The Session

Leading Erin Forward

Erin Presbyterian Church is governed by the Session, a group of 9 Elders elected by the congregation to lead the church, following Christ as Head of the Church. Three elders are elected each year and serve for three years. The Pastor serves as Moderator of the Session.

As part of this structure, each elder may serve on one of the Ministry Teams, and members of the church are encouraged to serve on a Ministry Team as well.

The currently-serving Elders in each yearly class are:


Joy Bornhoeft
Mike Cate
David Eggers


Neill Murphy
Jim Montgomery
Jenny Rogers


Suzanne Lawrence
Tony Denny
John House

Frequently Asked Questions about Elders

How are decisions made in our church?

The Session (or board of elders) is the decision-making body of our church. It is responsible for the whole life of our congregation, in spiritual and practical matters.

The Session is made up of elders who represent the congregation, and Session meetings are moderated by the pastor.

What is an elder? Are they really old?

Elders are elected for 3 years, and no, being an elder does not mean you are old! In fact, the session currently includes men and women of all ages. “Elder” refers to the wisdom and faith these people bring to their work.

How are the elders chosen and who chooses them? What are the criteria used to choose them?

The Congregation elects a new class of elders on a yearly basis for a three-year term. The slate of candidates is presented by the Nominating Team, which is made up of at-large members of the Congregation and one or more elders whose term is finishing at the end of the current year. Team members come from varying life stages, ministry areas and cultural backgrounds. The constitution of the PCUSA requires that the Team have more at-large members than currently-serving elders.

The Congregation is encouraged to suggest candidates, as are the pastor and currently-serving elders. The Nominating Team looks for potential elders who are “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.”

The Nominating Team prays together, reads scripture, seeks God’s voice in their decisions, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit discusses the strengths of those suggested. The pastoral staff provides confidential input on candidates to help the Team assemble the final slate of nominees for election by the Congregation. All deliberations by the Team are strictly confidential.

What does the Nominating Team do anyway? Do they check the church attendance and giving records of all the candidates? Do they evaluate their clothing and careers?

The Nominating Team meets together regularly to get to know and trust one another, pray for God’s leading and wisdom, and to review suggested candidates. The discussions are positive and no “statistics” about people are discussed. Instead, we share what we know about candidates and their strengths. If a member of the committee has a concern about a candidate, they just state that and we respect their wisdom as led by the Holy Spirit. We pray for all the suggested individuals, and ask God to use their leadership skills to further his Kingdom.

The Nominating Team does not have access to the giving records of any church members, regardless of whether or not they are being considered for election to eldership.

I know someone who would make a wonderful elder. Can I suggest his or her name?

YES! Simply submit the nomination form below.

I would like to be considered as an elder. Can I nominate myself?

YES!  Use the form below and describe your desire to serve.

If you are not chosen as an elder this year, nominate yourself again next year. Another way to serve might be through a ministry team. Please contact the ministry area you are interested in and express an interest in serving on a committee or team. You don’t have to be an Elder to have a BIG impact in serving God.

How many elders are needed each year?

There are 3 vacancies to fill every year, and many godly individuals will be suggested as candidates.

Why do some members serve as elders multiple times?

The Nominating Committee tries to include at least one previously ordained elder in each “class,” so that there is a continuity of history, experience and wisdom in the group. This is balanced with new elders who will serve for the first time.

Nominations: Elder Class of 2027

The Nominating Team is working to discern God’s call for the members who will become the Elder Class of 2027! The congregation elects elders for three year terms. Please consider nominating a candidate (even yourself) for elder using this form.

    Nominations Form

    Submit this form to nominate someone for the next Elder Class or for the Pastor Nominating Committee. You may nominate yourself (i.e., volunteer to serve), too!