News for the Notetakers

A Newsletter for the Clerks of Session of Highlands Presbytery

September 2022

From the Stated Clerk

~ Rev. Dr. Steven Shussett

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Perhaps, like me, reading this title will leave you humming, if not outright bursting out in song. You may think of the original showtune from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1945 musical, Carousel or the hit single in 1963. Some of you, fans of the Liverpool Football Club, may get weepy at your team's anthem. And if you’ve never heard it, I highly encourage you to do so!

Its message is simple, so simple as to keep this post short and sweet. Walk on with hope, and you will never walk alone.

Many of us have known a lot of “alone time” over the past few years, and it hasn’t always been easy. Though it won’t be in person, our October 1 Clerk of Session workshop is an important opportunity to be reminded that you are not alone in this ministry.

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Clerk of Session Workshop

Saturday, October 1, 9am-12pm

Via Zoom

Don’t miss the social event of the season

(for clerks at least!)!


Special Guest, Tricia Dykers Koenig, Associate Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Associate Director for Mid Council Relations for the Office of the General Assembly.


Tricia will be speaking on parliamentary procedure, a subject near and dear to every session meeting!

You are invited to have your pastor to join us from 10-11am for this portion of the workshop (which will also be recorded) given the importance of the subject.


Also featured in this workshop:

  • Session Minute Review: What is new? What is expected of you?
  • The updated Clerk of Session Manual
  • A Manual of Operations — What is it? What should be in it? And how do you do it?
Click here to Register

Terms of Call Worksheet

It is September now — but the Annual Meeting is coming!

Use the Terms of Call Worksheet!

Now is the time when finance committees, trustees, and sessions are working on the 2023 budget. One of the more significant budget items every year is pastors’ compensation. It is important enough that the compensation for installed pastors has to be voted upon by the congregation at your annual meeting. While the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry presents minimum terms of call and cost of living increases, and your session will make its recommendations to the congregation, our responsibility as clerks remains clarity and communication.


The best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to use the Terms of Call worksheet, which itemizes pastoral compensation from A-Z. This way, your pastor, congregation, and the Committee on Ministry all know what was agreed upon. We always hope there won’t be any questions later, but if there are, this is one agreed-upon document to which you can turn. This is why the Terms of Call worksheet is required, even if there has not been a change since the prior year.


The 2023 Terms of Call Worksheet will be available in mid-October and will be emailed to each of you.

Webinar for Ruling Elders and Deacons

What is implicit bias—and how does it affect the ability of the church to be faithful to God’s will? How can the church be more welcoming and inclusive of all voices?

On October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Jihyun Oh, Director of Mid Council Ministries in the Office of the General Assembly, will lead a 90-minute webinar exploring these matters—both identifying problems hindering our faithfulness and offering tools to address them.

The cost of the webinar is covered by your per capita dollars.

Register no later than October 5.

2022 Session Minute Review

Working on your 2022 minutes doesn’t have wait until 2023!


You don’t have to submit your minutes and the review form until next year, but you can start working on them right now! We’ll be discussing this at the Clerk of Session workshop, but even now you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there exceptions from 2021 that you need to address?
  • Are there items on the review sheet that you have not yet ticked off?

If so, you have session meetings until December 31 to get them done!

You can also save yourself a lot of time by reviewing your minutes now and noting the month in which relevant business items were addressed. Then for the review form, all you have to do is go to that meeting (once you have page numbers) and fill out the form.


Remember, this isn’t about “passing the test” (the minute review form), but to ensure that these important responsibilities of the church are fulfilled.


You can find the 2022 Session Minute Review Form HERE

Watch for the

2022 Proposed Amendments to the Constitution!

Coming soon in an email to you!


A Newsletter for the Clerks of Session of Highlands Presbytery

will come out quarterly, in March, June, September, and December. If you have something to share or a question for the community of clerks, please send it to by the last week of the month before. 

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