The word ‘Presbyterian’ comes from the Greek word for ‘elder.’ Elders are chosen by people of the congregation to help lead the church together with the ministers. The body of elders elected to govern our congregation is called a Session.
The secular and financial affairs of the church are managed like those of many New England towns, with an annual meeting to select the church leaders. Northminster Presbyterian Church holds its Annual Meeting each year on a Sunday in December. During this meeting, the congregation receives the budget and full financial report of the prior year, and elects elders and deacons. The continuing management of our church is provided by the Session, with a clerk and treasurer working in concert with the ministers and church staff.
What is an Elder?
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 governing and ministry. Elders are chosen by the people. Together with ministers of the 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.
What is a Deacon?
The Deacons, often to referred to as the Diaconate, are a true call to service. They are the “caregivers” of the congregation, serving as the “hands and feet” of Christ for the members of our congregation.
Deacons are elected by the congregation, ordained by the pastor and serve for three years. At Northminster, we have 12 deacons, divided into three classes. Generally, our deacons focus on three caring ministries: the hospitalized or homebound; care of the general membership, and bereavement support. The deacons oversee the refreshment table on Sunday during fellowship time.
See our current list of Elders and Deacons HERE.