Session and Elders
Ruling Elder Defined
As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provide persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God's Spirit and governance of God's people. Accordingly, Presbyterian congregations elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, who have demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they "lord it over" the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to pay attention and determine its faithfulness to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual attentiveness, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of the congregation as well as the whole church, including relationships with other faith traditions. When elected by the congregation, they serve faithfully as members of the session. Each Elder serves on a Committee of Session. The Clerk of Session for 2018 is Anna Medendorp
The Elders are:
Class of 2019- Charles Arnold, Ann Calderwood, John Emerson, Ron Halbgewachs, Karen Halderson, Samina Mall, Sandy Seligman
Class of 2020 - Benjamin Ahern Wild, Art Bova, Micaela Briggs, Marley Cote, John Farris, John Rebstock, Brenda Sinfield
Class of 2021 - Becky Dees, Lynn Farris DFrees, Chuck Hall, Bob Keers, Ramona Macleod, Laurel Meister, Barbara Seaton
Committees are an integral part of the church, made up of dedicated members of the church community who serve in leadership roles which contribute to the success of the church's ministry and mission.
Following is a list of our current committees, the Elders that serve on each committee, and some of the ways in which they contribute:
The Building and Grounds Committee
Moderator - Charles Arnold, John Farris, Bob Keers, John Rebstock
This committee is responsible for effective management, maintenance, use and acquisition of property, facilities and equipment. These costs include service contracts (pest control, custodial uniforms, tree service, elevator maintenance, etc.), the repair and maintenance of the church's mechanical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, overall maintenance of the church (paint, custodial equipment and supplies, grounds equipment and supply) and the costs of utilities (electricity, gas and water).
The Christian Education and Youth Committee
Co-Moderator - John Emerson
This committee is responsible for planning, purchasing and implementing curricula and programs for classes involving all age groups at First Presbyterian Church. This extends from the nursery age to senior adult members and friends of the congregation. It includes the adult classes such as Social Concerns, Through the Bible and Disciple Bible Study. The funds allocated to this committee also support Vacation Bible School and the purchase of supplies for worship packets for children to use during services.
The Church in Mission Committee
Moderator - Sandy Seligman, Ann Calderwood, Lynn Farris, Karen Halderson, Wilton Rogers, Brenda Sinfield, Nancy Thomas
The Church in Mission Committee seeks to discover the mission needs and opportunities within God’s community and to facilitate involvement of members and friends to promote God’s love through service. This committee provides support, funding and volunteer time to many worthy causes, include Habitat For Humanity, A Child's Garden, Family Promise of Albuquerque, Menaul School, Menaul Historical Library, Meals on Wheels, St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, among others.
The Congregational Nominating Committee
Moderator - Nancy Thomas, Ron Halbgewachs
The mission of the Congregational Nominating Committee is to seek out members of the congregation who are called to be leaders and officers of the church. The Administrative Budget allotted to this committee supports the administrative costs associated with this mission.
The Community Life Committee
Moderator - Ron Halbgewachs, Becky Dees, Chuck Hall, Laurel Meister
The mission of the Community Life Committee is to engage our members and our neighbors in meaningful and enjoyable events, both within our congregation and in our larger community so that all may experience God’s love and concern through Christian hospitality: including congregational activities such as Isotopes baseball games, Neighborhood Clean-up Days, speaker programs, retreats, Archives, publicity and advertising.
This Committee also promotes and welcomes new members into the First Church family. With the support of the Membership Coordinator, visitors receive notes, emails, or phone calls expressing appreciation for their participation in worship and offering to provide more information on the ministries and missions of First Church. The committee then seeks to help new members get established in the church by following up on their areas of interest. In addition, the committee also reviews the rolls of the church and seeks to help those who have become inactive to become more involved in the church.
The Personnel Committee
Moderator - Barbara Seaton, Marley Cote
The cost of maintaining quality staff leadership at First Presbyterian Church requires a major part of each year's budget. Included in these costs are: salaries and wages, the employer paid benefits package (medical, death and disability insurance coverage and 403(b) contribution) through the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and training/continuation of education allowances for support and program staff.
The Financial Stewardship Committee
Moderator - Ramona Macleod
This committee's main duties are conducting an annual stewardship/generosity campaign, recommending the balanced annual operating budget to Session, and reviewing and reporting to Session the monthly financial reports. They are also responsible for reviewing the annual budget of A Child's Garden and reporting their monthly finances; recommending to Session the use(s) of unspecified gifts and ensuring that designated funds are used for the purpose for which they were given; recommending a certified public accounting firm to conduct the annual audit and reviewing the audit; and finally communicating with the congregation about the financial status of First Presbyterian Church.
The Worship and Music Committee
Moderator - Ann Calderwood, Micaela Briggs
This committee’s main duties are to help facilitate planning worship along with the church Pastoral staff. The annual budget of our church for worshipcovers the communion supplies, honorariums for guest preachers, office and liturgical supplies for our ministers, paraments, robe dry cleaning, subscriptions and postage.
Our music program relies on our organist and choir directors, the weekly commitment level of the Whitechapel Bell Choir, Children, Youth, Family, and Chancel Choir members, and a staff that realizes the value of life and growth of this church through its music. Expenses in the music budget include the repair and maintenance of the organs, other instruments, sheet music and ensembles.