GUIDELINES FOR HOSTING PRESBYTERY MEETINGS
To assist our churches in properly hosting Presbytery Meetings, we have prepared the following guidelines. We hope these guidelines are helpful in assuring the meeting runs smoothly and effectively.
After the meeting, we ask you to evaluate these suggestions and add any others you feel should be included for the next host church.
It is suggested a General Chairman be appointed by your session to coordinate the preparation for the meeting and to work with the person responsible for logistics for the Presbytery Meeting Planning Team and assure the following provisions are made:
1. Communion - Normally Communion is served at the Winter (February) Meeting, but can be served at other meetings if requested and approved. Have communion elements prepared and Elders to serve. If any special preparations are necessary, you will be contacted.
2. Worship - The Worship Committee of the Presbytery Meeting Planning Team will meet with the minister of the host church, moderator and Presbytery Executive in planning worship.
3. Food - The quantity required will depend upon the proposed agenda, i.e. if a minister will be received, issues of high interest to attract visitors, etc. Normally there will be 50 to 60 commissioners plus 20 to 35 visitors, so food would be required for 80 to 105 people, plus people from the host church. It would be wise to check with the Presbytery Office several days in advance to see if these estimates are realistic. When Presbytery convenes an accurate head count can be made from the registration lists.
Notify those who will prepare the meal at least a month in advance so they will have sufficient time to select the menu and determine the cost per meal. Presbytery participants normally expect to pay for the costs of the meal.
For two day Presbytery meetings (Friday evening – Saturday early afternoon) the plan will be for the meeting to begin with an evening meal on Friday, served at 6:00 p.m. A continental breakfast will be served at about 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.
For a one day meeting, the plan will be for the meeting to begin with a continental breakfast served at 8:00 a.m. Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.
The average cost for supper and/or lunch is about $6.00 to $7.00. The cost for the continental breakfast will be less. Please keep the cost of the meal as reasonable as possible. If the host church needs financial assistance from the Presbytery to provide a good meal at these prices, please contact the Presbytery Office at least two weeks in advance to make arrangements for this.
Arrange to have adequate tables to accommodate the number of people expected. If possible, serve the meal in a "family style" at tables seating 8 to 10. This fosters a feeling of informality and an atmosphere of fellowship. It also cuts down on the time spent waiting in line.
(Suggestions: Some churches have their Presbyterian Women cook individual dishes and then furnish the meat and some cook the whole meal in their kitchens. Some have the plates served and on the tables and some wait to serve after each table is seated. Each host church shall determine the most convenient method.)
4. Registration and Greeters - For registration, at least two tables will be needed in the narthex or in some other appropriate area. Arrange to have members of your church serve as greeters to welcome Elders, Ministers and Visitors. Additional tables will probably be needed for handouts and should be located near the registration area.
It helps to have three people available to handle the registrations: one for Ministers, one for Elder Representatives and one for Visitors. Then you can form three lines which seems to speed up the whole process. It is very important the proper registration sheets be signed. These sheets will be used to accurately prepare the Minutes and must reflect the number of Elder Commissioners, Ministers and Visitors. When they register, Ministers and Elder Representatives get the blue name tags and visitors get the red. (You may wish to have special name tags for your greeters.) The Presbytery office will provide nametags for Ministers, Elder Representatives and Visitors.
Have someone at the registration table to collect the money for lunch. Be sure this person has plenty of change. (Some of the churches have found it helpful to have the name tags available after each one pays for their meal, that way you can tell who has paid or who has not. This also helps to remind some of the people that they have not yet paid.)
Signs should be prepared to direct people to the proper place for registration. It would also be helpful if there were signs to give guidance to rest rooms, coffee rooms, etc.
Have coffee available 45 minutes before the meeting begins. (Most host churches have some light refreshments at this time, ie. doughnuts, coffee rolls, etc.).
5. Small Groups – Have rooms available for small group sessions. Check with the Presbytery office to see how many rooms are needed. Many times it is helpful to have extra Bibles, pens and paper on hand in each of the meeting rooms.
6. Miscellaneous - Have a long table with two chairs at the front of the meeting for the use of the Stated Clerk.
Have flowers or green plants for the chancel area (your options).
If candles will be used, light them before the opening worship service.
Before and during the meeting the temperature should be monitored for comfort.
You will be advised if rooms will be needed for committee meetings prior to the beginning of the Presbytery Meeting.
You will be advised if extra tables are needed for resources, Montreat display, etc.
Please report to the Presbytery Office the number of persons served at lunch. This record will assist in future planning of meals for meetings.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY PHONE CALL, PLEASE NOTIFY SAMFORD TURNER, JENNY CHAPMAN OR TAMMY LADNIER SO THE PERSON INVOLVED CAN BE NOTIFIED. (These people will be sitting at the front of the sanctuary.)
Thank you for hosting the meeting of the Presbytery of South Alabama. We appreciate your efforts in making this meeting a pleasant experience for all concerned.