Washington Conference Affirms Church Elders
In an affirmation of church elders, Washington Conference held a conference-wide elders' meeting in late March to dialogue about mission, ministry, responsibilities, needed resources and commitment. Nearly 150 elders attended, including a handful of pastors.
"Elders are part of our ministerial team," says Bill McClendon, Washington Conference ministerial director. "We believe God has called these people to ministry in their community and we want to resource and dialogue with them."
The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual explains how elders should be strong religious and spiritual leaders, capable of ministerial services in association with the pastor or during the absence of a pastor at a local church.
John Freedman, Washington Conference president, opened the presentations by sharing the Reach Washington strategic plan. Conference officials also presented evangelism, membership and financial reports.
Afternoon sessions affirmed local elders, explored the calling of an elder and explained the role of an elder. These sessions were followed by breakout groups where church leaders could dialogue and discuss the role of an elder. A time of consecration invited elders to live out God's call to take the gospel message to our world.
"Our elder team," says Diane Vyskocil, Bellingham (Wash.) elder, "appreciated a carefully planned and information-rich day with resources as a bonus."