In the midst of change, with anxiety about the world and our place in it, it’s easy to forget one’s roots. That’s not who we want to be as the Presbytery of Tampa Bay. As Presbyterians, we want everything to be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40), and as such, all of the changes that we’ve made over the last few years have been meticulously crafted to be by the book, that is, by the Book of Order. Many of our changes have to do with how we do our work as a presbytery.
In keeping with our value of being locally connected, regional commissions of either the Commission on Ministry (COM) or the Commission on Church Vitality (CCV) now decide most of the business that used to need to go through a Presbytery meeting. Each of our three regions has their own commissions, which each have their own chairs, members, and budgets, acting as sub-commissions of their respective Presbytery groups.
Since these are commissions, not committees, the decisions of these groups are final, not needing approval by any other group. When the Regional COM or CCV acts, they have done so with the full authority of Presbytery, insofar as the Presbytery has granted them the authority to do so. Each commission is confined to action on only the list of delegated authorities found in the Presbytery Bylaws. Making decisions in this way allows our Presbytery to move quickly, and empowers leaders locally to make decisions that are routine or that were in practice seldom reviewed by the Presbytery.