News for the Notetakers

A Newsletter for the Clerks of Session

of Highlands Presbytery

September 2023

From the Stated Clerk

~ Rev. Dr. Steven Shussett

Clerk of Session Workshop

October 7, 2023 at 9am

With those new Books of Order come new responsibilities for all councils, including sessions. During this workshop we will go over the policies that your session must now enact, most of which are intended to keep our faith communities and all individuals safe from harm.

We will also have guest speaker Kris Valerius, Manager for the Office of General Assembly for Denominational Roles & Statistics.

Read more and register here

2022 Session Minutes Review

You Know Who You Are!

If you have minutes to submit or to review, get them to the Presbytery Office ASAP. Anything not

received by October 31, 2023 will be reported to the Presbytery as “Failed.” If you’ve done your part, rest easy. And if somehow you just aren’t sure, please contact Sonja at the Presbytery Office at

General Assembly Commissioners Needed

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I; send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Is there a ruling elder that you feel could benefit the church at the General Assembly? Perhaps you

think your pastor has the gifts needed? Maybe you yourself feel a tug?

Nominations for General Assembly: Commissioners will be accepted until the end of October.

The Presbytery can also elect a Young Adult Advisory Delegate.

More information on requirements and expectations can be found here.

Connect to current GA Commissioner Nominations form – email attachment

GA Commissioner Application

2023-2025 Book of Order Now Available

A free PDF is now available, and can be downloaded here.

The Presbytery office has a supply of hard copies at the office. Please contact the office to pick up your copies or have them mailed to you (postage will be applied to your invoice)

Order Form

2024 Employer Agreements for Church Employers

Pass on the Word!

Employer Agreements are now available for church employers to review and submit by logging on to the Benefits Connect website through Friday, October 6. This is the annual opportunity to review, select, and change benefits offerings for the upcoming year.

Offering benefits that support well-being in four key areas—spiritual, health, financial, and vocational—enables church and presbytery staff members to bring their best gifts to their ministry and service. Explore the options available. Make sure that your staff receives benefits that support wholeness in 2024.

2024 Presbytery Meeting Dates

Mark Your Calendars Now!

The following dates were approved for the 2024 Stated Meetings of the Presbytery of the Highlands of NJ:

Saturday, January 27, 2024

- 10am, via Zoom

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

- 7pm, via Zoom

May 2024 – TBD

Tuesday, September 10, 2024

- 7pm, Hybrid, Site TBD

Tuesday, November 12, 2024

- 7pm, via Zoom

Don’t forget to:

  • elect a commissioner, either for the whole year or meeting by meeting, and
  • to receive a report after each meeting, whether orally or in writing.

The Session elects commissioners for each meeting according to the number of commissioners assigned.

You will be informed of the number for the upcoming year at the November presbytery meeting.

A message from the Administrative Services Group

of the PC(USA)

“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds a group tax-exemption (“Group Ruling”). Automatically included in the Group Ruling are the PC(USA)’s synods, presbyteries, and congregations. This means these member entities are exempt from federal income tax as tax-exempt religious organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Legal Office manages the Group Ruling on behalf of the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA).

Read more

Video Library

Are you, your session, or members of your congregation in need of education in important matters of the church? Go to the Highlands Presbytery website link for an evergrowing number of resources from

leaders from throughout the denomination. And if there is something you need that we don’t have — let us know! We’ll see how we can make it happen.

Presbytery Videos

Appointed Moderator

For any number of reasons, expected and unexpected, a session may find itself in need of, or working with, a moderator appointed by the Committee on Ministry. But what does that mean? And what does it

require? (Paying your appointed moderator is an important requirement. Check out the Resource Sheet for more information when this becomes (or is going to become) a reality for your congregation.

Your Appointed Moderator Resource Sheet

September 21, 2023

Storytelling Gathering, 10:00am - Newton

September 27, 2023

Storytelling Gathering, 10:00am - Via Zoom

October 5, 2023

We aren't Broke: Faith Based Property & Investment

Conversation , 7:00pm - Via Zoom

October 7, 2023

Clerk of Session Training Workshop, 9:00am - Via Zoom

November 4, 2023

Financial Management Workshop - Info Coming Soon!


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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