On Friday, January 14, 2022 the “professing members” of the congregation were mailed ballots for the election of new elders.
“Professing members” are those who have gone to membership gatherings/classes with Rev. Ruttan (or one of his predecessors) and have professed their Christian faith in front of the congregation, or those who have officially transferred their membership certificate from another congregation. It also includes those young people who have professed their faith and have thereby become professing members through confirmation classes with the pastor. There are some people who are very active in the life of the congregation who have chosen not to become professing members. They are still most certainly considered a meaningful part of the church family! But the right of electing new elders is a privilege and right of those who have gone through the official process of becoming a “professing member.”
The word elder is from the Bible and refers to someone who is in a position of responsibility and authority in a congregation. Presbyterian Churches are led by elders. In fact, the world “Presbyterian” means governed by elders or ‘of elders.’ It is a biblical model for how we function.
Why are we having an election?
Every two years, one third of our elders have their 6-year term expire; plus, other elders may have retired. Those elders whose terms expire may choose to retire from active eldership or may decide to put their names forward to be re-elected to a new term. This election is a part of our usual process.
In 2022 we are electing three new elders.
The mailing to professing members included a brief profile of the three candidates; this post presents them to you again in this online format so that the information can be shared even more widely.
“By day I am the Director of Safety, Security and Occupational Health at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). I have a Master of Divinity degree from Tyndale Seminary and am privileged and blessed to contribute to pulpit supply needs across the region and I am a past Moderator of the Presbytery of Barrie. For relaxation, I play alto sax and sing in the WPC Choir and a community choir. I am blessed to be married to Gord, and am the mother of two beautiful daughters, Caitlin and Jaclyn. I am very passionate about compassion for the needs of others, about the joy of the Lord, about nurturing and honouring family, and, I am passionate about the missional work of WPC, reaching into the lives of our church family and our community with God’s love and the good news of Jesus Christ. Baptized as a little one right here at WPC, my faith is almost as old as I am and this is what I know for sure: God is so good. I long ago claimed Isaiah 43:1-4 as the Scripture that guides my path and guards my heart – God has called me by name and I am his…The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
“I teach elementary aged children at Guthrie Public School in Oro-Medonte. I’ve been teaching there for the past 21 years. My interests are camping, history, fishing and making or fixing things. For a big chunk of my life, I wasn’t sure if God existed or not. Now I know, and that gives me great peace and confidence. I’ve learned and experienced things in my life that have removed all doubt. I hope that I’m continuing to progress well on my life journey from sinner to saint; and I strive to be obedient to where God wants me to be.”
“I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and have been on my own faith journey from an early age. Brought up in the Presbyterian tradition, I have also spent time learning and worshiping with the Salvation Army and Harvest Bible Chapel, finally coming to Essa Road Presbyterian where I was first ordained as an elder. At Essa Road, I later served as Clerk of Session until the heartbreaking decision was made to close. Since that time I have been worshiping here at Westminster, participating in Vine groups and more recently in the choir and have grown to love the family that makes up this beautiful congregation. I hope that I can serve in this new way, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we continue to navigate these challenging times. I work in York Region as a paramedic, recently returning to the road after being injured in a motorcycle accident. The prayers of this congregation helped immensely in my recovery and I hope to be able to give back in love, support and leadership.”
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