Supporting Our Presbyteries As They Explore New Possibilities for the Future

One of the primary responsibilities of a Synod is to serve and care for its member presbyteries. In our New Way Forward, the manner in which this responsibility is carried out has changed significantly. Our values now call us to focus on serving rather than directing, listening rather than telling, and working from as close to our grassroots (congregations) as possible. This work is shaped by careful listening.

Over the more than five years since we have started on this New Way Forward it has become clear that most of our 22 presbyteries are struggling to find new ways to meet their own calling. Every presbytery has experienced shifts in demographics, changes or confusion in what is expected from leaders, as well as loss of membership and financial resources. Almost every presbytery has been engaged in creative experimentation in finding new ways to meet this sea change.

As our Synod Mission Team works among our presbyteries, it became clear that we are at a Kairos moment. We have the opportunity to create new structures to serve our congregations that focus upon becoming communities which shift more (almost all) of their energy toward visioning, supporting, and encouraging one another to find the places and ways in which each member more fully discovers and lives into their missional calling. “Missional Structures” is becoming the language we use to talk about this shift. The focus is to discover ways to build healthy community, encourage passionate mission, and to carry out mutual accountability (traditionally called governance). The process we are using includes the creation of working groups, appointed by presbytery moderators and comprised of members that best represent the diversity we are all seeking.


Jump to:  New Jersey — Central New York

In September of 2017 the Synod of the Northeast gathered moderators and their designees of our seven New Jersey presbyteries to discuss the concerns, challenges, and aspirations of their individual presbyteries. From this conversation it was determined to create a process which included which included the occasional gathering of the moderators as well as the establishment of a Working Group to explore the future of our Presbyterian witness in the region. Each moderator was asked to work with their councils in naming two representatives from their presbytery to serve on the New Jersey Missional Structures Working Group. This working group has been both diverse and passionate in pursuing their task of exploring new possibilities and aspirations for creating new ways to gather which would increase the sense of community and mission within new structures (presbyteries). This working group continued to maintain communication and input from presbytery leadership as well as grassroots membership. The result has been the development of Invitation to Participate in NJ New Missional Communities.

History & Process

More info coming soon

Presbyteries

Current Status

The NJMS Working Group has shared an "Invitation to Participate" with the seven New Jersey presbyteries (on Feb. 14, 2019). The Invitation asks each presbytery to commit themselves to the new vision of presbytery life together, and to the process of transitioning from the existing 7 presbyteries into 4 new ones.

Adopted
    Newark            (5/11/19 - unanimous)
    Newton            (5/14/19 - unanimous)
    Elizabeth         (6/11/19 - unanimous)
    Palisades         (6/18/19 - unanimous)
    West Jersey    (9/17/19 - unanimous)

Pending
    Monmouth
    New Brunswick

"Invitation to Participate" document

Click here to view the official "Invitation to Participate in NJ New Missional Communities" (February 2019).

Congregational Details

For summary and interactive data about the existing and proposed presbytery affiliations of each congregation click here

Maps

     

Overview/intro coming soon

History & Process

Info coming soon

Presbyteries

Info coming soon

Current Status

Info coming soon

Documents

Info coming soon

Presbytery Missional Structures

For more information about the Presbytery Missional Structures endeavor,
please be in touch with Synod Leader, Harold Delhagen.