Elder Communion Training for Albany Presbytery by Tim Coombs

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 … [Read more...]

Communion Training for Albany Presbytery by Holly Cameron & Sam Jackling

Through the years, Committee on Ministry has been responsible to help congregations who do not have a Teaching Elder available to officiate at communion. ¬†Often in these cases, Ruling Elders are trained and approved by the presbytery to officiate, so the worshipping community can still celebrate the sacrament. As we began to discuss responsibilities under the new committee structure, this is a … [Read more...]

Presbytery Meeting Payoffs by Dennis Maher

I think that Presbyterians can agree that ordaining teaching elders and establishing (and dismissing or closing) congregations are essential work of a presbytery. Presbyteries do a decent job at least once a year providing training (better framed as education) of ruling elders. But presbyteries do a terrible job of holding teaching elders in community and common purpose, and supporting them in … [Read more...]

The Chickens and Eggs of American Presbyterianism by Dennis Maher

As I listened Jan. 27 at Glens Falls to the report of the survey results from Holy Cow Consulting, my mind was whirring with memories and old questions. First, I think that before we institutionalize new structures or organizational plans, we should first ask, again, What is a presbytery? I learned and taught that presbytery was all the teaching elders and an equal number of ruling elders from … [Read more...]