Presbytery Assembly

PTF Stated Assembly
May 20th at 9:30 am
Hybrid & Location TBD


Clerks, look out for the new Parity Report coming out soon.

For information, contact Sandra at 954-785-2220 |


First PC, Fort Lauderdale

Zoom & First PC, Fort Lauderdale

MAY 20th
Hybrid / Location TBD





January 2023 CALLED Assembly

CALLED ASSEMBLY | January 12, 2023

The purpose of the Called Assembly was to vote on the GA225 proposed amendments.


November 2022 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | November 12, 2022

COM Chair, Doug Hood, proposed that First-Fort Lauderdale we allowed to establish a co-pastoral relationship with ministers, Rev. Dr. Patrick Wrisley and Rev. Nic Merchant.  Rev. Dr. Lucy Dergarabedian, of the Presbytery of Lake Huron, was approved to become a new member of Tropical Florida.

GPSC Daris Bultena shared that the Session Minute Review for 2021 is being conducted by the following method: Send the Stated Clerk a digital copy of your minutes along with the completed Session Minute Review Checklist and the Session Minutes Review Form.  Once your minutes have been reviewed you will receive an acknowledgement sheet that can be inserted into your Session Minute book.  The records review will be conducted by Presbytery representatives, so please remit your digitized records, and completed checklist and reviewer forms.  PDF copies of all documents are preferred.

Daris reminded all session clerks that the Statistical Reporting season will soon be upon us and notes the priority in completing those reports in a timely way.  Be on the lookout for emails from Daris and Sandra about those reports in January.

Daris was happy to report that the General Assembly PJC found in favor of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida concerning the remedial action brought by Cary Tolley.  Barbara Sabin, of First Fort Lauderdale, thanked Daris and the remedial team for their effort in completing this arduous task.  

He reported that the Presbytery has created a resource packet on filing for the Employee Retention Credit.  The resource packet will help congregations to know if they qualify and provide guidance for applying for the credit.

Presbytery Assembly Dates for 2023 are: February 11, May 20, August 26, and November 11.  They are all Saturdays and will convene at 9:30 am.  The manner in which each assembly will be conducted (online, in-person, hybrid) will be determined by the Leadership Council and widely published in advance.  On Thursday, January 12, 2023, at 9:30 am, there will be a Called Assembly (in-person only) to consider and vote on Amendments to the Constitution as recommended by the 225th General Assembly.  REGISTER HERE

Daris also announced that Rev. Joyce Lieberman has recently retired as the Synod of South Atlantic Executive and Stated Clerk (SESC).  Ruling Elder Valerie Young of the Synod of the Sun was recently elected as our new SESC, beginning January 16, 2023.

Reports that the Presbytery has two Administrative Commissions in service to the Presbytery and that both commissions have provided the required annual report to the Presbytery and those reports are found in the packet.  First Miami AC | Calvary AC

Finally, Daris shared with the Presbytery that direct donations to Peace River Presbytery, our neighbors immediately west of us, have exceeded $80,000.  The Presbytery “match” challenge was fully met.  The needs in Peace River Presbytery continue and are both deep and wide.  Our sisters and brothers share their gratitude for what has been given to them by the Presbytery.  DONATE HERE

Clark Simmons of the Board of Pensions was invited to speak on hurricane relief.  He also ensured that the Pension plan is still healthy, even as the markets are volatile at this time.

For the Vibrant Together conversation, Daris proposed the following questions to the Presbyters (Discussion Responses):

GPSC Bultena led the Presbytery in the celebration of Advent Hope. The offering was designated to the PCUSA Christmas Joy offering in the amount of $175.00. 


August 2022 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | August 20, 2022

GPSC Bultena shared that those churches having completed their 2022 records review of 2021 minutes are: Central, Faith, Gardens, Glades, Miami Shores, and Myrtle Grove.  The records review will be conducted by Presbytery representatives, so please remit your digitized records, with the completed Session Minute Review Checklist and the Session Minutes Review Form PDF copies of all documents are preferred.

In the matter of Cary Tolley, complainant VS Presbytery of Tropical Florida, respondent, that the complainant has filed an appeal before the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) and has asked for and been denied a stay of enforcement.  The Presbytery has filed with the General Assembly PJC a cross appeal in the matter.  Briefs and responses to briefs have been filed by both the complainant and the respondent.  The matter will be heard by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission on September 9, 2022, in Louisville, Kentucky.

This year’s Pastors Convocation will include an additional day that will serve as the required Boundaries Training for Pastors.  This will be a conversational experience led by Rev. Melana Scruggs, presenter.  The Pastors convocation will be led by Rev. Donna Frischnecht Jackson with the theme: “Becoming Real: Letting Your Life Speak.”  This event is for pastors serving churches and should be regarded as work time, and not vacation.

Today’s Assembly is an experiment in conducting a hybrid meeting of online and in-person. The Presbytery will solicit feedback about the experience and preferences for future assemblies.  Finally the GPSC reported that there will be a Called Presbytery Meeting on the Amendments from the GA 225.  More information will be published via the website and weekly bulletin.

Rev. Dr. Doug Hood presented Rev. Dr. Timothy Roberts to be examined and recommended for membership into the Presbytery.  Rev. Roberts came to us from the Presbytery of St. Augustine and had been serving at the Stuart Congregational Church for a few years.  He is excited to be a part of our Tropical Florida community, and to begin serving at First PC, Pompano Beach as their Transitional Pastor.

GA225 Commissioner, Barbara Hassall (RE, Sanctuary PC), was part of the Financial Resources Committee.  She reported that the big topic of the Assembly was the vote to form a Commission that will ultimately lead to the unification of the Office of General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency.  Although there are plenty that would like to keep the status quo, many more were in favor of streamlining finances, mission, purpose, and resources into one organization.

GA225 Commissioner, Rev. Fred Powell-Haig (Community, LBTS), was part of the Polity Committee.  He reported on a couple of areas that were discussed: 1) a pathway for ruling elders become ordained to be Ministers of Word and Sacrament, and 2) requirements for churches to conduct anti racism, harassment, and bullying training for ministers and sessions.  Concerning the later, he shared that the adoption of litany that apologizes to the African-American community for past and current structural injustices was a power break through denominationally.

GPSC Bultena led the Presbytery in the next part of the adopted Vibrant Together Ministry Plan, covering both Vital Worship and Reconciliation as Building Relationships.  Concerning Vital Worship, his main points stressed the Ministry Plan rubrics of worship being relevant, steeped in the reformed tradition, and participatory.  Concerning Reconciliation, he referred to the work that was done at the General Assembly 225, and an interview that was conducted with valerie izumi (lowercase preferred).  The following questions were posed for the breakout groups.  A summary of some of the response are found below.


For worship, GPSC Bultena showed excerpts of the General Assembly Juneteenth Worship Service that was celebrated earlier this year.  It included ministers from the Presbytery of San Francisco, a scripture reading in Nigerian by a ruling elder from the Salem Presbytery, and poem recited by Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson. The offering was designated to the PCUSA Peacemaking and Global Witness offering in the amount of $130.00.


MINUTES (Post 10/3)
Session Minute Review
Roberts Statement of Faith
Vital Worship / Reconciliation Conversation

May 2022 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | May 21, 2022

GPSC Bultena reminded the clerks that now Is the time to focus on completing their Session Minute Review for 2021 (for some 2020 also), using the digital copy format.  He thanked those churches that have completed this task: Central, Faith, and Glades.  Once again, our Presbytery was 100% with the annual Statistical Reporting, for which he thanked all the congregations for their efforts.

GPSC Bultena reported that in the matter of Cary Tolley, complainant VS Presbytery of Tropical Florida, respondent, that the complainant has filed an appeal before the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) and has asked for and been denied a stay of enforcement.  The Presbytery has filed with the General Assembly PJC a cross appeal in the matter, and is expected to present its case on September 9th.  By action in the consent motion, the Presbytery has placed the decision of the Synod of South Atlantic PJC in the minutes of the Presbytery as required by the Constitution.

The Pastors Convocation will held at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach on September 14-17, and has asked pulpit pastors to reserve those dates.  He clarified to church leaders that this is work duty and not to be regarded as vacation time or continuing education.  This year will have an additional day to include a face-to-face boundaries training.

In the future the Presbytery Assembly will be hybrid meeting.  As we will be returning to in-person, we are committed to keeping the online accessibility.  In the coming days the Presbytery staff will be researching for the best and easiest voting app that would suit our meeting needs.  There will be training sessions, in particular during our weekly Tuesday Together time.

GPSC Bultena shared that Rev. Shirley Saunders has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and asked the Presbyter commit to praying for her as she journeying on the path of tumultuous health.  Moderator Franca lead in a corporate prayer for Pastor Saunders.

Rev. Jose Manuel Capella-Pratts (CPM Chair) presented three recommendations, including two inquirers candidates: Mike Mahan (First Miami) and Veronica Chisholm (First Miami), and one candidate for ordination: Dwayne Black Jr.

Rev. Dr. Pamela Masten (COM) presented two recommendations, including Mr. Black’s installation at The Sanctuary (Second PC), and Rev. Melanie Marsh’s membership into the Presbytery as she will be Riviera’s new Transitional Pastor.

GPSC Bultena spoke on Disciple Making as Building Relationship as part of the Vibrant Together ministry plan.  These are the questions that will be considered this season:

The Presbytery worship was a commissioning service for our 225th General Assembly Candidates: RE-Barbara Hassall, TE-Fred Powell-Haig, and YAAD-Jack Rodriguez.  The offering was designated to the PCUSA Pentecost offering.

2022-2023 Parity Report
Mahan / Chisholm Statements of Motivation
Black Statement of Faith
Marsh Statement of Faith
Session Minute Review
2022 Minimum Terms of Call

February 2022 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | February 5, 2022

We started the year with Moderator, Barbara Hassall, installing Rev. Dr. Valdir Franca as the 2022 PTF Moderator.  As Valdir’s first act as Moderator, he thanked Barbara for her faithful year of service, and wished her well as the new Leadership Council Chair.  He also announced that RE Debi Davis is the 2022 Vice Moderator.

The Consent Motion had a few more nominations for COM, CPM, HRC, and PJC.  Other motions included installing Rev. Dr. Daniel Hagmaier to Peace Covenant PC in Key West, where he recently served as Transitional Pastor; as well as enrolling Deborah Viveros (Sunset PC) as Inquirer for Ministry of Word and Sacrament.  A couple of Overtures were concurred with for the 225th General Assembly.

ENV-07 (OVT-034) On Fossil Fuel Divestment
ENV-04 (OVT-015) On Creating the Presbyterian Tree Fund

GPSC Bultena’s report included that we are trying to reach 100% completion of our annual Statistical Reporting by February 11th.  There are many churches that have not completed their required 2021 Session Minute Review for 2020.  This is also the season to submit Installed Pastor’s Terms of Call by February 25th.   The Necrology Report was presented, with a special acknowledgement of the recently deceased former Presbyterian Women Moderator, Ramona Exum (Myrtle Grove).

GPSC Bultena reminded the Presbytery of the ministry plan that was voted on at the November Assembly, pointing out that the emphasis for the next three years will be on 1) building relationships, 2) having spiritual depth, and 3) being missional.  This year we will be concentrating on Building Relationships. The following guided the discussion:

We also discussed how Building Relationships defines Leadership Development as a set of activities that prepare current and future leaders to perform effectively in their roles.  The Presbytery will continue to seek to provide opportunities that build skills for leadership development.  The breakout questions were:

  • How might leaders build relationship with other leaders of the church, members, neighbors, and those beyond the neighborhood?
  • What steps might be taken by leaders to engage, equip, and encourage the building of relationships?
  • What is the role of prayer in building relationships?

2022 Proposed Budget
2021 Necrology Report
Feb. 5 Breakout Responses
Transition to Installed Process
Session Minute Review
2022 Minimum Terms of Call

November 2021 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | November 13, 2021

Our November Assembly was quite busy with elections, including the extension for Daris Bultena as Stated Clerk for another three year term.  Prominent votes included that a portion of the First Miami property be sold and developed to benefit the church; an Administrative Commission will be placed over Calvary Presbyterian Church which no longer has a solid Session; and lastly the receipt of Rev. Kathleen Dain as a new member and Transitional Pastor at First Tequesta.  The development of a new Vibrant Together Ministry Plan was initiated for the next three years.

2022-2024 Ministry Plan
Session Minute Review
2022 Minimum Terms of Call

August 2021 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | August 21, 2021

The Assembly business included the election of new committee members for the Leadership Council, TE Jacqueline Brovold; and for COM, RE Eilean Clark.  The newly elected 225th General Assembly Commissioners are: TE Fred Powell-Haig, RE Barbara Hassall, and RE Debi Davis (alt).  The Rev. Martha “Missy” Shiverick was honorably retired after 40 years of ministry.  Members at Riviera PC shared some fond memories of Rev. Shiverick ministry among them, and GPSC Daris Bultena thanked her for serving on the Leadership Council as chair since 2017.

The Stated Clerk report included that there are 40 congregations still needing to complete the 2021 records review of the 2020 minutes.  He announced that the 2022 Presbytery Assembly dates will be February 5th, May 21st, August 20th, and November 12th – the format will be determined as we get close for each.  The two announcements included the 2021 Pastors Convocation via Zoom, which featured Tod Bolsinger’s Tempered Resilience.  The second announcement was a new lunch and learn webinar for pastors, called Creative Arts Based Self Care Approaches for Pastoral Leadership, on September 21 & 28 and October 5 & 15; led by Jeannelle Benek, MA, HPMT, MT-BC, a master’s level board-certified music therapist, and Ella Dufrene, MPS, ATR, a master’s level art therapist and yoga instructor will be facilitators.

Daris also reviewed that the Clarity of Identity Part One (2019) theme was: “Now We See in a Mirror Dimly – Looking Back, Looking Now, Looking Forward.”  Clarity of Identity Part Two (2021) theme is: “Faith, Hope, and Love Abide – Building Faith, Deepening Hope, and Abiding Love.  Leaders and congregations were invited to name their vision and values; and to evaluate the Vibrant Together workplan.  All were encouraged to use “The Compass of Prayer” as the shared spiritual practice of prayer as we did in 2019.

Geoff McLean, Associate General Presbyter (AGP), was pleased to announce the 2022 Coral Gables Fund (CGF) Vibrant Together Grant Request for Proposals. Vibrant Together Grants are intended to assist congregations as they seek to embrace and employ the principles of Vibrancy as outlined in the Presbytery’s map for ministry. Grants support new ministries or augment existing ministries that support this work. Grants are not intended to supplement congregational budgets for ordinary or ongoing expenses.  The Proposal Submission deadline is October 22, at 5:00 pm. For more information, contact

Session Minute Review Forms
Clarity of Identity Conversations
Vibrant Together Grant Info

May 2021 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | May 22, 2021

The morning started with some lite business, which included taking a poll on where to have the November Assembly.  Since it is not clear what and when post pandemic will arrive, the numbers where split in half between in-person or zoom.  The Rev. Fred Powell-Haig was approved to move from Transitional to Called and Installed Pastor at The Community Church at Lauderdale by the Sea.  Inquirer Tricia Young was approved to be Candidate Under Care.  Our ministry partners were: Rev. Joyce Lieberman (Synod Executive & Stated Clerk of the South Atlantic), Kathy Broyard (Director of Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network), Dianna Wright (Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Relations, PCUSA), and Clark Simmons (Senior Consultant, Board of Pensions).

GPSC Daris Bultena led the conversation on Reconciliation as part of the Vibrant Together curriculum.  We were invited to discuss the working definition of Racism as: “Racism is a socially constructed system where some people are advantaged, and others are disadvantaged, merely because of their skin color, ethnic identity or their ancestral background.  Racism is failure to abide by the commandment to love your neighbor and a denial that all are made in the image of God.”  We also discussed the importance of anti-racism training will be for our Presbytery.  We concluded that the training: “Is a commitment to engage in deliberate learning about systemic racism, building consciousness and awareness of how we all have personal racial bias, and examining what it means to be faithful disciples in a culture of systemic racism.”

Moderator Barbara Hassall and Vice Moderator Valdir Franca lead in Pentecost worship which correlated with our Reconciliation conversation.

Policy for Converting a Transitional Pastor to a Called/Installed Pastor  (COM Tab)
Board Of Pensions Update
2021 Minister Salary Report

February 2021 Assembly

STATED ASSEMBLY | February 6, 2021

The first Presbytery Assembly of the year is always a joyous one as we installed our new moderator, Elder Barbara HassallRev. Dr. David Massey was given thanks for his service as the 2020 Moderator.  Rev. Dr. Valdir de Franca was also introduced as our Moderator Elect.  Ms. Jennifer Rohrich was enrolled as a Candidate for Ministry of Word and Sacrament.  Associate General Presbyter, Geoff McLean lead worship with the theme of Reconciliation.  GPSC Bultena presented the topic of Reconciliation as the last of the Vibrant Together topics.  He talked about the theology of Reconciliation based on the Confession of 1967, including: God’s work through Jesus Christ, the sin of humanity, and the New Life.  He went on to talk of the Ministry of Reconciliation and how it works in the mission of the church.  He also announced that there will be a five-week Congregational Lenten Study that can be used during Lent or after Easter, as each congregation chooses.

Session Minute Review Forms
Statistical Reporting
Earth Care Task Force
2020 Necrology Report
Payment Protection Plan 1 & 2
Vibrant Together Reconciliation Bible Study
Tuesday Together

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