Churches without pastors often struggle to schedule supply preachers for worship, sometimes choosing to go with a member of their congregation if they cannot find an available pastor or commissioned ruling elder. This task, however, gets even more difficult on Sundays when communion is served, which for most of our churches, is traditionally the first Sunday of the month. In the past, only an ordained pastor or commissioned ruling elder could administer the sacraments.

Times and the Book of Order have changed.

Now, with the proper training, an elder of your congregation can serve as a celebrant of communion!  The good news is that the “proper training” will be available throughout the presbytery next month

The Rev. Dr. Tim Coombs will lead a two-hour Elder Communion Training.

The course will cover the Directory for Worship’s teaching on Communion as well as review the services for the Lord’s Supper in the Book of Common Worship.  There will even be a practical time for elders to break bread and bless the cup.

Please register using the form below so we are sure to have adequate resources available.

The dates of the training are as follows:

  • 10:00 AM, Saturday, October 21 – Bay Road Presbyterian Church, Lake George
  • 2:00 PM, Saturday, October 21 – Stillwater United Presbyterian Church
  • 10:00 AM, Saturday, November 4 – Schoharie United Presbyterian Church

The training is open to all ruling elders regardless of whether your church has a pastor or not. A certificate of participation will be sent to all who complete the training.

About Rev. Dr. Tim Coombs

Tim Coombs serves as co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY with his wife, Rev. Kathleen Gorman-Coombs and leads a New Worshiping Community, Parallels ( He also worked on staff at Albany Presbytery for over a decade. Besides his work for the church, Tim is a storyteller, biker, guitar player, and intern to his cat, Sharpie. You can reach Tim at:

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