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 discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life.
“While serving the church as an Elder takes time and effort, it is satisfying and gratifying to know that I am part of a team looking after the ministry of Christ in the world via First Presbyterian Church in Bellefonte, PA.” ~ Gretchen Moody
Elders serve for a term of 3 years and share leadership of the church via several committees: Personnel, Congregational Life, Worship, Mission, Outreach, Christian Education, Stewardship, and Finance.
The office of Deacon is set forth as one of sympathy, spiritual character, honest repute, brotherly and sisterly love, caring, compassion, and ministry of prayer.
“Being a Deacon has been great for me. I like greeting people and helping any way I can.” ~ Deloris Vonada
Who may be a Deacon? Any active, baptized member of the church. Currently, Deacons serve for a 3-year term. What do Deacons do? Deacons take turns each Sunday morning preparing the sanctuary for worship, serving as Liturgist, greeting worshipers as an usher, and collecting information about worshipers on the Ritual of Friendship sheets. Deacons minister to the sick with food, comfort, and prayer. It is a Deacon’s calling to help any member in distress. Deacons have a ministry in the community with the hungry.
Learn more about the Deacons’ outreach in our community and how you can get involved!