DEFINITION OF RULING ELDER FROM THE BOOK OF ORDER (G-2.0301)
“As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having 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 discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of word and sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships.”
Deacons for 2020-2021
Carolyn Bumbacher Jane Cerbie
Claudia Droste Marcia Gaskill
Wita Halsey Jane Lewis
Jeannine McNear Katherine Schildroth
Deacons serve Holy Communion on a regular basis to members who are unable to attend church. Bereavement meals are served at the church by deacon members or taken to the homes of members who have lost loved ones.
Other activities include monetary donations for Mother's Day and Christmas that were sent to the Oasis Women's Shelter, calling and visiting homebound members, and Christmas gifts for children living at the Presbyterian Children's Home in Farmington, MO. The Board of Deacons funds and/or organizes all of these missions as a vital part of their ministry throughout the year.
We receive names and information from the Social Worker at the Alton School District for our Thanksgiving Baskets. This organization acts as a resource for community members in need and prevents duplications in services throughout the community. Baskets are distributed from the fellowship hall following morning worship on the Sunday preceding Thanksgiving each year.
The Deacons support the Presbyterian Children’s Home by purchasing, with the help of our congregation, gifts for the children at Christmas. The children requestes one gift that they would each like and then they get an additional WalMart gift card. We make sure all requests are provided and purchase anything that was not taken from the board of requests. We deliver the gifts to the Home in a timely manner. The Deacons also give an additional monetary donation to the Children’s Home for Christmas. There is also a Hat and Mitten Tree for collecting hats and mittens for those who have a need.
As a fund raiser the Deacons, with help from our congregation, volunteer one night at Christmas Wonderland, a Christmas Light Show in Alton. The money we receive is donated to the Second Saturday Cafe to help with ongoing expense to feed the hungry in our community. Also, a bag filled with hygience products is given to each guest and paid for from our Deacon's fund.
Deacons' Party for the Community Assistance Fund
The Board of Deacons has many ministries both within the church and in the community. Their Community Assistance, Relief & Emergency Fund aids people in the Greater Alton area who need help with their utility bills, a night in a motel, or with purchases of needed medications. The Community Assistance, Relief & Emergency Fund (CARE Fund, formerly known as the Simpson Fund) is an ongoing mission and administered on a weekly basis.
Deacons prepare for a fund raising dinner to support their ministries