CORRECTION on 5-28-2020: An earlier version of this letter said the practice run is on June 2 at 1:30pm. That is incorrect. It is on Monday, June 1 at 1:30pm.

May 26, 2020

Presbytery of Lake Michigan
Clerks of Session
Pastors with congregations

Dear Siblings in Christ:

We pray this correspondence finds you well and we are confident that through you the Gospel of Christ continues to be proclaimed in Word and deed during these unusual times.  It is an honor and privilege to be part of the Body of Christ in this particular Presbytery and to be your partners in ministry.

We have information about the upcoming Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan that is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, 2020 that we would like to share.

At their most recent meeting, the Presbytery of Lake Michigan Leadership Team decided to hold the upcoming Stated Meeting via Zoom electronic meeting technology.  Again, the date of that Stated Meeting is Tuesday, June 9, 2020.  Information about the meeting, including registration details, is posted at on the coronavirus response page under “News from the Presbytery Leaders.”

The PC(USA) Book of Order (G-3.0105) specifies that meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. There has been some confusion among congregational leaders and members related to who, according to Robert’s Rules, has the privilege of voice and vote at meetings of the Presbytery.  There have also been some who have purposefully attempted to cross those boundaries.

The following is offered as clarification and education.

  • Those who have voice and vote (minister members of the presbytery and elected commissioners from PLM congregations), who have registered for the presbytery meeting *, will receive by email a Zoom link by which to access and participate in the meeting.  Each link will be unique to the individual who registered and cannot be shared with anyone else. These individuals will be able to participate in the presbytery meeting in the manner consistent with Robert’s Rules, by asking questions, engaging in discussion/debate, and voting.
  • Those who will be granted voice (corresponding members), who have registered for the presbytery meeting *, will also receive a Zoom link by email, again unique to that individual and cannot be shared with anyone else. Individuals in this group, consistent with Robert’s Rules, will be able to ask questions and engage in discussion, but will not be able to vote.
  • In adhering to the PC(USA) open meeting policy, those who will be joining the presbytery meeting as guests and visitors, and have registered for the presbytery meeting *, will be sent a link to view via live stream.  Just as with regular in-person presbytery meetings, individuals who attend the meeting as guests and visitors, consistent with Robert’s Rules, can watch the meeting, but are not able to participate in discussion, debate or voting.
  • Registration for the Presbytery Meeting opened on Thursday, May 15, 2020 and will close on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.  Please register prior to the deadline of June 2, 2020.  We will not be able to provide a link to the presbytery meeting to those who do not register by the published deadline.

We are asking congregations, if at all possible, to please elect commissioners who have some familiarity with Zoom or other electronic meeting technology.  Zoom electronic meeting technology is easy to download from the website and easy to access once downloaded by simply clicking the link that will be provided.  We suggest that the Zoom software be downloaded prior to the presbytery meeting.  There should be no sharing of computers at the meeting. Each participant must use their own individual computer or tablet.  Participants will not be permitted to join the meeting by phone.

The presbytery will provide a practice/training session on Monday, June 1, 2020 so that those participating in the meeting can become familiar with Zoom functions, particularly hand-raising to participate in discussion and polling to participate in voting.  The practice session will be led by Kristen Schell, technology manager for the presbytery. For your convenience, we have attached to this correspondence the Presbytery of Lake Michigan Electronic Meeting Policy.

Orientation for first time elder commissioners is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, June 8, 2020 via Zoom.  When registration for the presbytery meeting opens, please indicate on the registration is you are a first-time elder so our office staff will know to send you a link to the orientation.  Again, the link will be unique to you and cannot be shared with another.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan staff. Take care, and stay safe and well.

God Bless,

Fran Lane-Lawrence 
Transitional Co-Leader/Stated Clerk

Cal Bremer
Transitional Co-Leader