As Presbyterians, we believe in a representative style of church government, and our clergy and church officers are elected by our congregation to govern the church. All the officers at the First Presbyterian Church level come from within our church family.
The word presbyterian comes from the Greek word for elder. Elders are elected by our congregation. Collectively they comprise the Session, our church's highest governing body. In one sense the are representatives of the congregation, yet their primary charge is to seek and represent the will of God for the church.
Congregational Deacons Session Committees Our Connection to the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Our congregational deacons are responsible for providing care to our congregation. Each deacon has a 'parish' of about thirty family units and provides support to these families in any situation needing help.
These committees report to Session and include elders, staff members, and volunteers from our congregation. They work together to determine church policies, and to plan, organize, and implement the activities and programs essential to achieving our mission and supporting the life of our church.
First Presbyterian is a member of the Lake Michigan Presbytery along with seventy other Presbyterian churches in the lower West Michigan area. Each church is allowed the number of ministers on staff plus an equal number of elders to act as commissioners at six scheduled Presbytery meetings. The Synod of the Covenant includes the Lake Michigan Presbytery and ten other Presbyteries in Michigan and Ohio. Ministers, elders, and one youth delegate represent each Presbytery at the twice-yearly meetings of the Synod. The sixteen Synods of the Presbyterian Church (USA) comprise the General Assembly. Two ministers, two elders, and one youth delegate represent the Presbytery of Lake Michigan at the annual meetings of the General Assembly.
Our Connection to the Presbyterian Church (USA)
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