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Session / Elders
The Session is the governing body of Hope Presbyterian Church.
The session is made up of the Pastor (moderator) plus the currently elected elders in active service. Hope Presbyterian has nine serving elders divided into three "classes." New elders are elected each year to replace those whose term has expired. Once ordained, one is always an elder – either serving or not. The session has authority over all organizations within the local church. The Clerk of Session is nominated and elected by the session annually; currently an active elder serves as Clerk of Session but any ordained elder could be clerk. In that case the clerk would have no vote.
Meeting once a month, Session members make policies for the local church on matters such as budget priorities, mission (purpose) goals, ethical guidelines for the treatment of staff and fellow members, and our stance on issues in society. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don't. Always, we remind ourselves that we are an important part of the body of Christ. We are committed to worship, to eat, to pray, to serve and to think together that we might grow in our relationships to God and one another.
Representatives from our congregation (one elder and our pastor) join other Presbyterian leaders in the Monmouth / Ocean county area in a regional body called Monmouth Presbytery. We also have a regional middle governing body called the Synod of the North East which meets on a regular basis with delegates elected by our Presbytery. The Synod is mainly focused on Local and Regional mission empowerment. Once every two years delegates selected by Monmouth Presbytery gather nationally at General Assembly to decide the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s priorities, stances on public issues and strategies for growth and social transformation will be.
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