Ruling Elders

Elders are chosen by the people. Together with ministers of Word and Sacrament, they exercise leadership, government and discipline, and have responsibilities for the life of a particular church as well as the church at large, including ecumenical relationships. They shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected commissioners to higher governing bodies, elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office.

Elders should be persons of faith, dedication and good judgment. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel, both within the church and the world.

It is the duty of elders, individually and jointly:
+ to strengthen and nurture the faith and life of the congregation committed to their charge
together, with the pastor, they should encourage the people in the worship and service of God
+ to equip and renew the people for their tasks within the church and for their mission in the world
+ to visit, comfort and care for the people, with special attention to the poor, the sick, the lonely, and those who are oppressed
+ they should inform the pastor and the session of those persons and structures which may need special attention
+ they should assist in worship
+ they should cultivate their ability to teach the Bible
+ they may be authorized to supply places which are without the regular ministry of Word and Sacrament
in specific places and with proper instruction, specific elders may be authorized by presbytery to administer the Lord’s Supper
+ those duties which all Christians are bound to perform by the law of love are especially incumbent upon elders because of their calling to office and are to be fulfilled by them as official responsibilities
+ to administer to all those who are in need, to the sick, + to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith
+ leading the people in worship through prayers of intercession, reading the Scriptures, presenting the gifts of the people and assisting with the Lord’s Supper

PARTICULAR DUTIES OF RULING ELDERS (those presently on session)
+ serve and actively participate at session meetings every month (session meetings are open and may be attended by anyone)
+ lead devotions at meetings
+ serve on a ministry team (Hearts, Hands, Worship, Trustees)
+ encourage and be the liaison for your ministry team
+ attend meeting of the team
+ make sure monthly article is assigned for the newsletter
+ report to session and advocate for your ministry’s goals
+ insure ministry teams are working toward the common goals of the session and programs are being evaluated
+ serve as a praying elder for the worship service
+ serve as a serving elder for the Lord’s Supper, in worship and home communion
+ minister to your assigned members and friends of the church by
calling/contacting each one at least once a month re: needs—physical and spiritual
being a representative to the session re: concerns of membership
visit when ill, homebound or in the hospital
know the family situations and be an encourager/advocate
contact the pastor when there is a need or if church wide information needs to be communicated
pray for them and be their friend; build fellowship
keep them informed re: events and programs of the church
+ be aware of your own spiritual needs and attend to them; seek spiritual direction from the pastor as needed
pray for the church and the pastor
+ serve at Presbytery level when asked, as commissioner or on committees
+ be an advocate for the local church, remembering you are one of its leaders

You have a spiritual need and want guidance
You want prayer or spiritual counsel
You are sick; especially when going to the hospital and /or you want to be anointed
You have a need
You need to talk with someone
You have a concern
You see a need in the church
You would like to receive home communion
You want your child to be baptized
You want to know about something going on in the church
You have a question
You have a joy to share
You have a ministry you want to begin or join
You want to join a small group for study, support and/or accountability