Session Clerks’ Handbook

Each council shall elect a clerk who shall:

  • record the transactions of the council,
  • keep its rolls of membership and attendance,
  • maintain any required registers,
  • preserve its records, and
  • furnish extracts from them when required by another council of the church.


For more information (see Book of Order – G-3.0104)


Legal Resources

Tax exempt letter for congregation

-contact General Assembly Legal Services

                                                    1-800-728-7228 ext 5020

Minutes, Rolls, Registers

Minutes and Records Review

The Presbytery has delegated its responsibility for conducting an annual general review of sessions to the Committee on Ministry (COM). To accomplish its task,COM liaisons will review session records directly with the Clerk od Session of each congregation. COM uses a Session Records Checklist (links at left) to evaluate the records. 

Session Records Review Checklist

Rolls and Registers

Rolls & Register Requirements

Electronic Register Template – Excel

G-3.0204 Minutes and Records

Minutes of the session shall be subject to the provisions of G-3.0107. They shall contain the minutes of all meetings of the congregation and all joint meetings with deacons and trustees.

Each session shall maintain the following roll and registers:

  • Membership Roll – There shall be rolls of baptized, active, and affiliate members in accordance with G-1.0401, G-1.0402 and G-1.0403. The session shall delete names from the roll of the congregation upon the member’s death, admission to membership in another congregation or presbytery, or renunciation of jurisdiction. The session may delete names from the roll of the congregation when a member so requests, or has moved or otherwise ceased to participate actively in the work and worship of the congregation for a period of two years. The session shall seek to restore members to active participation and shall provide written notice before deleting names due to member inactivity.


  • Registers – There shall be registers of baptisms authorized by the session, of ruling elders and deacons, of installed pastors with dates of service, and such other registers as the session may deem necessary.
Preserving Records

G-3.0107 Records

Each council shall keep a full and accurate record of its proceedings. Minutes and all other official records of councils are the property in perpetuity of said councils or their legal successors. When a council ceases to exist, its records shall become the property of the next higher council within whose bounds the lower council was prior to its cessation. The clerk of each council shall make recommendation to that body for the permanent safekeeping of the body’s records with the Presbyterian Historical Society or in a temperature and humidity controlled environment of a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Best Practices

Electronic Records – using PDF/A

Paper, Ink, Binder – what to use

Records Retention Schedule for Congregations

Also, visit the Presbyterian Historical Society’s website to learn about

Best practices for managing and preserving records and

Where to purchase archival quality supplies.

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Submit data on-line.

  • Need your USER ID or password? Call the presbytery’s stated clerk,513-221-4850 ext 4.


2019 Congregation Staff Compensation Report

DUE: Send to the Presbytery office as soon as budget is approved.

Terms of Call Report for Pasters & Associte Pastors

DUE: upon approval

It is not necessary to submit this report for interim pastors, interim associate pastors, stated supplies, temporary supplies, or ruling elders commissioned to pastoral service.

Policy Samples & Suggestions

Sessions using sample policies are responsible for adopting policies that comply with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and laws of the state or commonwealth in which the congregation is located.


Financial Review Checklist

Manual of Operations contents

General Assembly Misconduct Policy (2013)

Child Protection Policies

The Book of Order requires every session to adopt and implement a child protection policy (G-3.0106). The following are from sessions in the presbytery and may be used by others while developing their own.

Bethel Murdoch Boundary Guidelines

Heritage Child/Youth Protection Policy and Practices

Indian Hill Safe Church Policy

Knox Policy for the Prevention and Reporting of Child Abuse

Lakeside Child Protection Policy

Mt. Auburn Background Check Policy & Procedures

Northminster Child Protection Policy

Westwood First Children/Youth Protection Policy

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Cincinnati, OH 45242

phone: 513-221-4850