As Presbyterians, we practice governance through representative government. That means we elect officers to represent the wider congregation in most decision-making. We elect Elders to our Church Session which governs the church, setting our visions, overseeing our resources, ensuring that we have the resources, skills and partnerships that we may need to accomplish the ministry we feel called to do and be. We elect Deacons to a more pragmatic office in which they are to help translate that vision into the way we care for each other (congregational care) and the way we care for others (missions). They’re not meant to do all of the work, but rather to help be catalysts for ministry among our wider community.
Our constitution states that the Elders shall decide nearly everything that involves the church leadership, administration, finances, resources and oversight. Yet anything that has to do with the Call of a Pastor (salary, hiring, firing, changes in the terms of call, ie. different work definitions) is to be voted on by the whole congregation. This happens at a congregational meeting which is called by the session at least 2 consecutive Sundays before it takes place.
In our community we usually have a congregational meeting at the end of the year to elect new officers, vote on the pastoral terms of call proposed by the session, receive the budget approved by the session, and elect a new nominating committee.
In 2019 our meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 17th.
Here are some resources you may find helpful in advance of the meeting. They’ll also be available that day.