The idea behind this article and others to follow is to hopefully demystify the Session to the community here at Central, lift the curtain on who they are, what they're working on, and how they fit into the overall governance of our church.
The Session is comprised of nine individuals who have been nominated, elected, and then formally ordained within the congregation to give spiritual guidance, shepherd, teach, pray, and set direction.
At Central, elders are male and female, serve three-year terms, and also function as trustees. These folks are called elders and along with the pastors, have responsibilities for the life of the congregation as well as the whole church.
See who is currently serving on Session.
In this season of transition, after having the same pastor for more than 17 years, the Session is seeking clarification and agreement (unity) on what we believe God is calling us to become (vision).
This is critical now as we are not the same church we were just five years ago. In that time, we planted a church (St. Moses) in the city. That plant required many leaders to leave Central to be a part of the leadership team.
Then came Covid, a culturally redefining event that changed how we worshiped for more than two years. During that same time, we lost some key staff people such as Pastor John and Jim McClure to retirement, and long-time High School Ministry leader Joe Strube to other pursuits.
During the past few years our organization and staff responsibilities had to be adjusted, as we eagerly await a new Senior Pastor.
We also have become a smaller congregation and, in addition to our Traditional and Contemporary congregations, we now have an online congregation to serve.
Therefore, the Session is looking at our vision and core values as these drive everything that we do including operations, budgeting, and staffing.
Our long-time vision of “moving people closer to Christ,” will remain intact, but the Session has been praying and working through a recasting of that vision in terms of:
Our core values also are being reexamined: do they accurately reflect how we do church and what we care most deeply about?
These values are:
In future articles, we will attempt to keep you apprised of how Session is working through these issues. We also want to introduce you to something we call the College of Elders. This is a group of men and women who have formerly served on the Session. The hope and the intent over the past several months has been to more regularly engage with this group of spiritually mature leaders, specifically in the areas of prayer and discipleship.
So, stay tuned!