Today the Session of our church has called a Congregational Meeting for the election of Ruling Elders to lead and govern our church. In Presbyterian governance, our leaders are elected by the active members of the congregation.
Presbyterians have a Constitution that has two parts. Part I is the Book of Confessions. It illuminates what we believe, while making clear that the Bible is the chief authority for faith and life. Part II is The Book of Order. The Book of Order outlines our governance. This is what it says about ruling elders:
As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders (pastors), exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session.
The Nominating Committee (which is elected by the congregation) will place into nomination five persons to be elected as elders, one for a two year term and four for three year terms. All active members of our congregation will be allowed to discuss and vote to elect elders. Pray for the Holy Spirit not only in the election, but also in the service of our elders… and all of us(!) as we seek to be a faithful church that pleases God by what it does and says.
Please note that EPC will hold a “Discover Eastminster Day” from 8:45 a.m. until noon on June 8. This will be a time to meet our elders and to learn more about Presbyterian churches and specifically about the life and ministry of Eastminster. It is open to all persons— non-members and members. Non members will have an option of joining Eastminster at the conclusion of Discover Eastminster. You may sign up by tearing off the form in the announcements and placing it in the offering plate or submitting it to the church office. I hope to see you there!