The mutual interconnection of the church through its councils is a sign of the unity of the church. Congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA), while possessing all the gifts necessary to be the church, are nonetheless not sufficient in themselves to be the church. Rather, they are called to share with others both within and beyond the congregation the task of bearing witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the world. This call to bear witness is the work of all believers. The particular responsibility of the councils of the church is to nurture, guide, and govern those who witness as part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), to the end that such witness strengthens the whole church and gives glory to God.
(Book of Order G-3.01)
The work of the presbytery resides in each of us, and specifically, groups created to carry out these particular functions such as the Commissions on Ministry and Preparation for Ministry, the Executive Board, the Permanent Judicial Commission, and the Nominating Committee. These bodies are made up of teaching and ruling elders, reflecting as much parity is possible as to gender, race, and ethnicity.
The nominating committee welcomes all candidate submissions; its primary vetting process is to ascertain that the individual is a member of the presbytery in good standing and that their addition to the slate will ensure balance in representation (for example, including names of both ruling and teaching elders in equal numbers).
The slate is then presented to the presbytery as a whole at the next stated meeting, where the body elects candidates to the openings in the various open slots on commissions and committees.
Ruling and teaching elders who feel called to serve a higher council than the local congregation (such as the presbytery’s executive board or commissions or committees) are individuals who wish to share their gifts for the spiritual discernment, leadership, and government of the presbytery. They come from a variety of backgrounds and church contexts, but together share in the one purpose of serving the whole of the presbytery in unity.
At our upcoming April presbytery meeting, we will be spending time cleaning up some confusion from the last meeting’s election. The nominating committee will be meeting prior to presbytery to finalize the slate with additional input it has received.
If you would like to either nominate yourself or someone else (confirming that the person does wish to be nominated and is willing to serve if elected), please submit those names to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th.
Together we bring our gifts and talents to the work of the presbytery. We welcome yours!
In grace and peace,
Rev. Eliana Maxim