It is that time of year to pray about ministry here at First Presbyterian, specifically what God is CALLING YOU TO DO as a disciple. That calling might be in service outside the congregation in your job or school or neighborhood. It might also be in a more formal way as a Team Member or even as one of the ordained ministries God has in the church (deacons, ruling elders, pastors). In any case, it is true that all of us are called to salvation and service (F-2.05, Second Helvetic Confession 5.058, Westminster Confession 6.181, Ephesians 2:10) and so are all ministers.

As a help for you as you pray about and consider again your calling from God and our calling as a church body, you will find some things helpful. What follows is the Book of Order’s definition of ministry for all who follow Christ (duty of members) as well as an explanation of our team structure and what each team and ordered ministry is responsible to do. Pray and study and review the integrity of your following Christ and if the nominating team calls on you to consider a specific ministry please give it serious attention;. In all things ask yourself—What is God calling Me to do?

We all have a ministry—As Members our ministry is: (G-1.0304)

(1) Proclaiming the Good News in word and deed
(2) Taking part in the common life and worship of the congregation
(3) Lifting each other up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support
(4) Studying Scripture and Christian issues
(5) Supporting the ministry of the church through giving of money, time, and talents
(6) Demonstrating a new quality of life in Christ through the church
(7) Responding to God’s activity through service
(8) Living responsibly in all aspects of our lives (family, job, education, political/civic, cultural, social)
(9) Working for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment in all places
(10) Caring for God’s creation
(11) Participating in the governance of the church
(12) Reviewing regularly the integrity of your membership, always considering ways to make your service and worship more meaningful.

All of us are called to follow Christ in this way in all areas of our lives. Some are called to formal ministry. Teams are really ways we all share ministry in our congregation. We are to work together, under the guidance of the Session, for the mission of Christ and the ministry of this whole congregation. It is important that we all work together by (1) praying for each other, (2) offering help or support as needed, and (3) working as colleagues not staking out territory.

Teams do not work independently, but neither does Session dictate. Teams are to study, consult, give advice, and help the Session-- as well as serve in some cases as congregational outreach by Session.

G-3.0109 of the Book of Order talks about Teams—
A committee (Team) shall study and recommend action or carry out decisions already made by a council (Session). It shall make a full report to the council that created it, and its recommendations shall require action by that body (Session).

So Session has oversight. The Session is the pastor and the ruling elders currently elected. Session is also responsible to Presbytery by its review and oversight. Just a note— According to G-3.0205, G-3.0113, and G-3.0201c, all groups within the church are under the supervision of Session and must report about ministry, program, and financial issues at least yearly and more often as Session might require.

Teams at First Presbyterian and Ordered Ministry

Worship and Music: (1) obtain musicians and pulpit supply when needed, (2) during Advent: decorate church, (3) during Lent: provide hospitality during joint services, and with Bd of Deacons plan Maundy Thursday service; (4) maintain piano and organ

Membership: (1) work with clerk and pastor on membership review and new members, (2) Birthday gifts for members of certain ages, (3) obtain greeters for Sunday worship, (4) potlucks/fellowships, (5) Prayer Chain, (6) Confirmation Service/Reception

Christian Education: (1) obtain curriculum and teachers for Sunday School, Youth Group, Confirmation, and VBS with pastor (2) Christmas Program, (3) promote Church camp, (4) Devotional materials for adults

Buildings and Grounds: (1) maintain church and manse, (2) review insurance coverage yearly, (3) Lawn care/Snow Removal/Safety concerns for church

Memorial: (1) receive and record memorials working with Assistant Treasurer, (2) review and recommend to Session projects using designated funds, (3) Memorial Dedication Sunday (Sunday after Memorial Day)

Personnel: (1) conduct at least yearly reviews of employees and pastor, (2) serve as a board of review for comments and complaints concerning employees and Pastor, (3) Interview and suggest hires, (4) yearly salary review and recommendations to Session.

Finance Team: (1) review monthly all bills and expenditures, (2) conduct performance review of Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, (3) obtain yearly audits of all funds in church, (4) establish and recommend a budget yearly to Session

Nominating Team: (1) obtain nominations for Session, Board of Deacons, and Teams yearly or as needed, (2) work with Personnel and Session on other positions as needed.

Ordered Ministry: Ruling Elders—Ministers of Discernment and Governance --Spiritual Leaders of the Congregation: as a body with pastor serving as Session--Oversight of mission and program, responsible for seeing to the Seeking of God’s Will for us here, work with pastor and deacons to see to budget, worship, mission, and spiritual care of members and when not serving on session to discern God’s Will, care for the people, and follow the membership duties with the congregation in prayer and example.

Ordered Ministry: Deacons—Ministers of Compassion and Hospitality—see to member care, social outreach, prayer, justice issues in the community, and church’s outreach to poor, lonely, oppressed, and outcast in cooperation with pastor and under the Session’s authority. Also ministers of hospitality as ushers at worship.

Ordered Ministry: Pastors—Ministers of Word and Sacrament—see to worship, teaching and preaching of gospel, work at Presbytery and other levels of the church, serve on Session, and work with elders and deacons in their responsibilities and build up the members through pastoral care.

So pray about what God is calling you to do. Follow Christ. And don’t forget we are all together!

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