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Polity Conference and Fall Meetings

Polity Conference 2016 Registration Information


“Providing opportunities for mid council staff leaders to gather with OGA staff leaders to learn about polity issues, share common concerns, discuss the current state of the church, and discern our common life together”

 Registration available by clicking here

This year’s conference will be preceded by three (3) events that will be held concurrently: Association of Mid Council Leaders, Association of Stated Clerks, and the Moderators’ Conference.  New Stated Clerk Training will take place earlier in the week prior to the three concurrent events. See below for more information on the concurrent events and New Stated Clerk Training.

Location:      Galt House Hotel, Louisville KY


  • Begins Sunday morning, October 30, with worship at 9:00 am.  Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson will be preaching
  • Ends late Monday evening, October 31, with worship.  One of the Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) will be preaching

Featured Speakers/Preachers:

  • J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
  • Consultants from Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training
  • Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston, Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly   (2016)                


Worship is being planned to strengthen our relationships with one another and to engage the Word of God. Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson and one of the Co-Moderators will be preaching.

Primary Focus:

Consistent with the actions of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), as well as work from previous assemblies and other church entities, the focus of this year’s Polity Conference will be on white privilege, anti-racism work, and strategies for mid councils and the whole church to become an anti-racist multicultural institution.

Additional presentations:

  • Presentations and discussions on the actions of the 222nd General Assembly (2016)

Planned breakout groups on:

  • Racial Equity Lens and Racial Equity Impact Assessments
  • Leading in Antiracist Ways: What does it require?
  • Process Observation – What Can It Mean for Mid Councils?
  • Equipping Councils for Conversations About Racial Justice And Violence
  • "Waking Up White" - A Book Discussion
  • What Can We Learn From COGA's "When We Gather At The Table"?
  • Answering the Call to Confession
  • Conversations with the Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson
  • Conversations with the Co-Moderators of the 222nd GA, Jan Edmiston and Denise Anderson
  • Understanding the New Directory for Worship
  • Ruling Elder Participation in Presbyteries and Synods
  • Ruling Elder Training - A Conversation for Teaching Elders and Mid Councils
  • Varieties of Pastoral Leadership
  • How Trained Christian Educators Can Strengthen Churches and Mid Councils
  • Developing Ruling Elders as Spiritual Leaders
  • Non-Teaching Elder Pastoral Leadership
  • The Call Process – A panel of advice and experience
  • Structuring Compensation and Benefits for Pastors
  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) Issues for Churches as Employers
  • The "Exceptions" - When Does A Presbytery Choose to Make Exceptions in Calling A Pastor?
  • The "Exceptions" - When Does a Presbytery Choose to Make Exceptions in the Preparation for Ministry Process?
  • Important Things to Know About Bi-vocational Ministry
  • The Presbytery and Ecumenical Work
  • Reference Checks
  • Judicial Process - A General Overview
  • Child Protection Policies
  • You've Been Served - Your First Response to a Lawsuit
  • Presbytery Leadership and  Staffing Issues
  • Church Departures - After the Dust Settles
  • Synods - Now What?
  • When the story breaks: Communications strategies in times of crisis
  • Resilience in the Face of Change
  • …And perhaps more!

Associated Events:

  • Wednesday morning, October 26 to Friday noon, October 28:
    • New Stated Clerk Training (by invitation only)
  • Friday, October 28 at 1:00 pm to Saturday evening, October 29:
    • Association of Mid Council Leaders (formerly Association of Executive Presbyters) Annual Meeting
    • Association of Stated Clerks Annual Meeting
    • Moderators’ Conference  – Moderator’s are invited to participate in opening activities for the Polity Conference through Sunday afternoon, October 30

Registration Information for Polity Conference Only

Please note the following deadlines:

  • September 22 – last day to reserve housing at the conference rate. Additional costs will be the responsibility of the participant
  • September 29 – last day to confirm travel with the OGA travel agency. Costs related to travel plans made after this date are the responsibility of the participant

You can register by clicking here.

                   *Registration fee for 1st and 2nd participant from a mid council     $350.00/person

(Subsidized by the Office of the General Assembly and includes travel booked through OGA travel agent by or on September 29, three meals, a reception, all breaks, and conference fees – does not include housing)

                   Registration for each additional participant from a mid council    $350.00/person and local participants/commuters

(includes three meals, a reception, all breaks, and conference fees – does not include housing or travel).  Daily fee for is available - $200 for Sunday; $150 for Monday)

                   Registration for observers                                                    $150.00/person

(Includes conference fees only – group meals will be charged separately.  Daily fee for observers is available - $75 for Sunday; $75 for Monday)

                  Registration for GA Agency staff                                          $225.00/person

(includes three meals, a reception, all breaks, and conference fees – does not include housing or travel)

                  Cancellation Fee – no later than September 22                $45.00 or 10%

(for credit card and other associated fees; fee will be $45 or 10% of total charges, whichever is higher; additional costs may be applied if travel costs have already been expended)

                  Cancellation Fee – after September 22                               $TBD

(Cancellations received after September 22 will be charged a fee for all meals ordered and a portion of shared costs that have already been expended; additional costs may be applied if travel costs have already been expended)

Travel Information:
DO NOT MAKE YOUR OWN FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS UNTIL YOU RECIVE AN INVITATION FROM US.  Within a few days of completing your registration, you will receive an invitation to make flight reservations through the OGA travel agent.  WE WILL NOT REIMBURSE YOU FOR FLIGHTS MADE ANY OTHER WAY.*  The fare and $9.50 ticket fee for on-line bookings will be charged to OGA. 

  • The Polity Conference begins Sunday morning, October 30 (if you are also attending any of the concurrent events or the New Stated Clerk Training, be sure to arrive in time for the start of your event(s)).
  • The Polity Conference ends after worship on Monday night, October 31

Please book your travel as soon as possible (and no later than September 29) for the best fares and schedules. Travel confirmed after this date will not be paid for by OGA, nor will it be reimbursable by OGA.  In the interest of stewardship, please select the most cost effective flights (if a more expensive flight is first selected, you will likely be asked to defend your choice or make a cheaper selection).

* Please note: travel confirmed through another agent or directly with an airline (in other words, not through Azumano's Cliqbook service) is not reimbursable by OGA. There is an exception - if, prior to August 1, you confirmed travel plans directly with an airline or through another agent, your travel may be reimbursable up to the amount of the lowest logical airfare as determined by Azumano Travel

As in the past, OGA will reimburse those driving to Louisville at a rate not exceed the cost of the lowest logical airfare.

Housing Information:
The deadline for reservations at the Galt House Hotel, the conference hotel in Louisville, is September 22.  

Please note: Participants will be responsible for all housing related costs.  However, you will continue to be able to make reservations through OGA during the registration process. OGA will also provide assistance to those seeking roommate to reduce housing costs.  

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