Q & A: Elders & Deacons?

Question:

I didn’t grow up Presbyterian.  What does it mean that GPC has elders and deacons? 

Answer:
Excellent question!  All churches have volunteer leaders.  Presbyterians call our leaders elders (who make up a group called the session) and deacons (who become the Board of Deacons.)  Presbyterians are unique in ordaining lay people, in the same way we ordain pastors, to particular service to the church.  We believe God calls people to this work, based on their skills, spiritual maturity and the way they live out their faith.  Both kinds of leadership come from the very early days of the church.

Elders are the governing board of the church.  They are responsible for the spiritual and physical oversight of the church, including worship, mission, money and education. 

Deacons have a ministry of service, to the congregation and to the wider world.  A deacon once told me that Presbyterians have “working deacons,” unlike denominations where the office of deacon is mostly honorary. 

Elders and deacons are elected to three year terms.  The Book of Order allows for them to serve two terms in a row.  It’s the tradition in this congregation to let people step down after one term, so other people can rotate into leadership.  No job in the church is supposed to be a lifetime appointment, so we benefit from a variety of gifts, and a variety of viewpoints. 

 

 
 
–Mary Austin, Senior Pastor
 

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Picnic Recipes: Week 3

As our spring-into-summer days grow longer and warmer, May is the perfect time to start enjoying more outdoor dining experiences. Maybe it’s a relaxed pod group picnic in the park, or a renewed chance to dine again on your back deck with neighbors and friends. You can really never have too many recipes for outdoor main dishes, sides, desserts, and cool drinks. Make sure to take advantage of our area’s many Farmers Markets. Easily obtainable fresh produce during this season elevates even a simple recipe. Although vaccines are more available, eating outside is still the safer way to socialize with all age groups. The combination of good, easy food with in-person fellowship is certainly one of our greatest blessings during our warm-weather months!

 
 
 
 

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Picnic Recipes: Week 2

As our spring-into-summer days grow longer and warmer, May is the perfect time to start enjoying more outdoor dining experiences. Maybe it’s a relaxed pod group picnic in the park, or a renewed chance to dine again on your back deck with neighbors and friends. You can really never have too many recipes for outdoor main dishes, sides, desserts, and cool drinks. Make sure to take advantage of our area’s many Farmers Markets. Easily obtainable fresh produce during this season elevates even a simple recipe. Although vaccines are more available, eating outside is still the safer way to socialize with all age groups. The combination of good, easy food with in-person fellowship is certainly one of our greatest blessings during our warm-weather months!

 
 
 
 

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Picnic Recipes: Week 1

As our spring-into-summer days grow longer and warmer, May is the perfect time to start enjoying more outdoor dining experiences. Maybe it’s a relaxed pod group picnic in the park, or a renewed chance to dine again on your back deck with neighbors and friends. You can really never have too many recipes for outdoor main dishes, sides, desserts, and cool drinks. Make sure to take advantage of our area’s many Farmers Markets. Easily obtainable fresh produce during this season elevates even a simple recipe. Although vaccines are more available, eating outside is still the safer way to socialize with all age groups. The combination of good, easy food with in-person fellowship is certainly one of our greatest blessings during our warm-weather months!

 
 
 
 

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Spring Egg Recipes: Week 3

Easter and spring are synonymous with new life and rebirth. In thinking about this time of year eggs represent these themes and it seems appropriate, as our soup recipes were during cold weather, to celebrate the coming arrival of Easter and the new spring season by sharing recipes that use eggs. Enjoy trying some recipes from our congregation and, perhaps, while cooking think about ways to remember and incorporate the joy of Easter and Jesus’ resurrection into your lives.
 
 
 
 

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