I read the following letter in worship service this morning, October 25th, 2015.


Gale Presbyterian Church, some time ago, agreed to the practice of Term Eldership for the session. Under this model, elders are called to serve a term of 6 years on session, at which time they have the option to continue for a second six year term or to resign from the duties of this court. This fall three elders are eligible to retire. In addition over the past year two elders have resigned their position for personal reasons.

At the regular session meeting of September 17th it was agreed to search out 3 new elders to fill the complement of 12 active elders and a nominating committee was struck with the mandate to propose a slate of congregational members to present to the congregation for election to the session. Subsequently, session received the resignation of another elder thus necessitating a slate of 4 new elders. The nominating committee drafted a list of almost 20 congregational members, including people who had previously served as elders, that they considered competent and appropriate to fill the session. In addition, an open call for nominations from any participant in Gale’s ministry was included in our bulletin through the months of September and October.

Regrettably, only two people agreed to have their name stand for a term on session. This leaves the session incomplete and ill-equipped to carry out its ministry.

The Session is an essential function of a vibrant ministry. The session meets regularly “for the purpose of establishing good order and providing for the pastoral care of the congregation.” It is essentially the governing body of our church that ensures that the ministry continues and does good things. An institution of this nature requires someone to guide it. And the beauty of the Presbyterian form of governance is that such guidance is not dependent upon one person, the Minister of Word and Sacrament, but upon a collegial group of dedicated leaders. It is an important and serious calling, but I have found that the session at Gale Presbyterian Church is a fun group. Our meetings are efficient and productive. There is a lot of laughter. There is a lot of support and encouragement. It is, indeed, disappointing that we were not able to secure such leadership at this time. It does not reflect well for the future of our ministry.

Consequently, two of the three retiring elders have agreed to remain active on session but with reduced responsibilities until suitable replacements come forward to serve. But they should not have to do this. For the remainder of 2015 we will continue to pray, discern and seek out spiritual leadership for Gale Presbyterian Church.

Please speak to me if at any time you feel a calling to serve our ministry in this way.

At this time, I am very happy to state that Ms. Sarah Bradshaw and Ms. Carolyn Boyne have agreed to have their names stand for election to the session of Gale Presbyterian Church. They have been considered by the Nominating Committee and the Session and we are in agreement that such election is proper. Their election was confirmed at a congregational meeting held during worship on Sunday, October 25th, 2015.
At this point it is the intention of the Session to conduct a service of ordination of new elders during Sunday Morning Worship on November 15th, 2015.


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