“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Dearest friends and members,
On January 13, the congregation began a new year of celebration by hosting our Charter Members. They, along with the new leadership, we asked the youth of our congregation to stand beside them, witnessing first hand the passing on of their past visions and future dreams . It was a moment in the life of our church that was frozen in time. There they stood before us: the original visionaries, the present leaders and the future members, standing side by side. As we began our year of celebration we asked these leaders, past, present and future, be a part of something greater then themselves.
Friends, this is how God works! In the midst of human, ordinary lives, the work of God continues move forward. is it not a blessing beyond measure ?!Continue to support the ongoing work of our leaders, both Ruling Elders and Deacons. Their faith is the solid foundation of which each of them stand. The more we place our trust in their solid faith, the more our own personal faith will grow in this congregation.Here are their vows which they professed that Sunday. Such vows last lifetime. The vowed responsibilities taken at their public ordination never fade, whether service is done on a board or session.
An ordained Call is for life: whether we step down from active leadership or stay in active membership, the obligation to uphold own vows of the covenant never cease. These vows are a visible witness to our congregation, our families and our community.
Here are the vows which each ordained individual is asked. Do they sound familiar? Are there any particular ones that speak to you now ? Are there ones which you’d stand up and shout a responding “yes! “?
a. Do you trust in Jesus Christ your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
b. Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?
c. Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God?
d. Will you fulfill your ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions?
e. Will you be governed by our church’s polity, and will you abide by its discipline? Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit?
f. Will you in your own life seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love your neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world?
g. Do you promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?
h. Will you pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?
i. (1) (For ruling elder) Will you be a faithful ruling elder, watching over the people, providing for their worship, nurture, and service? Will you share in government and discipline, serving in councils of the church, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?
(2) (For deacon) Will you be a faithful deacon, teaching charity, urging concern, and directing the people’s help to the friendless and those in need, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?Questions for Installation of Ruling Elders or Deacons
(1) Do we, the members of the church, accept (names) ____________ as ruling elders & deacons, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?
(2) Do we agree to pray for them, to encourage them, to respect their decisions, and to follow as they guide us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?b. The members of the church having answered these questions in the affirmative, those to be ordained shall kneel, if able, for prayer and the laying on of hands by the session. Those previously ordained ordinarily shall stand, along with the congregation, if able, for the prayer of installation. The session may invite other ruling elders and teaching elders to participate in the laying on of hands
.c. The moderator shall say to those who have thus been ordained and installed:You are now ruling elders and deacons in the Church of Jesus Christ and for this congregation. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Amen.
d. Then the members of the session, and others as may be appropriate, shall welcome the newly ordained and installed, or newly installed, ruling elders and dea into their fellowship in ministry.
Please welcome our new leaders.
They need our prayers, guidance and our trust in their decisions.
They also need our encouragement and support.
The mantle of Christian responsibility we placed upon them. Remember this and remember that, unified, we all stood together and placed our hands upon them in prayer. Trusting in their spiritual maturity, we continue to trust them in their leadership.
I am proud of each of them, and place my trust in them explicitly. God is at work among us, we have must trust Our Sovereign Lord, the ultimate leader among us all.
Respectfully, With great love, I remain your servant, Rev. Karen Huddelson
“God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”
—2 Corinthians 9:8
Jesus said, “But whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant … just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Matthew 20:26,28
First Presbyterian Church of Gaylord is blessed to have members who generously give of themselves and share their talents to benefit the church and its mission.
The officers of the church – elders and deacons – provide leadership, helping us set direction and grow spiritually.
Together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, elders exercise leadership, government, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of the church.
Elders serve on the session, which is the body that establishes and oversees the direction of the church’s ministry, program, and budget. Elders are also asked to chair and serve on committees of session.
Elders should be persons of faith, dedication, and good judgment. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel, both within the church and in the world.
It is the duty of the elders to strengthen and nurture the faith and life of the congregation.
Together with the pastors, they should encourage the people in the worship and service of God, and equip and renew them for their tasks within the church and for their mission in the world.
Elders occasionally assist in worship.
The office of Deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of sympathy, witness, and service after the example of Jesus Christ. Deacons serve in compassionate ministry. They obtain direction from the Pastor and Session where assistance is needed in our faith community here in Gaylord.
Deacons organize and serve in ministries to engage people and groups in Christ’s service.
Deacons should be persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, warm sympathies, and sound judgment.
It is the duty of deacons, first of all, to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith.
Our Ruling Elders
We beleive in shared leadership. Our Elders oversee the business and spiritual direction of our congregation. We meet monthly to discern the will of God for our gathered community of faith. For questions or suggestions on areas of our church development – see the following leaders:
Current Session Officers 2013
Pat Huffman Commissioned Presbytery Rep. Nominating
Mary Stiver Building & Grounds
Ron Meteyer Worship Personnel
Huntley Robinson Clerk of Session Endowment Fund
Rose Robinson Missions
Linda Ryan Co-Moderator of Deacons
Frank Smith Long Range Planning
Scot Hutton Co-Moderator Witness/Outreach
Margaret Albert Hospitality
Jackie France Hospitality
Sue Witzman Congregational Care
Joan Hutton Congregational Care Prayer Chain
Barbara Meteyer Witness/Outreach
Duane Christie Finance Chair
Russ Huebner Financial Secretary
Russ has been a part of our family congregation since its inception in 1976, the Michawye Mission – when he served as Treasurer until 1986, under the guidance of Dr. Grant Jennings, our first Minister of Word & Sacrament.
From 1987 – until 2010 he has served faithfully as our beloved Treasurer. In 2011 he began serving us ias our Financial Secretary. He was installed as an Elder in 1991 and served until 1993 under Walter Fitton’s guidance, Moderator of Session. In 1993 – 1996 he served as an Elder on Session under the guidance of Robert Kyser. One memory note he wants to share – is that his grand daughter, Karyn, and her husband were the last couple married in our old church before we had our present church. Russ serves with enthusiasm, dedication and deep love for all it’s members and its future.
Bob Hutton Assistant Treasurer
Huntley Robinson Clerk of Session
Pam Karbowsky Christian Education Director
Marian Schlemmer President, Otsego Co. Food Pantry & First Call For Help Cmt.
Marian has served as an Elder and Chair of Missions. Marian moved to Michaywe in 2001 following 33 years as an educator for Flushing Community Schools. She and her husband, Ken, most enjoy spending time with their five adult children and twelve grandchildren. A lifelong Presbyterian, Marian shares her love of God by reaching out to others with enthusiasm and compassion. Dedicated to community service, Marian Schlemmer currently serves as president of the Otsego County Food Pantry and on the steering committees of First Call for Help, Gaylord Area Community Meal and CROP Hunger Walk. In addition to volunteering, Marian enjoys Michaywe social events, traveling, reading and entertaining with her beloved husband Ken.