the moderator, opened the meeting with prayer at 11:05 a.m.

The CALL:  The Session of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown calls a Special Congregational meeting on December 10th, immediately following the 10:00 a.m. worship service, for the purpose of:  

1. From the Finance Committee and Session

Motion: To authorize the Finance Committee of The Presbyterian Church in Morristown to apply for a $500,000 construction loan through the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP) to fund the church’s roof restoration project.

(See below)

2. From the Nominating Committee

Motion: To elect the following candidates as Elders, Deacons, and Auditors:

Elders (Class of 2027)

Emily Campbell

Carolyn Crosthwaite

Sam Fairchild

Bruce Frazier

*(2 vacancies remaining)

Deacons (Class of 2027)

Gail Hein

Michael Karl

Stan Mack

Linda McCabe

*(1 vacancy remaining)

Auditors (Class of 2024)

Carolyn Crosthwaite

Lisa Fraebel

Sherry Guthrie

Larry McMillan

Rix Yard

Elder (Class of 2025)

Christy Allison (1 year term)

*Note: Remaining vacancies to be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, 2/4/24.

(See below)

3.  From the Management and Administration Committee and Session

Motion: To approve calling Audrey Webber from her current relationship as Covenant Supply Installed Associate Pastor of The Presbyterian Church in Morristown to Installed Associate Pastor of The Presbyterian Church in Morristown.

Note: This action requires a three-fourths vote of those in attendance at today’s meeting. (See below).

An agenda with all of the items to be voted on was printed out and made available to the congregation prior to the start of the meeting.

Item 1

  • Elder Dick Kaller explained the propose of the loan and how it will be used to our advantage:
  • The proposed loan from the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program functions much like a home equity line of credit. During the 6-month construction phase, our plan is to pay at least half of the project costs directly from the Endowment Fund and then have the option to use (or not use) borrowed PILP funds to pay the remainder.  That decision will be based on which source of funding we deem to be in the best interests of the church as determined by then current market conditions.
  • Rev. Vigilante asked if there were any questions from the congregation. Elder David Darcy came up to the podium to answer questions about the extent of the restoration that was involved: e.g. the copper on the dormers, gutters, corbels, and structural framing of the built-in gutters. If any slates are damaged in the process,  this will include repair and replacement of the slate. The slate roof has been tested and is good for another 30 years. MOTION to approve the loan funding from PILP, MA.

Item 2

  • Elder Kaller, speaking first, presented the candidates for the following officers as indicated below:
  • The candidate for Elder, Class of 2025 is: Christy Allison.
  • The candidates for Elder, Class of 2027 are: Emily Campbell, Carolyn Crosthwaite, Sam Fairchild, and Bruce Frazier.
  • The candidates for Deacon, Class of 2027 are: Gail Hein, Michael Karl, Stan Mack, and Linda McCabe.
  • The moderator asked if there were any nomination from the floor. Seeing none, the moderator called for the vote. MOTION – to approve those candidates for the offices indicated above, MA.

Item 3

  • (Rev. Webber left the sanctuary prior to this discussion and vote).
  • Elder Bob Spurr gave the background information as to the process set by the denomination for achieving our goal/desire to change Rev. Webber’s status from Interim Covenant Supply Pastor to our Installed Associate Pastor, G-2.0504 in the Book of Order, “A presbytery may determine that its mission strategy permits a minister of the World and Sacrament currently called as an Associate Pastor to be eligible to serve as the next installed pastor or co-pastor, or a minister of the World and Sacrament employed in a temporary pastoral relationship to be eligible to serve as the next installed pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor. Presbyteries that permit this eligibility shall establish such relationships only by a three-fourths vote of the members of presbytery present and voting.
  • Rev. Vigilante asked if there were any questions from the floor. Seeing none he called for the vote on the MOTION, MA. Rev. Webber was welcomed back into the sanctuary with cheers and applause.

Staff Transitions

Upon completion of the called business for this Special Congregational Meeting, Rev. Vigilante addressed the congregation to explain upcoming staff transitions.

  • A replacement has been found for Henry Ahlers- Frank Maltino, will start on February 1, 2024.
  • Patrick Allred, our Director of Youth and Young Adults, had moved to part time, but has now tendered his resignation, effective 12/31/2023. Abby Semple and Kevin Johnson will be filling in with our HS students in the interim. Alexandra Mead will work with this year’s confirmands.
  • Dr. Matthew Webb will be leaving. His last day will be January 7, 2024. Matt has been at PCM for almost twelve years. He will be serving a new church in another state. Choir member Sarah Michal will serve as our interim Chancel Choir director. The planned trip to France in 2024 will still take place, under Sarah’s direction. Ignacio Angula Pizarro will lead our Chancel Ringers.
  • Rev. Vigilante assured us that God is with us. Change happens – it can be a good time. We wish those who have served PCM much success and joy in their new ventures.

Adjournment and Closing Prayer

Having completed the stated business of this Special Congregational meeting and with no further business or announcements to come before the congregation, a MOTION was made and seconded, the congregation voted to adjourn the meeting and Rev. Daniel Vigilante closed the meeting in prayer at 11:22 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Wendy M. Doidge

Clerk of Session

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