This week our new Session met for the first time! In a Presbyterian Church the Session is the governing board, made up of elders elected by the congregation. As the year is beginning, we're committing ourselves to spend time focusing on the call to spiritual leadership and administrative leadership of the congregation. To focus on the spiritual, we'll be participating in the Leadership Cohort, which has gotten off to a great start with 26 participants!
At the same time, we want to pay attention to the administrative needs of the congregation as well, so our first meeting focused on the structure of our leadership. We've made some decisions that we want to share with you.
New Springs will always encourage the development of small groups (intentional community) and ministry teams.
A group will gather for a number of purposes, including relationship development, spiritual formation, and shared mission efforts. Groups are open- anyone may participate. In fact, a group might decide to organize a mission project, and invite the entire congregation to join in. Current groups, for instance, include the Sunday morning group studying Soul Keeping, the Sunday night group (rotating homes), the Tuesday night group in Pleasant Hill, the Wednesday night group at Pastor Corey's home, the Wednesday evening Beth Moore study for women, and the Thursday afternoon Lunch Bunch.
Ministry teams are groups that share a common leadership calling and purpose. While teams are open, they may develop some guidelines and requirements for participation. Current ministry teams include our Worship Team, the Fellowship Team, the Finance Team, teams that work with Pulse and the Children's Ministry, Site and Facilities, Technology, and Personnel.
The Session wants to ensure the best possible communication between the different teams, groups, members of the church, participants, guests, and leaders. For that reason, on Tuesday evening we made some assignments of elders to work as liaisons with different groups and teams.
Worship: Corey McDonald and Dianne Prusia.
Children and Youth: Jan Andrade and Shamus Johnson.
Site and Facilities: Chris Colon and Corey McDonald.
Finance: Ed Smith and Charlotte Palmer.
Personnel: Dianne Prusia and Deb Cooper.
Technology: Shamus Johnson and Dave Moore.
Community Life: Dave Moore and the Session.
As you might imagine, there will be some overlap. For instance, Pastor Corey and Dianne will have some interaction with the Fellowship Team about their work in creating a warm and welcoming worship space. Pastor Dave will have interaction with the Fellowship Team as they help enrich the larger community life of the congregation. The Worship Team, Finance Team, and Site and Facilities all have an interest in what is happening with Technology. There will be other connections. Our hope is not a perfect system- God have mercy on us! Our hope is to maximize the wonderful gifts, talents, and abilities God has given us; and to see them all come together as we join God's mission.
We also hope to encourage the long commitment of each of our previous congregations to transparency. Meetings of our Session are open to everyone. The Session normally meets on the fourth Tuesday evening of each month at 7:00 p.m. February's meeting will be on Thursday, February 25. Meetings will always be announced. We'll keep the congregation informed about congregational finances. The books of the church are open if you wish to take a look.
The members of the Session are Jan Andrade, Chris Colon, Deb Cooper, Shamus Johnson, Corey McDonald, Dave Moore, Dianne Prusia, and Ed Smith. Pastor Dave is the moderator of the Session. Charlotte Palmer, who is also an ordained elder, is not a current member of the Session, but acts as our clerk or recording secretary. Each member of the Session has one vote in leadership decisions.
We have an exciting season of growth and vitality ahead. God is moving in our midst. We are welcoming guests to worship each week. We have a number of vibrant and healthy groups and teams. We are serving our community in meaningful ways. Your leaders are humbled to be called into leadership, and eager to serve and grow.