The Book of Order for the Presbyterian Church USA provides, “The session shall have responsibility for governing the congregation and guiding its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that the congregation is and becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness.”
Under our bylaws, the Session is composed of 12 Ruling Elders. Four are elected annually by the congregation for three-year terms, so there are three staggered classes. The Pastor is also a member and presides as Moderator.
The Session has established several committees to help with this primary responsibility of “governing,”and to reach our Vision. Each member of Session is usually a chair of at least one such committee composed of other officers and members from the congregation. These include Finance, Christian Education, Worship, Membership, Stewardship, Mission, Nominations, Personnel, Communications, and ad hoc committees from time to time.
Session is also responsible for receiving members, providing for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, supplying commissioners and annual statistics to Presbytery, electing a Treasurer, and adopting an annual budget. It meets monthly.
Session usually holds an annual retreat to maintain perspective on these awesome responsibilities.