Stated Clerk’s Corner September 2020

Stated Clerk’s Corner September 2020

The Stated Clerk’s duties have certainly been impacted by Covid-19 like so many others. I have been postponing Review of Minute Books and Registers until October hoping that things might have changed enough for Clerks of Session to gather together and review each other’s books. Well, that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. So, taking my cue from the Stated Clerk of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii who has cancelled the Review of Presbytery Minutes until 2021, I am doing the same. There will be no Review of Minute Books and Registers this year. That means we will be looking at two years’ Minutes in 2021: 2019 and 2020. The Synod will be doing the same.

Unfortunately, our presbytery and our congregations are holding official meetings “out of order” according to our by-laws as no one could have ever predicted Covid-19 and included an option of holding regular stated meetings electronically as Robert’s Rules forbids it. Of course, this would apply to congregations that have chosen Robert’s Rules as their parliamentary procedure option in their By-Laws. Most, possibly all, of our congregations function according to Robert’s Rules. We are all approving motions in this manner after voting to do so at the beginning of meetings with the caveat that all those motions will need to be ratified when we can finally meet in person again. At that time we will also vote on including meetings of this nature under a very specific set of circumstances in the future. Hopefully, we will never need to do this again. We all look forward to the day we can all be functioning legally again.

I am aware that so many things are different this year. The clerks may not have access to their church offices as they have had in the past years. That means they may not be able to be working with their official Minute Book and Register. I have advised clerks to be working with their individual monthly sets of minutes and filling in the Review Form along the way with the month a requirement was fulfilled. They can get back to the official books with page numbers in the future when they are available. That way they will not be so far behind when we can actually open up our church offices as before.

I am presently working on a Zoom training module for new Clerks of Session. This module will be part of the 2021 Winterfest event and will be available after the Winterfest event in a library of electronic resources. I have already posted several resources for Clerks of Session on the presbytery website under the “Clerk’s Corner” and plan on adding additional items in order to provide a good amount of resources that can be accessed at any time by clerks. This can certainly be thought of as a positive result of Covid-19 for it means that as new Clerks of Session come into the office, there will be immediate assistance available. It does not mean that I will not meet individually with a new clerk. I am aware that one of the great advantages of doing individual clerk training is that the training can be tailored to their specific situation. I will continue to make efforts to help individually, as well.

The Executive Presbyter and I will not be flying off to the Mid Council Leaders’ Meeting this fall

as it will be held virtually due to Covid-19. That meeting is scheduled for one day, November 5th, this year. I will certainly miss the comradery that occurs at mealtimes and evening events. The theme for the meeting is, “Wholeness in Times of Crisis.” I look forward to being able to share whatever information I glean this year with the presbytery.

Here are the dates for the Presbytery Meetings for the 2021 year:
January 26th – Tuesday, 7-9 PM
March 20th – Saturday, 9am-12noon
June 19th – Saturday, 9am-12noon
September 18th – Saturday, 9am-12noon
November 16th – Tuesday, 7-9pm

(We are planning for in-person meetings at this time until we see what Covid-19 holds for the future year-2021. We will adapt as needed.)

Winterfest – The Plenary and Worship Celebration will be held on line on February 6th

We are now looking for locations for those various presbytery meetings. If you would like to volunteer your church as a possible location of one of these presbytery meetings, please contact the stated clerk and/or the executive presbyter. We would love to discuss that idea with your church leadership.


Diane M. Frasher
Stated Clerk



Statistical Reporting

Statistical Reporting

Statistical Reporting

The Statistical Reporting Season for the winter of 2017/2018 has come to an end. I am sure all the Clerks of Session are sighing with relief! This period of time requires a lot of work on the part of the Clerk of Session. I am very thankful that we have such wonderful clerks in this presbytery. They do this tedious work year after year without a grumble. This year we had a 72% congregational participation rate versus last year’s 77% participation rate. We dropped a little in participation, but not too much. Hopefully, next year we will exceed last year’s 77% participation rate. Thank you to all the dedicated Clerks of Session for their work this year. The congregations that made sure they got statistical information into GA were:

Alhambra True Light Presbyterian, Alhambra
First Presbyterian, Altadena
Village Presbyterian, Arcadia
Emmanuel Hispanic Presbyterian, Claremont
Claremont Presbyterian, Claremont
First Thai Presbyterian, Covina
Northminster Presbyterian, Diamond Bar
Divine Light Presbyterian, El Monte
Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian, Hacienda Heights
Iglesia De La Communidad, Highland Park
Puente de Esperanza Presbyterian Church, La Puente
St. Andrews Presbyterian, La Puente
La Verne Heights Presbyterian, La Verne
Glendale Korean Presbyterian, Los Angeles
Grace Presbyterian, Los Angeles
Occidental Presbyterian, Los Angeles
Good Shepherd Taiwanese Presbyterian, Monterey Park
First Taiwanese Presbyterian, Pasadena
New Hope Presbyterian, Pasadena
Westminster Presbyterian, Pasadena
Knox Presbyterian, Pasadena
Trinity Presbyterian, Pasadena
First Presbyterian, Pomona
San Marino Community, San Marino
Calvary Presbyterian, South Pasadena
Grace Taiwanese Presbyterian, Temple City
Westminster Presbyterian, Temple City
Community Presbyterian, West Covina


Looking statistically at the presbytery, as a whole, our membership dropped from 7026 to 6558. We had 128 total gains and 596 total losses during the year, which equates to a loss of 468 members. We believe this number is not quite accurate, as some of the congregations who did not participate have been healthy and growing. This is one reason we would love to get to a higher rate of congregational participation. We would love to have our figures be more accurate, so we really can see what is happening in the presbytery. Several of these non-participatory congregations have not reported for years, making their statistics way under-reported. We are also aware that we have had some closures of congregations this past year which accounts for some of the loss.

San Gabriel Presbytery is very diverse ethnically. The summary of the GA statistical report gives us the breakdown according to those congregations who have participated. The breakdown of Ruling Elders according to GA categories within the presbytery looks like this: ELDERS – 54 Asian, 3 Black, 2 African American, 1 African, 22 Hispanic, 111 White. We know that we have Middle Eastern elders, but no entries were made in that category. DEACONS – 118 Asian, 1 Black,2 African American, 1 African, 19 Hispanic, 72 White, and 1 Other. Here again, we know that we have Middle Eastern Deacons, but no entries were made in that category. We may actually be more diverse than is recorded in GA Statistical Reporting. But, the diversity in leadership within this presbytery, as recorded, is exciting to see!


The Spring Review of Minute Books will be held at Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church, Hacienda Heights on May 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM. The Review Form has been updated to contain the newly added item: Safety Policy for Youth in addition to one we previously had for Children. This is a new item, but we need to be working on this safety policy as it is a new GA requirement. And we most certainly want to keep our children and youth safe while they are on our campuses or on a field trip of some sort. The two policies should look a little different as it takes different approaches to care for the two different age brackets. Please think independently on each. Click HERE to download the Review Form.

I look forward to seeing many of the clerks and pastors at the Spring Review of Minute Books and Registers. Remember, if you haven’t had your books reviewed for a couple of years, we would expect to see those years too. Now, a caveat to that statement: If you are behind in your Minute Books and Registers for some years, but have this year’s up-to-date, please come and bring what you have. It is better to get started reviewing than to continuing remaining behind. We want to help you start catching up.

The Fall Review of Minute Books is still planned for October 2018 at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. We will publish the date as soon as we have it.