Been thinking about the elders of the church this last week or so. Our retreat in Southern Indiana was informative, insightful and spiritual. My friend, Colette Lane, led them in an exploration of three questions: where have we been, who are we now and where are we going? We looked at the responsibilities of an elder from the church By-Laws, a survey of elders from a number of congregations, a description of an elder written by Dick Hamm, our former General Minister and President, as well as a charge to elders at the time of their ordination. I have to say, on the whole, that the elders at Jeffersontown Christian Church are among some of the most (if not the most) dedicated, caring and gifted leaders of any church with which I am acquainted. Sue Sullivan and Johnnie Selby are naturals as Chair and Vice-Chair of the group helping them to maintain their high standards.
Something many of our newer folks may not be aware of is our “elder on call” service. Each week one of the elders is designated to be on call to assist in delivering the Lord’s Supper to our homebound and hospitalized as well as helping to provide pastoral care where needed. According to our description, “to be in prayer on Sunday morning prior to the worship service for the congregation, for the service, for the ministers and lay leaders as they lead the worship service, and for our awareness of God's presence in our midst.”
“Be available to members on Sunday morning and during the week, to accept written or verbal prayer concerns and joys. Pray daily for those persons as well as specifically and intentionally for Jeffersontown Christian Church. Be available to members in crisis. Assist ministers when needed in hospital, healthcare facility, or homebound visits. The elder on call is also listed in the "Caller" and “eCaller” each week as well as on the back of the order of worship.” We are very fortunate to have these leaders in our midst.
Paige Gottlieb, one of these elders (and super talented keyboard/pianist/organist!) sent me this proposal. “Hi! I'm organizing a discussion group at the church about prejudice, starting with the racial kind. This will involve self examination along with study of the current climate in the U.S.
We'll start by looking at the way we view the world based on our core identity, e.g. attributes like being white, straight, and middle class. We'll discuss how these parts of ourselves affect the way we see the world and the way the world sees us. Then we'll have some meetings with people who have experienced growing up black in the U.S. There's so much I hope we can gain in understanding by having small group conversations.
Would you be interested in joining our discussions? If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-377-4196 and leave a voice mail. We'll start by meeting at our church, but will likely have conversations in multiple places in order to include people outside of Jeffersontown. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Wow! What an opportunity to stretch ourselves and grow in understanding on such a timely topic. Please consider joining the discussion.
Posted on Tue, September 26, 2017
by Doug Meister