For those who have been reading my screeds over the past year, you'll need no introduction to this, for others, well, suffice it to say that the Session at Stodgy Presbyterian puts the fun in dysfunctional.
This past Sunday we had our annual meeting to elect officers. Why they do it in May and not November has to do with reasons that are lost in time and history. However, as the head of the Nominations Committee I had to make a report that while we have officers to elect, we still have vacant positions on both Session and the Deacon Board.
This past Monday, we had a Session meeting and I made a report to Session from the Committee. Basically I gave an overview of what we were expected to do. We average about 90 to 120 attendees at Worship each Sunday. From that you can deduct about 10 to 15 as being too young to server, and another 15 to 20 in their 70's or 80's and not having the health stamina to serve.
So we're down to approximately 65 to 90 participating members of the congregation in which to staff 30 positions (15 on Session and 15 for the Deacons). Many of those potential officers have served multiple times in either positions and are tired, and do not wish to serve again.
I didn't give any advice in the report, when asked I suggested we look at two things: one, size of the Session and Board, two, what do we want the Deacons to do. Someone brought up the Unicameral model, and that was also added to the list.
About 1/2 of Session agreed that we need to look at sizes, however, there were at least one or two vocal dissenters. The problem is that many members of Session still think that when you're on Session you're expected to do everything, they do not understand what being an Elder on Session means. When the idea of Session revising what the Deacons are supposed to do came up, someone said that we shouldn't do that. Again, not showing any knowledge of what the Book of Order has to say. Someone else said that the last time any idea of what the Deacons were going to do was brought up, the Deacons were the ones who gave Session the list of what they were going to do !!
So, we are going to form a committee (how very Presbyterian) of Elders and Deacons to determine what responsibilities the Session will assign the Board of Deacons. I would have volunteered for this, but I'll be on a road trip in June and I would not want to see that time wasted. I just hope that they bring what the Book of Order has to say about the duties of Deacons to the table.
And so it goes ....