SYNOD, SYNODICAL COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE OF SYNODICAL COUNCIL

THE SYNOD

The highest Court of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago

Synod shall be the highest Court of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago. Its decisions shall be binding on the entire Church. Its responsibilities would include:

  1. Oversight of Presbyteries, the reviewing of records and setting their bounds.
  2. Formulation of general policy on matters affecting the work and witness of the Church
  3. Receiving and acting upon petitions, memorials or any other matter referred to it by lower Courts.
  4. Receiving annual reports of the work of the Boards and Standing Committees of the Church.
  5. To ensure the examination of candidates recommended for Ordination by the Presbyteries, and to ordain such candidates when it is satisfied they are fil for the Ministry of the Church.
  6. To make and review appointments of Ministers, Lay Pastors, Deaconesses, and other full-time and/or part-time Workers.
  7. To admit Ministers and other Church Workers in good standing in other Churches, recommended by their Church
  8. To elect the members of the Boards and Standing Committees of Synod in accordance with the relevant sections of the Constitution.
  9. To forward matters to the respective Boards/Committees as the Constitution of the said Boards/Committees may require
  10. To approve the budget forwarded by the Board of Stewardship and Finance
  11. To revise/amend the Constitution after the Judicial Committee and the Presbyteries have studied the proposed changes
  12. To set its own roll and the Ministerial roll in each Presbytery
  13. To convene and constitute its Boards and Standing Committees
  14. To convene a convention of Presbyterians biennially.

THE SYNODICAL COUNCIL:

  • The Synodical Council shall be the chief Standing Committee of the Synod and the regularly constituted body through which the annual budget and all other major matters of Finance shall be referred to Synod for final action.

THE EXECUTIVE OF SYNODICAL COUNCIL:

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

  • To act as the Executive Committee of the Synodical Council, to assist, advise and co-operate with the Officers of the Church, Moderator, General Secretary of Synod, in giving leadership in the Church;
  • To act as the Settlement Committee of Synod, which will receive requests regarding Pastoral Relations, consult with Pastors and Pastoral Regions regarding same and recommend appointments for Pastoral Regions to Synod or the Synodical Council.

PRESBYTERY

Responsible for the welfare and oversight of the Pastoral Regions under its jurisdiction

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

  • The Presbytery shall be the Court of the Church responsible for the welfare and oversight of the Pastoral Regions under its jurisdiction. It shall act within the policies and financial planning of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church and shall interpret these to the Pastoral Regions through the Sessions.
  • The Presbyteries shall have regular consultations with Pastoral Regions under its jurisdiction through the Executive Committee of Presbytery, the Visitation Committee of Presbytery or any other authorised Committee of the Presbytery. These regular consultations shall be held with the Sessions or Regional Congregational Meetings.
  • The Presbytery shall seek all information concerning the policies of the Church from the Synod through the General Secretary and keep all its members informed about such policies. In those matters which are the duties and responsibilities of Presbytery, this Court shall have the power to issue except in the case where an appeal is made by some interested party to the higher Court of Synod. Presbytery does not have the power to act in any way contrary to the decisions and policies of the Synod.
  • Sessions shall have access to Synod or Synodical Council, or its Executive, only through Presbytery, except in cases of extreme urgency and in such cases a copy of all correspondence and documents must be sent simultaneously to the Presbytery.

BOARDS OF EDUCATION

Boards of Management for Primary and Secondary Schools

NAME:

NAME Synod shall establish two (2) Boards of Management for Schools, one for Primary Schools which shall be known as the Presbyterian Primary Schools’ Board and Education, and one for Secondary Schools which shall be known as the Presbyterian Secondary Schools’ Board of Education. These shall be under the jurisdiction of Synod and shall be Standing Boards.

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

These Boards shall be the properly constituted and competent authorities of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago in certain matters relating to Education in their respective spheres in accordance with the Policy of the Church and of the Government, as well as with the existing Education Act/Ordinance and Regulations made thereunder.

  • They shall promote on the basis of Christian principles, Educational programmes of the highest quality possible.
  • They shall help to determine and implement Official Policies of the Church in relation to Education.
  • They shall consider new developments in Education suited to the needs of the Church and the nation and propose to Synod from time to time, necessary changes affecting the overall Policy of the Church regarding Education.
  • They shall be responsible for the Construction, Repairs and Maintenance of the School Building and other facilities attached to the Schools in collaboration with the appropriate Session.
  • They shall also exercise such powers and perform such duties with regard to the control and management of such other Schools as are established by the Church, Secondary or Primary, classified as Government Assisted Schools.
  • Their decisions in respect to administration, recommendations for appointments, transfers, suspensions, termination of service, resignations or retirement or any other decisions relating to Principals or Vice Principals, shall be subject to approval or review by Synodical Council or Synod, and the decision of Synodical Council or Synod be referred to the Boards for necessary action.
  • They shall consider such matters of Educational Policy as are referred to them by Synod and recommend appropriate action. They shall foster and encourage new areas of work recommended by Synod.
  • They may act in concert with other similar Organisations concerned with Education, provided they do not contravene the policy of the Church.
  • Each Board shall present to Synod before the end of February of each year, an Annual Report of all finances which must include an audited financial statement together with a Budget for the ensuing year. Auditors must be appointed by Synod.
  • Each Board shall present to Synod or Synodical on its own initiative, or as may be requested from time to time, Reports and Recommendations on matters educational.
  • Each Board shall appoint a representative on the Board of Christian Education

THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

Deals with matters in connection with Church Government

THE DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE SHALL BE:

  1. To consider and advise on all matters in connection with Church Government and procedure.
  2. To investigate and report on all matters referred to it through the appropriate channels.
  3. To interpret the Constitution and by-laws of the Church
  4. To hear appeals on matters relating to the Constitution from lower Courts of the Church, referred by Synod, Synodical Council and Presbytery.
  5. To frame rules of order and procedure as requested by Synod, and to be approved by Synod for use throughout the Church
  6. To recommend to Synod, amendments to the Constitution and by-laws after the following procedure is observed:
  7. Presbytery shall forward to Synod, proposals for amendments emanating from the Session.
  8. Other Boards and Committees shall forward proposals to Synod
  9. Synod shall determine the question of referrals to the Judicial Committee.
  10. The Judicial Committee shall study the proposals in the light of the total Constitution and present proposed amendments to the Presbyteries for consideration.
  11. Presbyteries shall have a maximum of six (6) months to respond.
  12. After consultation with Presbyteries, the Committee shall then present the proposed amendments to Synod for a final decision.

BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP & FINANCE

Responsible for informing and educating the Church in Mission and Stewardship

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

The Board shall act as the agent of Synod being responsible for informing and educating the Church in Mission and Stewardship, in consultation with other appropriate Standing Boards and advising the Synod on financial policy.

BOARD OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Responsible for engaging the attention of the Church and the wider community

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

  • The Board shall be responsible for engaging the attention of the Church and the wider community in areas of social responsibility.
  • The Board shall undertake the responsibility to stimulate thought and comment on any social issue of importance.
  • The board shall offer to the Synod and or Synodical Council informed opinion on contemporary, social, moral, ethical and other issues of national importance.
  • The Board shall strive to encourage balanced judgement in light of Christian Doctrine on any issues affecting the Church and the national conscience.
  • The Board shall encourage care and assistance to the community as a whole.
  • The Board shall undertake projects which shall address social needs.
  • The Board shall encourage responsible discussions in respect of corporate social responsibility as it affects the community.
  • The Board shall consider and develop a database of projects which shall be available to all members of the Church.
  • The Board shall be responsible for submitting an annual report with an audited financial statement to Synod.

BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Standing Committee of the Synod of the PCTT

NAME:

The Board shall be known as the Board of Christian Education and shall be a Standing Committee of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago.

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

  • The Board shall undertake responsibility for planning and directing a co-ordinated programme of Christian Education with specific reference too Sunday Schools, Youth Work, and Christian Education in Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • In co-operation with related Board of Synod, the Board shall provide opportunity for each individual at every stage of his or her developing life, to come to know, love, and serve God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
  • The Board shall help to formulate and implement the Official policy of the Church in relation to Christian Education.
  • The Board shall consider new developments in Christian Education. Such developments may be proposed within the Board or referred to it.
  • The Board shall be responsible for submitting an annual report and a Budget to Synod.
  • The Board shall have power to act for and on behalf of the Church within the limits of its Budget in co-operative ventures with other denominations except in matters which require prior approval of the Synod or Synodical Council.
  • The Board shall recommend and facilitate as far as possible, the dissemination of appropriate literature and audio visual materials to Churches and related groups.
  • The Board shall formulate a curriculum of Christian Education for use in Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • The Board shall supervise the work of the Directors of Christian Education.

THE BOARD OF MEN

To lead men to an understanding of the witness of the Church through commitment to Christ

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the Board is to lead men to an understanding of the witness of the Church that through commitment to Christ they may fulfil the ministry to which they are called in the Church, in the home, in daily work, in the community and in the world.

OBJECTS:

  • To deepen the spiritual life of men of the Church.
  • To secure among men an increasing knowledge of interest in, and loyalty to the Church and its mission.
  • To enlist an active working force of men in every Presbytery and Pastoral Region.
  • To co-ordinate and have general oversight of all men’s organisations within the Church.
  • To promote the formation of Men’s Fellowship, such as AOTS Men’s Club in Pastoral Regions.
  • To develop and promote a programme for men which shall give emphasis to such elements as Christian Fellowship and Service, Evangelism, Family Life, Youth Work, Stewardship, Lay Preaching and Speaking, Community Service and Missionary Education.
  • To develop effective lay leadership throughout the Church in co-operation with other Boards and Committees whenever possible.
  • To prepare, publish, obtain and promote the use of such literature and other materials as will aid in the fulfilment of the objects of the Board.
  • To work with Men’s Fellowships of other Churches. To arrange for the observance of Laity Sunday.

THE BOARD OF WOMEN

To encourage and assist the Presbyterian Church Women’s Groups

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION:

The Board shall act under the authority of Synod in the following areas:

  • To encourage and assist the Presbyterian Church Women’s Groups in the local congregation in their programmes and activities.
  • To inspire a spirit of prayer and service among Presbyterian Church Women.
  • To encourage and promote a study of Christian faith. d. To develop a Christian spirit in the women, girls and children of the Church and the community.
  • To cultivate the grace of giving, and to co-operate with the total mission of the Presbyterian Church.

BOARD OF YOUTH AFFAIRS

Standing Board of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago.

NAME:

The Board shall be known as the Board of Youth Affairs and shall be a Standing Board of the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago.

PURPOSE:

To provide leadership for the Youth of our Church, that they may be led to know, love and serve God as revealed in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

DUTIES:

  • To develop and promote programmes to enable youths to reflect upon their faith with a view to make the Gospel more relevant and meaningful.
  • To formulate and implement programmes of activities and study in co-operation with the Board of Theological Education.
  • To develop leadership among youths. To draw-up programmes of service, recreation and fellowship.
  • To assist in organising and coordinating Youth Groups in the Church. To organise national meetings and rallies and Annual Youth Conventions.
  • To cooperate with youths of other denominations, to witness to the Nation and World.
  • To interview and make recommendations to the Board of Theological Education for the appointments of Youth Directors, which Board shall determine the suitability of the candidates, and shall forward its findings to Synodical Council for action.
  • To make annual reports to Synod which include audited financial statements.
  • To elect Committees of the Board as it may deem necessary.