In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), there are two ordained offices: elder and deacon. Serving as an officer of the church is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility.
WHAT IS AN ELDER?
There are also two types of elders: teaching elders who serve as pastors of congregations and bestowed through ordination with the title of Reverend; and ruling elders, who are, according to our Book of Order (Part II of the constitution of the PCUSA) G-2.0301:“persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit” who are elected by the congregation and charged by our denomination to “discern and measure [a congregation’s] fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life.”
Together with teaching elders, ruling elders offer spiritual leadership and governance, through the exercise of spiritual discernment, of the life of a congregation. Generally ruling elders serve a three year term, serving on session in three equal classes with one-third completing their terms at the end of each year. Ruling elders may not serve more than six consecutive years (or two full terms) and must take at least one year off before serving again.
Traits of an Elder: Strategic, Creative, Logical, Intuitive, Decisive
Position in the Church: Governance of the Congregation
Length of Term: Three (3) Years
WHAT IS A DEACON?
In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the office of deacon, according to paragraph G-2.0201 in our Book of Order (Part II of the constitution of the PCUSA), is described as follows:
The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.
The Board of Deacons is charged with the carrying out the ministry of pastoral care and compassion for our members and regular attending friends. They serve under the supervision and authority of session and are guided by a moderator of their own choosing and the pastor who attends meetings as often as possible. The Board of Deacons, like session, is divided into three equal classes with one-third of the board retiring their terms at the end of each year, Deacons may not serve more than six consecutive years (or two full terms) and must take at least one year off before serving again.
Traits of a Deacon: Trustworthy, Caring, Sensitive, Loyal, Kind
Position in the Church: Caring for the Congregation
Length of Term: Three (3) Years
Nominations for church offices are welcome at any time. However, the Nominating Committee does the bulk of its work between July and September. Nominations are actively sought in August.
According to the Book of Order, individuals who undertake particular ministries including ruling elder and deacon, should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demostration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. (PC(USA) Book of Order)
All church officers must be active members for at least one year prior to election, which occurs in December with all terms beginning in January. Terms of office are three years for elders and deacons, and one year for the church nominating committee.
You are welcome to put down your own name as someone the Nominating Committee should consider.
If you have questions, contact Bruce Breeden or any other member of the Nominating Committee.
Recommendations are due by August 30, 2017.
The Nominating Committee: Bruce Breeden (chair), Cheryl Brentlinger, Robert Browning, Andrew Taylor, and Barb Tillema.